Mini Strawberry Balsamic Pizzas with Chicken & Sweet Onions

Mini Strawberry Balsamic Pizzas with Chicken & Sweet Onion  |  Lemon & Mocha

Has anyone else been obsessed with strawberries this season? I got hooked on baking with them after I made the Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble Muffins. That prompted me to bake the Beet Donuts with a Strawberry Rhubarb Brown Butter Glaze and I even made strawberry rhubarb white chocolate chip cookies. The cookies were purely for eating, not blog purposes, but comment below if you want the recipe!

Mini Strawberry Balsamic Pizzas with Chicken & Sweet Onion  |  Lemon & Mocha

Not to mention the large amounts of fresh strawberries Matt and I have consumed so far this summer. I had not done any savory cooking with them though and that needed to change! Enter these Mini Strawberry Balsamic Pizzas with Chicken and Sweet Onion. To say Matt and I loved these mini flatbread pizzas is an understatement. Matt proclaimed he would be okay eating these naan pizzas every night and I would have to agree.

Mini Strawberry Balsamic Pizzas with Chicken & Sweet Onion  |  Lemon & Mocha

We need to dive into these pizzas layer by layer to truly appreciate how much deliciousness I’ve snuck in there for you. First, the base is naan flatbread. Naan is similar to pita bread, but softer and fluffier. I like using naan for this recipe because then everyone can have their own little pizzas and all the work of dealing with fresh dough has already been done for you. Easy! If you don’t have naan at your store you could always use pitas or pizza dough.

Mini Strawberry Balsamic Pizzas with Chicken & Sweet Onion  |  Lemon & Mocha

Next, these pizzas don’t have marinara sauce, pesto or garlic oil. They have something even better – fresh strawberry balsamic spread! This is the only “cooking” part of the recipe and it couldn’t be more simple. Finely chopped strawberries are combined with some honey and balsamic then you let them sit for 15-20 minutes. This is called macerating the berries and letting them sit out with sugar (in our case, honey) releases their juices and softens the strawberries. Once their macerated, you mash them together and ta-da! Strawberry balsamic spread. Look at the strawberry balsamic spread!

Mini Strawberry Balsamic Pizzas with Chicken & Sweet Onion  |  Lemon & Mocha

The acidity from the balsamic balances out the sweetness of the berries and honey making it the perfect base for our other toppings. Next up we have chicken and sweet onion. I used grilled chicken, but you could use rotisserie chicken if you prefer. Chicken pairs well with the strawberries and the onions get nicely softened, which mellows their taste, in the oven. Classic mozzarella is the cheese of choice for these pizzas along with just the right amount of goat cheese to add some extra flavor pockets without overpowering the whole pizza.

Mini Strawberry Balsamic Pizzas with Chicken & Sweet Onion  |  Lemon & Mocha

I wanted these pizzas to really scream strawberry so in addition to the sweet and tart strawberry spread, we also have fresh sliced strawberries nestled into the melty mozzarella. Finally, a drizzle of balsamic glaze and sprinkling of fresh basil to finish the pizzas off once they’re out of the oven. Even though I just took a long time to break down these pizzas – sorry I’m just so excited! – they are incredibly simple to whip up making them ideal for lazy summer nights. I hope you try these soon and make sure to let me know in the comments below if you try them!

Mini Strawberry Balsamic Pizzas with Chicken & Sweet Onion  |  Lemon & Mocha

Mini Strawberry Balsamic Pizzas with Chicken & Sweet Onions
 
Yield: 2 servings
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup finely chopped strawberries
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • ½ teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 naan flatbreads
  • ½ cup chopped cooked chicken (either grilled or rotisserie)
  • ⅓ small sweet onion, sliced thin
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons shredded mozzarella
  • ½ cup sliced strawberries
  • 1 ounce goat cheese
  • Chopped basil, for topping
  • Balsamic glaze, for topping
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a shallow bowl, stir together the chopped strawberries, honey and balsamic vinegar. Let sit for 15-20 minutes to let the strawberries soften and release their juices. Once the strawberries have softened, mash with a potato masher and stir together.
  3. Place the naan flatbreads on a baking sheet. Divide the mashed strawberry topping between the two pizzas. Spread the strawberry mixture out, leaving a small border on each pizza for the crust. Top each pizza with ¼ cup chopped chicken and half of the sliced onion.
  4. Top each pizza with ¼ cup of the shredded mozzarella, sprinkling over the chicken and onion. Then top each pizza with ¼ cup of the sliced strawberries. Crumble the goat cheese over the strawberries, dividing between the two pizzas, and sprinkle on the remaining mozzarella as well. Bake for 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the crust is browning.
  5. When the pizzas are out of the oven, top with the chopped basil and balsamic glaze before serving.
Notes
You can find balsamic glaze in the grocery store. If you want to make your own: combine ½ cup good quality balsamic vinegar with 2 tablespoons brown sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low and simmer until the mixture is reduced by half, about 10 minutes. The glaze should be thick and syrupy. Let cool before serving. Store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

 

Pizza Hot Dogs

Pizza Hot Dogs  |  Lemon & Mocha

Okay, okay, I know I’m killing you over here with all the hot dogs and pizza, but hear me out! I had the amazing idea for the Elote Hot Dogs. I made them and they were everything I could have imagined. We gobbled them up and everyone was happy. Then I looked in the fridge and saw all the leftover ingredients from the elote and I thought – ah ha! Elote Pizza would be epic! So I made Elote Pizza, it was delicious, we gobbled it up, everyone was happy, yaddy yaddy yada. Then I had a problem because I had leftover hot dogs and leftover pizza ingredients, also known as shredded mozzarella, which to me means pizza, so I had to come up with something to use them both up. I had to! The leftovers made me do it!

Pizza Hot Dogs  |  Lemon & Mocha

I am so happy I did because otherwise I might have never discovered how – insert explicit word here – delicious Pizza Hot Dogs are. Hot Dogs are a summer guilty pleasure and pizza is just plain amazing all the time so together is like something straight out of your food fantasies. The hot dog is smothered in marinara sauce and gooey melted mozzarella.

Pizza Hot Dogs  |  Lemon & Mocha

If that wasn’t enough, the tricked up potato buns are on a whole other level. I love potato rolls because they’re buttery and a little sweet. I brushed the tops of the buns with a combination of melted butter, freshly grated Parmesan, chopped parsley and garlic powder before broiling them until toasty. Basically, giving the bun a whole garlic bread quality that is out of this world.

Pizza Hot Dogs  |  Lemon & Mocha

Matt and I quickly decided that every time we consume a hot dog it needs to be on these buttery, cheesy, garlicky rolls. We also decided that we can’t eat another hot dog for like three years and I’m never allowed to make so many hot dogs and pizza recipes in one week ever again.

Pizza Hot Dogs  |  Lemon & Mocha

Now I’m going to share something equally delicious with you on Friday and when you see it, before you yell at me, just keep in mind that I made and photographed the whole elote – hot dog – pizza trio months ago and I just made Friday’s up-coming post the other week. So my advice to you is to ABSOLUTELY, DEFINITELY make these Pizza Hot Dogs as soon as possible! Unless you just made the Elote Hot Dogs or the Elote Pizza, in which case my advice is wait a couple weeks then ABSOLUTELY, DEFINITELY make these Pizza Hot Dogs. Enjoy!

Pizza Hot Dogs  |  Lemon & Mocha

Pizza Hot Dogs
 
Yield: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • ⅔ cup marinara sauce
  • 4 hot dogs
  • 4 long potato rolls
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon fresh grated Parmesan
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley leaves, plus more for topping
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ⅔ cup shredded mozzarella
Directions
  1. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, heat the marinara sauce and hot dogs until both are warmed through. Set aside.
  2. While the hot dogs and sauce are getting warmed up, prepare the buns. Place the potato rolls upright as if you were about the put the hot dog in them on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil.
  3. n a small bowl, combine the melted butter, Parmesan, chopped parsley and garlic powder. Generously brush this mixture over the tops of the potato rolls. Place a warmed hot dog in each bun and top with the marinara sauce. Divide the mozzarella between the 4 hot dogs, sprinkling right on top of the sauce. Broil the hot dogs until the cheese is melted and the tops of the buns are golden. Top with more parsley, if desired, and eat warm.

 

Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Tahini Bowls

Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Tahini Bowls  |  Lemon & Mocha

When I first bought tahini it was to make my Pumpkin Hummus. For those of you that aren’t familiar with tahini, it is made from ground sesame seeds and is one of the main components in hummus, along with chickpeas. After that first experiment with the Pumpkin Hummus, I used it purely to make homemade hummus and never ventured beyond that.

Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Tahini Bowls  |  Lemon & Mocha

Then last year I was Googling healthy lunch ideas for Matt and I and came across a quinoa bowl that called for a tahini dressing. My version of the recipe is incredibly simple – tahini, lemon juice, water and garlic powder. I mixed it up completely skeptical, but as soon as I tried it poured over my bowl of roasted veggies and quinoa I was completely hooked.

Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Tahini Bowls  |  Lemon & Mocha

It was tart, nutty and really creamy. The acidic punch complements the earthy vegetables really well. We have these Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Tahini Bowls all year round and I love that you can swap out the vegetables to your preferences or the season.

Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Tahini Bowls  |  Lemon & Mocha

This version is my favorite, though, because I love the meatiness that the eggplant and mushrooms bring to the bowl. Matt and I are also mushroom obsessed if I haven’t mentioned that before. Then the zucchinis bring some brightness and the bell pepper adds some sweetness. Perfection in a bowl!

Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Tahini Bowls  |  Lemon & Mocha

Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Tahini Bowls
 
Yield: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 zucchinis
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 eggplant
  • 8 ounces whole cremini mushrooms
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a half sheet baking pan with nonstick aluminum foil or lightly spray with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2. Prep the veggies. Cut the ends off the zucchini then cut it into thick rounds. Slice the rounds in half. Remove the seeds and stem from the bell pepper then chop into a big dice. Remove the ends from the eggplant then cut into a small dice. The eggplant takes the longest to roast so you want the pieces smaller. Remove the stems from the mushrooms then quarter them.
  3. Place the vegetables on the prepared baking sheet then toss with just enough olive oil to lightly coat them. Sprinkle with the garlic powder, Italian seasoning and salt and pepper to taste. Roast for 20 minutes, or until the veggies roasted and lightly browned.
  4. While the veggies are roasting, make the tahini dressing. In a bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together the tahini, lemon juice, water and garlic powder until incorporated. Keep separate until ready to eat.
  5. To prepare the bowls, put ½ cup cooked quinoa in each bowl. Divide the roasted veggies between the 4 bowls then divide the dressing between each of the bowls.
Notes
Usually when I make this I will pack the tahini dressing in a separate container so I can shake it up and pour it on after I heat the quinoa and veggies in the microwave. I have tried it with the dressing poured on ahead of time and everything heated in the microwave and it was okay, but the dressing seemed to get absorbed by the other ingredients in the bowl and wasn’t as good as when I pour it on right before eating.
For the quinoa, I used a super grains mix that I picked up at my local Whole Foods. It is a mix of red quinoa, white quinoa, millet and buckwheat. It is actually cheaper than the bag of just quinoa and I like the variety for our quinoa bowls.

Dressing recipe adapted from Martha Stewart.

Elote Pizza

Elote Pizza  |  Lemon & Mocha

As I’m writing this, it is Monday afternoon. I always write my posts ahead of time so I can get them scheduled. Except normally I write them at least a couple weeks ahead of time, not just days before. Somehow I completely skipped over this post in my calendar! I don’t know how because, come on, look at these pizza photos!

Elote Pizza  |  Lemon & Mocha

Last week I was busy working away on next week’s posts and missed this Friday post entirely. I know I’m probably confusing you so let’s just focus on this pizza. Elote Pizza to be exact. Remember Monday’s Elote Hot Dogs? Of course you do – they were epic and over-the-top!

Elote Pizza  |  Lemon & Mocha

Also, the post came out just a few days ago and hopefully you haven’t completely lost track of all sense of days and weeks like apparently I have. This ooey gooey pizza is topped with charred corn, cotija cheese and a lime mayo. It’s a little sweet, a little creamy, a little smoky and definitely cheesy.

Elote Pizza  |  Lemon & Mocha

Some of my favorite meals I’ve made have been born out of ingredients left in the fridge and this Elote Pizza is a perfect example. There was plenty of cotija, corn and cilantro leftover from the Elote Hot Dogs so I decided to rework them into another outrageous celebration of my love for elote. Unlike the Elote Hot Dogs, I’ve never had Elote Pizza before, but every pizza place should start serving it now! It would be my go-to order, especially during the summer.

Elote Pizza  |  Lemon & Mocha

My favorite tip for pizza is something Matt taught me – using cornmeal to flour your surface and the pizza dough instead of all-purpose flour. For years we had been using all-purpose flour because we just assumed that would work best without ever looking it up. It does work really well at keeping the dough from sticking, but you often get a floury taste when the pizza is cooked. Using cornmeal keeps the dough from sticking to the pan and it makes it taste like it just came out of a pizza shop! Who knew? Well, maybe you did, but if you didn’t you can thank Matt! Happy Friday everyone!

Elote Pizza  |  Lemon & Mocha

Elote Pizza
 
Ingredients
for the lime mayo
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
for the pizza
  • 1 can corn kernels, drained and dried
  • 16 ounces pre-made pizza dough, at room temperature for 20 minutes
  • Cornmeal, for dusting the surface for the dough
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tablespoon fresh grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cotija cheese
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro leaves, chopped
  • Pinch of smoked paprika, ground cumin and chili powder, for top dusting
Directions
for the lime mayo
  1. In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, lime juice and paprika. Set aside.
for the pizza
  1. Char the corn in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. You want the corn to be lightly browned. Remove from the heat.
  2. Preheat your pizza stone in the oven at 475 or 500 degrees F for at least half an hour.
  3. If you are using a pizza peel, generously sprinkle your pizza peel with cornmeal. If you don’t have a pizza peel and are using a baking sheet, generously sprinkle your baking sheet with cornmeal. Stretch out the dough - the size depends on the size of your pizza stone. To help get it stretched out, I hold it and let it fall down. I continue doing this, rotating around as I do it so it stretches into an oblong shape. Now that it is most of the way stretched out, place it on the cornmeal surface, whether that is your pizza peel or baking sheet. Use a rolling pin or your hands to form it into the shape your want. Try to get an even thickness all the way around.
  4. Brush the olive oil on the pizza dough. Top with the shredded mozzarella cheese then the charred corn. Sprinkle with the Parmesan. Carefully put the pizza in the oven on top of the pizza stone to cook for 9-10 minutes. If you are using a baking sheet, just put the baking sheet directly on top of the pizza stone.
  5. Once the pizza is cooked, top with the cotija cheese and chopped cilantro. Drizzle with the lime mayo then dust a sprinkle over top of smoked paprika, ground cumin and chili powder. If you don’t like spicy food using a very, very small amount of chili powder.
Notes
For added flavor, brush the crust with a little olive oil then sprinkle with Parmesan and smoked paprika before baking.
I used full-fat mayonnaise.

 

Sheet Pan Chicken Fajita Bowls

Sheet Pan Chicken Fajita Bowls  |  Lemon & Mocha

I’m back with another healthy make ahead lunch or dinner recipe for you! It is much needed after Monday’s Elote Hot Dog, right? Those hot dogs were so good, but food like that is a treat for Matt and I. Most weeks, lunches and dinners consist of meals like these Sheet Pan Chicken Fajita Bowls. Many people think healthy is boring, but that’s only if you let it be boring! You all know I’m obsessed with food so I would never eat healthy every day if it meant sacrificing flavor.

Sheet Pan Chicken Fajita Bowls  |  Lemon & Mocha

Let me break down these bowls for you. Chicken tenders, red bell pepper and onion get tossed in a simple yet flavor-packed seasoning mix. I find it to taste more earthy and smoky than spicy, but if you like spicy food you can definitely increase the amount of chili powder. It then all gets baked at the same temperature on the same sheet pan.

Sheet Pan Chicken Fajita Bowls  |  Lemon & Mocha

Grains get layered on the bottom of the bowl, topped with the cooked chicken and veggies, black beans, avocado mashed with lime juice and garlic powder. That’s it!

Sheet Pan Chicken Fajita Bowls  |  Lemon & Mocha

If you notice in the photos that two of the fajita bowls are missing their black beans that is because Matt does not like them. Everyone is all about “doing it for the gram” these days, but I would just rather everyone like and enjoy their food!

Sheet Pan Chicken Fajita Bowls  |  Lemon & Mocha

Matt and I have been cooking fajita chicken and veggies over rice for dinner since we first started cooking together. Once we discovered the Seeds of Change brown rice and quinoa microwavable packets we started having this meal nonstop because the rice quinoa packets are so easy and crazy good. No, this is not an ad, we are just long-term obsessed! I have been able to find these packets at almost every grocery store I’ve been in, including Costco.

Sheet Pan Chicken Fajita Bowls  |  Lemon & Mocha

If you would prefer to make plain brown rice or quinoa I would definitely season it a bit. You could even try a different grain, I’ve been into barley lately, or substitute in some sweet potatoes – yum! Now I’m thinking about how I could roast sweet potatoes wedges on the same pan as the chicken and veggies – keeping that one in mind for later! No matter how you customize your Sheet Pan Chicken Fajita Bowls, after one bite you will making this one on repeat!

Sheet Pan Chicken Fajita Bowls  |  Lemon & Mocha

Sheet Pan Chicken Fajita Bowls
 
Yield: 4 servings
Ingredients
for the chicken
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken tenderloins
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
  • Pinch chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
for the rice bowl
  • 2 small avocados
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 cups Seeds of Change Brown Rice & Quinoa with Garlic
  • 1 cup black beans
  • 1 lime, for garnish
Directions
for the chicken
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a half sheet baking sheet with nonstick aluminum foil or spray with nonstick spray and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the paprika, garlic powder, ground cumin, salt, pepper and chili powder. I don’t like spicy foods so if you like yours more spicy, add more chili powder. Just be sure to taste it so you don’t over-spice it.
  3. Cut the chicken tenders in half. If they are really wide, you might need to also cut them in half lengthwise so they aren’t too big (see my photos for reference of how big mine were). Cut the bell pepper and the onion into slices. You don’t want the slices too thin of they will overcook. Add the chicken, bell pepper slices and onion slices to a medium mixing bowl. Add the olive oil then toss to combine. Add the spice mixture then toss to coat. Place the seasoned chicken and veggies on the prepared baking sheet and spread them out so they’re touching as little as possible. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the chicken reads an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
for the rice bowl
  1. Put the avocado flesh in a small mixing bowl. Mash with a fork then season with the lime juice and garlic powder. Season with salt and pepper, adding more lime juice or garlic powder as needed. Stir to combine.
  2. To plate the dish, give each bowl ½ cup of the rice and ¼ cup of the black beans. Divide the chicken, veggies and mashed avocado between the 4 bowls. Garnish with a lime wedge.
Notes
We love the Seeds of Change Brown Rice & Quinoa with Garlic in my house. It’s microwavable, packed with flavor and I can find it at most stores. If you want to use your own cooked brown rice or quinoa plan for 2 cups cooked total, or ½ cup per serving. You might also want to season the rice or quinoa since I have only tried this dish with the seasoned Seeds of Change packets.

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