Chicken flavored with chicken tikka spices is added with onions, tomato sauce and cheese on top of Turkish bread to make a chicken tikka bread pizza. This open-faced chicken sandwich is then baked in the oven (or air fryer) till the cheese melts. Enjoy as a weeknight meal, as a snack with tea, or as a lunch box option for kids (and even adults). The chicken tikka bread pizza can also be made in advance and kept in the freezer for a super quick meal.
Chicken tikka bread pizza – the ingredients!
- The bread: This is what forms the base of this recipe. I have used mini Turkish bread / pide that I have sliced in half, and topped with tomato sauce, chicken, onions and cheese. In Australia, they are sold in packs of 4, and called Turkish rolls. What I like about Turkish bread is that it’s a sturdy bread with the right amount of thickness for both crunch and softness after being baked in the oven. In case you can’t find Turkish bread, you can use Subway style sandwich bread, mini ciabatta, flatbread, naan, pizza base, or just bread slices.
- The tomato sauce: The tomato sauce is necessary to balance out the recipe, and it also ensures that the bread does not get tough. I have included a recipe for a quick tomato sauce that will be ready in less than 30 minutes, but you can use store-bought in a pinch.
- Chicken: Take sliced chicken and marinate it in chicken tikka masala and cook till done. I use the tikka masala by Shan Foods, but you can use any brand you prefer, or your own spice blend.
- Onions: Chicken tikka and onions is a classic flavor combination in Pakistani cuisine so I obviously had to add the onions. I am not a fan of raw onions as they can be quite strong, so I cook onions till they are soft and caramelized – this also brings out the sweetness in the onions.
- Cheese: Any cheese that melts well and isn’t too strong in taste will work well for this recipe. I have used cheddar, but you can use whatever option you prefer or a mix of cheeses. Some options include cheddar, mozzarella, Havarti, pepper jack and Colby jack.
How to make an open-faced chicken sandwich:
- Make the tomato sauce: This is a super quick tomato sauce that comes together in less than 30 minutes. Saute garlic, and then add tomatoes. Cook till the tomatoes soften, and then add tomato paste along with spices. Pulse till smooth with a hand blender, and let it simmer till you cook the chicken and onions (about 20 minutes).
- Marinate the chicken: The marinade for the chicken is super simple. Just store bought chicken tikka masala, ginger garlic paste and a few drops of oil. Best to let it sit for 15 minutes, but if you don’t have time, use it right away.
- Caramelize the onions and cook the chicken: Heat up a frying pan, and add some oil. Cook the onions till they soften and caramelize. Take out the onions, and in the same pan add the marinated chicken. Cook till done and set aside. Assemble and bake: Slice up the Turkish bread in half, and then top each half with tomato sauce. Then add onions, followed by chicken, and finally the cheese. Bake till the cheese is melted, and serve hot. It’s also possible to make these in an air fryer.
Is it possible to freeze bread pizza?
It sure is! Assemble the chicken tikka bread pizza / open faced chicken sandwich on a baking tray. Use a parchment paper or clingfilm to press the cheese down into the bread. Place the baking tray carefully in the freezer. Make sure the tray is straight, and the cheese doesn't touch the top. Once the bread pizza is frozen (this will take around 2 - 4 hours), take the tray out and wrap the chicken tikka bread pizza in clingfilm individually. Place in the freezer. Take out as needed and bake (or airfry). Frozen bread pizza will take about 2 - 3 minutes to bake versus fresh bread pizza.
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Some other snack recipes that you can try are:
- Puff Pastry Twists (or Cheese Straws)
- Aloo Pakoras or Potato Fritters
- Potato and Chicken Croquettes
- Daal and Aloo Bun Kebab
- Keema Samosa
- Chicken Spread Sandwiches
- Chicken Box Patties
Chicken Tikka Bread Pizza | Open Faced Chicken Sandwich
For the tomato sauce:
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 3 cloves garlic sliced
- 2 small tomatoes diced
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper freshly ground
- ¼ teaspoon red chili flakes
- ¼ teaspoon dried Italian herbs
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon vinegar
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
For the onions and chicken:
- 2 teaspoon oil divided
- 1 onion sliced
- 300 grams chicken sliced
- ½ teaspoon ginger garlic paste
- 2 teaspoon chicken tikka masala
- 2 slices Turkish bread / pide or other similar bread see note 1 for alternate options
- 100 grams / 1 cup cheddar cheese shredded (see note 2 for alternate options)
For the tomato sauce:
- Heat oil in a small saucepan and add the sliced garlic. Saute till the garlic is golden brown, and then add the diced tomatoes.
- Sauté for 2 minutes, and then add salt, black pepper, red chili flakes, and Italian herbs.
- Sauté for a minute, and then add ¼ cup of water. Turn heat to low, and let the mixture cook for about 15 minutes. Use a wooden spoon to stir and mash the tomatoes every few minutes.
- After 15 minutes, add the tomato paste, along with sugar and vinegar. Cook for about 8 – 10 minutes, and then take off the heat. Use an immersion blender / hand blender for about 30 seconds to make the tomato sauce smooth. Alternatively, let the tomato mixture cool, and place it in a blender. Pulse 2 – 3 times till smooth. Set the tomato sauce aside.
For the onions and chicken:
- Place the sliced chicken in a bowl, and marinate with ginger garlic paste and chicken tikka masala. Keep in the fridge to marinate for 15 minutes.
- Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a frying pan or wok and add the sliced onions.
- Cook the onions on low – medium heat till soft and caramelized. Set aside.
- In the same pan, add another teaspoon of oil.
- Add the sliced chicken, and cook on medium heat for about 5 – 8 minutes till chicken is done. Set aside the chicken.
- Pre-heat oven to 180 C / 350 F (160 C fan forced).
- Line a baking tray with parchment paper / baking paper. Slice the Turkish bread in half and place on the baking tray.
- Top the Turkish bread with tomato sauce, followed by onions, grilled chicken and then shredded cheese. Divide the mixture among all 4 halves.
- Place the baking tray in the oven and bake for about 8 – 10 minutes till the cheese is melted, and bread is golden Serve hot.Note: The bread pizza can also be frozen - instructions in the recipe notes. Serving size is 1 bread pizza per person (one bread roll sliced in half).
- In case Turkish bread rolls aren’t available, Subway style sandwich bread, mini ciabatta, flatbread, naan, pizza base, or simple bread slices can be used instead. The naan, pizza base and bread slices can be used as is, but the other bread options need to be sliced in half.
- Any cheese that melts well and has a mild – medium flavor can be used. This includes cheddar, mozzarella, Havarti, pepper jack and Colby jack.
- Freezing Instructions - assemble the chicken tikka bread pizza / open faced chicken sandwich on a baking tray. Use a parchment paper or clingfilm to press the cheese down into the bread. Place the baking tray carefully in the freezer. Make sure the tray is straight, and the cheese doesn't touch the top. Once the bread pizza is frozen (this will take around 2 - 4 hours), take the tray out and wrap the chicken tikka bread pizza in clingfilm individually. Place in the freezer. Take out as needed and bake (or place in the air fryer). Frozen bread pizza will take about 2 - 3 minutes to bake versus fresh bread pizza.
My kids love this chicken bread pizza.