Pizza of the Month: Chicken Bacon Ranchero Pizza

Our chicken bacon ranchero pizza is a spicy twist on the classic chicken bacon ranch, made with east coast style thin crust dough, chipotle chicken, crispy bacon, and creamy spicy ranch sauce.

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We just got back from a trip back east where we enjoyed as much delicious east coast pizza as we possibly could. There truly is nothing like it! That’s why we’ve been working so hard on pizza recipes this year. So for this month’s unique pizza recipe, we cooked up a fun play on a classic east coast flavor: a spicy Chicken Bacon “Ranchero” Pizza.

This was our most challenging Pizza of the Month yet. We initially had a crazy idea that didn’t pan out (bye bye, nacho pizza). And once we decided on a ranchero sauce inspired take on chicken bacon ranch pizza (Alex’s favorite), it took some time to find the right balance of toppings for the recipe. But we made it to the end of September, and the final recipe we’re sharing with you was so worth all the effort! 

A spicy homemade chicken bacon ranchero pizza fresh out of the oven

This fun and spicy spin on chicken bacon ranch pizza is exactly what we’d hoped for. Here’s why we love it so much:

  1. It’s cheesy, saucy, creamy, and crispy all at the same time
  2. It’s loaded with savory toppings like chipotle chicken and crispy bacon
  3. It’s the kind of pizza you’d get by the slice from a pizza joint on the boardwalk

So if you’re obsessed with chicken bacon ranch pizza, or if east coast pizza joint style pies are your thing, you’ll love this recipe for chicken bacon “ranchero” pizza! 

Homemade Chicken Bacon Ranch Pizza Ingredients

Our homemade chicken bacon ranch pizza recipe has a spicy spin to it – that’s what makes it so unique! Here’s what ingredients give you that spicy southwest flavor:

  • New York style thin crust pizza dough – We’ve included a recipe for making this dough from scratch, but let’s be real: making homemade pizza dough can be challenging! So if you want to make this recipe easier, feel free to use store-bought dough.
  • Spicy ranch sauce – Made with light ranch dressing, chipotles in adobo, and a bit of our homemade ranchero sauce for a spicy alternative to plain ol’ ranch.
  • Two cheese blend – A 2 to 1 ratio of shredded mozzarella and extra sharp white cheddar cheese gives this pizza a tex mex flair.
  • Chipotle chicken – Lime juice, chipotle powder, and a few other seasonings give this chicken quick and easy flavor, so you can make a fresh batch for topping this pizza.
  • Bacon – Crispy crumbled bacon mingles well with the chicken and spicy ranch on this pizza.
  • Sliced jalapeno – Sliced jalapenos (with the seeds left in) add extra spiciness to this tex-mex inspired chicken bacon ranch pizza.
  • Sliced red onion – Fresh, tangy red onion helps brighten the savory flavors and balances out the heat in this spicy pizza.
A chicken bacon ranchero pizza with spicy ranch sauce on a pizza pan

We use a small amount of our homemade ranchero sauce in the spicy ranch since it has such great flavor (and because this is a chicken bacon ranchero pizza after all). However, that means you’ll need to make a batch of ranchero sauce in order to make the spicy ranch sauce for this pizza. We recommend making the ranchero sauce a day or two ahead of time and planning some other meals around it, like these sweet potato & black bean enchiladas or chicken burritos ranchero. 

Or, you can reserve a small amount of ranchero for the spicy ranch sauce and freeze the rest in small portions (we love our Souper Cubes for freezing sauces). It’ll keep for a few months, and you can defrost some here and there as needed. It goes great with quesadillas, tacos, burrito bowls, and basically anything else you could think of – get the recipe here and give it a try!

Preparing Chicken Bacon Ranchero Pizza Toppings

There are a lot of components to this spicy chicken bacon ranch pizza recipe, so we have a few helpful tips for preparing the toppings:

  • Start with the chicken and bacon. Toss the chicken with lime juice, vegetable oil, chipotle powder, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt, then transfer it to a foil-lined baking sheet and get it in the oven. While the chicken cooks, you can fry up a few pieces of bacon on the stove.
  • Next, make the spicy ranch sauce. Let the chicken rest and allow the bacon to cool while you make the spicy ranch. Combine ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth, then transfer to a small bowl and refrigerate until you’re ready to top the pizza.
  • Slice the chicken and crumble the bacon. Now that the chicken has had a chance to rest, slice it thin and then cut into bite-size pieces. Crumble the bacon with your hands or roughly chop with a knife.
  • Prepare the jalapeno and red onion. Slice the stem off the jalapeno, then slice it into thin discs. Thinly slice the red onion.
  • Grate the cheese. We recommend shredding your own cheese fresh from the block, as it melts better than pre-shredded cheese. Do this step last so your cheese doesn’t sit out at room temperature for too long.

Once all your toppings are ready, then you can stretch the pizza dough and begin assembly.

A slice of spicy chicken bacon ranch pizza topped with jalapenos and red onions

How To Assemble Chicken Bacon Ranchero Pizza

Assembling a homemade pizza is pretty straightforward: sauce, cheese, toppings. But we’ve learned a few tricks, from pre-baking the dough to mixing all the toppings together, that take pizza night up a notch. Here’s how to make the best spicy chicken bacon ranch pizza at home:

  1. First, you’ll want to pre-bake the dough to get a nice crust on the bottom. Simply stretch your dough, place it on a lightly greased pizza pan, and bake it just like that for a few minutes. This will help the thin crust withstand the heavy toppings. 
  2. Next, spoon one-third cup of the spicy ranch sauce onto the pre-baked dough and spread it into an even layer, leaving about a quarter to a half inch crust around the edges.
  3. Gently toss the shredded cheeses together in a bowl along with the chicken and bacon. Then top the pizza with handfuls of the chicken, bacon, and cheese mixture. This technique helps the chicken and bacon stay on the pizza, since the cheese will melt around it rather than just under it.
  4. Lay slices of jalapeno and sliced red onion on top of the pizza.
  5. Sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt and bake for about 12 minutes, or until the crust is crispy and the cheese is golden brown.
  6. Finally, top the pizza with a light drizzle of spicy ranch sauce before slicing and serving. We recommend using a large, sharp chef’s knife to cut your pizza – it works better than a pizza wheel 99% of the time.
A closeup of a cheesy spicy chicken bacon ranch pizza topped with sliced jalapeno and red onion

Serve this pizza with the rest of the spicy ranch on the side – it makes a delicious dip for the crust! And if you don’t end up using it all, try it on a sandwich or drizzle it on your tacos. There are endless ways to use this deliciously spicy condiment!

Try our savory and spicy twist on a chicken bacon ranch pizza recipe below. And if you love it, don’t forget to rate, comment, and share! We’d love to hear what you think of this unique pizza idea.


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Chicken Bacon Ranchero Pizza

Our chicken bacon ranchero pizza is a spicy twist on the classic chicken bacon ranch, made with east coast style thin crust dough, chipotle chicken, crispy bacon, and creamy spicy ranch sauce.
Servings 8 slices
Prep Time 24 minutes
Cook Time 16 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes

Ingredients

New York Style Thin Crust Pizza Dough (adapted)

  • ½ cup warm water
  • cups bread flour divided
  • .125 oz active dry yeast
  • ¾ tsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil plus 1/2 tsp for coating
  • ¾ tsp salt

Chipotle Chicken

  • lb chicken tenderloins
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • ½ tbsp vegetable oil
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ¼ tsp chipotle powder
  • ¼ tsp salt

Spicy Ranch Sauce

Pizza Toppings

  • cup spicy ranch sauce plus extra for drizzling
  • 4 oz mozzarella cheese shredded
  • 2 oz extra sharp white cheddar cheese shredded
  • lb chipotle chicken diced
  • 4 pieces bacon crumbled
  • 1 small jalapeno sliced
  • Red onion sliced thinly
  • 1 pinch sea salt

Instructions

New York Style Thin Crust Pizza Dough (adapted)

  • Add water, ¼ cup bread flour, yeast, and sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer. Stir well to combine and let sit until foamy and bubbling, about 20 minutes.
  • Then add remaining 1 cup bread flour, 1 tbsp olive oil, and salt to the mixture. Stir to combine until a loose dough ball forms, then cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Using the dough hook attachment, knead the dough on low speed until soft and resilient, about 10 minutes.
  • Lightly coat the dough ball in about 1/2 tsp olive oil and transfer to a clean bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 24-48 hours.
  • Remove the dough from the fridge and let rest at room temperature for about 1 hour before making the pizza.

Chipotle Chicken

  • Next, prepare the chipotle chicken. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and line a large baking sheet with foil.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the chicken with lime juice, vegetable oil, garlic powder, onion powder, chipotle powder and salt. Stir to mix and coat the chicken well, then transfer the chicken to the baking sheet.
  • Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Let the chicken rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing.
  • Slice thinly and then cut into smaller bite-sized pieces. Set aside.

Spicy Ranch Sauce

  • To make the spicy ranch sauce, add light ranch dressing, chipotles in adobo, and ranchero sauce to a blender. Blend on medium speed to start, then increase to high speed and blend until smooth, about 1 minute.
  • Transfer spicy ranch sauce to a bowl and refrigerate until ready to use.

Chicken Bacon Ranchero Pizza

  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F and and lightly grease a 14-inch pizza pan with cooking spray.
  • Lightly dust your hands with flour and carefully stretch the pizza dough into a 14-inch circle. Pick up the dough and work around the edges, gently pulling and letting gravity help you, then lay the stretched dough flat onto the pan.
  • Prebake the dough for 4 minutes. While it's in the oven, add mozzarella cheese, cheddar cheese, chicken, and crumbled bacon to a large bowl and toss gently to combine.
  • Remove pizza dough from the oven. Top with 1/3 cup of the spicy ranch sauce, spreading it in an even layer and leaving about a quarter inch to a half inch crust around the edges. Top with the cheese, chicken, and bacon mixture. Then top with sliced jalapenos, red onion, and a sprinkle of sea salt.
  • Bake until cheese is bubbly and crust is golden-brown, about 12 minutes.
  • Transfer pizza to a cutting board. Drizzle about 2 to 3 tablespoons of spicy ranch sauce over the pizza, then slice and serve immediately. Optionally serve extra spicy ranch on the side for dipping your crust!

Notes

New York Style Thin Crust Pizza Dough: We made this recipe by Amanda-Rae, with a few modifications based on the reviews (using some of Brian B’s tips) and learnings from our Mastering Pizza cookbook. If you want to try making this dough from scratch, make sure you prepare it 1 to 2 days ahead of time so it has time to rise. Alternatively, you can use store-bought dough for this pizza and it will still taste delicious!
Spicy ranch sauce: We added some of our original homemade ranchero sauce to the ranch for extra flavor. If you want to make a batch of ranchero sauce to use in this recipe, check out the blog post above for suggestions on how to use the rest of it afterwards! If not, you can simply skip this ingredient or add extra chipotles in adobo, depending on your spice tolerance 🙂
Cheese: Freshly shredded cheese melts the best on a pizza. If you can, buy the two cheeses in block form and shred ahead of time with a cheese grater.
Baking pizza: Pizza can be finicky and cooks at different rates depending on the hydration level of your dough, your oven’s actual temperature, and other factors. We recommend keeping an eye on your pizza as it cooks and using visual cues to tell when it’s done – use our time estimates as a rough guide.
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Author: Nicole
Calories: 305kcal
Course: Dinner, Lunch, Main, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: bacon, cheddar cheese, chicken, jalapeno, mozzarella, pizza, red onion, spicy ranch sauce

Nutrition

Calories: 305kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.04g | Cholesterol: 42mg | Sodium: 668mg | Potassium: 156mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 227IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 133mg | Iron: 1mg

If you have any questions regarding the information presented in this post, please refer to our Nutrition Disclaimer here.

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