This is a recipe for classic BBQ chicken pizza with tangy BBQ sauce, chicken, and red onion. Gouda cheese gives the homemade pizza the most delicious smoky flavor and cilantro adds a touch of freshness. My pizza dough recipe makes enough for two 12-inch pizzas, so you can freeze half for later. It’s an easy thick-style pizza crust with unbeatable flavor.
Sweet BBQ sauce, chopped chicken, red onions, a dash of cilantro, and tons of cheese.
Though store-bought crust is convenient, I suggest using homemade pizza dough for the BEST flavor. You could also use these toppings on whole wheat pizza dough instead. The bake time is exactly the same. Homemade pizza crust is so much easier than you think.
Homemade Pizza Dough
Let’s talk homemade pizza crust. I make this pizza dough every single week and there’s many reasons why I always go back to it:
- The recipe is perfect for bread beginners
- Only 6 ingredients required
- Most of the time is hands-off
- Crisp edges & fluffy interior
- So, so flavorful.
It’s simply the best homemade pizza crust. I use Red Star Platinum in my pizza dough because it produces the best results. The Platinum line is fantastic; its careful formula strengthens your dough and makes making working with yeast simple. This is awesome if you’re a bread beginner! For this pizza dough, I use only enough yeast to get the job done.
Homemade Pizza Dough Video Tutorial
How to Make BBQ Chicken Pizza
After the pizza dough rises, it’s time to bake! Top the pizza dough with BBQ sauce, cooked chicken, lots of cheese, and red onion.
- BBQ Sauce: My husband isn’t a fan of too much BBQ sauce, but I love sauce in each bite. The middle ground is about 1/3 cup of BBQ sauce. Add more if you love extra sauce.
- Chicken: You need 1 cup of chopped cooked chicken. You can buy pre-cooked chicken or pick up a rotisserie chicken. Shred it, then use as the pizza topping. Or you can cook your own chicken for the BBQ chicken pizza. 1 skinless boneless chicken breast is plenty. Whichever you use, toss the cooked chicken in a little BBQ sauce right before layering it on top of the pizza; doing so prevents the cooked chicken from drying out.
- Cheese: For best flavor, let’s use TWO cheeses. Shredded mozzarella for that classic pizza flavor and smoked gouda for deep smoky flavor. Smoked gouda pairs wonderfully with the sweet BBQ sauce and fresh cilantro! If you don’t want to make the extra trip to the store, skip the gouda and just use mozzarella.
- Red Onion: Sharp red onion adds so much flavor to each bite. Not a fan of onion? Leave it off.
Pizza is done in about 15 minutes. Once the edges are browned, remove from the oven and top with chopped fresh cilantro. The fresh cilantro on the hot, cheesy pizza knocks every bite out of the park. If cilantro isn’t your thing, no worries! You can leave it off.
The flavors and textures in this pizza are incredible! You have the sweet tang from the BBQ sauce, the meaty chicken, the zesty red onion, fresh cilantro, smoky gouda, soft crust, crispy edges, and ultra cheesy mozzarella covering it all.
Ditch the delivery guy, you’re eating homemade tonight!
More Pizza Recipes:
- My Favorite Pepperoni Pizza Dip
- Chicago-Style Deep Dish Pizza
- Hawaiian Pizza
- Spinach Artichoke White Cheese Pizza
- Homemade Pizza Rolls
Homemade BBQ Chicken Pizza
- Prep Time: 2 hours, 10 minutes (includes dough rising)
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 2 hours, 25 minutes
- Yield: one 12-inch pizza
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
This is a recipe for delicious BBQ chicken pizza with tangy BBQ sauce, chicken, and red onion. Gouda cheese gives the homemade pizza the most delicious smoky flavor and cilantro adds a fresh touch. My pizza dough recipe yields about 2 pounds of dough, which is enough for two 12-inch pizzas. Toppings listed below are enough for one 12-inch pizza. Freeze the rest of the pizza dough for another time, or make two pizzas by doubling the topping ingredients. Feel free to use 1 lb. store-bought pizza dough instead of homemade.
- 1/2 recipe homemade pizza dough (or 1 lb. store-bought pizza dough)
- 1 Tablespoon (15ml) olive oil, divided
- 1 Tablespoon (8g) cornmeal
- 1/3 cup + 2 Tablespoons (130g) your favorite BBQ sauce
- 1 cup chopped or shredded cooked chicken (about one 8-ounce breast)
- 2/3 cup (70g) shredded mozzarella cheese
- 2/3 cup (70g) shredded smoked gouda cheese
- 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
- optional: chopped fresh cilantro for topping
- Dough: Prepare pizza dough through step 3. If using store-bought frozen pizza dough, make sure it’s thawed.
- Preheat oven to 475°F (246°C). Allow it to heat for at least 15–20 minutes as you shape the pizza in the next step. If using a pizza stone, place it in the oven to preheat as well. Lightly grease a large baking sheet or pizza pan with 1/2 Tablespoon of olive oil. Sprinkle lightly with cornmeal, which gives the crust extra crunch and flavor.
- Shape the dough: When the homemade dough is ready, punch it down to release any air bubbles. Divide the dough in half and freeze half the dough for another time—see freezing instructions in the pizza dough recipe. On a lightly floured work surface using lightly floured hands or rolling pin, gently flatten the dough into a disc. Place on prepared pan and, using lightly floured hands, stretch and flatten the disc into a 12-inch circle, about 1/2-inch thick. If the dough keeps shrinking back as you try to stretch it, stop what you’re doing, cover it lightly and let it rest for 5–10 minutes, then try again. Once shaped into a 12-inch circle, lift the edge of the dough up to create a lip around the edges. I simply pinch the edges up to create the rim. If using a pizza stone, place the dough directly on a baker’s peel dusted with cornmeal. Cover dough lightly with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and allow to rest for a few minutes as you gather the pizza toppings.
- Top & bake the pizza: Using your fingers, push dents into the surface of the dough to prevent bubbling. Brush remaining olive oil all over the dough. Top the dough evenly with 1/3 cup (about 95g) BBQ sauce. Toss the cooked chicken with the remaining BBQ sauce, then scatter all around the pizza. Add the cheeses and red onion.
- Bake for 14–15 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Remove from the oven, and sprinkle with fresh cilantro, if desired.
- Slice hot pizza and serve immediately. Cover leftover pizza tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Freezing and reheating instructions below.
- Freezing Instructions: See homemade pizza dough recipe for how to freeze the pizza dough. You can freeze the baked and cooled pizza or pizza slices. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and place wrapped slices in a freezer container or bag. Freeze up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator or at room temperature.
- Reheating Instructions: Reheat leftover cold pizza in the microwave or cover with aluminum foil and bake on a lined baking sheet/pizza pan in a 350°F (204°C) oven until warmed. (About 10 minutes for slices, 15–20 minutes for whole pizza.)
- Special Tools (affiliate links): Pizza Pan | Pastry Brush | Pizza Cutter
- Whole Wheat Pizza Dough: Feel free to use my whole wheat pizza dough recipe instead. You only need half of the dough to make 1 pizza, so freeze the extra dough according to those directions or make 2 pizzas.
- Topping Swaps: If you do not have smoked gouda, replace with the same amount of shredded mozzarella. You can leave off the onion and/or cilantro if desired.
- This recipe was inspired by the BBQ Chicken Pizza at California Pizza Kitchen restaurant.
Keywords: pizza, bbq sauce, chicken
Reader Comments & Reviews
We loved this! I think the Gouda was a stroke of genius!
You are such a good cook. I absolutely love to use your recipes. I didn’t make this one yet but tonight I will. Thank you.
Hi Sally, I attempted making the homemade barbequed chicken pizza using your menu and followed instructions to the letter, while it seemed everything was going ok, at the end of the suggested 15 minutes, the edges did not brown well, so I let it remain in oven a few more minutes and edges browned alright, however to my utter disappointment upon removing the pizza from the oven, I found that the crust stuck to the pizza stone all around the diameter of the pizza. What can I do to avoid the crust sticking to the stone? I also saw that the bottom of the crust was not fully cooked.
Otherwise would have a good pizza.
Thank you Sally.
Hi Stephen, If using a pizza stone, make sure it’s preheated in the oven according to its instructions and that your dough isn’t super wet. You can use flour or cornmeal on the bottom of your crust to help prevent it from sticking also. We usually use a lightly greased baking sheet or pizza pan and have not had any issues with sticking.
Thank-you! I have my own pizza dough recipes, but this topping combo is fabulous! Turned out perfect.
I was craving BBQ chicken pizza today. I goggled recipes and yours looked SO GOOD! I’ve never made crust using yeast before but just happened to have some. Its proofing now and chicken tenders cooking in the air fryer. I am so excited to taste it! Thank you for this recipe!!
this was really good.
Thanks. I decided to play it safe and use the alum. one with the holes in it. The fresh cilantro was the bomb! As soon as you sprinkle them on top you can smell the flavor and crispness that it adds.
Looking forward to trying the pizza stone next. I’m thinking of a pizza with medium salsa for the sauce and including onions, bells peppers, Mexican cheese mix, mango and cilantro.
Can’t wait to try this. I’m Sheltering-In- Place due to COVID-19 and a good meal will lift my spirits. I have not made a pizza before but I have two pans to put it on. One is an aluminum pizza pan with lot of holes through it and the other is a pizza stone. Not sure how to use either one and could use some suggestions. I think the pizza stone heats up in the over before you put the pizza on top?
Hi Mike! Correct, you heat the pizza stone in the oven before using. (It should come with instructions or search online for a quick tutorial if you need it!) No need to pre-heat the pan with the holes in it. The holes help the bottom of the crust crisp up. You can use either pan you have.
I’m confused. The recipe calls for 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons for BBQ sauce, which is less than 1/2 cup. The instructions then say to top the dough with 1/2 cup BBQ sauce and to toss the chicken with the remaining BBQ sauce. So is the 1/2 cup in addition to the 1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons? Or should the instructions say to top the dough with 1/2 the BBQ sauce, not 1/2 cup?
Hi J’ma! That should read 1/3 cup in the recipe. Just updated. Thanks for catching it and sorry for the confusion.
This was soooooo good! I used Gouda but not smoked, will definitely buy that next time! We really loved this and cant wait to make it again. It was perfect!
Hi Sally…tried out your recipe word to word…it came out amazing..thanks for making my first pizza bake experience a hit!
I made this pizza tonight. I used Trader Joe’s pre made wheat pizza dough. I loved your suggestion for the smoked gouda that was a great addition. I also put some BBQ sauce on my chicken before place it on the pizza. It was delicious!
Just wanted you to know that I made this tonight. I made your BBQ chicken in the crockpot recipe earlier in the week and had some of that left over, so I used that for the chicken. Tasted wonderful!!
BBQ chicken pizza is my absolute favorite and I was craving it so bad I made this recipe at 9 in the morning… SO good! Thank you Sally!
Love this BBQ chicken Pizza recipe, I added some bacon to it for an extra ingredient, actually I love all you recipes! I’ll be buzy for a long while trying all the wonderful things. 😉
Made this tonight for my 2 friends and I and we ate the entire pizza! It was so good!
I LOVE this recipe! I made it for my family of 5 and used both crusts- it came out amazing and I wouldn’t change a thing!
Made it and loved it. Soooo worth taking the time to make it right.
Had to make more.. it was so yummy
I’m obsessed with your dessert recipes (I’ve probably made about 20 of them), and figured it was time to test out your pizza dough and this bbq chicken pizza recipe. All I can say is WOW!! I followed your recipe to a T, although I did add sliced serrano peppers on top because I like a little extra kick. Thank you thank you thank you for this recipe. I made this pizza 2 nights ago, and I’m making it again tonight with the rest of the dough that I made. Thanks for everything that you do; your site is definitely one of my faves! 🙂
This was my first time making homemade pizza and it was amazing. I cooked the chicken in my slow cooker with bbq sauce and it was the best pizza we have ever had. My husband can’t wait for me to make it again!
I tried your recipe yesterday and it was awesome!! delicious is the least to describe it!! The dough was excellent, even though I was scared how it would end up. I am not calling take out pizza anymore!! My husband and kiddo loved it too!! Thanks
I made this last night and it was delicious!! My husband LOVED it. There were no leftovers for today! I’m so happy I found your blog – I make a recipe of yours at least once a week..often more. I have your Oreo peanut butter bark in my fridge chilling right now, this hour cannot go by fast enough!
Thank you! What a great recipe. I was inspired to try this after hearing you on NPR, and while my family loved the pizza, I wasn’t totally happy with my first effort (my fault, had misread some of the steps) but made it again tonight and it turned out just perfect. Best pizza dough I’ve ever made. Thanks!
My pizza crust never seems to brown. The bottom browns just fine but the outer crust stays white. Why is this happening? And how can I fix it?
Hi Abigail! I suggest leaving it in the oven for a few more minutes to brown the edges.
To get the edges brown, switch oven to broil for a couple minutes
Thank you for this recipe! Made it tonight and my 3 year old old who barely eats anything, ate 2.5 slices and said this is the best pizza! The husband was so surprised that it was made from scratch. Your pictures and instructions are so detailed and makes it easy to understand…you have a great gift 😉 also, you’ve helped me overcome my fear of making something out of yeast…the piazza dough turned out well 🙂 one question I have, after putting sauce and toppings on pizza, can it be left out for a while before baking? Or frozen with the toppings? Thanks!