I’m starting to think I have Buffalo sauce running through my blood.
I’m already certain there’s beer in there, so needless to say, my insides are having a great time.
I can’t remember a period in my life when I didn’t have at least a slight obsession with the rich, red-hot condiment.
I dip everything in it, from quesadillas to fries to nuggets and beyond.
Feel free to take those moves and run with them.
The funny part is that I’m not even especially crazy about spicy food. I just can’t seem to get enough of this sharp, zesty hot sauce cut with butter.
And in its simplest form, yep, that’s Buffalo sauce.
When I make mine from scratch (you can go store-bought, but I think homemade is always better), I give the orangey liquid a few flavor peaks with tart lemon and savory garlic. You can find the exact measurements here, in a unique recipe where I took my tangy condiment and combined it with a tangle of noodles.
Buffalo chicken spaghetti? I know. Sounds weird, but it tastes like heaven.
When it comes to Buffalo chicken pizza, a much more common menu item, I have found that there are several different ways that cooks might approach this pungent pie.
Many folks use the Buffalo sauce as, well, the sauce. And some also take the shortest of shortcuts and drizzle a bottle of blue cheese dressing straight on the dough.
As for me? I’m a fan of building layers of flavor.
I knew everything that I wanted to bring to the table: Buffalo sauce, pulled chicken, and blue cheese. It was just a question of where I would have everybody sit.
When it comes to wings, I’m a double-dunker of both ranch and blue cheese. But for this pie, I just wanted to bring the funk. And I wanted it to be laced throughout, top to bottom, and inside-out.
Let me see you shake and shout.
(Sorry, I had to.)
Creamy cheese spread on the base of a pizza instead of regular shredded cheese sprinkled on top? Um, duh. Count me in.
In this recipe, I start with a classic mornay, then take a wild turn by adding robust gorgonzola instead of the more traditional nutty gruyere that you might find in the base of mac and cheese and the like.
And thus, my blue cheese base was born.
Since the mornay was whisked up from scratch, I opted for a time-saver and pulled a rotisserie chicken for my protein. I prefer the texture of pulled poultry over chopped chicken on a pizza, and saturating it in that luscious Buffalo sauce loaded it with flavor.
Keep in mind, of course, that taste testing for extra salt is always a good idea when using store-bought anything.
I’ve been told that adding sliced celery before the pie hits the oven makes for a tasty topping. But in this recipe, I hang onto it until the end to keep the veggie’s vibrant green color and cold crunch.
I don’t know about you, but the chilled celery and carrots in my personal wing basket never go untouched.
As for the green onions, I can never decide if I love this ingredient more in its raw form or with a hint of char – so I use the thinly sliced rounds as a topping and a final garnish.
After adding a dusting of a garlic powder from your spice rack for another dimension of flavor, a sprinkle of spicy crushed red pepper flakes just for fun, and a few extra funky crumbles of gorgonzola, my masterful Buffalo chicken pizza is ready for its closeup.
And then, just as quickly as it arrived, it’s gone. Well, until I pull the second one that I made as a backup out of the freezer…
It’s always important to look out for your future self!Print
Give your pizza a flavor makeover with this sassy pie, featuring fiery Buffalo sauce-slathered chicken and a creamy blue cheese base.
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1 cup whole milk, warmed
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
- Pinch freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
- 4 ounces good-quality blue cheese like Gorgonzola, divided
- 2 cups shredded chicken breast (homemade or rotisserie)
- 1/2 cup Buffalo sauce (store-bought or homemade)
- 1 ball pizza dough (about 16 ounces)
- 4 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions, white and green parts, divided
- 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons thinly sliced celery
- 1 tablespoon rough chopped celery leaves
- In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour to make the roux, stirring until the mixture turns a pale yellow color and becomes frothy, about 1 minute.
- Slowly pour in the milk, whisking constantly until a smooth, lump-free mixture is created. Continue to cook, whisking vigorously until the sauce thickens and comes to a boil, about 2 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to low, and stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt, the white pepper, the nutmeg, and 2 ounces of the blue cheese. Whisk until completely melted, remove from heat, and set aside.
- In a small bowl, toss the pulled chicken with the Buffalo sauce. Taste and adjust with additional salt if necessary.
- Preheat the oven to 500°F and divide the dough ball in half.
- Dust 2 pieces of parchment paper with flour, and then place the dough balls in the center. Use your hands to stretch the dough into rough circles about 9 inches in diameter, sprinkling with flour if they’re sticky. Slide the parchment paper onto baking trays.
- Spread the dough rounds with even portions of the blue cheese mornay, and then top with the Buffalo chicken, 2 tablespoons green onions, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt.
- Bake both pizzas at once, rotating the pans halfway through baking, until the sauce is bubbly and the green onions are lightly charred, about 12-15 minutes. Garnish with the remaining green onions, sliced celery, and celery leaves before slicing and serving.
Keywords: pizza, buffalo, chicken
Cooking By the Numbers…
Step 1 – Warm the Milk and Make the Roux
In a small saucepan over low heat, gently warm the milk, stirring occasionally.
In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour to make the roux, stirring until the mixture turns a pale yellow color and becomes frothy, about 1 minute.
Don’t allow the roux to become any darker. If it takes on a caramel hue or turns golden-brown, you’ve cooked it too long and should start over.
Slowly pour in the milk, whisking constantly until you have a smooth, lump-free mixture. Continue to cook, whisking vigorously, until the sauce thickens and comes to a boil. This should take about 2 minutes.
Step 2 – Finish the Blue Cheese Cream Sauce
Reduce the heat to low, and stir in 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, the white pepper, the nutmeg, and 2 ounces of the blue cheese. Whisk until completely melted, and then set aside.
Step 3 – Preheat the Oven and Prepare the Dough
Preheat the oven to 500°F and divide the dough ball in half. You could also leave the dough ball whole to make 1 large pizza that’s about 16-18-inches in diameter.
Dust 2 pieces of parchment paper with flour, and then place one dough ball in the center of each. Use your hands to stretch the dough into rough circles, about 9 inches in diameter, sprinkling with flour if they’re sticky.
Slide the parchment paper onto baking sheets.
A pizza stone could also be used, and if it’s a large enough size, the dough could be combined to make one large pizza.
If using this method, preheat the stone in the oven for 1 hour. This will decrease the bake time to 8-10 minutes, as the stone radiates more heat and speeds up the cooking process.
Step 4 – Toss the Chicken with Buffalo Sauce, and Slice the Green Onions and Celery
In a small bowl, toss the pulled chicken with the Buffalo sauce, tasting and adjusting with additional salt if necessary.
Thinly slice the green onions and celery, and rough chop the celery leaves.
Step 5 – Build and Bake the Pizzas
Spread the dough rounds with even portions of the blue cheese mornay, and then top with the Buffalo chicken, 2 tablespoons green onions, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt.
Bake both pizzas at once, rotating the pans as needed if you can’t fit both on the middle rack (ensuring that each cooks evenly on the top and bottom) until the sauce is bubbly and the green onions are lightly charred, about 12-15 minutes.
Garnish with the remaining green onions, sliced celery, and celery leaves before slicing and serving.
Play that Funky Blue Cheese White Sauce
Just when you thought you couldn’t find another way to sneak more Buffalo sauce into your stomach, this spicy ‘za snapped its fingers and landed on your plate.
If you’re nervous about the level of heat, don’t worry – the smooth, creamy base balances everything out. If you’re nervous about the blue cheese, hold back or feel free to leave it altogether.
Swap in sharp provolone for the gorgonzola, and you’ll still achieve that piquant boldness without the blue. Also, adding a drizzle of ranch as a finishing touch never hurt anybody.
Can’t get that Buffalo sauce craving out of your head? Me too. Light up your taste buds with these fiery recipes next:
Cool, crisp veggies serve as a dynamite contrast to buttery Buffalo sauce. What would you use to top this tangy pizza? Carrot ribbons? Pickled red onions? Share your garnish guidance in the comments below! And don’t forget to give this recipe a five-star rating if you loved it.
Photos by Fanny Slater, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on July 29, 2012. Last updated on February 16, 2021.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Fanny Slater
Fanny Slater is a home-taught food enthusiast based in Wilmington, North Carolina who won the “Rachael Ray Show” Great American Cookbook Competition in 2014, and published her cookbook “Orange, Lavender & Figs” in 2016. Fanny is a food and beverage writer, recipe developer, and social media influencer. She was a co-host on the Food Network series “Kitchen Sink,” was featured on Cooking Channel’s longtime popular series “The Best Thing I Ever Ate,” and continues to appear regularly on the “Rachael Ray Show.”