This easy Chicken Bacon Ranch French Bread Pizza isn’t soggy, is ready in under 30 minutes, and is super kid friendly! Perfect for parties and busy weeknights.
French Bread Pizza
This delicious Chicken Bacon Ranch French Bread Pizza is an excellent meal prep recipe that the whole family will love! An inexpensive loaf of French bread quickly becomes a delicious pizza with a ranch dressing, tender slices of chicken, and crisp bacon. The best part–The bread doesn’t even get soggy because of a 3-minute prebake step!
This is a great recipe when you hear about company coming at the last minute. A quick stop at the store for a loaf or two, bacon bits, and a rotisserie chicken turns this into a quick, simple meal that you can stretch to feed a crowd. Plus, it’s freezer friendly so you can make an extra batch for later!
You can easily customize the toppings and sauce based on your preferences–Swap out the ranch dressing for a marinara or pizza sauce, and substitute pepperonis and Italian sausage for a classic meat lovers! Add tons of veggies for more nutrients and flavor, too. It’s so easy to adjust, this is perfect for kids’ sleepovers; just give each kid a section of the prebaked French bread and let them add their own toppings!
Ingredients for the BEST Chicken Bacon Ranch Pizza
Here’s a quick rundown of what you’ll need for this recipe. For exact measurements, keep scrolling down to the printable recipe card near the bottom.
- French bread – You want the fresh loaf from the bakery section but not a baguette. The big French loaves are about a foot and a half long, around 4″ wide. If you don’t find it, try a loaf of Italian bread–This is a little softer and wider, but it works in a pinch. Don’t try a baguette; it doesn’t make a great pizza crust.
- Unsalted butter, Extra virgin olive oil, Italian seasoning, Garlic powder, Red pepper flakes – This gets brushed all over the bread before baking a thin cheese layer. This creates a super flavorful barrier between the bread and sauce, preventing the bread from becoming soggy.
- Ranch dressing – This replaces your average tomato pizza sauce! If you prefer, you could replace about 1/4 cup of the ranch with marinara if you want to include more of a tomato flavor.
- Shredded mozzarella – For the best melting, shred the cheese from a block and avoid the bagged pre-shredded version. Of course, that version will always work if you’re short on time and energy!
- Cooked chicken – This can be grilled, air fried, pressure cooked, baked, or slow cooked. Thin slices gives the easiest “pizza bite” texture, but feel free to use shredded if that’s what you already have! I used chicken breast because it’s what I had, but thighs or meat from a rotisserie works just as well.
- Crumbled bacon – This can be leftover bacon from breakfast or even the canned bacon bits if you’re in a bind. Thick cut bacon makes great meaty bites and works well if you need to go light on the chicken.
We love topping these with some garnishes for the best flavor, texture, and appearance! We love grated parmesan cheese, sliced green onions, chopped fresh herbs, and more red pepper flakes. These are optional but highly recommended.
How to Make French Bread Pizza (NOT soggy)
You can create a great homemade pizza without messing with a finicky dough! Here’s a step-by-step guide to creating the BEST French bread pizza.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. In a small bowl melt butter, olive oil, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes (I microwaved in two 30-second bursts, stirring between the each). Set aside.
Slice & flatten bread
First, slice the loaf of bread horizontally, like a hotdog bun except sliced all the way through. You want these two pieces to be as even as possible. Once cut, lay them on a baking sheet with the cut-side facing upwards. Use another baking sheet or heavy cutting board to gently press down on the bread. This flattening achieves two things: it prevents the bread from curling up during the baking process, and it ensures the pieces are of relatively equal thickness for even cooking.
Brush with oil & add cheese
Once flattened, brush the garlic butter mixture over the entire length of the cut bread. Both pieces should be well covered. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of the mozzarella cheese over the bread, creating a thin layer over the bread.
Place the bread in the oven and bake just for 3 minutes. Once the cheese is bubbly and the bread is just barely toasted, remove it from the oven. This step creates a barrier between the bread and the toppings, preventing it from becoming a sad, soggy pizza. You don’t want to give it much time at all so that the bread doesn’t get too browned later.
Once you’ve prebaked the cheesy bread, begin layering your ranch dressing, sliced chicken, bacon bits, and mozzarella cheese. If you prefer the crispiest bacon ever, place it on top of your cheese (but watch that it doesn’t get burnt).
Return the pan back to the oven, this time cooking for 10-12 minutes. Once the edges of the bread have browned to your liking and the cheese is perfectly bubbling, remove from oven. Let it sit at least a few minutes before slicing into pieces–Otherwise, the cheesy topping can all fall off.
This Cheesy French Bread Pizza is best served fresh from the oven, topped with garnishes like grated parmesan cheese, chopped green onions, fresh herbs, and extra red pepper flakes. Some Cheesy Zucchini Breadsticks makes a great side dish option, too!
You should store this homemade pizza in an airtight container in the fridge up to 3-4 days. This works great for portioning out leftover lunch servings!
How to Freeze French Bread Pizza
You can freeze baked or unbaked French bread pizzas! If you’re making it with intentions to freeze and reheat later, it’s best to undercook it by 2-3 minutes. This helps prevent overbrowning later.
If you’ve already cooked your pizza, allow it to cool completely before wrapping with multiple layers of foil or plastic wrap. Date it, store in a freezer bag, and enjoy within 3 months. To reheat from frozen, first bake at 325 degrees F for about 5 minutes, then at 425 degrees F for 3-5 minutes or until warmed throughout and the cheesy is bubbly.
If you have assembled your pizza and would like to freeze it BEFORE baking, simply freeze the assembled pizzas on a baking sheet for 3-4 hours. Once frozen, wrap tightly with multiple layers of plastic or foil and store in a freezer bag. It’s best to cook these straight from the freezer–Start by baking at 325 degrees F for 10-15 minutes (to thaw it), then increase the temperature to 425 degrees F for 5-7 minutes.
How to Reheat French Bread Pizza
- AIR FRYER: Preheat to 350, heat 1-3 minutes or until cheese is bubbly. Best for individual portions when you want it super quick.
- OVEN: Preheat to 350, heat 7-15 minutes (cover with foil if getting too browned). Best when cooking from frozen or serving a crowd.
- MICROWAVE: Microwave for about 1 minute at 50% power. The bottom of the crust will lose some crunch and be a bit chewy, but this is the quickest.
If you like this easy chicken snack, you’ll love these party appetizers
- Chicken Bacon Ranch Crescent Ring – Those same flavors you love but wrapped up in a buttery, flakey crescent roll dough! This is kid friendly and even can be frozen then reheated ahead of time.
- Chicken Parmesan Potato Skins – This cheesy app is perfect when dipped in some marinara–One of our favorite movie marathon snacks!
- Easy Keto Cheesy Chicken Stuffed Peppers – These couldn’t get any easier! They are the perfect poolside app when you want a healthy, filling snack.
- Chicken Taquitos – These are so simple and very kid-friendly (or if you’re low carb, try this Keto BBQ Chicken version)
- Buffalo Chicken Dip – This dip is SUCH a crowd pleaser and an easy potluck recipe! It can easily fit into a low carb diet as well.
French Bread Pizza FAQs
Most French bread pizza is soggy because the soft bread soaks up the pizza sauce. Avoid this issue by first pre-baking the bread with a layer of garlic butter and cheese! After cutting and flattening the bread, brush with seasoned garlic butter, top with a 1/4 cup of cheese, and bake until just melted (about 3-4 minutes).
Yes, French bread pizza freezes beautifully and reheats well! This can be done before or after baking, so this is great for meal prepping. Freeze your pizza on a plate or baking sheet for about 3 hours, then wrap them in multiple layers of foil and store in a freezer bag. When you’re ready to eat these, you can reheat them straight from frozen–Just check the reheating instructions below.
Yes, if you don’t have time to defrost your French bread pizza, you can bake it straight from the freezer! The important step is lowering the heat of the oven–You’ll start off low to thaw it out, then increase the temperature for browning and crisping up the crust!
If pizza was not cooked before freezing, bake at 325 degrees F for 10-15 minutes, then finish with 5-7 minutes at 425 degrees F. If the pizza was cooked before freezing, start with about 5 minutes at 325 degrees F and 3-5 at 425 degrees F.
Chicken Bacon Ranch French Bread Pizza
- 1 loaf French bread 16 ounces
- 3 tablespoons butter unsalted
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 pinch red pepper flakes
- 1/3 cup ranch dressing more if you prefer extra sauce
- 1 cup mozzarella shredded
- 1 pound chicken cooked and sliced
- 1/2 cup bacon
- optional: chopped fresh herbs sliced green onions, grated parmesan cheese, more red pepper flakes
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. In a small bowl, microwave the butter, olive oil, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and pepper flakes. Set aside.
- Cut a loaf of French bread horizontally, creating two even pieces. Place the bread (cut sides up) on a baking sheet. Pressing down with a baking sheet, flatten the bread so that it doesn’t curl during baking and to ensure that they are finished at the same time.
- Brush the butter and oil mixture on the cut side of both pieces of bread, making sure to get all the way to the edges. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of the mozzarella over the oil.
- Place the baking sheet into the oven for 3-4 minutes, just long enough for the cheese to melt and the bread to begin to toast. This layer ensures that your pizza won’t turn out soggy after putting on the remaining toppings!
- Remove the baking sheet from the oven, then spread the ranch dressing over the melted mozzarella cheese. Next, add on the sliced chicken, crumbled bacon, and remaining 3/4 cup of cheese.
- Bake pizzas for 10-12 minutes. Remove when edges are browned and cheese is bubbly. Allow to sit 2-3 minutes before slicing (otherwise the toppings want to slide right off).