Recipe: Costco Chicken Bakes

Recipe: Costco Chicken Bakes

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Patty Catalano
Jun 26, 2018
(Image credit: Joe Lingeman | Kitchn)

Costco's food court has quite the reputation. The $1.50 hot dog combo and robot-built pizza slices get all the press, so maybe you missed the true winner on the menu board: the chicken bake, of course!

Chunky chicken pieces tossed with bits of bacon and creamy Caesar dressing, wrapped stromboli-style in pizza dough — the sleeper hit of Costco's food court was steeped in mystery, until recently, and now you can actually make them at home.

Better Than Costco Chicken Bakes: Watch the Video

A Homemade Costco Cult Classic

Recently a Reddit user (ricecracker420) who claimed to work in Costco's food court caused an uproar, sharing the basic instructions for the warehouse's chicken bake. This was great news for true Costco fanatics and hot sandwich aficionados alike, because the chicken bake is truly best made at home instead of enjoyed in the store.

You see, the bakes from Costco can be disappointing — the bread can be soft from warming under heat lamps and the cheese gets settled, no longer gooey — but when you make them at home and serve them fresh, the bakes are still crisp on the outside and warm inside with steaming-hot chicken and melty cheese.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman | Kitchn)

Take Shortcuts Where You Want

Mix and match homemade and store-bought ingredients to roll and bake. In my house, the dough and dressing come from the store.

  • The chicken: For tender, not-too-salty chicken I forgo the rotisserie chicken and cook boneless, skinless breasts on the stovetop.
  • The bacon: While I've got the skillet out I also crisp big smoky bites of thick-cut bacon, not wasting time on small bacon bits that disappear in the middle of the chicken bake.
  • The dressing: Choose a good-quality creamy Caesar from the store — one with a bit of tang and a peppery bite. Caesar is added to the filling and brushed on the outside, helping the extra sprinkle of cheese adhere and turning the chicken bake a rich golden-brown in the oven.

Taste test: Our Favorite Bottled Caesar Salad Dressings

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Costco Chicken Bakes

Serves 4

Prep time: 20 minutes ; cooking time: 15 minutes

  • 1 pound

    pizza dough, thawed if frozen and at room temperature 1 hour

  • 1/2 cup

    creamy Caesar dressing, divided, plus more for brushing

  • 2 cups

    diced (cooked) chicken, divided

  • 1 cup

    crumbled thick-cut bacon (about 6 cooked slices), divided

  • 1 1/2 cups

    shredded Italian blend cheese, divided

Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Divide the pizza dough into 4 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a 5x7-inch rectangle about 1/4-inch thick. Position the rectangles so that a long side is facing you. Brush each with 2 tablespoons of the Caesar dressing, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Scatter 1/2 cup of the chicken, 1/4 cup of the bacon, and 1/4 cup of the cheese over the dressing on each rectangle.

Starting with the long side closest to you, roll one of the doughs up tightly into a log. Pinch the seam and the ends closed. Place seam-side down on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining doughs.

Brush the top and sides of each chicken bake with more Caesar dressing. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese evenly over the top of the chicken bakes.

Bake until golden-brown, 15 to 17 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet before serving.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

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