California Pizza Kitchen, known within the food industry as CPK, is a casual dining restaurant chain that specializes in California-style pizza. The restaurant was started in 1985 by attorneys Rick Rosenfield and Larry Flax in Beverly Hills, California. The chain is widely known for its innovative and non traditional pizzas, such as the "Original BBQ Chicken Pizza", BLT, Thai Chicken, and Jamaican Jerk Chicken pizzas. They also serve various kinds of pasta, salads, soups, sandwiches and desserts. They have an extensive children's menu for children ages 10 and under which includes a variety of different pizzas, pastas, salad, and chicken.

The chain has over 230 locations in 32 US states and eleven other countries, including 26 California Pizza Kitchen ASAP kiosks designed to serve passengers at airports and shopping malls. The company licensed its name to Kraft Foods to distribute a line of premium frozen pizzas, in 2000.; Nestlé purchased Kraft's pizza lines in 2010.



Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake

California Pizza Kitchen Copycat Recipe

Serves 8

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 22 sheets, finely crushed with a rolling pin)
3 tablespoons sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter melted

3 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese
1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar, firmly packed
1 tablespoon all purpose flour plus
2 teaspoons all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 cup sour cream plus
2 tablespoon sour cream
3 large eggs
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups canned pumpkin puree

To make the crust: Put the graham cracker crumbs in a food processor fitted with the steel blade and process until they have a uniformly fine texture. Add the sugar and pulse to combine. With the machine running, pour the melted butter through the feed tube and continue processing just until the mixture forms a soft mass. Remove from the processor and firmly press the mixture into the base of a 9-inch spring form pan, spreading it evenly.

To make the filling: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater attachment, beat the cream cheese until soft, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the brown sugar and continue beating until thoroughly incorporated and creamy.

In a separate small bowl, stir together the flour, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg. Add the flour mixture to the cream cheese mixture and beat until thoroughly combined, stopping occasionally to scrape down the bowl. In the same way, beat in the sour cream and then, one at a time, the eggs, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla and pumpkin and beat until thoroughly combined.

Pour the filling into the prepared spring form pan and place on the center rack of the oven. Bake for 1 hour, test for doneness by gently moving the pan to see if the center of the cheesecake has firmed up - a sign of doneness - or is still slightly fluid (alternatively, check the cheesecake's internal temperature with an instant read thermometer, which should register 180 degrees). The cheesecake may require up to 20 minutes more baking time.

When it is done, let it cool to room temperature and then refrigerate it overnight before removing the side of the pan. Cut the cheesecake into wedges with a sharp knife.

New Flatbread Appetizers

California Pizza Kitchen has introduced a line of appetizer sized pizzas called California Flatbreads as permanent additions to its menu, priced at an average $5.95 each.

  • The Bianco is a white pizza topped with whipped truffle cream, Gorgonzola cheese, mozzarella cheese and fresh sage. 
  • The Shaved Mushroom + Spinach is topped with cremini mushrooms, sautĂ©ed spinach, California olive oil and Romano and Parmesan cheeses. 
  • The Spicy Fennel Sausage + Poblano is made with sausage, fresh mozzarella, fire-roasted chiles, Greek oregano and spicy marinara sauce.

Spinach and Artichoke Dip

California Pizza Kitchen Copycat Recipe
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup diced white onions or 3/4 cup yellow onion
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 crumbled bouillon cubes
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 cup sour cream
12 ounces frozen spinach, defrosted, drained, wrung out by hand and coarsely chopped
6 ounces artichoke bottoms, drained and cut into slices
1 cup finely shredded Monterey jack cheese
3/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce

In a large saucepan, warm the olive oil and butter over medium heat. When butter has melted, add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until wilted, 3-4 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook 2-3 minutes longer, stirring frequently and stopping before onion and garlic start to brown. Sprinkle the flour over and continue cooking, stirring continuously, until the mixture turns a golden blond color, about 10-15 minutes. Slowly add the stock, whisking continuously until it is smoothly incorporated. When the mixture begins to simmer, stir in the cream. Return to simmer.

Remove from heat and add the Parmesan, bouillon cubes, lemon juice and sugar and stir until thoroughly blended.  Add the sour cream, spinach, artichoke bottoms, Monterey Jack and Tabasco sauce. Stir until all ingredients are thoroughly combined and the cheese is melted. Transfer to a warm serving bowl and serve immediately, accompanied by tortilla chips, pita chips or toasted baguette slices. 

Cobb Salad

California Pizza Kitchen Copycat Recipe

Serves 4 Main Dish or 8 Appetizers

Garden Herb Ranch Dressing (see recipe below)
Grilled Garlic Chicken (see recipe below)
1 pound medium fresh beets
3/4 head iceberg lettuce, cored, rinsed, dried and cut into 3/4 inch square pieces
3/4 head romaine lettuce, separated, trimmed, rinsed, dried and cut into 3/4 inch pieces
3/4 pound diced smoked bacon, cooked until golden and crispy
2 pounds ripe tomatoes cut into 1/2 inch dice
2 ripe avocados cut into 1/2 inch dice
3 cups crumbled Gorgonzola cheese

Prepare garden herb ranch dressing and grilled garlic chicken. Set aside.

To prepare beets, bring about 6 quarts water to a boil. Carefully place beets in water and cook 45 minutes. After 45 minutes, add additional hot water if needed to cover beets. Cook an additional 45 minutes. Beets should be soft all the way through when done. Carefully transfer beets to a colander, and drain. Place beets in a bowl, and refrigerate 10 minutes or until beets are just warm to the touch. Slip skin from beets, and cut into 1/2 inch dice.

To assemble salad: In large mixing bowl, toss together the lettuces and dressing. Transfer equal parts to chilled serving bowls. Neatly layer rows of bacon, tomatoes, avocados, reserved chicken cubes and beets. Top with equal amounts of cheese.

Garden Herb Ranch Dressing
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon cold water
2 3/4 cups mayonnaise
1 cup buttermilk
7 tablespoons sour cream
2 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions (green and white parts)
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons minced fresh Italian parsley
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon minced fresh dill
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh oregano (or 1/4 teaspoon dried)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon minced fresh basil

In mixing bowl, use a fork to stir together the mustard and cold water until ingredients form a paste. Set aside 10 minutes. Add all remaining ingredients to bowl and whisk just until smooth. Do not over-mix or you will incorporate too much air into the dressing. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

Grilled Garlic Chicken
1 1/3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/3 tablespoons minced fresh garlic
2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons kosher salt
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (5 ounces each)

In mixing bowl, stir together the olive oil, garlic, soy sauce and salt. Turn chicken breasts in this marinade and leave to marinate at room temperature about 15 minutes. Preheat broiler, stove top grill or outdoor grill. If using broiler, set rack in center of oven. Broil or grill chicken breasts until cooked through, about 5 to 6 minutes per side. Remove from heat and cool slightly then cut into 1/4 inch cubes. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.

Brussels and Bacon Pizza

The Brussels and  Bacon Pizza is topped with sweet caramelized onions, smoked bacon, Romano and creamy goat cheese with black pepper. It contains Brussels sprouts that have been hand-separated, tossed in olive oil and charred to give a crispy and sweet texture that complements the other ingredients.

1 package store bought crust
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup Romano cheese
1 cup goat cheese
sliced onions
10 brussels sprouts, leave cut off
4 slices cooked bacon, broken into bite sized pieces

Preheat oven to 475 degrees.
On a large baking sheet, roll out the prepared pizza dough. Slather on the olive oil, minced garlic and cheeses.  Toss the sliced onions and brussel sprouts in olive oil to caramelize.  Place the mixture on top of the cheese. Place the pizza into the oven for 10-12 minutes until the cheese begins to bubble and the crust is fully cooked. Remove from oven and season with salt and pepper and top with the bacon bits. Let cool for a hot second or two and serve.