BBQ Chicken Pizza Recipe

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Easy to make, delicious BBQ chicken pizza recipe that’s made from scratch for one or more people.

Pizza becomes a very quick and easy meal when you use pita bread for the crust. You don’t have to, of course, but it sure helps get dinner on the table fast and easy. Plus, everyone loves pizza night when they can custom-build their own pizzas.

A half cut BBQ Chicken Pizza on a plate.

FAQs

What Is BBQ Chicken Pizza Made Of?

BBQ chicken pizza is made up of a good crust, barbecue sauce, chicken, and onions. Oh, and of course, plenty of cheese.

Who Invented BBQ Chicken Pizza?

The invention of BBQ chicken pizza is a topic that sparks some debate among food enthusiasts. While there isn’t a definitive answer, it’s widely believed that the creative minds behind California-style pizza played a significant role in its creation.

One story attributes the birth of BBQ chicken pizza to a talented chef named Ed LaDou. Known for his innovative pizza concepts, LaDou reportedly introduced the mouthwatering combination of BBQ sauce, grilled chicken, and other delicious ingredients to the menu of California Pizza Kitchen (CPK) in the 1980s. The unique blend of flavors quickly gained popularity and became a signature dish at CPK.

It’s worth noting that various pizzerias and chefs were already experimenting with barbecue-inspired pizzas before CPK’s breakthrough. The fusion of BBQ flavors and pizza toppings is a testament to the culinary world’s ingenuity and willingness to explore new taste sensations.

In the end, the creation of BBQ chicken pizza is a collective achievement, showcasing the creative spirit of pizza enthusiasts and innovative chefs who sought to marry the smoky, tangy allure of barbecue with the beloved comfort of pizza.

If I Cook The Chicken Myself, Should I Season It?

While you can certainly rely on bbq sauce to flavor your chicken, many people enjoy seasoning the chicken with spices like paprika, garlic powder, and pepper before being diced or shredded and scattered over the pizza.

Can I Use A Different Type Of Cheese?

Absolutely! While mozzarella is commonly used, you can experiment with different types of cheese based on your taste preferences. Try provolone, gouda, or a combination of cheeses for added variety.

Can I Use Pre-Cooked Shredded Chicken Instead Of Cooking My Own?

Yes, using pre-cooked shredded chicken is a convenient option. You can find pre-cooked chicken in many grocery stores or use leftover cooked chicken from a previous meal. Just be careful to check the ingredients to avoid unwanted ingredients, even sugar.

Can I Make This Pizza Ahead Of Time?

While it’s best to enjoy the pizza fresh, you can prepare the individual components (such as shredded chicken, diced onion, and shredded cheese) in advance and store them separately. Assemble the pizza just before baking to maintain the best texture and flavor.

Can I Make Mini Pita Pizzas For Appetizers?

Absolutely! You can use smaller-sized pitas or cut regular pitas into smaller rounds to make mini pita pizzas. Adjust the amount of ingredients and cooking time accordingly, as they may require less time in the oven.

Can I Add Additional Toppings?

Of course! Feel free to get creative and add your favorite toppings to the pizza. Sliced bell peppers, mushrooms, olives, or even pineapple can be delicious additions. Just be mindful not to overload the toppings, which may affect the cooking time and result in a soggy crust.

A partial view of a BBQ Chicken Pizza with two slices laying off to the side.

Pizza Dough Options

If you prefer to use store-bought pizza dough, feel free. Just make sure that you either make a personal sized pizza (about the size of a pita bread), or increase the measurements given below to accommodate a larger pizza. 

If you prefer to make your own pizza crust at home, here are some options for homemade pizza dough:

Recipe Tips For Homemade BBQ Chicken Pizza

  1. Preheat the baking sheet: For a crispier crust, preheat the baking sheet in the oven before placing the pitas on it. This helps to ensure a golden and crunchy base.
  2. Customize your toppings: Feel free to customize the toppings according to your preferences. Add sliced bell peppers, mushrooms, or other vegetables for extra flavor and nutrients. You can also sprinkle some dried herbs like oregano or basil on top for added aroma.
  3. Adjust BBQ sauce amount: Adjust the amount of BBQ sauce according to your taste. If you prefer a saucier pizza, feel free to add more BBQ sauce. If you like a lighter touch of sauce, use a smaller amount.
  4. Shred your own cheese: While pre-shredded cheese is convenient, shredding your own cheese from a block can result in better melting and texture. It’s worth the extra effort for a tastier pizza.
  5. Monitor baking time: Keep a close eye on the pizzas while they are baking to prevent them from burning. Oven temperatures can vary, so adjust the baking time as needed. The pizzas are ready when the cheese is melted and bubbly and the edges are slightly golden.
  6. Let it cool slightly: Allow the pizzas to cool for a few minutes before slicing. This helps the toppings to set and prevents the cheese from sliding off the slices.
  7. Serve with a side salad: Accompany your pita pizza with a fresh side salad for a complete and balanced meal. The crispness of the salad provides a refreshing contrast to the warm and flavorful pizza.

Optional Toppings

If you want to add more to this, here are some suggestions:

  • Fresh cilantro – Chop and use as a garnish
  • Green onion – Slice them thin and sprinkle them on for garnish.
  • Bacon – Pre-cook the bacon separately and chop it into bacon bits.
  • Ranch dressing – Drizzle it on or use it as a dip.
A hand reaches for a slice of BBQ Chicken Pizza off of a plate.

About The Ingredients For Barbecue Chicken Pizza

Whole wheat pita: Look for one that is 100% whole wheat and has no added sugar.

BBQ sauce: Choose your favorite bbq sauce or make your own homemade BBQ sauce. Adjust the amount according to your taste preferences. You can use sweet or tangy BBQ sauce, depending on your preference.

Shredded chicken: You can use leftover cooked chicken or cook and shred chicken breasts specifically for this recipe. Season the chicken with salt and pepper before cooking for added flavor. Rotisserie chicken will work too, just check for unwanted ingredients.

Salt: Use the amount mentioned in the recipe as a guideline. Feel free to adjust the salt according to your taste preferences or dietary needs.

Onion: You can use any type of onion you prefer, such as yellow, white, or red onion. Diced onions add a nice flavor and texture to the pizza.

Cheese: Mozzarella cheese and cheddar cheese are popular choices for pizza, but you can experiment with other types of cheese as well. Use pre-shredded cheese or grate it yourself for the best results. Gouda cheese would be good here if you like that.

Olive oil: Use good-quality olive oil for brushing the pitas. It adds a delicious flavor and helps to crisp up the crust.

Parsley: Fresh parsley adds vibrant color and freshness to the finished pizza. You can also try other herbs like basil or cilantro if you prefer.

How To Make BBQ Chicken Pizza

BBQ Chicken Pizza Recipe ingredients gathered on a white surface.

Gather and measure all your ingredients.

Shredded chicken in a glass bowl with a small white bowl to the right containing barbecue sauce.
Barbecue sauce added to shredded chicken in a glass bowl.
BBQ sauce mixed into shredded chicken.

Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). In a bowl, mix the shredded chicken with BBQ sauce until the chicken is evenly coated.

A pita bread laying on a plate.

Place the whole wheat pita on a baking sheet, pizza pan, or pizza stone.

BBQ sauce spread over a pita bread.

Spread a generous amount of BBQ sauce evenly over the pita, leaving a small border around the edges.

Cheese spread over bbq sauce on a pita bread.

Sprinkle a layer of shredded cheese over the BBQ sauce on the pita.

Shredded bbq chicken spread over cheese and sauce on a pita bread.

Spread the BBQ sauce-coated shredded chicken over the cheese layer.

Onion slices spread on top of the pita pizza.

Scatter the diced onions evenly over the chicken.

Just-baked BBQ Chicken Pizza cooling on a plate.

Place the baking sheet with the assembled pitas in the preheated oven. Bake for about 10-12 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the pitas are crisp.

Parsley sprinkled over the top of the BBQ Chicken Pizza for garnish.

Remove the pita pizza from the oven and let it cool slightly. Garnish with freshly chopped parsley. Cut each pita pizza into slices and serve immediately.

Storage

If you have leftover pizza, allow it to cool completely before storing it. Place the cooled pizza in an airtight container or wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. Store it in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.

Freezing

To freeze the pizza, again, allow it to cool completely. Place the individual slices or the whole pizza in a freezer-safe container or wrap it tightly with aluminum foil. It’s best to wrap each slice separately to prevent them from sticking together. The pizza can be stored in the freezer for up to 2-3 months.

Reheating BBQ Chicken Pizza

Thawing and reheating: To enjoy the frozen pizza, thaw it overnight in the refrigerator. Once thawed, you can reheat it in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for about 10-15 minutes until heated through. Alternatively, you can reheat individual slices in a toaster oven or microwave until warmed to your liking.

A side view of a cut BBQ Chicken Pizza on a plate.

Recipe Supplies For BBQ Chicken Pizza

For this recipe, you’ll need a good baking pan, a pizza cutter or sharp knife, a good cutting board and either measuring cups or a food scale.

More Healthy Pita Pizza Recipes

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A BBQ Chicken Pizza lays on a plate with a small bowl of bbq sauce off to the top left and parsley sprinkled all around the plate.

BBQ Chicken Pizza Recipe

Delicious BBQ chicken pizza for one or more.
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Course: Dinner, Lunch, Main Course, Snack
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 1 serving
Calories: 534kcal
Author: Tiffany McCauley

Equipment

  • 1 Baking sheet (or pizza pan or pizza stone)
  • 1 Sharp knife (or pizza cutter)
  • 1 Cutting board
  • 1 set measuring cups (or kitchen scale)

Ingredients

  • 1 standard whole grain pita bread
  • ¼ cup barbecue sauce (see notes above)
  • ½ cup cooked, shredded chicken
  • tsp. salt
  • 2 tbsp. diced red onion
  • ½ cup grated cheese (such as mozzarella or cheddar cheese)
  • tsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • fresh parsley (chopped, for garnish)

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). In a bowl, mix the shredded chicken with BBQ sauce until the chicken is evenly coated.
    BBQ sauce mixed into shredded chicken.
  • Place the whole wheat pita on a baking sheet, pizza pan, or pizza stone.
    A pita bread laying on a plate.
  • Spread a generous amount of BBQ sauce evenly over the pita, leaving a small border around the edges.
    BBQ sauce spread over a pita bread.
  • Sprinkle a layer of shredded cheese over the BBQ sauce on the pita.
    Cheese spread over bbq sauce on a pita bread.
  • Spread the BBQ sauce-coated shredded chicken over the cheese layer.
    Shredded bbq chicken spread over cheese and sauce on a pita bread.
  • Scatter the diced onions evenly over the chicken.
    Onion slices spread on top of the pita pizza.
  • Place the baking sheet with the assembled pitas in the preheated oven. Bake for about 10-12 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the pitas are crisp.
    Just-baked BBQ Chicken Pizza cooling on a plate.
  • Remove the pita pizza from the oven and let it cool slightly. Garnish with freshly chopped parsley. Cut each pita pizza into slices and serve immediately.
    Parsley sprinkled over the top of the BBQ Chicken Pizza for garnish.

Notes

Please note that the nutrition data given here is a ballpark figure. Exact data is not possible.

Nutrition

Serving: 1entire recipe | Calories: 534kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 109mg | Sodium: 1454mg | Potassium: 401mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 25g | Vitamin A: 755IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 436mg | Iron: 2mg

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I'm Tiffany, a writer for MSN and the AP Newswire, a cookbook author, digital publisher, food lover, and mom. I create healthy, clean eating recipes for everyday living.

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