Is there anyone in the world that doesn’t love pizza? A warm crust, tomato sauce, and cheese, lots and lots of melted cheese all combined together to make the dish celebrated around the world. Pizza has a long history - 997 AD to be exact, and over the years, it has developed from the traditional tomato and cheese into a palate to create gourmet meals.
Now there are different types of pizza: Chicago-style, New York Style, Sicilian style, and the focus of today, California Style. California style is really the epitome of taking pizza to the next level. Using inventive toppings and sauces, it takes the traditional and throws it right out the window. BBQ Chicken Pizza, a blend of BBQ sauce, mozzarella cheese, onions and cilantro is the original invention of Ed LaDou, who helped create the menu at California Pizza Kitchen, one of the most popular chain restaurants.
BBQ Chicken Pizza quickly became the signature pie at CPK, as well as their most popular. I cannot recall when I had my first BBQ Chicken Pizza, but I know I have been a fan of them for a long time! So what’s a foodie to do when a craving for BBQ Chicken Pizza arises and there is no cash in your wallet? Why, you make it at home of course!
My version of the classic pizza is easy enough to put together at the last minute but still gourmet. To make it quick, I use store bought pizza dough as well as cooked diced chicken breast, which can be found in the lunchmeat section at your grocery store. The secret ingredient to my BBQ pizza… NOH Hawaiian BBQ Sauce. This deliciously sweet BBQ Sauce can be found at most major grocery stores, but if not, you can buy it online. I encourage you to give this sauce a try; it has a distinct flavor that makes it better than any other BBQ sauce I have ever had, but of course, good ole regular BBQ Sauce can be substituted. This simple recipe with a few personal touches will give you a little slice of California no matter where you are!
BBQ Chicken Pizza
1 store bought pizza dough (I recommend Trader Joe’s)
1 package of cooked diced chicken breast
Approx. ¾ cup of NOH Hawaiian BBQ Sauce
1-2 cups of grated mozzarella cheese (depending on how big your pizza is)
½ of a red onion, cut in half and sliced thinly
½ bunch of fresh cilantro, chopped
Preheat the oven according to the directions of the pizza dough.
In a mixing bowl, toss the diced chicken breast and ¼ cup of the BBQ sauce together, evenly coating the chicken.
Prepare your baking sheet with non-stick spray. Roll out the pizza dough an even layer. Then spread about ½ cup of the Hawaiian BBQ Sauce over the dough. Cover with the cheese. Place the onions, chicken and cilantro on the pizza. Bake in the oven according to the package directions, typically around 15 minutes.
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