Papa John’s Papadia Recipe

Papadia is an Italian-style flatbread sandwich from Papa John’s, heartiest than the average sandwich you are used to. It is inspired by Northern Italy folded flatbread “piadina”, through Papa John’s uses their original pizza dough.

Basically, this dish consists of pizzas folded into tempting sandwiches, with a crispy crust and melting cheese pulls that might just replace your regular pizza order.

Although there are four different versions of Papadias, we’re going to create a classic Grilled BBQ Chicken Papadia — starting from making the dough to the BBQ sauce, to the grilled chicken.

Give it a try.

How to Make Papa John’s Papadia

If you have ever made calzone pizza, making Papadia should be even easier since you don’t have to seal the ends.

Papadia is a perfect go-to meal for lunch or dinner in any season and weather. It is the ultimate comfort food and a favorite snack among pizza lovers.

Here’s what you need to make an original Papadia. Don’t be scared off by the ingredient list — it’s simpler than it seems.

Ingredients:

(6 servings)

For dough:

  • 515 ml water
  • 800g flour Tipo “00”
  • 16g sea salt
  • 5g instant yeast

For BBQ sauce:

  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • Salt
  • 1 tbsp Cholula hot sauce
  • 1 tbsp molasses
  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water

For crème fraiche ranch:

  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 tbsp chives
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp fresh chopped dill
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup Crème fraîche
  • 1/2 cup mayo

For garlic sage butter:

  • 1/2 cup salted butter
  • 4 whole sage leaves
  • 3 cloves garlic

For BBQ chicken bacon assembly:

  • 4 boneless and skinless chicken thighs, cooked and sliced
  • 1lb thick-sliced cooked bacon
  • 2 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 2 cups grated smoked Gouda
  • 1 sweet onion
  • BBQ sauce for spreading

Instructions:

Papadia is the perfect blend of a crunchy sandwich with a cheese and smoky grilled chicken. It is perfectly crispy on the outside, but tender inside, making an exceptional fusion of textures. Even though the BBQ sauce and the grilled chicken are definitely important to achieve the smoky flavors, the main role still goes to the dough. You have to make it a day ahead and leave it overnight, so it gets the right texture.

Step 1:

Make the dough for your Papadia. Combine the flour and sea salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, add the yeast to water (95 °F). Once dissolved, pour that mixture into the flour.

Mix the flour and water into a rough dough and knead it by hand in the bowl until it gets extensible and smooth. Shape the dough into a ball and leave it in a greased bowl.

Cover it in plastic and let it rise for about 2 hours at room temperature. Then put it in the fridge overnight.

Step 2:

Take your dough out of the fridge and punch it down. Divide it up into 6 even pieces and roll them into balls. Place them well spaced apart on a baking sheet or in a proofing box, generously coating them with flour.

Cover the dough with an inverted baking sheet or lid and leave it at room temperature.

Step 3:

After 3-4 hours generously sprinkle the surface of each dough piece with flour before punching it down with your fist. Keep in mind to leave a ¼-inch border around the pizza.

Here comes our favorite part:

Grab the dough and drive it over your fist so that the gravity pulls it down. Then shimmy it around so it stretches evenly, and you get a 12-14 inch piece of dough.

Note: make sure to adequately flour the underside of the dough.

Step 4:

Prepare the BBQ sauce. Combine all the ingredients, except for salt and pepper, in a medium saucepan and whisk it. Bring the sauce to boil over medium-high and reduce for 1-2 minutes. Then, turn off the heat and season it to taste with salt and pepper.

Pro tip: sieve the BBQ sauce through a fine-mesh strainer. It will get smoother.

Step 5:

Prepare the crème fraiche ranch. Combine all the ingredients in a medium-size bowl.

Step 6:

For the garlic sage butter, you need to melt butter in a small saucepan, at medium heat. Next, remove it from the stove and add sage leaves and garlic. Stir the hot butter and let it sit for 5 minutes to soak the flavors.

Step 7:

Preheat your pizza oven to 400-700 °F or place the baking steel and preheat it to the max temperature for 45 minutes before baking.

Step 8:

While the oven is heating up, you can grill your chicken. Season your chicken thighs with your preferred seasoning. Salt and pepper are totally fine. Then, heat up a grill pan and grill your chicken tights flipping them constantly until the internal temperature is 165 °F. Slice each thigh into ⅓ pieces and leave them aside.

Step 9:

Combine your cheeses in a separate medium-size bowl.

Step 10:

Finally, it’s time to assemble your Papadia. Season your pizza with the BBQ sauce, spreading it evenly. Add the cheese — don’t be gritty. Then, add the cooked bacon and the chicken and top it off with some BBQ sauce. Add the sliced onion, drizzle some extra virgin olive oil, and place your Papadia in the pizza oven for 24 seconds at 180 °F. And no, that’s not a typo.

But don’t worry if you don’t have a pizza oven. If you use a regular oven, just leave it for about 4-7 minutes until the borders are golden brown.

Step 11:

Take the Papadia out of the oven. Brush the crust with garlic and sage butter and fold it.

The aroma will be mouthwatering!

Ingredient Substitution

Nothing tastes as Papa John’s Papadia. However, you can still replace some of its elements.

If you simply don’t have all of the ingredients in your fridge or don’t want to use some of them, here’s what to use instead.

Tortillas

Does the “dia” in “Papadia” bring up any ideas? Tortilla! When you’re in a mood for Papadia, but there is no fresh dough around, tortillas are a great substitute. They always come in handy for a quick and crispy pizza on the fly. Just place the tortilla on a grill until it’s brown. Then follow all of the steps we did before to assemble the Papadia, bake it for about 15 minutes, and voilà!

What to Serve with Papa John’s Papadia

Papadia is a complete and fulfilling meal by itself. Since it’s quite flavorsome, you need to serve it with something that complements these qualities.

Here are the best options to serve with the homemade Papadia without overdoing it.

Heinz Chili Sauce

Papadia is full of textures and flavor. So, it might seem like there is no need for the extra sauce. But Heinz Chili Sauce adds a much-needed refreshing note and creates even deeper and more complex flavors.

Broccoli or any Grilled Veggies

If you want to balance the flavors of the cheesy Papadia, add some light components to brighten up the dish. Broccoli or any other grilled veggies will be a nutritious and light side. Try it!

How to Reheat Papa John’s Papadia

No matter how sad it sounds — no one likes a day-old pizza. But we know how to make it taste as good as freshly baked.

How to Reheat Papa John’s Papadia in a Skillet

Reheating the Papadia in a skillet is probably the quickest way to revive its flavors. Just heat up a medium-size skillet on medium heat and place your Papadia in it, sprinkling some water on top of it. Place a lid on top of the skillet and heat up the Papadia for a few more minutes.

How to Reheat Papa John’s Papadia in an Oven

The main idea of reheating Papadia is to get it warm — but not too warm. To reheat it in the oven, just preheat the oven to 375 °F, place a foil sheet on a baking tray, and let it heat up for a few minutes. Then, take it out, place your Papadia in the baking tray, and put the tray back in the oven. After 10 minutes you should get a fine, crispy Papadia.

How to Store Papa John’s Papadia

We could bet you will have no Papadia left once you take it out of the oven. But if you do, you need to know how to properly store it.

Store Papadia in the Fridge

To prevent your Papadia from getting soggy, place a paper towel at the bottom of the container and between the cuts if you store several Papadias together. Close the lid, trying to extract all the air. It will last up to 3-5 days.

Store Papadia in the Freezer

To store Papadia in a freezer you could also use a container, with no need for a paper towel. As an alternative, opt for some plastic wrap or aluminum foil for each Papadia.

papa john's papadia

Papa John’s Papadia Recipe

Wonderful BBQ Grilled Chicken & Bacon Papadia — a melting cheese sandwich with a tender but spicy smoky flavor. Although complex, it is a filling treat for any pizza and sandwich lovers! The result will be worth it.
5 from 10 votes
Prep Time 45 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 2 hrs
Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6
Equipment
  • large bowl
  • saucepan
  • whisk
  • Baking steel
Ingredients
  
For the dough
  • 515 ml water
  • 800 g flour TIpo "00"
  • 16 g sea salt
  • 5 g instant yeast
For the BBQ sauce
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ tsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • salt
  • 1 tbsp Cholula hot sauce
  • 1 tbsp molasses
  • ¾ cup ketchup
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • ¼ cup water
For the crème fraiche ranch
  • ¼ tsp onion powder
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 tbsp chives
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp fresh chopped dill
  • cup buttermilk
  • ½ cup crème fraîche
  • ½ cup mayo
For the garlic sage butter
  • ½ cup salted butter
  • 4 whole sage leaves
  • 3 garlic cloves
For the BBQ chicken bacon assembly
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs cooked and sliced
  • 1 lb thick-sliced cooked bacon
  • 2 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese
  • ½ cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 2 cups grated smoked Gouda
  • 1 sweet onion
  • BBQ sauce for spreading
Instructions
 
  • Make the dough for your Papadia. Combine the flour and sea salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, add the yeast to water (95 °F). Once dissolved, pour that mixture into the flour. Mix the flour and water into a rough dough and knead it by hand in the bowl until it gets extensible and smooth. Shape the dough into a ball and leave it in a greased bowl. Cover it in plastic and let it rise for about2 hours at room temperature. Then put it in the fridge overnight.
  • Take your dough out of the fridge and punch it down. Divide it up into 6 even pieces and roll them into balls.Place them well spaced apart on a baking sheet or in a proofing box, generously coating them with flour. Cover the dough with an inverted baking sheet or lid and leave it at room temperature.
  • After 3-4 hours generously sprinkle the surface of each dough piece with flour before punching it down with your fist. Keep in mind to leave a ¼ inch border around the pizza. Grab the dough and drive it over your fist so that the gravity pulls it down. Then shimmy it around so it stretches evenly, and you get a 12-14 inch piece of dough. Note: make sure to adequately flour the underside of the dough.
  • Prepare the BBQ sauce. Combine all the ingredients, except for salt and pepper, in a medium saucepan and whisk it. Bring the sauce to boil over medium-high and reduce for 1-2 minutes. Then, turn off the heat and season it to taste with salt and pepper. Pro tip: sieve the BBQ sauce through a fine-mesh strainer. It will get smoother.
  • Prepare the crème fraiche ranch. Combine all the ingredients in a medium-size bowl.
  • For the garlic sage butter, you need to melt butter in a small saucepan, at medium heat. Next, remove it from the stove and add sage leaves and garlic. Stir the hot butter and let it sit for 5 minutes to soak the flavors.
  • Preheat your pizza oven to 400-700 °F or place the baking steel and preheat it to the max temperature for 45 minutes before baking.
  • While the oven is heating up, you can grill your chicken. Season your chicken thighs with your preferred seasoning. Salt and pepper are totally fine. Then, heat up a grill pan and grill your chicken tights flipping them constantly, until the internal temperature is 165 °F. Slice each thigh into ⅓ pieces and leave them aside.
  • Combine your cheeses in a separate medium-size bowl.
  • Finally, it’s time to assemble your Papadia. Season your pizza with the BBQ sauce, spreading it evenly. Add the cheese — don’t be gritty. Then, add the cooked bacon and the chicken and top it off with some BBQ sauce. Add the sliced onion, drizzle some extra virgin olive oil, and place your Papadia in the pizza oven for 24seconds at 180 °F. And no, that’s not a typo. But don’t worry if you don’t have a pizza oven. If you use a regular oven, just leave it for about 4-7 minutes until the borders are golden brown.
  • Take the Papadia out of the oven. Brush the crust with garlic and sage butter and fold it. The aroma will be mouthwatering!
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