Dare I say this Costco Chicken Bake is even better than the original? Crispy pizza dough is filled with a creamy and cheesy sauce, sweet ham, and juicy chicken. It's topped with more cheese, then baked to golden perfection.
The Best Copycat Costco Chicken Bake Recipe
Whenever my husband and I would go to Costco, we'd always order a chicken bake to enjoy on the ride home. But honestly, it'd be a hit or miss. Sometimes the inside would be too dry or I'd only get 2 pieces of chicken. How to solve this problem: make your own!
I'm being completely honest when I say this recipe for Costco Chicken Bake is way better than the original's. This recipe is almost like a hybrid between a chicken bake and a chicken alfredo calzone. The sauce is extra creamy, cheesy, and flavorful from the lemon juice, mustard, and green onion. Two different meat fillings give you a delicious sweet and savory moment. And the crispy cheese that's baked on top? Drool!
Not to mention, these easy Costco Chicken Bakes are perfect for a party. They're quite big so cut them in half for the perfect portion. They'd also be great as a holiday side dish, after-school snack, or to pack up for lunch.
What's a Chicken Bake?
You can either order a chicken bake at Costco's food court or take home pre-made ones from their freezer aisle. The description on these boxes say a chicken bake is "stuffed with chicken breast strips with rib meat; mozzarella, provolone, and parmesan cheese; smoky bacon; creamy caesar dressing; and green onions in a hand-rolled crust".
In this recipe, you'll get all those delicious flavor components but zhooshed up a bit! These Costco Chicken Bakes are extra saucy, creamy, and luscious. We're also building layers and layers of flavor with the easiest ingredients. Making it from scratch will be so worth it!
This Costco Chicken Bake recipe starts with a classic roux and then we amp it up! It's honestly so good!
- Unsalted butter and all-purpose flour: for the roux. I prefer unsalted butter so I can have better control of the seasoning overall.
- Onion and garlic: Delicious aromatics that lend a lot of flavor into the sauce.
- Milk: This keep the sauce really creamy. Whole fat milk is best.
- Chicken bone broth: I cook exclusively with bone broth. It's rich in collagen, supports digestion, and has anti-inflammatory components. I also find it less salty than boxed or canned broth.
- Lemon juice and dijon mustard: To mimic the taste of Caesar dressing that's used in the original.
- Parmesan and mozzarella cheese: Keeping the sauce extra cheesy!
- Deli ham: Using ham instead of bacon adds a subtle sweetness.
- Green onion: To add a fresh element.
- Cooked chicken breast: You can definitely use rotisserie chicken for this! Or steam, poach, or bake a chicken breast before starting on this recipe.
- Store-bought pizza dough: I used Garlic & Herb pizza dough for a little extra oomph.
- Egg: for the egg wash.
- Cheddar cheese: The crispy cheese on top is one of the best parts!
How To Make A Chicken Bake
- Make the sauce. Start with a classic roux, then add in the liquids, flavoring elements, meat, and cheese. It should resemble a creamy Alfredo-like sauce. Then, let it cool in the fridge for an hour. This will help prevent the sauce from leaking out when baking.
- Prepare the crust. Let the pizza dough come to room temperature for easy handling and preheat the oven. Roll the dough into 4 rectangles.
- Assemble the Costco Chicken Bakes. Once the hour is up, spoon the filling onto each piece of dough. Leave a 1" perimeter and remember, it's better to add less filling than to overstuff them and have leakage.
- Roll them up. Brush 3 edges with the egg wash and then roll them like a burrito. Short sides in, followed by the long edges. Make sure the long edge with the egg wash is last!
- Bake. Bake the chicken bakes until they're nice and golden. I like to broil them for a couple minutes at the end to get the cheese topping extra crispy.
Tips For Making The Best Chicken Bake
- Make sure to use warm milk. I microwave mine for about 1 minute right before adding it to the roux. This will keep the sauce extra smooth and silky.
- Don't skip the cooling time! A cold filling makes assembling the chicken bakes much easier, prevents leakage during the bake, and keeps the crust from getting soggy.
- Let the pizza dough come to room temperature. Take it out of the bag and let it sit on the counter for 30 minutes. Roll it out to a rectangle, then let it sit for another 10-15 minutes before stuffing them. This allows the gluten to relax so the crust isn't too chewy.
- Be generous with the egg wash! It'll create a perfect seal at the seam and also give the exterior a picture-perfect brown crust.
Can I Air Fry It?
You definitely can! They're pretty hefty so make sure they fit first. Air fry at 350F for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Once the dough is browned, turn the heat up to 400F for 1-3 minutes for the crispy cheese.
If you have any leftover chicken bakes, wrap them tightly in foil and place them into a large zip-top bag. Store in the fridge for up to 4 days.
It's better to underfill the chicken bakes than to overstuff them. If you have leftover filling, use it as a pasta sauce! Cook the pasta and reheat the sauce in a skillet. Add the pasta to the warm sauce, along with some of the pasta cooking water, and mix well. You can also throw in frozen peas or spinach for some color.
Make Them In Advance
You can easily make the filling in advance. Cook as instructed, let it cool completely, then transfer to an air-tight container. Store in the fridge for up to 5 days. When you're ready, continue with the recipe to finish making the Chicken Bakes.
Or you can keep some in the freezer for a ready-to-eat meal! Cook the Chicken Bake as instructed and let them cool completely. Wrap each Chicken Bake individually in plastic wrap and place into a freezer-safe, zip-top bag. It'll be good in the freezer for 3 months.
To reheat, let the Chicken Bake thaw in the fridge overnight. Toast, bake, or air-fry to warm them up again. Keep the temperature low (around 250 degrees F) for 15-20 minutes. You can also microwave them but it won't be as crispy.
What to Serve with Chicken Bakes?
These Costco Chicken Bakes are hefty and very filling! To make them into a complete dish, serve them with a side of veggies.
- Fall Harvest Salad
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta, Almonds, and Balsamic Glaze
- Classic Cobb Salad with Red Wine Vinaigrette
- Shrimp Scampi Zucchini Boats
- Spinach and Strawberry Salad
Costco Chicken Bake
- 3 tablespoon unsalted butter
- ⅓ cup diced onion
- 2-3 cloves garlic minced
- 3 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- ½ cup milk warmed
- ¾ cup chicken bone broth
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon dijon mustard
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 2 slices deli ham cubed
- 1 green onion thinly sliced
- 1 cooked chicken breast cut into ¼" cubes
- 2- 1 lb store-bought pizza dough room temp
- 1 egg for the egg wash
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Start with the filling. In a pot, melt butter over medium-high heat and add onion. Cook for 2 minutes until edges start to get translucent, then add garlic to cook for 30 seconds.
- Whisk in flour to create a roux. Let toast for 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Season lightly with salt & pepper.
- Gradually whisk in milk until homogenous. Then stir in chicken broth, lemon juice, and mustard. Season with ½ teaspoon salt and pepper each. Turn heat to medium-low and let simmer for 3-4 minutes to thicken.
- Add Parmesan, mozzarella, ham, green onion, and chicken. Turn off the heat and let the cheese melt. Transfer to a heat-safe bowl and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, remove the pizza dough from the wrapper and let sit on the countertop for 30 minutes to rest. Preheat the oven to 475°F and line a baking sheet with foil.
- Divide each pizza dough in half. On a lightly floured surface, roll each piece into a rectangle, using fingers to gently stretch out the edges. Be careful not to make it too thin.
- Whisk egg with 1-2 tablespoon water to create an egg wash. Set aside.
- Divide the filling between the 4 pieces of dough, leaving 1" off all sides. Brush egg wash onto both short ends and one long end. Tuck in the short ends, then the dry edge, topped by the egg-washed long edge. Carefully roll seam-side down and onto the baking sheet. Leave space between each chicken bake.
- Brush egg wash all over top and sides of chicken bakes. Sprinkle cheddar cheese on top.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until browned. Option to broil at the end for extra crispy cheese.