If I have a signature dish, this thai pizza is it. I’ve been making it for years, and I have so many stories about this recipe, I don’t even know how to narrow them down.
I first discovered the idea for this pizza at California Pizza Kitchen and frequently ordered their Thai Chicken Pizza whenever I went there. In high school, I was so obsessed with the pizza that I would try to convince my friends to make the 45 minute drive to the nearest location, just so I could eat it. When I became a vegetarian, my thai pizza dreams were dashed for a time. I had not yet learned to cook, and making peanut sauce from scratch seemed hard. (It’s not.)
But once I started experimenting in the kitchen a few years later, thai pizza was one of the first things I wanted to perfect. The first time I made it, I found a copy cat California Pizza Kitchen recipe. It just wasn’t the same as I remembered. So I tested and tested until I created the best Thai peanut sauce I could come up with. I throw it on everything from grilled vegetables, to pasta, to tofu cakes.
When I first started dating my husband, I wanted to make this for him right away. I had him over for a pizza party, and I waited excitedly for him to taste it. I knew he would be mine if I could get him hooked on this pizza. He dutifully ate it on three separate occasions before he gently sat me down and told me in the nicest way possible, “I hate your Thai pizza. Peanut sauce is disgusting.”
I was flabbergasted. First of all, something is clearly wrong with your palate if you don’t like peanut sauce. It is salty, tangy, and slightly sweet. You can’t go wrong with it! But then I realized that he had eaten it three times just to spare my feelings. Obviously, he was a keeper.
I haven’t made much Thai pizza much since Dave moved in and I started making dinner for someone besides myself. I want him to like what I cook, and it is a lot of trouble to make two separate pizzas. But last night I had a craving, and I just had to make it. Just to check, he tasted the peanut sauce and said, “You know, it isn’t really that bad. I kind of like it.” Seriously?! All this time, I could have been making this pizza far more frequently.
This version of the pizza is very different than the version at California Pizza Kitchen. Obviously, this version is vegetarian. But it also has a different peanut sauce and is topped with significantly more vegetables with carrots, red peppers, and scallions on top. I’ve gone back to the restaurant and ordered their version without chicken and honestly didn’t like it as much as this one. So skip the restaurant and make this instead.
- Peanut Sauce
- ¾ cup creamy peanut butter
- ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons honey
- ¼ cup rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons chili oil
- 3 tablespoons sesame oil
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 raw pizza dough (I like the Trader Joe's version, but you can use whatever you like or make your own)
- Flour for rolling out the dough
- 6 ounces shredded mozzarella
- ½ cup grated carrots
- 3 green onions, sliced thin
- 1 red pepper, diced small
- ½ cup cilantro, minced
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees
- Start by making the sauce. Whisk all of the ingredients together in a large bowl until smooth. It will look like the peanut butter has separated, but if you keep stirring, it will come together. This recipe will produce more sauce than you need for the pizza, but you should definitely keep it to use as a dipping sauce for literally anything.
- Roll out the pizza dough to the size you want. If you use a thicker crust, use more sauce. If you like it thinner, you might want to use less.
- Spread about half the sauce on the dough. Top with the mozzarella and the carrots, onions, and red pepper.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes. Top with the cilantro. Drizzle more sauce on top of the pizza if desired.