When the family schedule gets hectic, this chicken pizza recipe can help! The reality of today’s world is that it can be difficult to find time to slow down and connect. When the opportunity does present itself, cooking together as a family has so many benefits.
“Spending time in the kitchen can be a great way to get everyone together in a low-stress, fun situation,” said Samantha Moore, nutritionist at Marshfield Clinic Health System. “Cooking together allows for some quality family bonding, while giving parents the chance to really check in with their kids and build a special memory base.”
Aside from the bonding time acquired by being in the kitchen together, cooking can give an adult the opportunity to teach their young one important life skills.
“Having at least a basic concept of cooking skills is an incredibly important factor in terms of long term potential health and success,” Moore said. “They don’t need to be a culinary master, but if they can prepare healthy foods on their own, they are taking one giant step in the direction of optimal wellness.”
Cooking together also allows for discussion with kids about the importance of eating well, which includes consuming food items from each food group. For the picky eaters, being involved in the food preparation process often encourages increased willingness to try new foods as well.
Countless recipes are available that you can try together as a family. Consider everyone’s preferences, but don’t be afraid to try something new. Pizza is a great place to start, because all ages can be involved and you can modify any recipe with ease. Try the following pizza recipe to get started and remember the following:
“Don’t worry about making a mess when you cook and don’t forget to eat together at the table when you’re done,” Moore said.
Total time: 1 hour
Serves: 6 (serving size: 2 slices)
- 1 (12-ounce) portion fresh pizza dough
- 2 ½ tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cubed
- 1 (4-ounce) link sweet Italian sausage, casing removed
- ¼ cup vertically sliced onion
- 4 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh garlic
- 2 teaspoons cornmeal
- 4 ounces fontina cheese, shredded
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
- ¾ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
- Let dough rest, covered, at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 450°F.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons oil, chicken, and sausage; sauté 5 minutes. Remove mixture from pan. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl. Add onion, mushrooms and garlic; sauté 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Punch dough down. Sprinkle a baking sheet with cornmeal. Roll dough out to a 14-inch circle on baking sheet. Brush dough with 1 tablespoon oil; sprinkle with 2 ounces cheese. Arrange chicken mixture, vegetable mixture and bell pepper over cheese, leaving a 1/4-inch border. Top with remaining cheese and crushed red pepper. Bake at 450°F for 20 minutes or until golden. Sprinkle with herbs. Cut into slices.
Per serving: 414 calories, 19g fat, 34g carbs, 26g protein