Dr Pepper BBQ Chicken Pizza

Let it be known that I hate Dr Pepper with a passion. I think it’s a terrible, terrible soda. I also hate Cherry Coke and anything else along those lines. When Nick learned this little fact, he said that he never would have started dating me had he been aware of it beforehand. I think he was serious.

Although I’m not a big fan of Dr Pepper, I am a fan of adding colas to BBQ sauce for a little bit of a sweeter kick. This recipe includes some things that I really love too, BBQ chicken and naan bread. This fun take on something that has become a staple at pizza parlors everywhere is yummy and hearty, definitely a knife and fork kind of pizza. And as I’ve mentioned before, naan bread makes a fantastic pizza dough that requires almost no cook time and is the perfect size for an individual.

To show you just how versatile pizza can be, take a look at my pizzas:

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And now take a look at Nick’s:

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We’ve managed to assemble the same ingredients differently, so everyone’s got a perfect dinner.

Dr Pepper BBQ Chicken Pizza

  • 15 oz crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup OJ
  • 1 cup Dr Pepper (not diet!)
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 red onion, half minced and half diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced and divided
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 pound hot chicken or turkey sausage
  • shredded mozzarella
  • arugula
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 4 pieces naan bread
Missing from the photo is the OJ and vinegar. I'll get better at this, I swear!

Missing from the photo is the OJ and vinegar. I’ll get better at this, I swear!

In a large saucepan, combine the tomatoes, OJ, Dr Pepper, vinegar, honey, minced onion, half of the garlic, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper. Slowly bring the mixture up to a simmer, stirring frequently. When the sauce has come together and simmered for about 30 minutes, blend the mixture until it is smooth.

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Note 1: Truly bring the mixture up to a simmer slowly. When it is exposed to heat, the soda will react the same way it would have had you shaken up the bottle and then opened it. The sauce is going to get fizzy! For this reason, flat soda would actually be a good thing in this scenario. If you don’t have time to watch your soda flatten, just be careful and watch the pot!

Note 2: Blender safety is a real thing! To avoid burns, when you blend anything that is hot, do it in small batches. I blended my sauce in 3 equal parts. Make sure that you blend on the lowest setting. Remove the plastic cap from the blender and cover it with a dish towel. If you do not do this, there is a very good chance that very, very hot BBQ sauce will explode out of the top, making a mess and potentially burning you and any innocent kitchen bystanders!

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Return the blended sauce to the saucepan and continue to simmer for another hour or so.

When the sauce has about 20 minutes to go, preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Meanwhile, heat up a skillet and add the sausage, which you should remove from the casings. Also add the remaining garlic and saute until the sausage is cooked through and crumbly. Ladle a bit of the sauce over the sausage so that it gets very BBQ-y. I didn’t measure how much sauce I added to the meat, just do whatever looks/tastes good to you.

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At this point, you are ready to assemble your pizzas!

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Line two cookie sheets with foil and place the naan bread on the sheets. Layer on the sauce, cheese, arugula, sausage, diced red onion, and peppers. Bake the pizzas for about 10 minutes, until the cheese melts and the naan becomes crispy.

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2 responses to “Dr Pepper BBQ Chicken Pizza

  1. Next (or first) time you find yourself in the Carolinas, pick up a few bottles of Cheerwine and use that as your “cola” — more authentically Southern!

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