A Recipe Developer Weighs in on TikTok’s Latest Trend: Canned Chicken Pizza Crust

Be sure to do this before trying the hack out for yourself.

August 25, 2022

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Photo by: Alberto Ortega Cruzado / EyeEm/Getty Images

Alberto Ortega Cruzado / EyeEm/Getty Images

Low-carb, gluten-free, keto-friendly pizza crusts made with almond flour or cauliflower? Those have gone mainstream. But one made from a can of chicken? (Did you even know chicken came in cans?) That’s a low-carb, gluten-free pizza crust worth noting.

Which probably explains why a video guiding users through an easy chicken pizza crust recipe shared earlier this summer by Jackie Hartlaub on her popular @lowcarbstateofmind TikTok account has gone so viral, racking up 22.6 million views to date, with no sign of slowing down.

“I always forget that you can take a can of chicken and turn it into a really yummy high-protein pizza crust,” Hartlaub says in her video, demonstrating a crust that looks impressively crispy.

Hartlaub’s recipe is surprisingly simple: Mix together one can of chicken, a single egg and one 1/2-cup of Parmesan cheese. (The inexpensive jarred stuff works better than the “real” cheese, Hartlaub advises.) She then adds seasoning (basil, oregano) to the mixture and flattens it in the shape of a circle onto a parchment-paper-lined baking sheet. After baking the crust at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for about 20 minutes, you can “throw whatever you want” on it, Hartlaub says.

In the video, Hartlaub uses barbecue sauce, cheese, red onions and chicken pieces, and you gotta admit, it looks pretty darn good.

@lowcarbstateofmind #chicken crust #pizza #easyrecipes #learnontiktok ♬ Love You So - The King Khan & BBQ Show

Intrigued, yet still a little uncertain, we decided to ask Food Network Recipe Developer Amanda Neal what she thought of Hartlaub’s chicken pizza crust. Neal told us she thought it was “a clever use for canned chicken.”

“To turn a pre-cooked, inexpensive ingredient into a flavorful and carb-friendly meal is very smart,” she says, adding that she found the barbecue chicken flavor profile especially fun.

The recipe’s use of canned chicken has caused a great deal of controversy among the video’s commenters. (“Did you just say ‘a can’ … of chicken? What in the USA,” wonders one.) Neal suspects that the impression that “canned chicken is not the most desirable product” is part of the reason the recipe has gone viral. But she contends that canned chicken, often made from all-white meat, is an inexpensive, healthy source of protein that is unfairly overlooked.

Other factors contributing to the recipe’s broad appeal, even for those who are not following a low-carb or gluten-free diet: the fact that it “comes together very quickly, is allergy-friendly and appears to result in a crispy crust,” Neal observes. Plus, she notes, “it plays off of the alternative pizza crust trend — such as zucchini crusts,” but uses ingredients that are easy to keep on hand.

Hartlaub’s chicken pizza crust “is very similar to other low-carb/gluten-free homemade pizza crusts,” which often include a whole egg and cheese to bind them, along with a veggie rather than canned chicken, Neal says. “Some crusts use nut flours or gluten-free flours to also add some structure, but it doesn’t appear necessary with this chicken version,” she adds.

For those trying out Hartlaub’s recipe at home, Neal advises draining the canned chicken well before mixing in the other ingredients. “Any extra moisture will result in a soggy crust,” she warns.

She also advises following Hartlaub’s lead and adding dried herbs, seasoning and lots of salt and pepper to the chicken mixture before baking it.

“I love that [Hartlaub] used Italian seasoning and oregano in the TikTok video, but you could go with many different seasons to boost the overall flavor,” Neal says. “You can also opt for shredded mozzarella or Monterey jack in place of the Parmesan for more cheesy flavor.”

And isn’t “more cheesy flavor” pretty much always the goal when you’re making pizza?

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