Chicken fajita pizza because… it’s chicken fajitas, people, on a PIZZA!!!! I mean, is there a better marriage of two amazingly delicious comfort foods? Maybe. But this is right up there, let me tell you!
I love fajitas of any kind; chicken, beef, shrimp…you name it. All fajitas rock. So, I started to think about sharing a fajita recipe and then I remembered that while I am still in the desert, I can grill at any time. But many of you who are in colder climates either can’t grill in the outdoors right now, or will soon lose your ability to do so. So, I decided to share a fajita recipe that you can make indoors on a stove top grill. And then, I decided to make it a pizza recipe. Because you know how I love to make pizzas, and it has been a while!
What makes my chicken fajita pizza recipe a bit different from the other recipes out there is that I do not use salsa as a substitute for the pizza’s tomato sauce base. Instead, I use olive oil, garlic, and a pinch of oregano only. I don’t use salsa in the recipe because when I eat a fajita, I want to taste grilled meat and veggies. I may dress it up with a little fresh salsa and sour cream as a garnish when eating it, but I don’t want to cook those lovely ingredients in the salsa itself.
So, picture a pizza, heaped with grilled fajita meat, peppers, and onions, with a generous helping of melted cheese, all on a base of garlic and olive oil. Sprinkle some small pinches of oregano both on the bottom and the top and you end up with an Italian-Mexican concept combo that will make you so happy! Every bite is a hum-worthy moment. I promise, you’ll want to make this a regular in your home.
let’s make a chicken fajita pizza
This pizza is prepared in two phases. First you marinade the chicken. Then you prepare the toppings and assemble the pizza.
But before you cut the chicken into 1/2-inch strips, I recommend you pound it a bit with a meat tenderizer hammer. That will help break down some of the muscle fibers so that the chicken strips are juicy and tender after marinating.
Then mix the marinade ingredients in a gallon Ziploc bag, add the cut chicken, and refrigerate for a minimum of 30 minutes, and probably no more than 8 hours.
In the meantime, prepare your pizza crust. I make my crust from scratch, but you can use a frozen or other ready-made store-bought crust.
This is what you need to assemble the pizza.
I added seeded and de-veined jalapeño because I wanted that hint of chili in the pizza. But it is entirely optional. If you want more spice, leave the seeds and veins in.
Toss the peppers, jalapeño, and onion in a bit of olive oil, salt, and fresh pepper for a light bit of seasoning.
Pre-heat your oven at this time. If using a pizza stone, place it in the oven now.
Drain the chicken well while you pre-heat a stove top grill to medium high. Brush some vegetable oil lightly over the hot grill and spread the chicken out in a single layer. Cook just until the chicken is no longer pink. Don’t worry about it being fully cooked because it will finish cooking in the oven. You are looking to get some searing while making sure it is not raw. But if you over-grill the chicken, it will be dry in the pizza.
Remove the grilled chicken to a shallow dish to cool slightly…
Then lightly grill the veggies on the same grill pan, just until lightly seared and just a bit softened. Transfer to a shallow dish and allow to cool while you assemble the pizza.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to fit your pizza pan or stone. Then spread olive oil, fresh garlic, and a small pinch of oregano over the rolled crust.
If using a pizza stone, assemble the pizza over a section of parchment paper that you can transfer onto the heated stone for baking. Otherwise, assemble the pizza directly on your pizza pan.
Spread the grilled meat over the pizza base, then add 2/3 of the grilled veggies. Top with 2/3 Mexican blend cheese and 2/3 of the mozzarella.
Then add the remaining 1/3 of the grilled veggies and cheeses. Layering the veggies and cheeses adds more texture and visual aesthetic to the pizza. Then sprinkle with a small pinch of oregano.
Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the crust and toppings are golden brown.
Let the pizza sit for about 5 minutes before slicing. That makes the pizza easier to cut.
Then go to town! I topped the finished pizza with some slices of green onion and fresh cilantro for an extra fresh touch. Then Steve decided to further garnish his with some chili sauce. Or you can use some sour cream and/or the salsa of your choice.
Me? I’m a purist. I wanted every luscious bite to be about the tender, seasoned grilled chicken and those beautiful, still somewhat crunchy grilled veggies. All covered in melty, delicious cheeses. So, so good! And what amazing leftovers!
Whoever the genius was who first combined fajitas with pizza, I think we owe him or her a debt of gratitude.
- FOR THE MARINADED CHICKEN
- ¼ cup fresh lime juice
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon powdered cumin
- ¼ teaspoons chipotle powder
- ¾ teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1 small pinch dry oregano
- Fresh pepper to taste
- 1 pound trimmed chicken breast
- FOR THE PIZZA
- Marinated chicken slices, drained
- 1 pound pizza crust, from scratch or store bought
- 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
- 2½ tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend
- ½ each red, green and orange bell peppers, and red onion in ½-inch slices
- 1 large jalapeño, sliced,seeded and de-veined for less heat (optional)
- 1 small pinch of salt
- Fresh pepper to taste
- 2 small pinches dry oregano, divided
- Canola or vegetable oil to brush on the grill pan
- Fresh cilantro and thinly sliced green onions for garnish, optional
- Prior to preparing the marinade, lightly tenderize the chicken breast(s) with a meat tenderizing hammer, then slice the breast(s) into ½-inch strips.
- Combine the marinade ingredients in a gallon Ziploc bag, add the sliced chicken breasts, seal, and mix to evenly coat all the pieces. Refrigerate for a minimum of 30 minutes.
- Pre-heat oven to 450° F. If using a pizza stone, place it in the oven now.
- Drain the marinated chicken while preheating a stove top grill pan to medium high.
- Toss the sliced peppers, onions, and jalapeño in ½ tablespoon of oil, a pinch of salt and some pepper.
- Lightly brush the grill pan with some canola or vegetable oil, then spread the chicken in a single layer. Grill just until most of the pink is gone. Transfer to a shallow dish to cool somewhat.
- Grill the veggies in the same pan until lightly caramelized and slightly softened. Transfer to a shallow dish to cool somewhat.
- Roll out the pizza crust to the size of your pizza pan. If using a pizza stone, assemble the pizza on a section of parchment paper, otherwise assemble directly on your pizza pan.
- Spread the remaining olive oil and the garlic on the rolled crust. Sprinkle with a pinch of oregano.
- Spread the grilled chicken on the crust, then ⅔ of the grilled veggies. Top with ⅔ of the two cheeses. Then add the remain ⅓ of veggies and cheeses.
- Sprinkle with one small pinch of oregano.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes or until crust is a golden brown.
- Remove from oven and garnish with some fresh green onion slices and fresh parsley, if desired. After about 5 minutes, slice and serve.