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

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

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

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

  1. 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

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

  2. 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

    • 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!

    • 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!