THE WASHINGTON POST – Ever have one of those weeks where you hit the front door at the end of the day and the thought of cooking feels like a colossal drag rather than a delicious task? I bet you do.
And so you’ll relate to my indulging in this made-from-convenience-food garlic bread chicken pizza.
You can reach for your favourite brand of frozen garlic bread and chicken nuggets or tenders, along with jarred marinara, to get dinner on the table in 30 minutes. If you’ve got these items in your pantry or freezer already, all the better.
You can eat the pizza just like that, or let people add their favourite toppings. Just don’t overload it. Sprinkle the baked pizza with a little parmesan and crushed red pepper flakes.
Have fresh herbs on hand? Toss a few leaves on top. Want your pizza a little saucier? Heat up more marinara and put little dishes on the table for dipping.
While the pizzas bake, make a green or fruit salad and you’ll have what promises to be a popular supper. Or you can cut the pizzas into smaller slices and serve them as an after-school or movie-night snack or maybe for a Super Bowl watch party.
Yes, you can make your own marinara sauce, garlic bread and chicken tenders (see related recipes), but if you want homemade French bread pizza fast, try making this version with refrigerated garlic bread, jarred sauce and frozen chicken tenders or leftover chicken cut into bite-size pieces. If using frozen bread, there is no need to defrost it first. Toss together a green salad while the pizzas bake, and you’ll have dinner in about 30 minutes.
Storage: Refrigerate for up to four days; reheat in a 350-degree oven for about five minutes.
One package frozen garlic bread
Half cup jarred marinara sauce
Eight ounces baked or fried chicken tenders or nuggets, breaded or plain
One three-quarter cups (six ounces) shredded cheese, such as fontina or mozzarella
Crushed red pepper flakes, for serving (optional)
Grated parmesan cheese, for serving (optional)
Chopped fresh basil or parsley, for serving (optional)
Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees. On a large, rimmed baking sheet, arrange the garlic bread, buttered side up. (If the bread is curled at the edges, set a sheet pan over and gently press down to flatten a bit). Bake for about eight minutes, or until the bread is just lightly browned. Spread the marinara evenly over the bread. Cut the chicken into bite-size pieces and arrange over the sauce. Top with shredded mozzarella or fontina.
Bake for about eight minutes, or until the cheese melts and starts to bubble.
Transfer to a cutting board and cut each piece of bread in half or quarters. Then, transfer the pizza to plates and immediately sprinkle with pepper flakes, parmesan and/or parsley or basil, if using. Serve hot.