This Chicken Tikka Naanza (Naan Pizza) is super easy to make, bursting with exotic Indian and rich Italian-American flavors, and always a crowd pleaser! It’s made with tender spicy Chicken Tikka pieces, a smoky spicy homemade pizza sauce, delicious and smooth velvety milk cheeses, and topped with freshly chopped coriander!
Dice the chicken into bite sized cubes and add to a large bowl.
Add all the ingredients for the chicken marinade: Greek yogurt, ginger paste, garlic paste, lemon juice, kosher salt, garam masala, coriander powder, cumin powder, turmeric powder, ground cayenne, orange/red food color powder (or food color liquid). Mix with a spoon until combined and the chicken pieces are fully coated in the marinade.
Cover with cling wrap and set aside to marinate for at least 45 minutes, or overnight in the fridge for best results.* (see notes)
Heat olive oil and unsalted butter over medium-high heat in a medium sized sauté pan.
Once hot, add the marinated Chicken Tikka pieces to the pan and cook for 10-12 minutes, flipping and stirring occasionally, until cooked through.
Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl or an airtight container.
For the Spicy Pizza Sauce:
Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a medium sized deep sauté pan.
Add the onion and garlic. Sauté until fragrant – about 2-3 minutes.
Pour in the fire roasted crushed tomatoes and add the tomato paste. Stir to combine.
Mix in all the seasonings: kosher salt, freshly cracked black pepper, oregano flakes, ground cayenne, crushed red chili pepper flakes, garam masala, and sugar.
Turn off the heat and transfer the sauce to a blender jug. Blend until pureed and smooth. (Note: You may need to push down the sauce with a spoon once or twice to help it along.)
Transfer the sauce to an airtight container and allow it to cool.
For Assembling the Chicken Tikka Naanza:
Preheat oven to 200°C/400° Line a baking tray with aluminum foil (or nonstick cooking paper). Spray with cooking spray or brush lightly with a little bit of oil.
Spoon 2-3 TBLS of the Spicy Pizza Sauce on top of each naan.
Scatter shredded mozzarella or Italian Blend cheese over the sauce.
Add 10-13 pieces of chicken over the cheese and some red onion slices over each naan (use as much or as little onion slices as you like).
Top with the broken up pieces of Muenster cheese (1 slice per naan).
Bake for 6-8 minutes until cheese has melted and is bubbly.
To Serve: Garnish with freshly chopped coriander, slice the Chicken Tikka Naanza into pieces, and serve immediately!
To make this vegetarian: Use pre-cubed paneer – Indian cottage cheese, (or cut a block of paneer into cubes). I recommend 300-350g to make 6 naanzas. Marinate the paneer in the same Chicken Tikka Marinade, and pan sauté them instead of the chicken. Then just make a Paneer Tikka Naanza using the same method! Other vegetarian alternatives and suggestions are plant and soy based proteins like mock chicken, Quorn pieces, and soya chunks.
To make this gluten-free: Use a gluten-free naan (or make your own at home), and double check that the brand of cheeses you’re using are GF certified. Most cheeses are actually gluten-free, but it’s best to double check to make sure.
Storing and leftovers: The Spicy Pizza Sauce can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days if not using all of it immediately. The cooked Chicken Tikka will also keep in the fridge for 3-4 days in an airtight container.
Make ahead: You can make the Spicy Pizza Sauce and marinate the Chicken Tikka a day in advance. This way and when you’re ready to serve them, all you have to do is cook the chicken, and assemble and bake the naanza! Or even better, marinate the chicken two days in advance and cook it and make the Spicy Pizza Sauce a day in advance. This way and on the day of serving up the Chicken Tikka Naanzas, you only have to assemble and bake it!
The chicken will be more flavorful and tender if you allow it to marinate overnight in the fridge. Just make sure to take it out of the fridge 30-40 minutes before you cook it to allow it to come to room temperature.