Photos by Claire Lower
If I had to pick a favourite sports-bar inspired food, I could not, for my heart is equally divided by pizza, wings and nachos. I recently combined all three into a casserole dish and the results were a slam dunk. (Sorry.) Here’s how to make your own.
Was I little worried about flavour clashing? Sure, pepperoni pizza is a bit of a curveball when combined with queso cheese and Buffalo chicken, but the three flavours ended up getting along quite harmoniously, and I’ll got to the mat to defend this combination.
To make this home run of a hot dish, you will need:
- 1 can of jumbo biscuit dough
- 14 ounces of pizza sauce
- 4 cups shredded mozzarella
- About 20 slices of pepperoni
- 4 chicken thighs, cooked and shredded
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) of unsalted butter
- 1 cup Frank’s Red Hot Sauce
- 240ml cream cheese
- 1 cup blue cheese crumbles
- 1 can of Rotel tomatoes
- 470ml of Velveeta
- Several generous handfuls of tortilla chips
- 1 cup shredded cheddar
- Sour cream
- 1 sliced jalapeño
You’ll tee it up with the pizza layer. Take your circles of refrigerated biscuit dough, cut them into quarters, and add them to a large mixing bowl, along with the can of sauce. Stir to coat, add the mozz, and mix once more. Spread the mixture out in your casserole pan, top with pepperoni, and bake in a 190-degree oven for about 25 minutes, or until it looks like this:
It may be tempting to stop here, but keep the ball rolling, we still have two more layers to go. While the pizza layer is cooking, combine the butter, hot sauce, cream cheese, and blue cheese in a pot, and heat over medium until you have a nice, thick and creamy sauce. Toss with your shredded chicken, and pour the mixture on top of the pizza foundation.
I swear there is chicken in there.
Combine the Rotel and Velveeta and melt it in the microwave as you usually would — don’t pretend like you’re too good for this classic pairing – cooking in 30 second blasts and stirring frequently. Once that’s all nice and gooey, throw your chips on top of the Buffalo layer, pour the cheesy goop on top of that, and cap it off with that shredded cheddar. Pop the whole thing back in the oven until it’s bubblin’ and browned (about 20 minutes).
Let it cool a few moments, drizzle on sour cream – the real MVP of any snack spread – and sprinkle on some jalapeño slices for heat (and a much needed pop of green).
This, my friends, is what we call “a hole in one.” I thought the pizza would be our glass jaw, flavour wise, but I’m pleased to report that everyone got on just fine. The sweet pizza sauce and mozzarella helped cut some of the heat from the Buffalo layer, but this was honestly a just a big pile of cheese, and it’s hard to go wrong with a big pile of cheese.
I mean, it’s all the key players in a single bite, designed to be easily eaten with a fork, so that you can focus on the Big Game, rather than whether or not you’re getting wing sauce all over your host’s furniture.
I would, however, recommend a Lactaid or two. Otherwise you might find yourself down for the count, gastrointestinally speaking. A little discomfort is par for the course with such food, but you might as well go in swinging.