Make Perfect Copycat Costco Chicken Bakes In An Air Fryer

It's easy to gravitate toward the $1.50 hot dog and soda combo at Costco's food court, but sitting right beside it on the menu is an equally delicious treat: Costco's Chicken Bake. Featuring a mouthwatering combination of chicken, bacon, Caesar dressing, and cheese all stuffed inside of a warm log of dough that's baked to golden perfection, this food court staple is both filling and delicious.

Fortunately, you don't need to wait until your next Costco run to sink your teeth into this massive handheld. Mashed recipe developer Erin Johnson has created a copycat Costco Chicken Bake recipe that you can use to make the meal from the comfort of your own home — and without having to turn on the oven. Instead, Johnson calls upon the air fryer for her food court copycat, which she says will get you closest to the Chicken Bakes that Costco makes. Since air fryers are essentially just miniature convection ovens, using one to make these at-home Chicken Bakes gives them that satisfyingly crispy exterior while still keeping the inside of the dough pocket chewy and moist.

The air fryer cuts the cooking time in half

Since most air fryers are relatively compact, Erin Johnson says the cooking time for this homemade Costco food court fare is approximately six minutes, which is just under half of the cooking time you would need when using a traditional oven. Moreover, the dish hardly requires any prep, making these Chicken Bakes perfect for those nights when you need something to eat in a jiff.

As Johnson notes, this recipe is also great for using up any leftover rotisserie or grilled chicken taking up space in your fridge. To make the recipe even easier, you can also incorporate pre-cooked bacon crumbles and pre-shredded cheese. These ingredients — as well as the Chicken Bake's dark-horse ingredient, Caesar dressing — can be loaded onto premade pizza dough. Johnson did note, however, that if you don't want traditional chicken, you can experiment with fillings of your own. "You're essentially making a fancy pocket sandwich, so the sky is the limit," she told Mashed.

After sealing up the pizza dough around your fillings of choice, pop each Chicken Bake in the air fryer for just six minutes, or until the crust turns a nice, golden brown. Coincidentally, that's just about the amount of time you'll need to make a quick side salad, which Johnson recommends pairing with her copycat recipe.