This zesty barbeque chicken pizza recipe is the most delicious way to use up leftover cooked chicken or BBQ sauce. Sprinkle on sliced red onions, top with chopped fresh cilantro and use a homemade pizza dough crust for the most delicious home baked pizza in under 30 minutes!
All it took was one bite of my BBQ chicken pizza to convince my daughter to finally branch out from her classic cheese pizza routine.
Initially skeptical, she couldn't resist the big juicy chunks of chicken and melty cheese on our homemade pizza.
If you've never made a homemade barbeque chicken pizza, you may not quite know just how incredibly delicious they can be.
Mix and match everything to fit exactly your favorite preferences:
- your all-time favorite BBQ sauce
- chicken seasoned just how you want
- your favorite kind of cheese
- and just as much onions (or skip them!) as you want
And the final debate? Fresh cilantro or no? I'm totally Team Cilantro, but my kiddos are decidedly not.
What Do You Need to Make This?:
The ingredients for a bbq pizza recipe are really simple:
- One batch of homemade pizza dough: We made this recipe using our favorite pizza dough recipe. You could substitute a ball of dough from the store or a premade pizza crust.
- Barbecue sauce: It totally doesn't matter what kind you use. Whatever you love!
- Cooked chicken: I strongly prefer our favorite air fryer chicken tenderloins because they make such juicy chunks, but you can also substitute a rotisserie chicken.
- Sliced Provolone Cheese: This is the best melting cheese for pizza.
- Shredded Colby Jack Cheese: This helps fill in the gaps with the chunky ingredients on top.
- Red Onion: You can chop or thinly slice it or just put it on half the pizza if your kids don't like it.
- Fresh Cilantro: I'm going to say this is a must-have, but that it is totally optional.
How Do You Layer the Ingredients?:
First, roll out your pizza dough to a 12-inch circle.
Brush 1 tbsp olive oil around the edges of the pizza.
Then spread 1 cup of barbeque sauce over the pizza.
Rip the provolone into smaller chunks and scatter over the top of the sauce.
Sprinkle half of the shredded cheese and the onions over the top.
Scatter the chunks of cooked chicken over the top and finish with the remaining half of shredded cheese.
Save the fresh cilantro for sprinkling over the top of the cooked pizza.
Essential Tips for Baking Homemade Pizza:
Pizza and chicken cook at different times and temps if you want to ensure a safe finished temp. You absolutely want to use only precooked chicken for topping a pizza. Don't worry about it getting overcooked or dry, homemade pizzas cook fairly quickly and the chicken should be just warmed through. If you're still concerned, bury the chicken underneath the shredded cheese, this will help retain the moisture.
You should be making this pizza with cooked chicken but you wouldn't want to put the barbeque sauce on raw chicken because the sugar in the sauce will burn if it cooks as long as the chicken needs to be safely cooked through. You're better off cooking the chicken and just adding the BBQ sauce for the last minute or two of cooking.
More Ideas for Pizza Night:
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- 1 batch of homemade pizza dough (See Notes)
- ¾ cup of your favorite BBQ sauce
- 3 slices provolone cheese
- 1 - 2 cups shredded cheddar jack cheese
- ¼ cup thinly sliced red onion
- 1 cup chopped cooked chicken
- Handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
- Place a pizza stone on the center rack of your oven and preheat it to 450°F for at least 30 min.
- Meanwhile, prepare the pizza. Roll your pizza dough out to a 12-inch circle and transfer it to a piece of parchment paper.
- Brush a tablespoon of olive oil around the center edge of the dough to help the crust brown.
- Spread the BBQ sauce over the middle of the pizza.
- Rip the provolone cheese into small portions and scatter them over the top of the pizza.
- Sprinkle half the shredded cheese over the top and sprinkle the red onions evenly over the top.
- Scatter the chicken chunks over the top and then cover with the remaining shredded cheese.
- Slide the pizza on the parchment onto a metal baking pan. Use the pan to transfer the pizza to the hot stone in the oven. Carefully slide the parchment onto the stone directly and remove the metal pan.
- Bake the pizza for 12 minutes or until the crust is golden brown, the cheese has melted and the pizza is nice and bubbling.
- Carefully tug on the parchment paper to slide the pizza off the stone and onto the metal pan for bringing the pizza out of the oven. Let cool briefly, slice and serve warm.
Pizza Crust Notes:
I highly recommend making homemade pizza dough for this recipe. It takes just minutes in a bread machine and makes a world of difference in the quality of the final pizza.
However, you can substitute a fresh pizza dough or a pre-made pizza crust from your local grocery if you prefer.
You can use whatever leftover cooked chicken you have on hand for this recipe. You could also use shredded rotisserie chicken but I highly recommend this super-quick healthy chicken tenderloin air fryer recipe.