This Pesto French Bread Pizza with Grilled Chicken is a tasty and fun appetizer to serve during the big game!
I consider myself pretty lucky when it comes to winning contests. Back in high school, I won a trip to Italy. Then in college, I won a trip to the Final Four. Then a couple of years ago, I won a trip to the Lotus factory in Belgium. (Lotus makes Biscoff cookies….mmm, Biscoff cookies!) So, yeah, I think I’ve used up an entire lifetime of luck at this point.
I’ve never won the lottery, though…unless you count winning a couple bucks on a scratch-off ticket that Santa left in my stocking one year. Of course, I guess I’d have to actually buy lotto tickets in order to win. Have you guys ever looked at the odds of winning legit money in the lottery? (Hint: They aren’t good odds.) In the end, I’m just not much of a betting kinda guy. I had a good friend back in college who basically ran a sports betting business on the side. I’ve always loved sports, but I know enough to steer clear of sports betting. The problem is I always (always!) think my team is going to win the game, so I would be terrible at sports betting.
Speaking of sports betting, there’s kind of a big game coming up this weekend, and I know a lot of money will be wagered on both sides. But have y’all ever heard of prop bets? A prop bet (short for proposition bet) is a side bet that has nothing to do with the actual outcome of the game. For instance, at the start of this season, there were prop bets out there on whether Roger Goodell (the NFL commissioner) and Tom Brady (QB for New England Patriots) would shake hands before the first game. There were also prop bets on how long the New England fans would boo Goodell before the game. The over/under was set at 35.5 seconds, and the fans definitely took the over. (As a refresher, Goodell spearheaded the Deflategate scandal despite a complete lack of evidence. I’m not even a New England fan, and it was obvious that Goodell was on a witch hunt there.)
Now for this weekend’s game, the Patriots are currently 4.5 point favorites over the Eagles, and the over/under (total number of points) is set at 48.5. But those are the mainstream bets. The prop bets for the Super Bowl get a little wacky…and fun! There are more than 1,000 prop bets out there, but some of the more unique ones include: what color will the Gatorade bath be, how many times will the announcers mention the Minnesota weather, how long will it take Pink to sing the national anthem and how many commercials will Peyton Manning appear in? Even if you’re not into betting for real, you could take these prop bets and come up with a pretty fun Super Bowl game for everyone to play. After all, there’s more to the Super Bowl than the commercials, right? …right?
Speaking of the Super Bowl, do you have your game day snack table ready? I love football appetizers, and the Super Bowl is pretty much the perfect chance to make all of our favorite snacks. Take this Pesto French Bread Pizza with Grilled Chicken. There is so much awesome going on in this one…and it doesn’t take that long to make, either. Plus, think of all of the ooo’s and aaah’s from the crowd when you walk into the room carrying two huge slabs of Pesto French Bread Pizza! You can bet on that. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist the cheesy pun there!)
French bread pizza was totally a staple in our house when I was a kid. Pizza sauce, cheese, pepperoni. How can you go wrong there? I took that classic idea and gave it a makeover with this Pesto French Bread Pizza with Grilled Chicken. There is so much flavor going on here! You might remember that we made ~2 gallons of basil pesto with our insane amount of basil from the garden this past summer. We froze the pesto in snack-sized sandwich bags, and I pulled out a couple of bags for this Pesto French Bread Pizza. (Store-bought pesto could totally work here, too, though!) Add in some fresh tomatoes, cheese and grilled chicken, and you’ve got one heck of a Super Bowl appetizer right here! Enjoy the big game (and the yummy eats) this weekend!
Pesto French Bread Pizza with Grilled Chicken
For the Chicken
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
For the Pizza
- 1 loaf French bread
- ⅔ cup basil pesto homemade or storebought
- 1¼ cups mozzarella cheese shredded
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
- ¾ cup red onion sliced
- ¼ cup fresh basil chopped
- Parmesan cheese grated
For the Chicken
- Brush the chicken with olive oil and then season with salt and pepper.
- Using a grill (outdoors) or grill pan (indoors), grill the chicken over medium-high heat for 5-7 minutes per side, or until completely cooked. Transfer chicken to a cutting board and slice into strips.
For the Pizza
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Slice the French bread in half lengthwise. Place both halves cut-side up on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Spread pesto evenly over both halves of pizza. Divide mozzarella evenly between both halves and then top with grilled chicken, tomatoes and onions. Sprinkle fresh basil over top of halves.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until cheese has fully melted.
- Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese before serving.