This recipe for BBQ Chicken Pizza is so simple and completely delicious! Use your favorite BBQ sauce, some cooked chicken, and some cheese to create a gourmet pizza that makes a wonderful weeknight meal or a game day treat. This is a Costco copycat recipe.
The combination of grilled chicken and BBQ sauce is one that will never go out of style. Putting them both on a pizza and topping them with melty cheese and thinly sliced onion is a simple way to make BBQ chicken a special event.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Pizza, but better: Pizza is always good. Homemade pizza is especially good, and a basic cheese and pepperoni pie is delicious. However, when you learn to make gourmet pizzas like this one, it’s a whole different experience!
- Works with Leftovers: Make BBQ Chicken Pizza with leftover grilled or roasted chicken, or with a grocery store rotisserie chicken.
- Fresh Flavors: Spicy BBQ sauce pairs beautifully with sliced onion and fresh cilantro to give this pizza a bright, tantalizing flavor.
- Money-Saving Meal: Because this pizza only uses a small amount of meat, it can be a very economical way to get a yummy dinner on the table.
Complete list of ingredients and amounts can be found in the recipe card below.
- Pizza Dough: You have options here. You can use 1 10-12-inch pre-made pizza base or you can make your own homemade pizza dough. You’ll need a half portion of this recipe or the full recipe of this bread machine pizza dough recipe.
- Spicy BBQ Sauce: I like to use a spicy barbecue sauce, like Stubb’s Spicy Bar-B-Q or Sweet Baby Ray’s Sweet and Spicy sauce. I think that the spiciness holds up really well with the dough and the cheese. If you prefer less spice, use a traditional or sweet style BBQ sauce.
- Chicken: You need about 1 cup of cooked chicken to top this BBQ Pizza. I used chicken cutlets that I grilled ahead of time. You can use leftover chicken, boiled and shredded chicken, or a rotisserie chicken as well.
- Cheese: I have skipped the mozzarella cheese here and went for a Colby jack cheese blend instead. Buy this blend pre-shredded to save time.
- Onion: Thinly sliced onion gives lots of flavor to this pizza. Red onion looks really beautiful, but a white or yellow onion will have the same flavor effect.
- Cilantro: Fresh cilantro leaves are the perfect garnish for our pizza. They add a bit of freshness to the flavor and the color is perfect.
Make homemade pizza dough and store it in the freezer so that you always have some ready to make a delicious BBQ Chicken Pizza!
How to Make BBQ Chicken Pizza
- Prep: Preheat your oven to the highest possible temperature (mine goes up to 550°F). If you’re using a pizza stone, place it in the oven to preheat as well.
- Season the Chicken: In a small bowl, combine the cooked chicken with half of the BBQ sauce.
- Shape Dough: If using fresh pizza dough, sprinkle a pizza peel with semolina to prevent the dough from sticking, then shape/stretch the dough gently with your hands into a 10 or 12-inch circle. If using my classic dough recipe, you should only need about half of it. Make sure that your dough can move freely on the pizza peel before adding your toppings.
- Top the Pizza: Spread the remaining BBQ sauce onto the dough, then add the chicken and spread it evenly. Top with shredded cheese and sliced onion.
- Bake: Brush the edges of the pizza with olive oil and bake in the preheated oven for 4-5 minutes. Switch on the broiler and bake for 3-5 more minutes, keeping an eye on the pizza as it bubbles and browns.
- Finish and Serve: Remove the finished pizza from the oven and allow it to cool for 5-10 minutes. Garnish with chopped cilantro, slice, and serve.
BBQ Chicken Pizza Tips
Shape the Dough by Hand: Avoid using a rolling pin to make your pizza. The pressure from the pin will deflate the dough and you won’t get the bubbles and pockets of air that you want. Be sure to leave the dough thicker on the edges to create a nice pizza crust.
Don’t Like Cilantro? Use fresh parsley instead! Something green on top of this pizza is optional but makes a big difference in the presentation.
Add more Toppings: Cooked bacon, thinly sliced bell peppers, or diced tomatoes would be delicious additions to BBQ Chicken Pizza. Add your favorite things to make this pizza your own.
The chicken goes under the cheese. It might seem backward to put the chicken under the Colby Jack cheese rather than on top of it, but it is done this way on purpose. If you don’t protect the cooked chicken this way it can dry out or burn.
What to Serve With BBQ Chicken Pizza
Instead of using a pizza stone in your oven, you can bake this pizza on a sheet pan instead. You will want to coat the sheet pan with olive oil, then form the dough into a circle or rectangle on the pan. Add the toppings, and bake in a preheated 450°F/230°C oven for 15-25 minutes. Keep an eye on things. If the bottom crust seems done but the top needs more time, switch to the broiler to finish the job.
To make homemade pizza on the grill, use a rolling pin to get the dough nice and then. Cook the dough (without toppings) on the grill for 2 minutes on each side. Then add your sauce and toppings and grill with the lid on to melt everything.
I like to make things simple, and poach chicken on the stovetop to make shredded chicken. It’s also easy to grill chicken tenders to use to make this chicken pizza. In the end, it doesn’t matter how you cook the chicken for this recipe. Any cooked or leftover cooked chicken can be used.
I don’t suggest freezing the pizza itself, but you can freeze homemade pizza dough. With dough prepped in the freezer, I know that I am only a few hours away from making a fresh homemade pizza!
Fresh pizza dough is super simple to make. Use a bread machine to make it extra easy, or mix and knead the dough by hand. Either way, it doesn’t take a lot of time or effort.
Enjoy your delicious BBQ Chicken Pizza with your family or friends! Make sure to save this recipe so you can make it again.
- 1 pizza dough/crust 10-12 inch
- 1 cup cooked cubed or shredded chicken I grilled thin chicken cutlets and cut into small cubes
- ¾ cup spicy bbq sauce
- ½ cup shredded Colby Monterey Jack Cheese
- ¼ small red onion thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro leaves garnish
- Preheat your oven to the highest possible temperature (mine goes up to 550°F). If you’re using a pizza stone, place it in the oven to preheat as well.
- In a small bowl, combine the cooked chicken with half the bbq sauce.
- Sprinkle the pizza peel with semolina to prevent the dough from sticking, then shape/stretch your dough gently with your hands into a 10 or 12-inch circle (don’t use a rolling pin). Before adding any toppings, make sure that the pizza can slide off onto the pizza stone easily. If not, just lift it up gently and sprinkle with more semolina. Don’t push the dough too hard, and start working it from the center. Leave the edges puffed up for a great pizza shape and bubbles.
- Spread the remaining bbq sauce, add the chicken and spread it evenly. Top with shredded cheese and sliced onion.
- Brush the edges of the pizza with olive oil and bake in the preheated oven for 4-5 minutes. Switch on the broiler and bake for 3-5 more minutes, keeping an eye on the pizza as it bubbles and browns.
- Remove from the oven, allow to cool for 5-10 minutes. Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro. Slice and serve.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.
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