What is the California Pizza Kitchen BBQ “Don’t Call Me Chicken” Pizza?
It’s CPK’s Original BBQ Chicken Pizza, but with a plant-based chicken substitute. So it has the same smoked Gouda, red onions, fresh cilantro, and BBQ sauce as the original, but the bawk bawk meat has been replaced with a 100 percent meatless vegetarian product that’s made from soy and wheat.
How is it?
Well, it tastes like a California Pizza Kitchen Original BBQ Chicken Pizza. Although, not EXACTLY like one. The flavors of the cheese, onions, cilantro, and especially the BBQ sauce do an admirable job at masking the fact that the protein is not chicken. Even when biting into the plant-based meat with the other ingredients, it’s difficult to tell it’s something other than chicken.
But, with the pizza I ordered, I thought the barbecue sauce flavor wasn’t as bold as what I’ve tasted with the many regular Original BBQ Chicken Pizzas I’ve had. Of course, maybe it was just with my order, and you may have a different experience. But, overall, I did enjoy it, and most eaters won’t be able to tell it’s faux faux meat.
However, that changes when one tries to eat the plant-based meat on its own. It looks marinated, but it tastes like what I imagine a soy and wheat product would taste like. In other words, it’s a bit bland. So, Public Service Announcement alert, don’t eat the plant-based chicken by itself.
Anything else you need to know?
Plant-based meats haven’t been about being a healthier option for us. It’s been about being a healthier option for our planet. Holy cow! I mean, holy faux cow! Did I write that? That is deep. Sorry. It’s about using fewer resources to produce the plants to make the meat substitute than what it would take to raise animals for meat.
But if you’re curious, a slice of this has roughly the same nutrition numbers as a slice of The Original BBQ Chicken, except the one with real meat has ten more calories, ten more milligrams of cholesterol, ten fewer milligrams of sodium, and one more gram of protein per slice.
Also, at least at my local CPK, a $1 premium over the original version.
California Pizza Kitchen’s BBQ “Don’t Call Me Chicken” Pizza is a delicious vegetarian version of its classic menu item.
Purchased Price: $17.99*
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 slice) 180 calories, 5 grams of fat, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 10 milligrams of cholesterol, 490 milligrams of sodium, 25 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 3 grams of sugar, and 10 grams of protein.
*Because I live on a rock in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, things are a bit pricier here. You’ll probably pay less than I did.