BBQ Chicken Picnic Loaf ~ Giant Calzone

bbq chicken calzone

From chicken salad for school lunches to various after school snacks, it’s been all about the children lately. It is so hard to come up with original packable lunches and after school snacks that aren’t boring. My family prefers sandwiches to hot lunches because they have such a short time to eat and hang out with friends. However, that means that when they get home around 3/3.30 they are starving and ready to scarf down anything in sight. I like us all to eat dinner together once my husband gets home but for them that is eternity. If they eat fruit or granola bars, they are back in the fridge and store cupboard rummaging for something else like animals in the wild. When I am trying to cook dinner, there is nothing more annoying than the constant whining and shuffling about in the kitchen. So, lately, I’ve taken to preparing a more substantial snack that feeds them into quiet submission and I can have my mind and kitchen back to create in peace.

The other day, when I poached the chicken for the salad, I had one extra breast left over in the fridge. I decided to make their favourite BBQ chicken pizza but in a loaf or giant calzone. It comes together really quickly if you have some pizza dough handy or bread dough in the freezer. Here at 5500 feet altitude, pizza dough rises in no time so I can make this very quickly. I use store bought BBQ sauce, red onions , cilantro, shredded chicken and some cheese.

It take 30 minutes in a hot oven and comes out crunchy on the outside and soft and gooey inside. You can make these into individual calzones, but I went the easy route and just made one giant calzone or as we have in the UK, a picnic loaf. This is great for lunch and supper also, with a salad or a bowl of steaming soup.

bbq chicken picnic loaf


BBQ Chicken Picnic Loaf ~ Giant Calzone


Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

  • 3 cups bread/strong flour
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 sachet instant yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups shredded, cooked chicken
  • ½ large red onion, chopped
  • handful of cilantro, chopped
  • ½ cup BBQ sauce (or more as needed)
  • 1-2 cups shredded Cheddar/Mozzarella/Monterey Jack cheese
  2. Proof the yeast in the warm water with the sugar. Leave it aside to get frothy.
  3. Meanwhile, add the flour and salt to the bowl of a heavy duty mixer (easiest way, but you can do this by hand) and attach the dough hook.
  4. Once the yeast is nice and frothy, add the olive oil and slowly pour into the flour.
  5. Mix until a dough forms and knead with dough hook till you get a soft, smooth dough.
  6. It can take 5 to 10 minutes to get a nice smooth dough.
  7. Depending on your humidity or dryness, you may need to add more flour or more water.
  8. Do so by tablespoons.
  9. The dough should not be tacky or wet, nor should it be dry and flaky.
  10. The perfect dough is soft and smooth.
  11. Once you achieve the right consistency, oil a bowl and the dough and cover.
  12. Put aside in a warm place to rise and double in size, about an hour or two depending on the warmth of your kitchen.
  13. Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and knead into a smooth ball.
  14. Preheat oven to 400℉/200℃
  15. Roll out the dough to a 12" pizza round, add the filling ingredients by layering.
  16. Once all the filling has been incorporated, pull up the sides of the dough on top and twist shut.
  17. Place on a baking sheet and into the oven for 30 minutes or until the loaf is brown all over.
  18. Take out and cool a little and cut into slices and serve.


ready to bake

                                   out of the oven

  bbq chicken picnic loaf                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Hope you’re all having a great week! Thank you for reading and for your wonderful comments.

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Nazneen Written by:

Indian by ancestry, American by motherhood and British by choice, I live in beautiful Colorado with my husband and four kids and, I love coffee...all kinds of coffee.


    • Nazneen
      January 29, 2013

      Thanks Paula! isn’t rotisserie chicken great? Can be used for so many great things. Thanks for stopping by!

  1. January 26, 2013

    Oh, this has got my name written all over it! I love this, it’s perfect for so many things, parties, picnics…!
    LinsFood recently posted..Amuse Bouche and CanapesMy Profile

    • Nazneen
      January 29, 2013

      Thanks Lin! It was delicious and you’re right, perfect for many thing….Superbowl? I think so.

  2. January 24, 2013

    I have the same issues as well. They rummage the cupboards for stuff that is definitely not healthy, and dig into refrigerators for stuff that are most unhealthy. Now this is such a lovely idea! And can be made in advance too. Awesome!!
    Minnie@thelady8home recently posted..Bruschetta with Mushroom sabziMy Profile

    • Nazneen
      January 25, 2013

      Thanks Minnie! It sure gets to be a headache when they all come home whining. This kept them quiet for a bit.

  3. mariyam
    January 24, 2013

    Nice! I think we’ll be doing this for the ski trip. I’ll tell you how it goes. Thanks!

    • Nazneen
      January 25, 2013

      When you guys going skiing? It should be good to take along. Let me know how it turns out.

  4. January 24, 2013

    This really is a good idea for tiding the kids over till dinner time. I always have the same issue – there is always a kid standing in front of an open refrigerator, willing it to spew some kind of quick snack that is neither fruit nor yogurt :-/
    Needful Things recently posted..Shakarkandi (Spicy Sweet Potato)My Profile

    • Nazneen
      January 25, 2013

      I know, happens everyday at my house!

  5. January 23, 2013

    Mmmm sharing would definitely be a difficulty with a deliciousness of this bread :)

    Choc Chip Uru
    Choc Chip Uru recently posted..Eat Breakfast!My Profile

    • Nazneen
      January 24, 2013

      Sharing is hard, I agree. I share the not so good stuff freely :)

  6. January 23, 2013

    Maybe you’re suppose to share but do I haaave to? :(

    This looks incredible. I could be happy on a picnic, on my bed….on the moon with this, lol. I kid (maybe)
    The Squishy Monster recently posted..Kimchi & Bulgogi 4evaMy Profile

    • Nazneen
      January 24, 2013

      No, you’re not supposed to share….at least that’s my philosophy when it comes to good food!

  7. January 23, 2013

    That calzone looks so delicious and I bet is smelt fantastic as it was cooking. Your children are very blessed to have this put in front of them as soon as they walk in from school xx
    hotlyspiced recently posted..The Young AdultMy Profile

    • Nazneen
      January 24, 2013

      Thanks Charlie. It did smell good when it was baking and yes, they are lucky but will never say so!

  8. January 22, 2013

    Reading your post about your afternoon and the kids…it feels like you are actually describing things happening in my house! I can’t believe our kids are so similar. I better try to make this calzone so they get filled up until dinner time. :) What a nice way to get the peace and quiet back while cooking dinner. Thanks for the tips.
    Amy Tong recently posted..The Holiday Feast RecapMy Profile

    • Nazneen
      January 24, 2013

      Thank you Amy! It’s so hectic when kids get home and all my peace and quiet goes “poof”. I hope you are able to find some quiet!

  9. Nazneen:
    This giant calzone looks amazing! You made me hungry, very hungry…And its filling has everything that is good – especially the chicken, cheese, and bbq sauce. Wow! If I make it here, I am pretty sure of having to hide it away from my hubby and children – otherwise I won’t taste a single piece. Kudos! xx
    Denise Browning@From Brazil To You recently posted..Avocado Crème Brûlée and Our First Giveaway…My Profile

    • Nazneen
      January 24, 2013

      Thanks Denise! It is pretty good and my hubby is the same way. He loves BBQ chicken pizza so he loved this. Hope your family enjoys it!

  10. January 22, 2013

    Oh my this looks really yummy! I love a good calzone, and I like that this one has chicken in it!
    Natalie recently posted..No-Bake Energy Bites.My Profile

    • Nazneen
      January 24, 2013

      Thank you Natalie! This is really good if you like BBQ flavours. Thanks for stopping by!

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