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Murielle Banackissa

Shaved Zucchini Flatbreads with Roasted Garlic Pesto

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2 hours 5 mins Prep: 1 hour 15 mins Cook: 50 mins
Serves 4

Bright, fresh and cheesy, these flatbreads are customizable, made with easy to find ingredients, and pack a punch! They are perfect as a snack, for lunch or for dinner during the warm summer months.



  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour , plus more for dusting
  • 1 tsp instant dry active yeast
  • ¾ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil , plus more for cooking
  • ½ cup lukewarm water (about 120ºF), plus more as needed

Roasted Garlic Pesto and Flatbread assembly

  • 1 garlic head , unpeeled
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tbsp + 1 tsp lemon juice , divided
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbsp + 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil , divided
  • 2 tbsp hemp hearts
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 medium zucchini (about 6 ounces), shaved using a potato peeler
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • Shaved vegan cheese , for serving (optional - I love Daiya’s Jalapeno Havarti Style cheese)


  1. Step 1

    In a large bowl, mix together the flour, yeast, salt, and sugar. Add the olive oil and water, and mix with a wooden spoon until most of the flour is incorporated.

  2. Step 2

    Transfer the dough to a clean work surface dusted with flour and knead for 5 minutes, until the dough is smooth and springs back a little when poked. If the dough is very sticky, add more flour 1 teaspoon at a time, making sure to knead the dough well in between additions. If the mixture is too dry, add 1 teaspoon of lukewarm water and knead to incorporate. 

  3. Step 3

    Return the dough to the bowl. Cover with a clean, damp towel and let sit in a warm place to rise until doubled in size and very soft to the touch, about 1 hour. 

  4. Step 4

    While the dough is rising, heat the oven to 400ºF. Cut about ¼-inch off of the top of the garlic head and place it on a medium piece of foil. Drizzle the garlic head with some olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Wrap the foil tightly around the garlic and roast, directly on the oven rack, for 40 minutes, until the cloves are soft and golden brown. Let the garlic cool for a few minutes, then unwrap and let cool completely, about 15 minutes. 

  5. Step 5

    Remove the garlic skin and discard. Add the roasted garlic cloves, basil, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, oil, hemp hearts, salt, and pepper to a food processor and process until the basil is very finely chopped and the pesto is mostly smooth (it won’t completely puree, but avoid any large chunks of garlic or basil). Set aside. 

  6. Step 6

    Increase the oven heat to 425ºF, line a sheet pan with foil, then brush the foil with a bit of olive oil. Dust the work surface with more flour, then turn out the risen flatbread dough. Cut the dough into four pieces.

  7. Step 7

    Lightly grease your hands with a bit more olive oil and use your fingers and palms to stretch and press the dough into 6-inch-wide flatbreads.  

  8. Step 8

    Place the flatbreads on the sheet pan, leaving about 1 inch of space between each (they should all fit on a standard half sheet pan). Bake for 5 minutes, then flip and bake for another 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes. 

  9. Step 9

    In a medium bowl, combine the zucchini, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Toss to coat. 

  10. Step 10

    Spread a generous tablespoon of the pesto onto each flatbread. Top with the shaved zucchini mixture and vegan cheese, if using. Serve immediately.

Common Questions & Swaps

  • Can I replace the all purpose flour with another kind of flour? I have personally not tested any other flours for this recipe, so I cannot attest to that. However, if you want to cut your prep time in more than half, you could use premade mini naan breads instead!
  • Can I use regular yeast instead of the instant kind? No, not in this recipe. The instant yeast allows you to cut your rising time by half!

  • Can I use raw garlic instead of roasted garlic? You can, but start with 3 cloves of garlic at a time, as raw garlic is a lot stronger in flavor than roasted garlic.

  • What other nuts or seeds could I use for my pesto instead of hemp hearts? You could use sunflower seeds, the traditional pine nuts, roasted pistachios and pepitas.

Overhead of zucchini flatbread topped with pesto and zucchini shavings.
Oven roasted garlic open. Interior cloves visible.
Homemade flatbreads laid flat on surface, surrounded by pesto, basil and fresh garlic
Closeup of roasted garlic pesto
Flatbreads laid flat topped with roasted garlic pesto, shaved zucchini, and fresh basil.

One of my favorite things about cooking and recipe creation is layering flavors and textures and these beauties check those two key boxes.

The first layer is a homemade flatbread dough made simply by mixing some flour, lukewarm water, salt, pepper, sugar, instant yeast and oil together. After one hour rising, a few minutes of flattening out, and a quick bake, these come out crispy around the edges, slightly dense, and wonderfully chewy.

The flatbreads are then topped with a homemade roasted garlic pesto. This is the true star of this recipe in my opinion.

Garlicky, slightly smoky, bright in flavor, rich and tangy, it adds punch to these flatbreads. Instead of using traditional pine nuts for this pesto, I opted for hemp hearts, as they are easy to find, affordable, and have a light, earthy flavor that complements all the other ingredients beautifully.

For the tangy saltiness every pesto needs, I chose to incorporate nutritional yeast instead of vegan cheese; again, it is very accessible (I love to buy it in bulk!) and affordable while replicating the traditional cheesiness typically found in this kind of spread.

Flatbread with pesto, shaved zucchini, basil and hemp hearts.

Last but not least, the flatbreads are topped with raw zucchini ribbons that have been tossed in a touch of olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.

These zucchini ribbons add a ton freshness to these flatbreads, but also a beautiful texture.

Finally, if you’re like me and you love adding vegan cheese to your dishes, top these Shaved Zucchini Flatbreads with some shavings of vegan cheese. I personally love Daiya’s Jalapeno Havarti Style cheese.

Well… On that note, I hope you give this recipe a try! It is truly packed with lots of flavors and textures and is a perfect dish for the summer, when a lot of us are craving light and fresh dishes.

If you do end up making these Shaved Zucchini Flatbreads with Roasted Garlic Pesto, make sure to share it on Instagram and tag me (@muriellebanackissa).

Have a wonderful week my friends!