BBQ Chicken Pizza Recipe: A Delicious Fusion of Flavors

BBQ Chicken Pizza Recipe: A Delicious Fusion of Flavors

BBQ Chicken Pizza is a tantalizing fusion of smoky BBQ flavors and the classic, comforting appeal of pizza. This unique combination has gained immense popularity, offering a delightful twist to traditional pizza recipes. As a registered dietitian, I’m here to guide you through the history, ingredients, nutritional benefits, and best practices for preparing this delectable dish.

History of BBQ Chicken Pizza

BBQ Chicken Pizza is a relatively modern invention, believed to have originated in California in the 1980s. The story goes that Ed LaDou, a pioneering pizza chef at California Pizza Kitchen, first created this innovative dish. He combined the smoky, tangy flavors of BBQ sauce with tender chicken, creating a pizza that quickly became a sensation. This new style of pizza captured the hearts of many, offering a refreshing departure from the usual tomato-based pizzas.

Why BBQ Chicken Pizza is Popular

BBQ Chicken Pizza has remained a favorite for several reasons:

  1. Unique Flavor Profile: The combination of BBQ sauce, chicken, and cheese creates a harmonious blend of sweet, tangy, and savory flavors.
  2. Versatility: This pizza can be customized with various toppings such as red onions, cilantro, and even pineapple for an added twist.
  3. Comfort Food Appeal: Pizza is a universally loved comfort food, and the addition of BBQ chicken gives it a gourmet touch.
  4. Balanced Ingredients: The use of lean chicken provides a good source of protein, making it a more balanced meal option.

Common Ingredients

To prepare the ultimate BBQ Chicken Pizza, you will need the following ingredients:

  • Pizza Dough: The foundation of any great pizza. You can make your own or use store-bought dough.
  • BBQ Sauce: The star of the show. Opt for a high-quality sauce or make your own for a personalized touch.
  • Cooked Chicken: Shredded or diced, grilled or baked – choose your favorite preparation method.
  • Cheese: A blend of mozzarella and cheddar provides the perfect melt and flavor.
  • Red Onions: Thinly sliced for a bit of crunch and sharpness.
  • Cilantro: Freshly chopped for a burst of freshness.
  • Additional Toppings: Customize with jalapeños, bell peppers, or even pineapple.

The Best BBQ Chicken Pizza Recipe: Quick, Easy, and Delicious

This BBQ Chicken Pizza recipe is a perfect blend of smoky BBQ flavors and classic pizza goodness. It’s quick and easy to prepare, making it an ideal choice for family dinners or gatherings. With a yield of 2 pizzas, it serves 4 and ensures everyone gets a delicious slice.
Course Pizza Dough and Recipes
Cuisine American
Prep Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Servings 8
Author N. Jay Sorensen, MBA RDN


For the Pizza Dough:

  • 2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 ½ cups warm water 110°F
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

For the Toppings:

  • 1 cup BBQ sauce
  • 2 cups cooked chicken breast shredded
  • 1 cup red onion thinly sliced
  • 1 ½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro chopped


Prepare the Dough:

  • In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in warm water. Let it stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
  • In a large bowl, combine the flour and salt. Make a well in the center, and add the yeast mixture and olive oil. Mix until the dough comes together.
  • Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and turn to coat. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
  • Punch down the dough, and divide it into two pieces. Form each piece into a ball, cover, and let rise for 20 minutes.

Assemble the Pizza:

  • Preheat the oven to 500°F (260°C). If you have a pizza stone, place it in the oven to preheat.
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll out each dough ball into a 12-inch round. Place the dough on a lightly floured pizza peel or an inverted baking sheet.
  • Spread ½ cup of BBQ sauce evenly over each pizza dough round.
  • Distribute the shredded chicken evenly over the BBQ sauce on each pizza.
  • Sprinkle the red onion slices over the chicken.
  • Top with mozzarella and cheddar cheeses.
  • Transfer the pizzas to the preheated pizza stone or baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is bubbly and melted, about 10-12 minutes.

Finish the Pizza:

  • Remove the pizzas from the oven and sprinkle with chopped cilantro.
  • Let the pizzas cool slightly before slicing and serving.


Enjoy your homemade BBQ Chicken Pizza!

Nutritional Insights

BBQ Chicken Pizza can be a part of a balanced diet when prepared mindfully. Here’s a breakdown of its nutritional benefits:

  • Protein: Chicken is an excellent source of lean protein, essential for muscle repair and growth.
  • Calcium: Cheese provides calcium, which is vital for bone health.
  • Vitamins and Minerals: Onions and cilantro add vitamins A, C, and K, along with antioxidants.
  • Controlled Calories: By using a thin crust and moderate cheese, you can enjoy a satisfying meal without excessive calories.

To make a healthier version, consider using whole wheat dough, reducing the amount of cheese, and opting for a low-sugar BBQ sauce.

Serving Ideas

BBQ Chicken Pizza is versatile and can be served in various ways:

  • As a Main Dish: Pair it with a fresh green salad for a complete meal.
  • Party Appetizer: Cut into small squares and serve as a finger food at gatherings.
  • Family Dinner: Customize individual pizzas with different toppings to cater to everyone’s preferences.

Chef Tips

Here are some expert tips to elevate your BBQ Chicken Pizza:

  1. Homemade BBQ Sauce: Making your own BBQ sauce allows you to control the sweetness and spice levels.
  2. Grilled Chicken: Grilling the chicken adds an extra layer of smoky flavor that complements the BBQ sauce perfectly.
  3. Even Topping Distribution: Spread the toppings evenly to ensure each bite is flavorful and well-balanced.
  4. Preheated Pizza Stone: Use a preheated pizza stone to achieve a crispy crust that’s cooked evenly.
  5. Fresh Herbs: Add fresh cilantro after baking to retain its vibrant flavor and color.

Food Safety

Ensuring food safety is crucial when preparing any dish, and BBQ Chicken Pizza is no exception. Here are some key tips:

  • Proper Handling of Chicken: Always cook chicken to an internal temperature of 165°F to prevent foodborne illnesses.
  • Clean Surfaces: Thoroughly clean all surfaces and utensils that come into contact with raw chicken.
  • Storage: Store leftover pizza in an airtight container in the refrigerator and consume within 3-4 days.
  • Reheating: Reheat leftovers to at least 165°F to ensure they are safe to eat.


BBQ Chicken Pizza is a delicious and innovative twist on a classic favorite, offering a unique blend of flavors that appeal to a wide range of palates. By understanding its history, popularity, nutritional benefits, and best practices for preparation, you can create a dish that is not only delightful but also nutritious. Whether you’re serving it as a main dish, a party appetizer, or a family dinner, BBQ Chicken Pizza is sure to be a hit.

So, roll up your sleeves, gather your ingredients, and get ready to enjoy the ultimate BBQ Chicken Pizza experience. With the right tips and a focus on food safety, you’ll be serving up a meal that’s as healthy as it is delicious.