What's Cookin Today - Easy BBQ Chicken Pizza
I was having one of those hectic evenings and needed something fast but still delicious for the family. I had a few leftover ingredients that I wanted to make use of as well. My Easy BBQ Chicken Pizza was the perfect solution. It has so much flavor with that caramelized sauce and variety of veggies, that your whole family will be satisfied. Let's get started.
First, you will want to prepare your dough. There are many options for this step. Of course homemade dough is amazing if you have some available. (This is a topic for another day.) Any type of prepared raw dough or even the fully baked pizza crusts you can find in the store will work great. I used Trader Joe's refrigerated pizza dough. It is easy to work with and quite tasty. Skip down to adding the sauce if your dough has been pre-baked.
To prepare your uncooked dough, let it sit on the counter for about 10 or 15 minutes. This allows the dough to relax and is easier to stretch. You can use this time to work on the other couple dozen items on your to do list! Also this is a good time to preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
After your dough has relaxed, place it on a lightly greased cookie sheet. I cover my cookie sheet with aluminum foil and spray it with cooking spray. You can use a fancy pizza pan or stone if you prefer.
Stretch your dough into your preferred size and shape. Rectangles, circles, hearts, stars...a rustic looking sort of circle is what I chose this time. The more you stretch it, the thinner and more crisp your crust will be. The times in this recipe are based on a medium thickness.
Drizzle your crust with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to your taste. I also like to add oregano, onion or garlic powder right on the crust. It makes for such a tasty pizza to flavor the dough directly.
Place it in the oven for about 10 minutes, or until the dough just starts to cook.
Why do we pre-bake our crust? To avoid a 'soggy bottom.' Anyone answer that correctly? We want a nicely crisp pizza crust, and the quick pre-bake is just the ticket.
See how the dough is just barely starting to cook? There are a couple of golden spots on top and the sides turn up just slightly. That means it's time to turn our dough into a delectable pizza.
The sauce goes first. I used about 1/2 cup of BBQ sauce. The BBQ sauce will add a tangy sweetness that we will balance later with the other ingredients.
If you are not a BBQ fan, you can always substitute another sauce such as tomato, pesto or olive oil. I've even used a peanut sauce to make a Thai chicken pizza that is fantastic.
Spread it around to make a nice thin layer leaving enough room at the edge to hold your slice. Yes, I spread it in a circle. It's what the professionals do...I think.
Here comes my favorite part, the cheese. I'm using a combination of provolone and pepper-jack. The creamy smokiness of the provolone and sharp spice of the pepper jack really work nicely with the sauce.
I mentioned earlier that the Easy BBQ Chicken Pizza is a great opportunity to use up leftover ingredients you have in your fridge. Use about 12 ounces total of provolone and pepper jack or whatever cheese you have left over. Mozzarella is always a great option for just about any pizza.
It's topping time! I had leftover rotisserie chicken and caramelized onions from another dish. I used that along with raw onion, sliced mushroom and red bell pepper. Be creative. Use up what you have and add the toppings your family will enjoy.
Up your oven to 450 degrees and bake your pizza for 10-15 minutes or until everything is golden and bubbly. When the entire family is huddled around the oven peering in, you know it is done.
Although this pizza is so tasty the way it is, I really like to add a fresh herb to my pizza. I love the freshness and complimentary earthy flavor of cilantro. If you don't prefer that herb, you can use parsley, basil or fresh oregano.
If you haven't worked with fresh herbs, let's go over a couple of chopping tips. This will work for cilantro or parsley, but some of the others need a different technique.
First, line up a handful so the leaves are bunched together and cut off the stems. Then slice through the leaves just a few times to make them a little smaller.
Sprinkle on top for that wonderful green color and aromatic taste.
I'm from southern California, and we really do put avocado on everything. Makes you want to dive right in, doesn't it?
This is just one way you can take a few leftover ingredients and turn them into a completely different, easy and amazing meal. Enjoy!
- 1 Raw or pre-baked pizza dough
- 1/2 cup BBQ sauce
- 6 ounces Provolone cheese
- 6 ounces Pepper jack cheese
- Chicken, bite-sized pieces
- Veggies, bite-sized pieces
- Optional toppings: Chopped cilantro and sliced avocado
- If using raw dough, remove from refrigerator and let rest for 10-15 minutes. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. If using pre-baked pizza crust, skip to step 3.
- Place dough on lightly greased cookie sheet and stretch to desired shape. Pre-bake for 10 minutes or until crust just starts to cook.
- Add BBQ sauce and spread evenly on crust, leaving enough space on edge of pizza. Add cheese and toppings.
- Increase oven temperature to 450 degrees and bake pizza for 10-15 minutes until cheese is golden and bubbly.
- Add optional toppings, slice and enjoy.