Homemade BBQ Chicken Pizza

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 recipe by sallysbakingaddiction.com. Ditch the delivery, this pizza will be your new favorite!

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. Homemade pizza crust is so much easier than you think.

 Your soon-to-be favorite pizza!

Homemade BBQ Chicken Pizza recipe by sallysbakingaddiction.com. Ditch the delivery, this pizza will be your new favorite!

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.

Homemade BBQ Chicken Pizza by sallysbakingaddiction.com

Homemade BBQ Chicken Pizza by sallysbakingaddiction.com

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 recipe by sallysbakingaddiction.com. Ditch the delivery, this pizza will be your new favorite!

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:


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
  • 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

Ditch the delivery, this pizza will be your new favorite!


  1. Lisa @ Simple Pairings says:

    Sally, you seriously have such talent! I always look forward to beautiful posts from you – and I especially love the savory ones you do! This pizza looks incredible. I too think homemade pizza is well worth the effort. So yummy 🙂

    1. I’m happy you don’t mind my savory recipes every now and then, Lisa! I have a few more ideas for savory recipes coming up too.

  2. I love making homemade pizzas for my family! There is something so rewarding when you get to see every part of the recipe come together 🙂
    The boyfriend is absolutely going to love this one. Thanks Sally 🙂
    Also, I’m listening to your interview this morning while I work on a report for work 🙂

  3. This pizza looks so good! I was never a gouda cheese fan until I started eating it BBQ chicken pizza, I think it goes so well with all the other flavors. Now I say, the more smoked gouda cheese, the better! Congrats on the interview, that is so exciting!

    1. The smoked gouda takes this pizza to a new level, Isadora! Hope you try it.

  4. I might have to make this just for me, seeing as I have a house full of picky men…
    I have recently discovered gouda and LOVE it!!!
    So I’m thinking this will be delish… I will have to leave off the onions, as they don’t mix well w/ my meds… :0(
    But everything else is fair game!!! Yummy!!!!!!!!!
    And I agree about Sweet Baby Rays… But Sonny’s Sweet BBQ sauce is my favorite… I don’t think y’all have it up north, so Rays is the best choice. Sonny’s is from a Southern restaurant chain and it’s SO good, it’s addicting!!!

    I also posted the link for your book on FB… Wishing you great sales!!! :0)

    1. Thanks for sharing my cookbook on your Facebook, Star! I love trying new BBQ sauces. Wish I could get my hands on the brand you love. Enjoy this pizza!

  5. YUM!!! BBQ Chicken Pizza is secretly my favorite, but since my guy hates BBQ sauce (not sure why… probably because it’s too sweet?), I always go with my second-favorite of Hawaiian. It’s his favorite, so that way we’re both happy. If only I could sneak over to your place for a slice! 😉 It looks phenomenal Sally, all of those little details with the onions and cilantro… Just gorgeous!

    1. Amy, you and your guy will be happy to know that I plan to make a Hawaiian pizza very soon! It’s Kevin’s personal favorite as well.

      1. That’s fabulous news!! We’re definitely looking forward to it. 🙂

  6. Ashley | Our Full Table says:

    Love this it looks so yummy!

  7. Laura (Tutti Dolci) says:

    I love bbq chicken pizza, this looks so good!

  8. 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!

    1. Hi Elle! I’m so glad that you tried and loved this pizza! And of course, that your 3 year old approved as well. The more you bake with the yeast, the more comfy you’ll get with it. It sounds like you will bake this pizza often! After you’ve assembled the pizza, you can leave it out for an hour or so – or even put in the fridge. I don’t recommend freezing with the toppings on it.

  9. Alexe @ Keys to the Cucina says:

    I love your interview, listening now! And this pizza looks bomb, I too only use Sweet Baby Rays!!

    1. Thanks for listening to it, Alexe!

  10. Julie @ Table for Two says:

    BBQ chicken pizza is my FAVORITE pizza flavor of all time. Hands down, it’s what I make on most occasions next to pepperoni. I just ADORE BBQ!! I love the thick crust on this, Sally! Sometimes, you just need a thick, chewy crust!

    1. I agree about BBQ pizza being the best, Julie! 😉

  11. Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes) says:

    You are killing me with this pizza Sally!!

  12. Mary Frances says:

    BBQ is hands down my favorite flavor/smell of summer. Love that you put it on a pizza!

  13. Gloria // Simply Gloria says:

    What a delicious pizza creation, Sally! This one here, happens to be my fave… (also chicken pizza with Alfredo sauce with tons of jalapenos on it). You rocked this pizza– and the crust! I can’t wait until your new cookbook arrives at my front door this week!

    1. I have to try a chicken alfredo pizza sometime, Gloria!

  14. Hi Sally! I just listened to your radio interview online and you sound so sweet! I really enjoyed the interview and can’t wait to pick up a copy of your new cookbook! Congrats on all your success, you deserve it!

    1. Thanks so much for listening, Kimberly! You heard me mention burning this pizza the first time. Haha, whoops. Thank you!

  15. Sally,
    I’ll gladly send you some of the Sonny’s sauce, let me know where to send it… :0)
    An early wedding present!!! :0)

  16. Farah @everylittlecrumb says:

    This looks way too good. I think my husband’s favorite thing I make at home is pizza…these toppings will blow his mind! I can already picture the sweetness of the bbq sauce contrasted with the smokiness from the gouda and let’s just say my mouth is watering 🙂

    1. Farah, it is just SO good. You have to try it. You will both love it!

  17. Zainab @ Blahnik Baker says:

    This pizza looks amazing!! We love homemade pizza and BBQ chicken is one we have yet to try. I can’t wait for my book to arrive. Amazon said it shipped…hope its here before the weekend because I’m sure it will make for a great read!!
    PS: You did amazing in the interview 🙂

    1. Thanks for listening to the interview, Zainab! Fingers crossed the book comes today or tomorrow!

  18. 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.

  19. Nutmeg Nanny says:

    This pizza is mouthwatering! I love homemade pizza, can’t wait to use this recipe 🙂

  20. Barbara Austin says:

    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!

    1. Thanks Barbara! So glad you enjoyed this crust the second time you tried it. Thanks for listening on NPR.

  21. Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious says:

    How did you know that BBQ chicken pizza is my ABSOLUTE favorite? We may just have to skip the pizza take-out tonight and make this at home!

  22. Vicky Katalag says:

    Yesterday, I visited for the first time your site.
    I saw a lot of delicious recipies, and as I was searching of your feed I found this amazing recipe.
    Well, today I decided to try this pizza.
    It is the most delicious handmade pizza I’ve ever taste. Great taste, easy to make and of course handmade.
    I syggest to everyone to try it.

  23. 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!

  24. 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

  25. Oh my god! Just looking at it is making my mouth water.. God such a combination of flavors.. AMAZING!! I just tried it as my midnight snack (guilty) and I’m thinking of making another one! Thank you for putting this and your great photography just makes me want to cook more and more.. You are a genius!

  26. bbq chicken is my favourite flavour i have tried this many times with my friends every time we love its taste..
    check this

  27. 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!

  28. I tried this pizza last night, and it was delicious!
    Forgot to put coriander on top, and for the cheese I used a combination of mozzarella and a mixed bag of ‘pizza cheese’.
    Oh, and I used homemade bbq sauce from here- http://www.willcookforfriends.com/2014/01/barbecue-chicken-pizza-with-homemade-sweet-baby-rays-sauce.html

    1. I forgot to mention- I used your dough recipe as well, and it urned out great really nice and ‘airy’! I had the time to let it prove a little more, so I did, and I was amazed at how much air was in it! I doubled the recipe, and added a little more salt then you said, yet my dad mentioned it could have done with more. Oh well, it was still delicious 😉
      ((I’ll have to try that trick with the grill next time))

  29. 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! 🙂

  30. I made this specially for my son in law…he loves bbq chicken pizza…I served it with your margarita pizza on one of our pizza nights…he loved it…made for “What’s on the Menu” tag game…=)

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I’m Sally, a cookbook author, photographer, and blogger. My goal is to give you the confidence and knowledge to cook and bake from scratch while providing quality recipes and plenty of pictures. Grab a cookie, take a seat, and have fun exploring! more about Sally