One of my favorite combinations before going vegan was chicken, bacon, and ranch. I used to always order it as a sub at Quiznos, or as a topping on pizzas. There’s something about the smokey saltiness of the bacon, mixed with the tanginess of of ranch dressing, supported by the chewiness of the chicken that really gets me. So, whether you’re craving this perfect storm of ingredients in a sandwich or a pizza, these Chicken, Bacon and Ranch Pizza Buns will hit the spot. This recipe starts with store bought or homemade pizza dough, and if stuffed with chopped Beyond Chicken, Smart Bacon, Chao cheese, and homemade cashew ranch dressing. Whether fresh out of the oven, or reheated in the microwave, these incredible pizza buns will be a hit with children, or those that are still children at heart.
Make sure to try the other incredible flavor combinations!
These savory pizza buns make an amazing after school or anytime snack. They are easy to prepped and frozen, and reheated in no time.
- 1 ½ pounds pizza dough (see note)
- 15 to 16 strips of Beyond chicken thawed
- 8 slices of Smart Bacon
- ½ cup cashew ranch (recipe below) or your favorite vegan ranch.
- 4 slices of Chao Creamy Original cheese, or your favorite vegan cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
Cook the smart bacon according to package directions. Allow to cool, and then cut into quarter inch pieces. Cut the beyond chicken in half lengthwise, and then cut the strips into quarter inch cubes. You should have a ration of about 2 parts Beyond Chicken to 1 part Smart Bacon.
Add your vegan meats to a bowl, and pour in the cashew ranch. Stir to combine. Taste for salt and pepper.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.
Make sure your dough is room temperature before starting to work with it. Divide your dough into 8 equal portions. One portion at a time, use your hands to spread out the dough into a 4 to 5 inch circle. Place the dough onto the counter, and place a quarter of a slice of cheese in the center. Top the cheese with a ¼ cup of meat and ranch mixture, and then top the meat mixture with another quarter slice of cheese. Pull opposite ends of the dough across the filling and pinch together. Contine pulling up edges of the dough and bringing them to the center until the filling is completely covered with dough. Take care not to pull up too much dough at a time, because you want the bottom of the balls to be about as thick as the top and sides.
Place the balls onto a nonstick cooking surface, and bake for 18-22 minutes, or until the balls are browned on the top. If the tops are quite brown, but the bottoms are still blond, flips the balls over, and allow them to cook for another couple of minutes.
Serve warm with a side of more ranch, or allow to cool to room temperature before placing them in the fridge or freezer. To reheat from frozen, wrap in a paper towel, and microwave on high for 1 minute. To reheat in an oven or toaster oven from frozen, bake at 350 degrees fahrenheit for 10-12 minutes.
Note: I think the dough is actually pretty important in this recipe. You can use store-bough, but my all-time favorite pizza dough is the "flatbread" dough from the Crossroads Kitchen cookbook. It makes exactly 1.5 pounds. Buy the cookbook. or Google it. You should be able to find it.
This is a cashew version of the ranch dressing I have posted elsewhere on my site. If you're avoiding oil, this is the perfect ranch dressing for you.
- ½ cup of raw cashews soaked overnight
- 1 cup soy milk or your favorite unsweetened plant milk
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder.
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoons dried parsley
- ½ teaspoon salt
To a high speed blender, add the cashews, soy milk, and vinegar. Blend until very creamy with no grit. Pour the mixture into a sealable container, add the seasonings, and shake or stir. Allow the ranch to chill for at least an hour before using.