Cookbook Reviews | Healthier Foods | Healthier Main Dishes

Pesto Flatbread Pizza Recipe + Cookbook Review

Pesto Flatbread Pizza with Mozzarella, Tomato, and Arugula is a clean eating recipe, created by Chef Sam Talbot. The recipe is published in his new full-color cookbook, 100% Real; 100 Insanely Good Recipes for Clean Food Made Fresh (Copyright © 2017 Oxmoor House). The delicious flatbread recipe features a multigrain flatbread loaded with fresh vegetable toppings and fresh mozzarella cheese. The flatbread pizza is toasted until the cheese is melted and bubbly, creating a 30-minute healthy lunch, dinner, or appetizer!

Pesto Flatbread Pizza with Mozzarella, Tomato, and Arugula is a delicious clean eating food recipe, created by Chef Sam Talbot. Get the healthy pizza recipe and read our review of his cookbook, 100% Real; 100 Insanely Good Recipes for Clean Food Made Fresh (Copyright © 2017 Oxmoor House).
OH Sam Talbot; Photographer Hector Sanchez; Prop Stylist Morgan Locke; Food Stylist Margaret Dickey

Disclosure: I was sent a free copy of the cookbook, 100% Real, in exchange for this review. No additional compensation was received, and all thoughts and opinions on the book are my own.

A Bit About the Author:

If you are a fan of the Bravo channel television show, Top Chef, the name Sam Talbot may ring a bell with you. He was a Season 2 semi-finalist, and fan favorite. The Sicilian-American chef was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes as a young boy. In the introduction of [amazon_textlink asin=’0848746767′ text=’100% Real’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’chebecskit-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’c1930aee-f23f-11e7-a1e0-dd1952885bed’], Talbot writes that he is constantly asked what type of food he eats. They want to know if he eats gluten free, vegetarian, Paleo, etc. His simple answer is,

“…none of the above. What I eat, simply put, is 100% real food.

He says he has learned things from all of the eating styles, but ultimately, it all boils down to eating real food. His philosophy is that, diabetes or not, eating real food is healthy for our bodies and Talbot says nothing tastes better, either. I can’t argue that point. However, I am a fan of the “all things in moderation” lifestyle, and there’s no denying that my Snicker’s cupcake recipe is off the charts delicious. Even if it does contain enough saturated fat to clog a couple of arteries. 😉

I’ll share Chef Talbot’s Pesto Flatbread Pizza recipe with you shortly, but first, here are my thoughts on his cookbook.

Cookbook cover for Sam Talbot's book, 100% Real; 100 Insanely Good Recipes for Clean Food Made Fresh (copyright 2017 Oxmoor House)

100% Real – Cookbook Review

What I Like:

  • The hardcover cookbook is sturdy and well bound. It is packed with 100 recipes, shopping tips, cooking tips, and a wonderful introduction.,
  • Food photography is an art, and as you have likely heard, we eat with our eyes first. The photographers and food stylists did an amazing job, because the photography in the book is absolutely stunning! Every photo is crisp, clear, and makes my mouth water with anticipation, even for dishes that I typically wouldn’t care for, like the quinoa-chia energy bars (page 123). Honestly, as healthy as they are, I detest the thought of eating [amazon_textlink asin=’B00AQFGL3O’ text=’chia seeds’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’chebecskit-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’917f86c3-f23d-11e7-8b15-bdd1f4bcbb5d’]. I can’t help myself; I always think of chia pets growing in my stomach when I see them listed in recipes.
  • The recipes are written well, so that cooks of any level can easily make them. There are technical tips for those who need them, such as how to flambe safely. While creating my baked Alaska recipe, I learned firsthand about the dangers of a kitchen torch.

What Disappointed Me:

  • I have mentioned several times before that I’m allergic to all coconut products, and sadly, Chef Talbot loves to incorporate them into his recipes. Without counting, I suspect that 85-90% of the recipes use coconut flour and/or oil. Obviously, this situation makes it difficult for me to try the recipes without substitutions. Having said that, coconut allergies are rare, so hopefully, you’re not as unfortunate as I am. Coconut oil is a healthy fat that is commonly used in healthy recipes these days.
  • Another of the “poor me” situations; I live in northeastern Wisconsin. As I write this review, the temperature is -15 F. Locally sourced fresh fruits and veggies are another item that Talbot loves to use, and with good reason. But trying to find oranges that don’t feel like baseballs or zucchini that isn’t tiny and mushy is tough this time of the year. Or for that matter, fresh fish. I really want to make his recipe for Halibut over Apples and Pecans with Honey Mustard Vinaigrette (page 163). But after looking at 6 different sources, I was unable to find fresh OR frozen halibut. Sure, I can substitute a different type of fish, but then it wouldn’t be a proper recipe review.

Which leads me back to the Pesto Flatbread Pizza recipe.

I didn’t make the recipe, but I have permission from the publisher to share it. Making the recipe is on my to-do list when local farmer’s market opens… 6 months from now!! Sure, I can buy grape tomatoes and arugula at the grocery store, but they’re not exactly what I would call food photography photogenic. I can use jarred pesto, which is actually what the recipe calls for, but nothing beats freshly prepared basil pesto when you want to make pesto flatbread pizza!

[amazon_link asins=’0848746767′ template=’ProductAd’ store=’chebecskit-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’8c4af0ed-f24b-11e7-9050-35207f233883′]

Overall, the cookbook is wonderful, and I hope you will buy yourself a copy to try some of Chef Talbot’s other 100% real recipes. And now… let’s make pizza!

Pesto Flatbread Pizza with Tomato, Arugula, and Mozzarella Cheese
OH Sam Talbot; Photographer Hector Sanchez; Prop Stylist Morgan Locke; Food Stylist Margaret Dickey

Recipe for Pesto Flatbread Pizza with Mozzarella, Tomato, and Arugula

Pesto Flatbread Pizza with Tomato, Arugula, and Mozzarella Cheese

Pesto Flatbread Pizza with Mozzarella, Tomato, and Arugula

Multi-grain flatbread topped with fresh vegetables and mozzarella cheese. Fresh, clean eating pizza!
3.80 from 5 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 23 mins
Total Time 38 mins
Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine Main Dish
Servings 4
Calories 300 kcal


  • 2 cups grape tomatoes sliced in half
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 (2-ounces each) multigrain flatbreads
  • 1/4 cup basil pesto or your favorite variety
  • 4 ounces fresh mozzarella shredded
  • 4 cups loosely packed baby arugula leaves
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes optional


  • Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  • Combine the grape tomatoes and 1 teaspoon of the olive oil, tossing to coat. Place the tomatoes in a single layer on a rimmed baking pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes or until softened. Reduce the oven temperature to 375°F.
  • Place the flatbreads on 2 baking sheets. Bake at 375°F for 5 minutes or until beginning to crisp. Spread 1 tablespoon pesto on each flatbread. Sprinkle each with 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese and 1/2 cup roasted tomatoes. Bake at 375°F for 8 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  • While the flatbreads bake, combine the arugula and remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil, tossing well. Top the flatbreads evenly with arugula. Sprinkle with the red chile flakes, if desired.


Excerpted from 100% Real by Sam Talbot. Copyright © 2017 Oxmoor House. Reprinted with permission from Time Inc. Books, a division of Time Inc. New York, NY. All rights reserved.


Serving: 1flatbreadSodium: 510mgIron: 1.9mgCalcium: 214mgVitamin C: 13.2mgVitamin A: 1620IUSugar: 3gFiber: 4gPotassium: 339mgCholesterol: 23mgCalories: 300kcalSaturated Fat: 5gFat: 16gProtein: 12gCarbohydrates: 27g
Tried this recipe? Mention @itsyummi or tag #itsyummirecipe!

More Healthy Recipes to Try:

Moon Over Miami Egg {Healthy Breakfast Recipe Idea}

Moon Over Miami Eggs

Farro Salad w/ Citrus Vinaigrette {Heart Healthy Recipe}


Farro Salad with Citrus Basil Vinaigrette Dressing

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  1. Hey, Becca
    this is a great recipe, This dough is perfect. I thought I had a good recipe but will use this going forward as it was much easier to handle. I will try it next on the grill, too, since it’s less springy I think it will be easier to throw on there! Thank you. And I didn’t try your toppings but did broccoli and Parmesan on one and grilled bbq pork with caramelized onions and jack cheese on the other. Took closer to 20min for the crispness I wanted. Also, I had made the dough two days in advance and it was perfect right out of the fridge. Excellent recipe!

  2. Tasty! I ommitted the arugula and used peppers and onions instead one time, and with pepperonni another time. My go-to for all flatbreads now.

    1. I’m so glas you enjoyed the flatbread recipe, Tiffany, and I adore peppers and onions on pizza, so I’m all in to your idea! 🙂 Thanks so much for your comment and rating the recipe for me.

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