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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.

Homemade BBQ Chicken Pizza on a pizza pan

What’s your favorite kind of pizza? For me, nothing beats my sweet & salty apple gorgonzola pizza. But this BBQ chicken pizza is in close 2nd place! Sweet BBQ sauce, chopped chicken, red onions, a dash of cilantro, and tons of cheese.

I made this homemade BBQ chicken pizza last weekend and it was a complete disaster. When I make homemade pizza, I like the cheese extra bubbly and the crust extra crisp. To obtain all this goodness, I switch my oven to broil for the last minute. I suggest you try it! What I don’t suggest is walking out of the kitchen to answer the phone, only to come back finding your pizza burnt to a black crisp. Whoops.

BBQ chicken pizza round 2 was a huge success though! 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.

slices of BBQ Chicken Pizza on a white plate

Homemade BBQ Chicken Pizza on a pizza pan

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.

Baking with Yeast Guide

Reference this Baking with Yeast Guide whenever you work with baker’s yeast. I include practical answers to all of your common yeast questions.

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Red Onion: Sharp red onion adds so much flavor to each bite. Not a fan of onion? Leave it off.
2 images of pizza dough in a pink bowl and bbq chicken pizza before baking
shredded chicken on a white cutting board

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.

Homemade BBQ Chicken Pizza on a pizza plan

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:

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Homemade BBQ Chicken Pizza on a pizza plan

Homemade BBQ Chicken Pizza

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
  • Yield: one 12-inch pizza 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


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. Toppings listed are enough for one 12-inch pizza. Freeze the rest of the pizza dough for another time.


  • 1/2 recipe homemade pizza crust
  • 12 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/3 cup + 2 Tablespoons your favorite BBQ sauce
  • 1 cup chopped or shredded cooked chicken (about one 8-ounce breast)
  • 2/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2/3 cup shredded smoked gouda cheese
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • optional: chopped fresh cilantro for topping


  1. Prepare pizza dough through step 5, including preheating the oven to 475°F (246°C). Cover the shaped dough lightly with plastic wrap and allow it to rest as the oven preheats.
  2. To prevent the pizza toppings from making your pizza crust soggy, brush the shaped dough lightly with olive oil. Using your fingers, push dents into the surface of the dough to prevent bubbling. Top the dough evenly with 1/3 cup BBQ sauce. Toss the cooked chicken with the remaining BBQ sauce, then scatter all around the pizza. Add the cheeses and red onion.
  3. Bake pizza for 12-15 minutes. Remove from the oven and top with fresh cilantro, if desired. Slice hot pizza and serve immediately.
  4. Cover leftover pizza tightly and store in the refrigerator. Reheat as you prefer. Baked pizza slices can be frozen up to 3 months. See pizza crust recipe for instructions on freezing the pizza dough.


  1. If not using an instant yeast, rise time may be up to 40% longer.
  2. 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.
  3. This recipe was inspired by my favorite BBQ Chicken Pizza at California Pizza Kitchen restaurant.
  4. Reference my Baking with Yeast Guide for answers to common yeast FAQs.

Keywords: pizza, bbq sauce, chicken

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. 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!

  2. 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?

    1. Hi Abigail! I suggest leaving it in the oven for a few more minutes to brown the edges.

  3. 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!

  4. 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!

  5. Hi Sally,
    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

  6. 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!

  7. 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! 🙂

  8. Made it and loved it. Soooo worth taking the time to make it right.

  9. 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!

  10. Made this tonight for my 2 friends and I and we ate the entire pizza! It was so good!

  11. 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. 😉

  12. 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!

  13. 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!!

  14. 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!

  15. Hi Sally…tried out your recipe word to word…it came out amazing..thanks for making my first pizza bake experience a hit!

  16. 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!

  17. 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?

    1. Hi J’ma! That should read 1/3 cup in the recipe. Just updated. Thanks for catching it and sorry for the confusion.

  18. 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?

    1. 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.

  19. Sally-
    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.

    Thanks again/MG

  20. 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!!

  21. Thank-you! I have my own pizza dough recipes, but this topping combo is fabulous! Turned out perfect.

  22. 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.

    1. 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.