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Friday Night Pizza and Game Time!

On any given night, if you ask my kids what they want for dinner, the answer is usually "Pizza!" My usual response is, "We'll see." (When did I turn into my mom?) On Friday nights, however, pizza is the perfect way for all of us to end the workweek. There's no whining, no complaining and it's just plain fun.

We have an amazing specialty pizza place close to home that has cool grown-up toppings like spinach, chicken, arugula, brie and pears. It's amazing, but also a little expensive. I saw this recipe for Garlic Chicken Pizza on Landolakes.com and it looked so easy: only six ingredients and I had most of them already. Why not give it a try?

We've also turned Fridays into family game night, so I needed something simple enough that I could make it and play a championship round of Go Fish at the same time. This pizza is perfect.

I picked up Garlic & Herb Sauté Express® Meal Starter in the butter section of the grocery store and grabbed a pre-made pizza crust while I was there. I had the rest of the ingredients already.

Heat the oven to 450°F. Then cut up 1/2 pound of boneless skinless chicken breasts into small pieces. Melt the Sauté Express® square in a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium-low heat until it sizzles.

Next, add chicken to the skillet. It's important to keep the heat on medium-low, so there is liquid left over in the pan to brush onto the pizza crust. If the heat gets turned up too high, the juices will evaporate and you won't have enough to adequately brush on your pizza crust.

While the Sauté Express® square melts, I can even hold my cards for a game of Go Fish! There tends to be some serious competition in my house over card games! The winner of round one usually gets the first slice of pizza and the one in last place does the dishes. The pressure is on... I will not be doing dishes tonight!

Stir until the chicken is done and fully coated. It will smell fantastic. It is hard to believe it is so simple! While the chicken is cooking, it's a great time to chop 1/2 cup spinach like this...

Once the chicken is done, remove it from the heat. I separated the chicken to one side and tilted the pan to have a better angle to use the leftover sauce in the pan.

Brush the liquid from the pan over the prepared thin pizza crust. We have made our own pizza dough in the past, but on a Friday night, it is so quick and easy to use the prepared pizza crust. We took a quick time-out on the card game.

Next, spread the spinach evenly on the pizza. The recipe calls for just a 1/2 cup, but I decided to add a little more. The pizza was great! My card sharks were concerned that I was making more of a salad than a pizza, but the spinach cooks down perfectly.

The cooked chicken is added next...

After that I added the cheeses. I layered the ingredients a bit to make sure that the cheeses, spinach and chicken were spread evenly throughout.

When my kids help me cook cook, I really couldn't tell you how much cheese makes it onto the pizza. You know: "Some for the pizza, and some for me!" I try to set out the amount of cheddar cheese that needs to go on the pizza, but it seems to get eaten, so then I add more cheese. So, long story short, I'm pretty sure that 1/4 cup of cheddar made it on the pizza, but maybe just a little more. You can never have enough cheese on a pizza right?

We are almost ready for the pizza to go in the oven! Go Fish is getting a little intense here....

Place the pizza directly onto the oven rack. This makes the crust turn out crispier than when baked on a pizza stone or cookie sheet. We had a slight overflow of ingredients on one pizza the kids made, so I put it on a cookie sheet to prevent the ingredients from dripping all over the oven. When the pizza was done, the crust was okay, but just not as crisp as we like. It was a little soft and bread-like.

Bake in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes, until the cheese is melted. We are a "melted, but not brown and bubbly" type of pizza family.

Quick and easy dinners are pretty important in my house. It's hard to be patient around dinnertime. We were actually able to get the pizza prepared and in the oven during a round of Go Fish. Every family has a card shark, right?

I've got to be honest: dish duty was a definite possibility for me at this point, however I still had a chance!

I tried to get a pretty pizza picture for you to see the amazing end result. However, I was quickly overruled by the pizza hungry mob anxiously awaiting dinner. The Go Fish card shark was champion of round one and got the first slice of pizza. Who ended up doing dishes? I'll just graciously say "thank you" to my husband, who endured a round of victory songs and flashback dance moves that included "the sprinkler." He said he would leave me if I put the picture of him doing the dishes in the gloves and apron the boys picked out for him to wear, so I'll leave it to your imagination. He's a pretty good sport!

This is going to be my standard go-to recipe for pizza. Sauté Express® Meal Starter is earning its keep! We have been able to use it in several different dishes, from pasta to stir-fry. It's awesome!

The best part of trying this recipe? The kids are completely into helping make their own pizzas and it's a blast just hanging out in the kitchen playing cards or games while we wait for the pizzas to be done. The next best thing about this recipe? You won't believe how much money we have saved by not buying pizza from a restaurant. No need to buy or have pizza delivered for us on Friday nights anymore. We have a winner, winner, pizza dinner!

Try this Garlic Chicken Pizza for your next game night or for a quick dinner and let me know if you love it as much as we do.

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Looks awesome! I really like the idea of homemade pizza and game night. I think this is going to be a must for us to try next Friday,

Posted Mar 15 2013 by Nicole
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Alex

Hi Nicole! Thanks for the comment, and I hope you have a great family game night! Hope you enjoy the pizza, too.
Posted March 18, 2013

This sounds amazing and I just used my coupon so I now have the ingredients to make a quick pizza on Friday. Thanks, Debbie

Posted Feb 25 2013 by Debra F.

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    Hi, I'm Becky. I'm eager to share my best ideas and favorite recipes from my 20+ years in the Land O'Lakes Test Kitchen. I'm also excited to help with any questions you have about cooking and baking with Land O Lakes® products. Some of the questions and answers will be published in our newsletter, The Measuring Cup®. Please use the short form below to ask your questions, or share your tip or memory.


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