If you love pizza and you love chicken masala, then you'll really enjoy my tasty mash up of the two with this naan pizza. Prepared with soft naan bread as the crust, a layer of masala sauce, plus strips of masala marinated chicken, onions, mozzarella cheese and fresh herbs, this naan pizza recipe is absolutely brimming with tantalizing flavor!
A Scrumptious Mash Up of Two Favorites
Making pizza at home is such a fun and creative activity, and one that truly has no “rules”.
From the crust, to the sauce, to the toppings, the options are pretty much endless when it comes to pizza, and we need only use our imagination and our cravings as a guide.
Feeling a bit playful lately, and craving a “mash up” recipe to sink my teeth into (both literally and figuratively), I thought of creating a fun and simple new pizza recipe for our next pizza night at home, offering a bit of a nod to one of our favorite cuisines: Indian.
When we go out to eat at our favorite local Indian restaurant, I'll often order up chicken masala, that mildly spicy, saucy chicken dish brimming with the flavors of ginger, garlic, onions and masala spices.
And of course no Indian meal would be complete without at least one order of the naan bread, with its soft and perfectly chewy texture.
So when thinking about this new pizza recipe I wanted to play around with, I thought of using naan bread as the pizza crust, then spreading over some good quality, store-bought masala sauce over top (keeping it nice and easy).
I went ahead and also added some chicken marinated in masala, garlic and ginger to the mix as well, plus some lightly caramelized onions, mozzarella cheese and a flourish of fresh cilantro and mint.
Easy, semi-homemade, and absolutely mouthwatering, this naan pizza with a chicken masala “twist” is our latest favorite to whip up when we're craving a quick homemade pizza, one that's a bit unconventional yet totally irresistible!
My Recipe for Naan Pizza
While there may be many recipes for naan pizza, most often the pizzas feature a naan base with traditional toppings such as tomato sauce, sausage, pepperoni, etc.—basically, the toppings you'd find on a classic pizza.
But with my naan pizza recipe here, I'm going all out with a unique set of toppings and flavor profile...
I start with a soft naan base to use as our pizza crust, but in place of traditional marinara or tomato sauce, I'm going in a different direction: masala sauce.
To keep things quick and easy, I'm using a good quality, organic, store-bought masala sauce, and spreading that over the slightly-toasted naan bread.
Then, that gets topped with a touch of cheese, juicy strips of seared or grilled chicken, marinated in an aromatic combination of masala sauce, ginger and garlic, plus a layer of lightly caramelized onions.
I'm opting for creamy mozzarella cheese here (though traditional Indian paneer would be a terrific alternative if you can find it), then finishing everything off with a flavorful combination of fresh cilantro and a touch of mint.
I even like to sprinkle over some garam masala spice to finish the pizza, but this is totally optional.
This naan pizza is so delectable!
Here's a glance at my naan pizza recipe: (or just jump to the full recipe...)
- To get started, I marinate my chicken breast tenderloins in a combination of masala sauce, garlic and ginger for roughly 15 to 20 minutes.
- While the chicken marinates, I lightly caramelize my sliced onion.
- Next, I quickly grill or sear my chicken for a few minutes on each side, just until cooked through, then slice it into small strips or pieces.
- To prepare my naan pizza, I lightly toast my pieces of naan bread directly on the middle rack in the oven until warmed through, about 5 minutes.
- Once the naan warmed/toasted, I spread some of the masala sauce over each piece, sprinkle on a small amount of cheese, then some chicken and some onions, plus another dollop of sauce, then top with a touch more cheese.
- Next, I bake the naan pizza (at 350°) for about 10 minutes, just until the cheese is melted.
- To finish and serve, I sprinkle some fresh cilantro and a whisper of mint over each naan pizza, then cut into slices and serve. I also sprinkle over some aromatic garam masala spice, but this is optional.
by Ingrid Beer
This naan pizza is a mash up of pizza and chicken masala, topped with masala sauce, masala marinated chicken, onions, cheese, and fresh herbs!
Yield: 4 naan pizzas
Nutrition Info: 748 calories per naan pizza
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 28 minutes
Total time: 43 minutes
- 1 pound chicken breast tenderloins
- 1 (12 ounce) jar organic masala sauce (mild or spicy), divided use
- 3 cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press
- 1 teaspoon (heaping) grated ginger
- Black pepper
- 1 large white onion, quartered and sliced thinly
- 1 tablespoon ghee or butter
- 4 pieces tandoori naan (garlic or plain)
- 2 cups shredded whole milk mozzarella cheese
- ¼ cup cilantro leaves, roughly chopped fo garnish
- 1 tablespoon (heaping) fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped for garnish
- Sprinkle of garam masala (spice blend), optional garnish
- Begin by gathering and prepping all of your ingredients according to the ingredient list above to have ready and organized.
- Place your chicken tenderloins into a bowl, and add a scant ¼ cup of the masala sauce, along with the garlic and the ginger, plus a pinch or two of salt and pepper. Toss to combine, and allow the chicken to marinate for 15 to 20 minutes.
- While the chicken marinates, place a non-stick skillet over medium-high to high heat, and add the ghee or butter. Once melted, add the sliced onion and saute for 10 to 12 minutes, or until a light golden-brown. Scoop into a small bowl to hold.
- Preheat the oven to 400°, and line a large baking sheet with parchment or foil.
- Next, place a grill pan or non-stick skillet over medium-high to high heat, and once hot, add the marinated chicken breast tenderloins to the pan (work in batches if necessary) and grill or sear the tenderloins for about 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until cooked through and slightly charred.
- Once the chicken is slightly cool, cut it into small, bite-size pieces.
- Next, place the 4 pieces of naan bread directly onto the middle rack of your preheated oven, and allow them to toast and warm through for about 5 minutes, flipping them halfway through the toasting. Then, remove the naan from the oven and place onto your prepared baking sheet.
- Reduce the oven temp to 350°.
- To assemble the naan pizza, spread about 2 tablespoons of the masala sauce over the warm naan, then sprinkle over about ¼ cup of the mozzarella cheese. Next, scatter over some of the chicken and onions, then dollop another 2 tablespoons worth of the masala sauce over this. Finish with another ¼ cup sprinkle of the mozzarella cheese.
- Place the naan pizzas into the oven to bake for about 8 to 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the crust toasty.
- To finish, sprinkle over some of the cilantro and mint, as well as some garam masala (if using) to garnish, and cut into wedges to serve.
Tips & Tidbit for my Naan Pizza recipe:
- Larger, thicker pieces of naan bread: There seem to be different sizes and shapes of naan bread available in the markets, so if you can, opt for the kind that is larger (roughly the size of a personal pizza crust), and on the thicker side. This makes for a really good base for this pizza, one that is tender yet stable.
- Toast the naan a bit before topping: Since naan bread is so soft, if you place it into the oven for a few minutes to warm through and lightly toast before topping, it will provide a bit more structure for those toppings.
- Store bought masala sauce: For convenience, using a good quality, organic, prepared masala sauce is the best way to go. You can typically find it in the international foods section of the market.
- Chicken breast tenderloins for tenderness: I love to use chicken breast tenderloins for quick preparations such as this, as they absorb marinade really well, and grill or sear up super quick—they're also incredibly juicy and tender. You can substitute skinless, boneless chicken breasts, if that's what you have on hand.