All The Flavors of Pizza in a One-Pot Meal You'll Make Again and Again

I'm always on the lookout for solid, simple weeknight dinner recipes. A winning recipe—the sort I'll file away and return to over and over—needs to meet a few standards.

First, and most importantly: it should be delicious. Second: it should elicit some positive feedback from my better half, who only nods appreciatively or comments when something is unusually flavorful. Third: It shouldn't require any ingredients that I can't get at my local grocery store. Caveat: My local grocery store has a very expansive selection, so this isn't too limiting. But I save recipes that require trips to specialty shops (spice shops, good seafood markets, and so on) for weekends. Fourth: it should be something I can make fairly quickly. It doesn't need to be some super-fast, 30-minute dish, but I hate planning on a recipe only to discover I was supposed to marinate the meat for 12 hours beforehand or slow-cook part of it for 2 hours or something like that.

Best of all, it tastes like pizza!

This recipe, which embodies all of the above, comes from Melissa Clark's very fantastic new cookbook, Dinner: Changing the Game, and you can tell she's a seasoned recipe developer. It's easy to make, and what's more, it's fun to cook. You do just enough prep work to fall into the comforting rhythm of cooking, which helps me unwind at night, but it's not fussy or complicated cooking, so you don't get sweaty and stressed or need to refill your wine glass twice or anything. (I'm just saying, a person might.)

Photo by Posie Harwood

It requires one skillet, and it's versatile enough to fit any of your requirements: You can scale it up or down. You can make it more or less cheesy. You can use bone-in, skin-on thighs or boneless, skinless breasts. You can serve it alone, or over pasta, or with a simple green salad. You can make it extra-spicy or not spicy at all. Best of all, it tastes like pizza! Melissa Clark says it's reminiscent of a classic chicken Parmesan without the heavy breadiness, and this is a perfectly apt description. It hits all the salty, savory, cheesy high notes of chicken Parmesan or pizza, but you don't feel sleepy and too full after eating it.

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You'll start the chicken on the stovetop, and then finish it in the oven. That means you can clean up the kitchen, set the table, and pour a drink while it finishes cooking. How's that for a win?

A Few Tweaks

I like to use thick-cut bacon, but pancetta works well. You can also leave out the bacon step altogether, but keep in mind that it does add a nice depth of flavor to the dish. It's hard to pinpoint the flavor of the bacon, but it boosts the savoriness of the chicken. I use a mix of canned tomatoes and fresh tomatoes. If you don't have fresh tomatoes, feel free to use all canned tomatoes. Or, if you have a bounty of fresh summer tomatoes, use all fresh and no canned. Depending on the ratio, your chicken will be more or less saucy. Also, the more fresh basil the better: I sprinkle the finished dish liberally with chopped fresh basil to add some green.

Photo by Posie Harwood

The original recipe calls for anchovies, which is an ingredient I don't keep on hand, so I skip them and add more capers. I like using a little bit of oregano (fresh or dried works) to conjure up more of that pizza flavor. If you prefer using boneless chicken, go for it. Instead of 1 1/2 pounds of bone-in chicken thighs, you'll want about 2 large boneless breasts to match the same weight (1 1/2 pounds of bone-in chicken thighs yield about 12 ounces of meat).

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Top Comment:
“Definitely an easily adaptable recipe - using canned or fresh, changing up the type of chicken, etc. and perfectly easy for a weeknight. Thanks! :)”
— Molly

And did I mention that this recipe is wildly appealing to people of all ages? Tell your four-year-old it's a fun version of pizza (and give them a dinner roll on the side to make up for the bread, if he or she makes a fuss). Tell your Italian food-loving husband it's a more sophisticated version of chicken parmesan. Tell your friends it's a cheesy chicken skillet dinner. Everyone wins!

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • marti garaughty
    marti garaughty
  • Nicole
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  • Katharine M. Swibold
    Katharine M. Swibold
  • Jeanne Vaughan
    Jeanne Vaughan
I like warm homemade bread slathered with fresh raw milk butter, ice cream in all seasons, the smell of garlic in olive oil, and sugar snap peas fresh off the vine.


marti G. March 18, 2018
A definite must try, looks seriously awesome !!!
Nicole November 2, 2017
How much anchovy (whole or paste) did the original recipe use? I love the umami quality of anchovy and I have a lot on hand :)
MamaZu November 26, 2023
Two anchovy fillets.
Dianne June 15, 2017
Absolutely fabulous and EZ! Great flavors. Thanks Rosie!
Katharine M. June 12, 2017
This recipe looks so good! Looking forward to enjoying it soon!
Jeanne V. June 11, 2017
This recipe looks great. I will make it soon, and am sure it will be enjoyed by all. I enjoyed your intro. Sorry you were attacked. Some people have no filter.
PS007 June 11, 2017
I weep for the day that it's no longer en vogue to be offended by anything and everything...
Jane H. June 11, 2017
I'm with Sharon Hanna...
Sharon H. June 11, 2017
What about telling husbands to make it themselves? Was put off by the description of a husband who barely acknowledges delicious food?? Hmmm.
Eva June 11, 2017
Have to agree. Completely unnecessary and feels rather outdated.
Posie (. June 11, 2017
Yikes sorry didn't describe him (not even my husband...) well -- he loves EVERYTHING and is happy with any homemade food, and when people like that (who are super enthusiastic about any effort you make) go out of their way to comment on loving a dish, I know it's worth making again and again as a family favorite.
DragonFly June 12, 2017
Oh come on, lighten up!
Molly June 6, 2017
I made this last night and it was delicious! Definitely an easily adaptable recipe - using canned or fresh, changing up the type of chicken, etc. and perfectly easy for a weeknight. Thanks! :)