California Pizza Kitchen inspired Thai chicken pizza

California Pizza Kitchen inspired Thai chicken pizza

People usually debate that either New York or Chicago has the best pizza in the United States. Outside of the United States of course there is Italy and I have heard good things about Japanese pizza. Personally, I love California pizza. Full disclosure, I have never been to any of the places listed above except California, where I have lived my whole life. So I guess I’m pretty biased. In California, we’re not afraid to put off the wall toppings on our pizza. One of my favorites at a place in Santa Monica was salad pizza. Yes, really.

I grew up going to California Pizza Kitchen where I would often get either barbecue chicken pizza or Thai chicken pizza. I even went to CPK on a Valentine’s Day, so it holds a special place in my heart.

When searching to see if a CPK Thai Chicken Pizza recipe already existed online (of course there are multiple), I found one that comes straight from the CPK cookbook. So, it’s official and I could just give up my search there. I could make it exactly to their specifications. But I thought the ingredients in the sauce didn’t seem like that of pad Thai. I think they seemed more Chinese.

I turned to Honeysuckle on YouTube to see if I could find a Thai sauce recipe for this pizza. I referenced her sauce from the Incredibly Easy Pad Thai video recipe. However, I tweaked it slightly by lowering the amount of fish sauce and adding peanut butter. You can still taste the fish sauce. I like the particular flavor it brings. It does have a strong smell, but I think it gets cooked out a bit.

The Thai Chicken pizza at CPK restaurants has Thai peanut sauce, Mozzarella, bean sprouts, julienned carrots, slivered scallions and fresh cilantro. For this pizza, I skipped the bean sprouts and added crushed peanuts in the sauce. Let me reiterate real quick.

For this pizza, you will need:

  • Store bought or homemade pizza dough
  • Homemade Thai peanut sauce: Made with brown sugar, fish sauce, tamarind sauce and peanut butter. Substitutes are given below.
  • Chicken
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Corn meal (optional)
  • Crushed peanuts
  • Mozzarella
  • Carrots
  • Green onions
  • Cilantro

I used store bought pizza dough from Trade Joe’s for this pizza. Actually, I made the sauce for the pizza and cut up all the toppings, but Paul made the pizza. He shaped the dough, put the sauce on and put all the toppings on.

Paul is the resident pizza expert in this house. He makes pizza dough from scratch at least once a month and has his own recipe that I’ll probably share here at some point.

If you like this recipe, you may also like:

Homemade CPK Thai chicken pizza

This Thai Chicken Pizza is easy to make and comes together pretty quickly once you have all your ingredients prepped. It’s sweet and savory with and a great umami flavor.

California Pizza Kitchen inspired Thai chicken pizza

Spicy Peanut Sauce
3 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp tamarind paste
1 tsp peanut butter

For the pizza
1 tbsp olive oil
2 chicken breasts cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp fish sauce
1 pound pizza dough
1 tbsp cornmeal (optional)
1/4 cup roasted peanuts, chopped
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 green onions, slivered diagonally
1 medium carrot, julienned
2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro

Preheat oven to 400.

To make Peanut Sauce, combine all sauce ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil gently for 1 minute. Remove from heat and set aside.

Season diced chicken with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a nonstick pan over medium high heat. Add chicken when oil begins to sizzle, and add the fish sauce immediately in with the chicken. Cook chicken until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Shape dough into a 9-inch round.

Sprinkle cornmeal evenly on the bottom of a round pizza pan. Gently place the dough on top and make sure it is spread evenly in the pan. Spread 1 tbsp of olive oil on the dough, then add 2/3 of the sauce on top. Sprinkle the crushed peanuts evenly on the dough.

Cover sauce with 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese. Place the cooked chicken on top of the cheese followed by the green onions, carrots, and cilantro. Top with 1/4 cup mozzarella.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes, until crust is golden.

Notes: You can substitute tamarind sauce in the spicy peanut sauce with an equal amount of lime juice. Or, you can use 1 1/2 tsp white vinegar and 1 1/2 tsp brown sugar. The fish sauce gives a distinct salty flavor and I didn’t substitute for it here because I already had it in my fridge. You can substitute it with coconut aminos (vegan), soy sauce, tamarind sauce, or oyster sauce.

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