Creamy Chicken Tikka Pizza-California Pizza’s Copycat
Creamy version of the ever-so-favorite Chicken Tikka Pizza. With the spiciness of smoky chicken tikka and richness of the sauce, I bring you the most irresistible creamy cheesy pizza!
How often do you come across someone who does not like pizza? Not very often I bet! Although originally being of Italian origin, it has long been among the world’s favorite foods. With countless flavors and numerous toppings, the variations are truly endless.
So if you are ready for a pizza experience that’s as creamy as a unicorn’s dream, let’s get started with this homemade creamy chicken tikka pizza recipe!
With a deliciously rich and tangy sauce made from creamy mayonnaise and spicy chili garlic sauce, this pizza will make your taste buds sing. I have loaded it up with tender chunks of chicken tikka, veggies, and melted mozzarella cheese for the perfect fusion of Indian and Italian flavors.
And let’s be honest, who doesn’t love a creamy, saucy pizza? So, get ready to indulge in a slice of heaven that’s so good, you’ll want to lick the plate clean!
After a couple of tweaks and trials, this recipe turned out to be a copycat recipe of the currently top-selling ‘Creamy Tikka’ flavor from California Pizza! And it has since become an absolute family-favorite.
What is chicken tikka pizza?
Chicken Tikka Pizza is a type of Indian Pizza; a spin on the classic pizza and a flavor loved by many.
It’s definitely great as is, but I was looking for a creamier version; something with all the fiery spices of tikka amped up with the additional richness of a creamy sauce.
What is creamy chicken tikka pizza?
Creamy chicken tikka pizza is a fusion dish that combines the flavors of Indian chicken tikka with the beloved Italian pizza.
In this homemade creamy chicken tikka pizza recipe, the pizza is made with a creamy sauce made from mayonnaise and chili garlic sauce, which gives it a tangy and slightly spicy flavor.
The sauce is then spread over a pizza crust and topped with tender pieces of chicken tikka, along with a variety of vegetables such as onions, bell peppers, and whatever else you like.
The pizza is then finished off with a generous amount of melted mozzarella cheese, creating a deliciously creamy and satisfying dish.
Creamy chicken tikka pizza is a unique and flavorful twist on traditional pizza that is sure to be a hit with anyone who loves Pakistani and Italian cuisine.
Fun fact: The most expensive pizza in the world is found in Italy and costs a whopping $12,000! Crazy, right? But my naïve heart only yearns for the flavors of pizzas I would find in Karachi.
I have yet to find a favorite pizza in UAE, and it’s been 16 years since I’ve been here! I often order from Pizza Hut or Papa John’s, but when I crave the sort of pizza that warms my soul, this will forever be the recipe I turn to! Since I learned how to make a homemade creamy chicken tikka pizza, this has been my go-to recipe!
Origin of Chicken Tikka Pizza
Let’s dive into the history of tikka and its influence on pizza.
As you may know already, tikka is a traditional Indian dish made of small pieces of marinated meat, usually chicken, which are then grilled or baked in a clay oven called a tandoor. It is said to have originated in the Punjab region of India, but its popularity quickly spread across the country and beyond.
Chicken tikka pizza recipe was created as a fusion dish of two different cuisines. The pizza featured a tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and marinated chicken tikka pieces, along with traditional pizza toppings like onions, peppers, and mushrooms.
Today, you can find chicken tikka pizzas on the menus of pizzerias and Indian restaurants all over the world, showcasing the fusion of two beloved cuisines. In fact, the popularity of tikka pizza has even given rise to new variations, like tikka masala pizza or butter chicken pizza.
It just goes to show how food can bring cultures together and create delicious new culinary traditions.
How do I make Creamy Chicken Tikka Pizza?
This simple pizza dough comes together pretty quickly and produces a pizza base which is just the right combination of fluffy and chewy.
For the chicken tikka recipe, I use ready-made Shan Chicken Tandoori Masala, which saves time and gives the perfect flavor.
Then you just have some vegetables to chop and you have all you need to make this super easy chicken pizza.
Creamy Chicken Tikka Pizza Ingredients
Creamy Chicken Tikka Pizza Toppings
- Chicken Tandoori Tikka
- Homemade Creamy Chicken Tikka Pizza Sauce
- Capsicum/bell peppers
- Mozzarella & cheddar cheese
- Green chilies
- Triangle cheese or cream cheese
- Two sausages
With these easily available creamy chicken tikka pizza toppings, you can make the best (Karachi’s) California pizza style creamy chicken tikka pizza!
How to make Creamy Chicken Tikka Pizza at home
- Prepare the dough
- Prepare the sauce
- Prepare the chicken tikka pieces
- Assemble the pizza
1.Prepare the dough: Creamy Chicken Tikka Pizza Crust
To make the pizza dough, start by combining all the dry ingredients in a bowl, except for water. Gradually add water to the mixture while kneading the dough until it becomes smooth. If kneading by hand, this process should take about 15 minutes.
Divide the dough into 2 equal parts and form them into balls. Place each dough ball in a large greased bowl, and brush the tops lightly with oil. Cover the bowls with cling film or plastic wrap, and allow the dough to rise until it has doubled in size. This process typically takes around 2 hours, but it may take longer.
2.Prepare the sauce: Creamy chicken tikka pizza sauce
Ingredients you need:
- Chili garlic sauce
- Red pepper flakes
- Garlic powder or fresh minced garlic
The creamy sauce is just a matter a mixing and would take you hardly a minute. All you need to do is mix together mayonnaise and chili garlic sauce, and season with salt, red pepper flakes, and garlic powder to your liking. It’s a straightforward and speedy process that yields a delicious result.
3.Prepare the Creamy Chicken Tikka Pizza Toppings
To prepare the chicken tikka, start by cutting the chicken breast into medium-sized cubes. Next, marinate the chicken in a mixture of Shan tandoori masala, lemon juice, whipped yogurt, and food color for 30 minutes. Heat up some oil in a wok and cook the marinated chicken on the highest flame, stirring continuously until just cooked through.
Avoid overcooking and do not cover the chicken while cooking. You can leave the chicken slightly moist if desired for a saucy texture.
Optionally, to add a smoky flavor, use a piece of coal to give it a quick smoke and then set it aside. This step is not necessary but highly recommended for an authentic taste.
4. Assemble creamy chicken tikka pizza
Let me quickly walk you through: How to make a homemade creamy chicken tikka pizza
- When you are ready to use the dough, remove the two balls of risen dough from the fridge and punch them down to remove any excess air.
- Combine both dough balls and knead them for 1 minute to form a single, uniform dough ball.
- At this point, it’s a good idea to weigh the dough to ensure that you have the right amount. Divide the total weight of the dough into two if you want to make two large pizzas, or divide it by three if you want to make three pizzas. This step is optional, but it helps ensure that all your pizzas will be of a consistent size.
- Roll out the pizza dough into three large pizzas or two large, extra fluffy pizzas, depending on your preference. Lightly brush the pizza pans with oil to prevent sticking.
- Let the rolled-out pizza bases rise for 30 minutes to 1 hour, which allows the dough to relax and become fluffy.
- Once the pizza bases have risen, it’s time to add the toppings. Start by dividing the creamy chicken tikka pizza sauce evenly among the pizzas, leaving a small margin around the edge for the crust. Add your favorite toppings, such as cheese, meats, vegetables, or fruits, but be sure to leave out the ranch for now.
- Sprinkle the pizzas with oregano to add flavor and aroma.
- Bake the pizzas at 220°C for 25-30 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is melted and bubbly.
- Once the pizzas are out of the oven, drizzle ranch dressing over them in a zigzag or round pattern for added flavor and visual appeal.
- Finally, slice the pizzas and serve hot. Enjoy your homemade, delicious pizza!
The warm earthy flavors of chicken tikka, the creaminess of the sauce and the melting mozzarella and cheddar cheese is the party your taste buds NEED.
Do you having trouble with your pizza dough recipe?
One of the main reasons homemade pizza dough does not come out right is due to yeast gone bad.
I often activate my yeast in a separate bowl with some slightly warm water and a little sugar (using some sugar and water from the recipe itself, not extra!).
This is always done when using dried active yeast but you can do this step even if you are using instant yeast. This way you can be sure your yeast is good and if something goes wrong with the resulting pizza, you can at least strike out yeast as the trouble factor.
A bubbly yeast is the gateway to a beautifully risen dough and ultimately a good pizza.
If you are a beginner, I would especially recommend you to proof your yeast before using it in the recipe.
What type of cheese is best for creamy chicken tikka pizza?
The type of cheese you use in this easy creamy chicken tikka pizza recipe depends on your personal preference. Mozzarella is a popular choice for pizza, but you could also use a blend of cheeses like cheddar, Parmesan, and provolone for added flavor.
What variations can I try?
One of the best things about creamy chicken tikka pizza is its versatility. You can customize the toppings to your liking, and even experiment with different sauces and cheese blends.
Creamy Sauce variations
Instead of the creamy chicken tikka pizza sauce mentioned in this recipe, you can use
Alfredo Sauce: A classic sauce made with butter, cream, and Parmesan cheese, Alfredo sauce makes a rich and creamy pizza base. You can add garlic and herbs for additional flavor.
White Sauce: A basic white sauce made with butter, all-purpose flour and milk. Seasoned to your liking!
Cheese Spread: You can use the processed cheddar cream cheese spread like the ones available of Kraft or Puck brands.
Cream Cheese: Soften cream cheese and spread it over the pizza crust for a creamy and tangy base. This is especially delicious when paired with veggies like spinach or artichokes. Herb and garlic flavored cream cheese spread is one of my favorites!
Ricotta Cheese: Mix ricotta cheese with herbs and spices, such as garlic and basil, and spread it over the pizza crust. This creates a creamy and mild base that pairs well with a variety of toppings.
Sour Cream: Mix sour cream with herbs, such as dill or chives, and spread it over the pizza crust for a tangy and creamy topping.
Pizza is a versatile food that can be topped with almost anything you like, but here are some popular pizza topping options that go well with in a creamy chicken tikka recipe:
- Pepperoni: A classic pizza topping, pepperoni is made from beef and adds a salty, savory flavor to the pizza.
- Mushrooms: Sliced mushrooms add an earthy and meaty flavor to the pizza. They pair well with other toppings like onions, bell peppers, and sausage.
- Black Olives: Sliced black olives add a salty and slightly bitter flavor to the pizza. They pair well with other Mediterranean-inspired toppings like feta cheese and roasted red peppers.
- Pineapple: This divisive topping adds a sweet and slightly tangy flavor to the pizza for a Hawaiian twist on your chicken tikka pizza.
- Basil: Fresh basil leaves add a sweet and slightly spicy flavor to the pizza. They’re often used as a garnish on Margherita pizza, but can also be paired with other toppings like tomatoes and mozzarella cheese.
- Feta Cheese: Crumbled feta cheese adds a salty and tangy flavor to the pizza. It pairs well with Mediterranean-inspired toppings like olives, roasted red peppers, and artichoke hearts.
- Jalapenos: Sliced jalapenos add a spicy and slightly sweet flavor to the pizza. They’re often paired with toppings like pepperoni and sausage, or with other spicy toppings like banana peppers and hot sauce.
Ultimately, the creamy Chicken Tikka Pizza toppings you choose are up to your personal taste preferences, so feel free to experiment and try new combinations!
Creamy Chicken Tikka Pizza Crust Variation
- Thin-crust: Thin crust pizza is made with a thin layer of dough that is rolled out thinly and baked until crispy. It’s often used for Neapolitan-style pizza and is popular in Italian cuisine.
- Stuffed-crust: Stuffed crust is a type of pizza crust where cheese or other fillings are added to the outer edge of the pizza dough before it is rolled and baked. The cheese is often mozzarella or another type of stringy cheese that melts easily. The crust is typically folded over the cheese filling, creating a ring of melted cheese around the outer edge of the pizza.
- Naan Bread Crust: Instead of traditional pizza dough, you could use naan bread/pita bread as the crust for your chicken tikka pizza. Naan bread is a popular Indian flatbread that has a soft and slightly chewy texture, making it a great base for a chicken tikka pizza.
- Whole Wheat Crust: If you prefer a healthier pizza crust option, consider using whole wheat dough for your chicken tikka pizza. This will add a nutty and slightly sweet flavor to the crust that complements the creamy and spicy chicken tikka sauce.
- Garlic Herb Crust: To add an extra layer of flavor to your chicken tikka pizza, you could brush the crust with garlic herb butter before adding the toppings. This will give the crust a delicious garlicky flavor that pairs well with the spicy chicken tikka sauce.
- Cauliflower Crust: If you’re looking for a low-carb or gluten-free pizza crust option, consider using a cauliflower crust for your chicken tikka pizza. This crust is made from finely grated cauliflower, cheese, and eggs, and has a crispy texture that works well with the creamy chicken tikka sauce.
Creamy Chicken Tikka Pizza Calories
The number of calories in a creamy chicken tikka pizza can vary depending on the ingredients used and the size of the pizza. On average, a 12-inch pizza with a creamy sauce, chicken tikka, cheese, and vegetables can contain anywhere from 1200 to 1800 calories.
However, by making some ingredient substitutions or opting for a smaller pizza size, it’s possible to reduce the calorie count while still enjoying a delicious and satisfying meal.
How to make a healthier version of an easy creamy chicken tikka pizza
- Use Whole Wheat Crust: Opt for a whole wheat crust instead of a regular pizza crust. Whole wheat crust contains more fiber, vitamins, and minerals than a regular crust, which helps to keep you fuller for longer and prevents blood sugar spikes. This means use whole wheat flour (aata) instead of plain flour.
- Use Lean Chicken: Use lean chicken like chicken breast only and skip fatty options like pepperoni or sausage. This will reduce the amount of saturated fat and calories in the pizza.
- Add Vegetables: Adding more vegetables like mushrooms, onions, and spinach to your pizza not only adds flavor and texture but also increases the nutritional value of the pizza. Vegetables are low in calories and high in vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
- Use Low-Fat Cheese: Instead of using regular cheese, use low-fat cheese like part-skim mozzarella or feta cheese. Low-fat cheese contains less saturated fat and calories than regular cheese. You can also skip the cheese, or use less quantity of it.
- Portion Control: Finally, portion control is key to making any food healthier. Instead of eating a lot of pizza, slice it into smaller portions and pair it with a side salad or vegetable soup to make a balanced meal.
Make Ahead Instructions
If you are wondering if you can make the best creamy chicken tikka pizza ahead of time, then the answer is yes! You can make creamy chicken tikka pizza ahead of time by preparing the crust and toppings in advance, storing them separately, and assembling the pizza just before baking. You could also bake the pizza ahead of time and reheat it in the oven or microwave when ready to serve.
How to store homemade creamy chicken pizza?
Here are some tips on how to store homemade pizza:
- Refrigerate: If you have leftover pizza, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Pizza can last in the fridge for up to four days. To reheat, you can either microwave it or bake it in the oven at 350°F (175°C) until heated through. This easy creamy chicken tikka pizza can last for up to 3-4 days in the refrigerator if stored properly in an airtight container or wrapped tightly with plastic wrap.
- Freeze: If you have leftover pizza that you won’t eat within four days, you can also freeze it. Wrap each slice in plastic wrap and place them in a freezer-safe container or plastic bag. Frozen pizza can last up to three months in the freezer. When you’re ready to eat the pizza, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight and reheat it in the oven or microwave.
- Store Uncooked Pizza: If you have uncooked pizza, you can store it in the refrigerator or freezer until ready to bake. If storing in the refrigerator, use within two days. If storing in the freezer, wrap the pizza in plastic wrap and place it in a freezer-safe container or plastic bag. Uncooked pizza can last up to three months in the freezer. When ready to bake, let the pizza thaw completely in the refrigerator before baking according to the recipe instructions.
Remember to always store pizza in an airtight container or plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out or absorbing unwanted odors.
What do I serve with chicken tikka pizza with?
- Side Salad: A side salad is a great option to balance out the rich flavors of the best creamy chicken tikka pizza. A simple green salad with lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and a light dressing would be a refreshing addition. You could also try a side salad with Mediterranean flavors like a Greek salad or tabbouleh.
- Breadsticks or Garlic Bread: Breadsticks or garlic bread are classic pizza accompaniments and would pair well with the chicken tikka pizza. You could make your own garlic bread by slicing a baguette or Italian bread and spreading butter, garlic, and herbs on top before toasting it in the oven.
- Onion Rings: If you’re looking for something crunchy to serve with your chicken tikka pizza, onion rings are a delicious option. They’re easy to make at home by dipping sliced onions in a batter made with flour, eggs, and spices, then frying them until crispy.
- Dipping Sauce: A side of dipping sauce like ketchup, chili garlic sauce, ranch, or marinara sauce would be a great addition to the chicken tikka pizza. You could use the dipping sauce for the pizza crust or to dip any side dishes like breadsticks or onion rings.
- Drinks: To complement the flavors of the chicken tikka pizza, you could serve it with a refreshing drink like iced tea, lemonade
This dish is perfect for a casual dinner with family and friends or for a party, and is sure to impress your guests with its unique flavor. If you’re looking to try something new and exciting, give this easy creamy chicken tikka pizza a try. It’s a mouth-watering dish that will leave you craving more!
Alright! Let’s get to the recipe of the best creamy chicken tikka pizza!
CREAMY CHICKEN TIKKA PIZZA
- 800 g All-purpose Flour
- 2 tablespoons instant yeast
- 2 tablespoons milk powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons caster sugar
- ½ teaspoon bread improver optional
- 2 tablespoons canola oil or any other vegetable oil
- 400 ml water i used just little more
Chicken Tandoori Tikka
- 6 pieces chicken breast around 500g
- 3 tablespoons Shan tandoori masala
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- ¾ cup whipped yogurt
- Pinch/drop orange-red food color
- 3 tablespoons oil
Creamy Chicken Tikka Pizza Sauce
- 6 tablespoons chili garlic sauce
- 200 g Mayonnaise
- Salt to taste
- Red pepper flakes to taste
- Garlic powder or fresh minced garlic to taste
- 1-2 large tomatoes cut into small squares
- 1-2 green capsicums cut into small squares
- 1 medium onion sliced thinly
- Mozzarella & cheddar shredded cheese as needed
- Green chilies chopped, as required
- Triangle cheese chopped optional, but I love it
- Two sausages sliced I like to mix it in the cooked chicken tikka masala so it too becomes flavorful
- Oregano for sprinkling on top
- Ranch for drizzling at the end
FOR THE DOUGH
- For the dough, mix all the ingredients except water. Then add water gradually, and slowly knead the dough till its smooth. It should take around 15 minutes by hand. Make the dough into 2 balls, and place each dough ball into a large greased bowl. Lightly brush the top of the two dough balls with oil. Cover the bowls with cling film/plastic wrap. Let it rise till doubled in size. This should take 2 hours but it can take more.
FOR THE CHICKEN TIKKA
- For the chicken tikka, cut the chicken breast into medium sized squares. Marinate the chicken with tandoori masala, lemon juice, whipped yogurt and food color for 30 minutes. Put oil in a wok, heat it, then add the chicken and cook on HIGHEST flame and keep stirring just till it's cooked. Don't overcook and don't cover it. I don't dry the chicken completely, I like it to be a little saucy. Finally, give smoke using a piece of coal and keep aside. This last step is optional, but I never skip it.
FOR THE CREAMY SAUCE
- In a small bowl, mix together chili garlic sauce and mayonnaise. Flavor with a little bit salt, chili garlic flakes and garlic powder.
- When you are ready to use the dough, punch down the two balls of risen dough, combine both dough balls and knead it for 1 minute again. At this point, I weigh the dough. Divide the total weight of the dough into 2 if you are make 2 large pizzas. Divide the total weight of the dough by 3 if you are making 3 pizzas. You can just eyeball it, but I like to be accurate.
- Roll out the pizza dough into 3 large pizzas or 2 large (extra fluffy) pizzas. Remember to lightly brush the pizza pans with oil. Let the rolled out pizza bases rise for 30 minutes-1 hour.
- Finally, divide the sauce among the pizzas and put the toppings (except ranch). Sprinkle with oregano. Bake the pizzas at 220c for 25-30 minutes. Drizzle ranch over the pizza in zigzag or round pattern. Enjoy!
- Storing Leftovers: Place the remaining pizza slices in an airtight box and keep refrigerated.
- Sauce: Can be made 1-2 days before and stored in an air-tight container and refrigerated
- Chicken Tikka Topping: Can also be made 1-2 days in advance and stored in an airtight container and refrigerated
- Dough: Can be made a night before. Place cling wrap over the two bowls of dough and keep in the refrigerator to rise till ready to use.
- Toppings: You may cut the vegetables earlier in the SAME DAY and store them in a large plate/tray. Place cling wrap over it and keep in refrigerator till ready-to-use.
Frequently Asked Questions
1.What is chicken tikka?
Chicken tikka is a popular Indian dish made with chunks of marinated chicken that are grilled or baked in a tandoor oven. The chicken is typically marinated in a blend of spices, yogurt, and lemon juice, which gives it a tangy and spicy flavor.
2.Can I make a vegetarian version of creamy chicken tikka pizza recipe?
Yes, you can make a vegetarian version of an easy creamy chicken tikka pizza by substituting the chicken with tikka paneer (a type of Indian cheese).
3.Can I make creamy chicken tikka pizza gluten-free?
Yes, you can make creamy chicken tikka pizza gluten-free by using a gluten-free pizza crust and ensuring that all of the other ingredients are gluten-free. You could also use cauliflower crust as a low-carb and gluten-free alternative to traditional pizza crust.
4.Is creamy chicken tikka pizza spicy?
Creamy chicken tikka pizza can be as spicy or mild as you prefer. The spiciness level depends on the amount of chili garlic sauce or red pepper flakes you use in the creamy sauce and chicken tikka marinade.
5. Can I use pre-cooked chicken for creamy chicken tikka pizza?
Yes, you can use pre-cooked chicken for creamy chicken tikka pizza if you don’t have time to marinate and grill the chicken tikka from scratch. Simply slice or shred the cooked chicken and toss it in the tikka marinade before adding it to the pizza.
6.Can I use a store-bought pizza crust for creamy chicken tikka pizza?
Yes, you can use a store-bought pizza crust for creamy chicken tikka pizza if you don’t have time to make the crust from scratch. Just make sure to follow the baking instructions on the crust packaging and adjust the baking time based on the toppings and oven temperature.
7.Can I use leftover chicken tikka for creamy chicken tikka pizza recipe?
Yes, you can use leftover chicken tikka for creamy chicken tikka pizza. Simply chop the chicken into small pieces and mix it with the creamy sauce before adding it to the pizza. This is a great way to use up any leftover chicken tikka from a previous meal.
Did you try this recipe?
I would love to know how it turned out for you! Leave me a comment below and share a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #theovenist