I'm always looking for easy and quick meals to make during the week. One of my go-to recipes is homemade french bread pizzas. Who doesn't love pizza? If I had to pick just one food to eat for the rest of my life it would most definitely be pizza. You can whip these up in under 30 minutes and customize them with whatever toppings and ingredients you have in your fridge and pantry.
All you need is a loaf of french bread, sauce (you can use a jar of tomato sauce, marinara, or make your own sauce), cheese, and toppings of your choice. I love to make these so that I can use up leftovers or random items I have in the fridge for toppings like lunchmeat (ham, salami, pepperoni), chicken, pickled peppers, giardiniera, and vegetables. There are endless possibilities and you can really be creative or even make each slice different if you want! The recipe I'll be sharing is for chicken caesar pizza (inspired by my favorite pizza at Mellow Mushroom).
Here's what you need for the pizzas:
1 loaf french bread
5 oz package lettuce
3/4 lb. chicken breast tenderloins
10 oz. shredded mozzarella or pizza cheese mix
2 oz. shaved Parmesan
1/2 cup grape tomatoes (halved)
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons garlic
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. You can start by making your garlic pizza sauce. This sauce is super easy to make and is a great recipe to keep on hand for so many different recipes (garlic bread, salad dressing, pasta, etc.). All you do is whisk all your ingredients together in a bowl: 1 cup olive oil, 2 tablespoons garlic and Parmesan cheese, and your spices.
Slice your french bread in half in both directions until you have four slices. Scoop a little sauce onto each slice of bread and spread it over the slice until the top is completely covered. Reserve a tablespoon or so of sauce to cook your chicken in.
Sprinkle each slice of bread with a generous handful of your pizza cheese.
Add the remainder of your sauce to a pan on medium heat to cook your chicken. Cook the chicken, flipping constantly, until it is cooked through.
Remove your chicken from the pan and let it cool. Slice it into bite size pieces and arrange it on your pizzas on top of the cheese.
Top your chicken with EVEN MORE shredded cheese and a sprinkle of pepper and Italian seasonings (I also drizzled mine with just a tiny bit of white balsamic vinegar).
Bake at 400 for 10-15 minutes until the cheese is melted. Turn the oven up to broil and cook for another couple of minutes until the cheese starts bubbling and starts to turn that beautiful toasty golden brown.
Toss all your salad ingredients together in a bowl: lettuce, tomatoes, parmesan, red onion, and some Caesar dressing (I used just under a 1/4 of a cup but you can use as much or as little as you please!). Top your delicious pizza with a scoop of Caesar salad and enjoy!
Using french bread as the base makes the pizza extra crispy on the outside while the inside stays perfectly warm and chewy. The garlic pizza sauce, toasted cheese, and chicken on top of the pizza creates the most flavorful, melt-in-your mouth topping that is perfectly complimented by the bright, crispness of the salad. I love the combination of different textures and flavors that is created by adding the salad to the top of the pizza. This is such an easy weeknight meal and also an easy dish to whip up for a large crowd or parties (how perfect for the Superbowl or when friends come over to watch football or basketball?). I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!