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This delicious pizza starts with a homemade white sauce!
Enjoy gourmet pizza at home with a wholesome and delicious Chicken Florentine Pizza. Florentine pizzas replace traditional marinara sauce with creamy béchamel, or white sauce, as the pizza base.
In today’s Chicken Florentine Pizza, fresh spinach and garlic are cooked with the sauce, then spread on top of whole wheat pizza dough and layered with caramelized onions, tender chicken, mushrooms, and plenty of melty cheese.
Chicken Florentine Pizza
When our girls were small, we’d celebrate making it through the work week with Friday night pizza and a movie. That meant picking up a pizza on the way home and vegging out in front of the TV watching the latest Disney movie.
Cut into eight pieces, each slice is around 300 calories so you can feel good about splurging on this delicious pizza!
For this pizza, I like to use whole wheat pizza dough (I find mine at Trader Joe’s), but any refrigerated crust will work.
For the chicken, you can either bake or sauté a few chicken tenders or use leftovers or rotisserie chicken. Or, for that matter, you can skip the chicken all together to make a vegetarian pizza Florentine!
- Pizza dough — make your own homemade pizza dough or pick up a refrigerated dough (whole wheat or plain) from the grocery deli department
- Chicken — cooked and sliced; leftovers work great for this recipe!
- Fresh spinach — may also use frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
- Onion — sweet or white onions
- Mushrooms — if you’re not a mushroom fan, just leave them off!
- Mozzarella cheese
- Milk, flour, and butter — for the white béchamel sauce
- Garlic — for added flavor
- Fresh rosemary — for a bit of fresh flavor at the end.
How to make Chicken Florentine Pizza
STEP 1 | Top pizza dough with béchamel
Spread a refrigerated pizza dough into the pizza pan.
Make a simple roux of flour and butter, then add minced garlic and milk, cooking until slightly thickened. Stir in the spinach until wilted, then spread on the crust.
STEP 2 | Caramelize onions
Sauté onions until caramelized and spread evenly on top of the sauce.
STEP 3 | Add toppings
Evenly top the pizza with chicken and sliced mushrooms. Finally, add a layer of cheese and bake!
- I tend to go light when it comes to garlic, but if you enjoy a stronger garlic flavor, use two minced cloves in the white sauce.
- The finished sauce will be quite thick and you won’t think there’s enough of it, but no need to worry!
- Brush the pizza dough with a little olive oil and use a spatula to evenly spread the florentine sauce. You’ll find it’s the perfect amount for a thin layer.
Frequently asked questions
Recipes with Florentine in the name always include spinach as a main ingredient. Named for the region of Florence, Italy, it is believed Florentine style cooking (with spinach) was first adopted to please the tastes of Queen Catherine de Médicis.
As with any meat topping, always cook chicken before adding to a pizza. If you don’t the chicken won’t cook through before the pizza gets too brown.
Lightly spraying the pizza pan with nonstick cooking spray, then evenly sprinkling with a tablespoon or two of cornmeal before you spread out the pizza dough will give the crust a nice, crispy texture.
Top Chicken Florentine Pizza with mozzarella cheese, a bit of shredded Parmesan, some fresh rosemary. Bake until the crust is crispy on the bottom and the cheese is melted and bubbly, then dive in!
One last note, I used light butter and low-fat milk and my white sauce was still rich and creamy.
Chicken Florentine Pizza
- Non-stick cooking spray
- 1 tablespoon cornmeal
- 1 16-oz. whole wheat pizza dough
- 1/2 lb. chicken tenders cooked and diced
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 onion medium sliced thin top to bottom
- 1 cup mushrooms sliced
- 2 cups part-skim shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese optional
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary minced
Florentine White Sauce
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 medium garlic clove minced
- 3/4 cup low-fat milk
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 cups fresh spinach chopped
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Lightly coat a 14-inch pizza pan with cooking spray and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon cornmeal.
- Remove the pizza dough from refrigerator and allow to rest for 20 minutes before pressing onto the prepared pizza pan. The dough should make a 12-inch to 14-inch pie depending on your desired thickness.
- In the meantime, in a large skillet over medium high heat, warm one tablespoon olive oil. Add the onions and cook until slightly caramelized. Remove to a plate.
- Next, make the Florentine sauce. Melt the butter in the skillet, then stir in the flour and minced garlic. Gradually add the milk, stirring constantly to remove any lumps. Cook until the mixture begins to slightly thicken, about 5 minutes.
- Add the spinach and cook just until the spinach is wilted. The mixture will be thick.
- Brush one tablespoon of olive oil over the prepared pizza crust. Add the spinach mixture and spread to within 1/2 inch of the edge. Top with the cooked onions, chicken, and mushrooms. Then sprinkle the cheeses and fresh rosemary evenly on top.
- Bake for 13-15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
About Sheila Thigpen
Recipe Developer, Food Photographer, Food Writer
Sheila Thigpen is the publisher of Life, Love, and Good Food — a Southern food blog — and the author of Easy Chicken Cookbook and The 5-Ingredient Fresh and Easy Cookbook. After 20+ years in the publishing industry, she retired in 2018 to focus on her own creative endeavors full time. She and her husband live near the beautiful Smoky Mountains and have a precious little granddaughter who has stolen their hearts. As an influencer, Sheila has collaborated with brands like Creamette, Kroger, HERSHEY’S, Hamilton Beach, Garafalo Pasta, OXO, Smithfield, Valley Fig Growers, and more.