Pseudomonas putida is a saprophytic bacterium with robust metabolisms and strong solvent tolerance making it an attractive host for metabolic engineering and bioremediation. Due to its diverse carbon metabolisms, its genome encodes an array of proteins and enzymes that can be readily applied to produce valuable products. In this work we sought to identify design principles and bottlenecks in the production of type III polyketide synthase (T3PKS)-derived compounds in P. putida. T3PKS products are widely used as nutraceuticals and medicines and often require aromatic starter units, such as coumaroyl-CoA, which is also an intermediate in the native coumarate catabolic pathway of P. putida. Using a randomly barcoded transposon mutant (RB-TnSeq) library, we assayed gene functions for a large portion of aromatic catabolism, confirmed known pathways, and proposed new annotations for two aromatic transporters. The 1,3,6,8-tetrahydroxynapthalene synthase of Streptomyces coelicolor (RppA), a microbial T3PKS, was then used to rapidly assay growth conditions for increased T3PKS product accumulation. The feruloyl/coumaroyl CoA synthetase (Fcs) of P. putida was used to supply coumaroyl-CoA for the curcuminoid synthase (CUS) of Oryza sativa, a plant T3PKS. We identified that accumulation of coumaroyl-CoA in this pathway results in extended growth lag times in P. putida. Deletion of the second step in coumarate catabolism, the enoyl-CoA hydratase-lyase (Ech), resulted in increased production of the type III polyketide bisdemethoxycurcumin.