Years ago, when I received my first Indian cookbook as a gift, I was living by myself and cooking for one. The recipe for butter chicken was among the first I tried, and since it didn’t naturally lend itself to being halved (I can’t be the only one whose leftover half cans of tomato paste languish in the fridge for months, right?), I went all in and made the full amount. One of my friends came over to join me the first night, but regardless, I was still eating butter chicken a week later. It was still delicious, but my enthusiasm had waned slightly, and I decided that in the future, I needed either to cook this recipe only when feeding more people or to find more ways to use butter chicken sauce so as to avoid leftovers monotony.
Since then, the boyfriend has entered the picture, but even with his sometimes alarmingly ravenous appetite, we’ve still got lots of leftovers when I make butter chicken. When I posted the recipe a couple of years ago, however, Sarah from Devour gave me a great tip (thanks, Sarah!): she likes to make naan pizza with extra butter chicken sauce. It may have taken me a while to try it out, but here you have it: my take on butter chicken naan pizza!
These butter chicken naan pizzas are a prime example of fusion cooking. You take traditional Indian naan and butter chicken sauce and combine them with some traditional pizza toppings: I chose mozzarella, bell peppers, and broccoli, but feel free to play around with the toppings as you see fit! The result is a vibrant and zesty flatbread pizza, which can be served as an entrée or as an appetizer.
What is your personal leftovers limit? How many days in a row can you eat the same thing for dinner without tiring of it?
Note: While at first glance it may seem a little excessive to spend an hour making butter chicken naan pizzas, remember that you’re actually creating the makings of possibly two or three dinners (depending on the size of your household). To make four butter chicken naan pizzas, you only need about 3/4 cup of sauce, whereas the sauce recipe yields about 3 cups; the 2 1/4 cups remaining is more than enough for another dinner of butter chicken over rice for a family of four.
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons garam masala
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground cayenne
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 4 pieces naan
- 1-1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 6 ounces shredded cooked chicken
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced thin
- 1 cup broccoli florets
- 2/3 cup grated mozzarella
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- In a medium saucepan, heat 1/4 cup vegetable oil over medium heat for 1-2 minutes. Add the minced garlic and sauté for 1 minute (it will get a bit sticky, so stir constantly!). Add the tomato paste, spreading it around in the pan. Reduce the heat to low and add all the spices, stirring to combine. Cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring often.
- Add the water and heavy cream and bring to a boil. Once it boils, reduce the temperature to low and simmer for 5-8 minutes, whisking occasionally.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Place the naan on a baking sheet. Rub the naan with olive oil. If you are using frozen naan, warm it up in the microwave first. Add a few spoonfuls of butter chicken sauce to each naan and spread the sauce evenly, leaving about 1/2 inch bare around the edges.
- In a small bowl, combine the shredded cooked chicken with a few tablespoons of butter chicken sauce. Spread the chicken, sliced bell peppers, and broccoli florets (see note) over the naan. Top with grated mozzarella. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Sprinkle the chopped cilantro on top and serve.
- The sauce takes about 30 minutes from start to finish. If you make the sauce ahead of time or are using leftover sauce, it only takes 10-15 minutes to assemble the pizzas.
- My go-to method for cooking chicken to include in recipes is to pan-fry frozen chicken tenders. To do this, heat about a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a skillet for 1-2 minutes. Add the frozen tenders and cook 7-8 minutes per side, until no pink remains. You can also use shredded rotisserie chicken.
- If you prefer more tender broccoli, give the florets a quick steam in the microwave before adding them to the naan: put them in a bowl with a few tablespoons of water, cover the bowl, and microwave for 1-2 minutes.
- Butter chicken sauce adapted ever so slightly from Vij’s at Home: Relax, Honey.