There’s a place for authenticity and tradition, and then there’s a place for BBQ Chicken Pizza. Who can resist pizza topped with shredded chicken, sweet-and-smoky barbecue sauce, and melty cheese? No one, that’s who!
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Why You’ll Love This Easy BBQ Chicken Pizza Recipe
- A Restaurant-Style Favorite You Can Make at Home. You can order it at a bar or your local pizzeria, but there’s no reason you can’t make it at home! Like my Buffalo Chicken Pizza, and Flatbread Pizza, this BBQ chicken pizza makes for an easy weeknight dinner that everyone loves.
- Repurpose Your Leftovers. Cook once, eat twice! Make a batch of Baked Chicken Breasts or Baked BBQ Chicken breasts and have them with a side of Oven Roasted Vegetables, then reserve two of them to make your BBQ chicken pizza the next day.
- Tangy, Sweet, Smoky Barbecue. Whether it’s BBQ Chicken Salad, BBQ Chicken Marinade, or Crockpot BBQ Chicken, there’s something about that BBQ flavor that makes it universally loved.
- Pineapple Optional. I don’t want to wade into the polarizing debate about pineapple on pizza, but if you’re a fan, lay those sweet golden rings on this BBQ chicken pizza and have it your way! You can also switch up the other toppings and make this recipe your own.
- A Healthier Option. Now, this BBQ chicken pizza isn’t exactly a salad, but use my whole wheat pizza crust and lower-sugar BBQ sauce (try my Homemade Barbecue Sauce), and you’ve got a pizza that’s a little more virtuous than the ones you pick up at your favorite pizzeria.
How to Make BBQ Chicken Pizza
- Whole Wheat Pizza Dough. You’ll need half of my full dough recipe to make the crust for 1 BBQ chicken pizza; the other half can be frozen.
- Homemade BBQ Sauce. Or your barbecue sauce of choice.
- Garlic Powder. Adds some savory flavor to the BBQ chicken mixture.
- Shredded Chicken Breast. You can use rotisserie chicken or Baked Chicken Breasts and shred them. Alternatively, make my Crock Pot Shredded Chicken, Instant Pot Shredded Chicken, or follow the instructions in How to Cook Shredded Chicken.
- Mozzarella Cheese. Mozzarella brings the melty factor.
- Sharp Cheddar Cheese. Sharp cheddar brings the flavor.
- Red Onion. Slice this as thinly as possible—a mandoline helps.
- Green Onions. For a pop of color and pungent flavor.
- Prepare. Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat it to 425 degrees F.
- Make the BBQ Chicken. Whisk the BBQ sauce with the garlic powder, then toss in the cooked chicken.
- Shape the Crust. Roll out the dough and transfer it to a baking sheet.
- Add the Chicken. Spread the chicken mixture over the crust, leaving a 3/4-inch border.
- Finish Topping. Sprinkle the cheeses on top, followed by the red onion.
- Bake. Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake BBQ chicken pizza for 15 to 18 minutes.
- Serve. Scatter green onions over the top, let the BBQ chicken pizza cool for a few minutes, then slice and ENJOY!
- BBQ Pork Pizza. Swap the shredded chicken for Slow Cooker Pulled Pork or Instant Pot Pulled Pork.
- Switch up the Toppings. Go crazy with your favorite BBQ chicken pizza toppings. Cilantro, basil, mushrooms or green peppers would all be great toppings to add!
- BBQ Chickpea Pizza. Rinse and drain two cans of chickpeas, then lightly smash them in a bowl—you don’t want to completely mash them, but just smash them enough that they won’t roll off the pizza. Stir in the BBQ sauce and proceed with the rest of the recipe as written.
- BBQ Chicken Naan Pizzas. Instead of whole wheat crust, use store-bought naan or Homemade Naan (see my Naan Pizza).
- To Store. Store BBQ chicken pizza in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- To Reheat. Warm up leftovers on a baking sheet in the oven at 350 degrees F until the pizza is heated through.
- To Freeze. Freeze pizza in an airtight storage container for up to 3 months. Reheat from frozen according to the instructions above.
Meal Prep Tip
You can prepare the pizza dough and barbecue sauce up to 3 days ahead of time. The chicken can be cooked a day in advance, and the cheeses can also be shredded a day or two before you’re ready to make your pizza.
What to Serve with BBQ Chicken Pizza
- Salad. Round out your pizza with Avocado Salad or Fruit Salad.
- Cocktails. BBQ chicken is a bar food staple, so it might leave you thirsting for something boozy. Try my Red Sangria Recipe or Peach Margaritas.
- Game Day Faves. If you’re making barbecue chicken pizza for game day, serve it alongside Jalapeño Poppers and Mozzarella Sticks.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Pizza Rocker. The absolute best tool for cutting pizza like a pro.
- Baking Sheet. No need for a pizza peel or pizza stone! I just use a heavy-duty baking sheet.
- Mixing Bowls. My favorite mixing bowls—and dishwasher-safe too!
Recipe Tips and Tricks
- Shred Your Own Cheese. It absolutely makes a difference! Store-bought shredded cheese is coated in potato starch and cellulose to keep it from sticking together in the package. This also means it doesn’t melt as smoothly as freshly shredded cheese. I highly recommend taking the time to shred cheese off the block for pizza.
- Watch the Sugar Content. I love my homemade BBQ sauce recipe, but if you’re in a time-crunch and need to use store-bought, look for a variety that’s lower in sugar. Some varieties are so cloyingly sweet, you can barely taste anything in them other than the sugar!
- Don’t Over-Work the Crust. The more you handle the homemade pizza dough, the more the gluten strands in the flour will toughen, giving you a crust with an unpleasant texture and without a lot of rise.
BBQ Chicken Pizza
- 1 Whole Wheat Pizza Dough 1/2 recipe to make 1 crust freeze the second crust, or use your favorite pizza dough recipe—enough to yield one 11×14-inch pizza**
- 1 cup Homemade BBQ Sauce or your barbecue sauce of choice
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 1/2 to 3 cups cooked shredded chicken breast about 2 breasts; see this post for Crock Pot Shredded Chicken, How to Cook Shredded Chicken, Baked Chicken Breast, or Instant Pot Chicken
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese about 4 ounces
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese about 4 ounces
- 1/2 small red onion thinly sliced
- 2 green onions thinly sliced
- Place rack in upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 425°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper, or dust it with cornmeal or flour.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the BBQ sauce and garlic powder. Add shredded chicken and toss to coat.
- Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface and roll into an 11×14-inch rectangle. Gently transfer the rolled dough to a prepared baking sheet (you can also roll out the dough on floured parchment, then lift up the crust and paper together and set them on the baking sheet). Top with the BBQ chicken, leaving a 3/4 inch border uncovered around all sides.
- Sprinkle on the mozzarella, cheddar cheese, and red onion. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until the crust is crisp and golden. Sprinkle with the green onion. Let cool a few minutes, then slice and serve.
- TO STORE: Refrigerate BBQ chicken pizza in an airtight storage container for up to 3 days.
- TO REHEAT: Warm up leftovers on a baking sheet in the oven at 350°F until the pizza is heated through.
- TO FREEZE: Freeze pizza in an airtight storage container for up to 3 months. Reheat from frozen according to the instructions above.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, the chicken on this BBQ chicken pizza is cooked first, as is the chicken on most pizza recipes.
In addition to chicken and red onions, you can try pork, bacon, pineapple, cilantro, caramelized onions, or bell peppers.
BBQ chicken pizza was invented by a pizza chef at California Pizza Kitchen. Today you can find it at major pizza chains like Domino’s, but nothing beats homemade!