Pesto Slow-Roasted Tomato Detroit-Style Pizza

This Pesto Slow-Roasted Tomato Detroit-Style Pizza features a nutty, herby pesto paired with sweet and jammy tomatoes atop a thick yet light and slightly chewy crust. Loaded with lots of melty cheese, it’s a great weeknight dish. And unlike other Detroit-style pizzas that need 24 hours to ferment, this pizza comes together quickly. 

Pesto Tomato Detroit-Style Pizza

For me, cooking for friends brings me such joy. It really is the greatest expression of warmth I can imagine. I find it soothing and comforting and feeding my friends never gets old. Homemade anything is always better in my book. 

Slices of Pesto Tomato Detroit-Style Pizza


Detroit-Style Pizza has a thick yet light and chewy crust. It’s either rectangular or square-shaped and almost always baked in a dark, thin metal pan. It’s said to have been inspired by either Sicilian pizza or Chicago Pizza, or maybe both. I believe it’s a nice cross between the two. I fell in love with this style of pizza years ago when I visited Detroit. It’s incredible. 

Pesto Tomato Detroit-Style Pizza in Pan

For this post, I’ve partnered with Fleischmann’s® Yeast and am using their Fleischmann’s® RapidRise® Instant Yeast. What’s great about it is that instead of a traditional blooming, where you add the yeast to warm water to activate it, you simply add this yeast to your dry ingredients. Not only does this save time, but it also makes it easier to work with yeast if you’re new to it. If this is your first time using yeast, RapidRise® Instant Yeast is a great one to use. 

RapidRise® Instant Yeast also drastically reduces the rise time on this Detroit-style pizza. While most doughs usually take around 24 hours to ferment, this one is ready to bake in 1 hour and 45 minutes. 

Ingredients for Detroit-Style Pizza


If you scroll around the internet, you’ll find that many recipes for Detroit-style pizza call for a custom pan. And while I can appreciate a custom size, I find that for me, a standard 9 by 13-inch pan works great. The benefit of the custom pan is that it’s made out of a very thin and dark metal which does heat up quicker and conducts heat a bit better yielding a super crispy crust. However, I don’t expect you to go out and buy one just for this recipe. 

Detroit-Style Pizza Dough


While you can absolutely go out and grab store-bought, ready-made pesto, I like to make my own, as I’m able to control the flavor and freshness. Also, it’s super easy to make. I start by quickly blanching my basil, which helps the pesto stay bright green (avoiding that nasty brown color you often see in stores). From there, I just blitz it in a food processor with oil and then garlic, toasted pine nuts, parmesan, and a bit of salt. Easy-peasy.

Detroit-Style Pizza with Pesto


Slow-cooking cherry tomatoes in olive oil at a low temperature turns ordinary tomatoes into super sweet and super soft tomatoes. All their flavor is concentrated making each tomato an explosion of flavor. 

Slow-Roasted Tomatoes


  1. To slow roast the tomatoes, toss the cherry tomatoes, garlic, salt, crushed red pepper, and olive oil and put in a roasting pan. Roast in a 300 degree F oven for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. 
  2. To make the pesto, blanch the basil for 5 seconds then transfer it to an ice bath. Squeeze out all the water and blitz in a food processor with olive oil. Add toasted pine nuts, parmesan, garlic, and salt and pulse until desired consistency has been reached. 
  3. To make the dough, mix together the all-purpose flour, kosher salt, and Fleischmann’s RapidRise ® Instant Yeast in a large bowl.  Pour in the warm water and olive oil and mix it together until combined.
  4. Spread around a few tablespoons of olive oil in a 9×13-inch baking pan and add the dough to the center.
  5. Using your fingers, press dimples into the dough, pressing outward, so that you are pushing the dough to the corners of the pan. Cover the pan and set a timer for 15 minutes. Repeat the process two more times and by then the dough should reach the corners of the pan. Cover the pan and let the dough rise for an hour. 
  6. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. 
  7. Spread ½ a cup of pesto evenly over the top, then top with both kinds of cheese followed by the slow-roasted tomatoes.
  8. Transfer to the oven to bake for 7 minutes, rotate it at the 7-minute mark to ensure even baking, and then bake for an additional 7 minutes. Remove from the oven. Allow to cool for a few minutes and then slide it onto a large cutting board.
Pre-Bake Detroit-Style Pizza

Looking for more recipes? Here are a few more of my favorites:

Pesto Slow-Roasted Tomato Detroit-Style Pizza


  • If your fingers are sticking to the dough, you can just lightly grease them with some olive oil and it’ll be stick-free!
  • You don’t need to run out and buy a pizza peel if you don’t have one–simply flip over a baking sheet and dust it with cornmeal. 
  • Be sure you’re rising the dough in a warm place in your oven. As we get into cooler months, you want to make sure you’re rising the dough in a non-drafty part of your home.
  • You really want to sprinkle the parmesan cheese on the outer edges of your crust. They’ll get nice and crispy when you bake your pizza.
  • If you can’t find aged provolone, you can replace it with more mozzarella, fontina, or any other melty cheese that you like. 
Pesto Slow-Roasted Tomato Detroit-Style Pizza