Balsamic Chicken Pizza with Blue Cheese and Spinach
Looking for a unique gourmet pizza? Balsamic chicken pizza with blue cheese and spinach on an olive oil and garlic base might be just the thing!
Pizza is the perfect food.
It’s delicious, and you can get almost all your food groups in one bite. Grains for the crust, dairy for the cheese, and meats and veggies for the toppings and sauce.
Since it’s basically a health food, there’s no reason not to have some a couple times a week, right?
Seriously, though, I love pretty much anything in pizza form. If I like it in its regular form, I’ll take it on a pizza.
Buffalo chicken pizza? Sign me up.
Philly cheesesteak pizza? I’m there.
Cheese board pizza? Delicious.
In fact, that’s why I love it so much – the possibilities are endless. So saying “I love pizza” is kind of like saying “I love sandwiches.” or “I love nachos.”
It’s not really one thing. It’s anything and everything. It’s basically just… a vehicle for other things.
It can be whatever you want it to be.
There are times when I like a good ol’ pepperoni and black olives pizza ordered from Pizza Hut. The aforementioned Buffalo chicken and Philly cheesesteak pizzas are also popular in my house from a Charleston pizza chain that’s just down the road.
But one of my favorite pizzas requires a trek alllll the way downtown (okay, it’s only about 20-30 minutes, but that’s substantially further than the end of my neighborhood, or the front door in my pajamas).
There’s this great hole-in-the-wall type place downtown called D’Allesandro’s and they have some pretty awesome pizzas. It’s sort of in the middle of nowhere, far up a street with nothing nearby but the empty parking lot of a newspaper (I think).
The pizzas all have funky names, like the “Bare Naked” (pepperoni and roasted red peppers on an olive oil base) or “The Spicy Benny” (pepperoni, feta cheese, and jalapeños).
This one is called the “Get Gnarly” and it’s one of my absolute favorite pizzas in town.
It’s a balsamic chicken pizza with spinach and blue cheese crumbles on an olive oil and garlic base. SO GOOD.
So, since you’re probably much further from D’Allesandro’s than I am, I figured I’d share this magical goodness with you in the form of a recipe.
Now, I don’t know WHAT they do to get their chicken so good and balsamicky, but the chicken on this pizza is pretty darned good too.
I marinated my chicken in a balsamic marinade for about an hour, but I’d really recommend doing it overnight if you have the forethought.
I threw it on my Griddler on high heat for 7 minutes a side, and it was perfectly juicy with that nice chargrilled flavor.
To get some extra balsamicky goodness, I also tossed the chicken in a combination of honey and balsamic vinegar after it was cooked and diced.
I just used some premade flatbread pizza crusts for this one, but you can use pizza dough or whatever you want, just adjust the cook times and temperatures according to the directions for your dough.
Words to the wise: The spinach should only go in the oven for the last few minutes (5 is fine) or it will shrink up more than you want.
When I made this balsamic chicken pizza, I got a little overzealous with the blue cheese and I think it was too much, so I’ve listed half the amount I used in the ingredients. It’s tempting, especially if you love blue cheese, but use it sparingly or that’s all you’ll taste. You can also put the blue cheese on at the end so it doesn’t melt and spread out too much.
Finally, I drizzled extra balsamic vinegar over the top of the pizza. I have some awesome 20-year aged balsamic vinegar that’s basically like a balsamic reduction that I used for the drizzling.
If you don’t have any vinegar like that, or any balsamic reduction, you can either make your own by simmering some balsamic vinegar until half the liquid evaporates out, or fake your own by combining two parts vinegar to one part honey. You’ll get a nice syrupy-sweet balsamic vinegar that’ll be just fine for drizzling without being too runny.
Hopefully you like gourmet pizzas as much as I do, because I’m certain this won’t be the last pizza you see from me!
What are your favorite pizza toppings? Do you tend to go more traditional or unique with your toppings?
Balsamic Chicken Pizza with Blue Cheese and Spinach
For the marinade
- 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 1/2 tbsp honey
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
For the pizza
- 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts 1 large or 2 small
- 1 tbsp honey
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 flatbread pizza crusts or 1 large pizza crust
- 8 oz ball fresh mozzarella
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 handfuls fresh baby spinach
- 2 oz blue cheese crumbled
- Balsamic reduction for drizzling
- Combine marinade ingredients in a large ziploc bag with chicken breasts. Marinate for at least an hour or overnight if possible.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Preheat skillet to medium high heat or indoor grill (like The Griddler) to high heat. Cook chicken breast 7 minutes per side. Let rest for 5 minutes and then dice into small bite-sized pieces.
- Combine honey and vinegar in a medium bowl and add diced chicken. Toss to coat.
- Brush flatbread or pizza crust with olive oil and minced garlic (make sure the garlic is evenly distributed). Top with slices of the mozzarella and the chicken.
- Bake pizza for 10 minutes. Remove from oven, add spinach, and bake for an additional 5 minutes.
- Top with blue cheese and drizzle liberally with balsamic reduction. Enjoy!
What fun! Love the use of the premade crusts – makes everything really easy!
It did cut out a step! I might do store-bought pizza dough next time though – good balance of convenience and freshness!