This week, restaurant chain California Pizza Kitchen (CPK) added plant-based chicken to its menu at all of its 155 corporate-owned locations across the United States and Canada. The new plant-based chicken, called “Don’t Call Me Chicken,” is made by Worthington Food Service—the foodservice arm of food brand Worthington Foods—and is featured as a protein on the new BBQ “Don’t Call Me Chicken” Pizza. The new take on CPK’s classic BBQ Chicken Pizza features a vegan crust topped with the seitan-based chicken, dairy-based gouda cheese, onions, cilantro, and barbecue sauce. A spokesperson for CPK confirmed to VegNews that the pizza can be ordered vegan by removing the dairy-based cheese and barbecue sauce (which contains non-vegan sugar).
“We’re thrilled to introduce this new option for guests who are flexitarian, looking to cut down on meat, or just want to try a fresh twist on our classic pizza,” Brian Sullivan, Executive Head Chef and Senior Vice President of Culinary Innovation at CPK, said. “Our BBQ Chicken Pizza has been the cornerstone of our California-style menu since our first restaurant opened 35 years ago, and now we’re proud to bring the pizza that put us on the map to an even broader consumer subset.”
While the new pizza is not vegan as-is, the plant-based chicken can be ordered on CPK’s other pizzas and salads. Currently, all of CPK’s pizza crusts, aside from its cauliflower crusts, are vegan. As for sauces, the Pizza Marinara and Spicy Marinara Sauce are both vegan. The only vegan salad dressing option CPK currently offers is oil and vinegar. The chain’s vegan and vegetarian guidelines can be found here.