BBQ Chicken Pizza – The Stay At Home Chef

BBQ chicken pizza is a symphony of flavors, where smoky BBQ sauce meets the creamy richness of mozzarella and smoked gouda. Ready in under 30 minutes, this pizza offers a perfect blend of convenience and gourmet taste, right from your own oven.

Why You’ll Love BBQ Chicken Pizza

  • Quick and Easy: Ready in under 30 minutes, perfect for busy weeknights or impromptu gatherings.
  • Flavorful Fusion: Combines the smokiness of BBQ sauce with the richness of melted cheese for a mouthwatering taste.
  • Versatile: Offers flexibility with ingredients, allowing for both homemade and store-bought dough and sauce, gluten-free, and dairy-free options.
  • Crowd-Pleaser: Sure to satisfy a wide range of taste buds, making it ideal for family dinners or social events.
Overhead view of a bbq chicken pizza cut into slices on a wood serving platter.

Ingredient Breakdown & Substitutions

Dive into the heart of BBQ chicken pizza with our guide to its key ingredients and versatile substitutions. Here, we’ll explore the essential components that make this dish a standout and offer alternative options to suit various preferences and dietary needs.

  • Barbecue Sauce: Opt for a smoky, sweet variety, or try a spicy version for a kick.
  • Chicken: Both rotisserie chicken and home-cooked chicken work well. For a vegetarian version, consider using grilled tofu or tempeh.
  • Cheeses: While mozzarella and cheddar are recommended, feel free to try different combinations like Gouda, Monterey Jack, or vegan cheese alternatives.
  • Bacon: Can be omitted for a vegetarian option or replaced with turkey bacon.
  • Red Onion: Adds a mild sweetness; can be substituted with yellow onion for a milder taste.
  • Cilantro: Optional, but adds a fresh burst of flavor. Parsley is a good alternative.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use a different type of cheese?

Yes, feel free to experiment with different cheeses like Gouda or Monterey Jack for a different flavor profile.

Can I make this pizza without a cast-iron skillet?

Absolutely! You can use a deep-dish pizza pan or a baking sheet, though cooking times may vary slightly.

Is it possible to make this pizza vegetarian?

Yes, feel free to use plant-based meat substitutes for the chicken and bacon, or simply omit the meat altogether and add more veggies like bell peppers or mushrooms.

How do I know when the pizza is perfectly cooked?

The pizza is done when the cheese is bubbly and golden, and the crust is a deep golden brown.

Can I prepare this pizza in advance?

You can prepare the toppings in advance, but it’s best to assemble and bake the pizza right before serving for the best results.

Can I use store-bought pizza dough?

Certainly! You can either buy ready-to-bake pizza dough from your local grocery store, or you can use homemade pizza dough. 

Can I make BBQ sauce from scratch?

Yes! We love homemade BBQ sauce! You can always keep things simple with your favorite store-bought barbecue sauce, or kick the flavor up a notch with homemade BBQ sauce. The taste of homemade just can’t be beat!

What if I don’t have a cast iron skillet?

If you don’t have a cast iron skillet, you can use any greased 12-13 inch baking dish. The key is to make sure it has deep enough sides for all of your fillings. 

Chicken Options

You have so many options, ranging from completely hands-off prep to making it from scratch!

Leftover Rotisserie Chicken

  • Preparation: Simply shred the meat using two forks. Both white and dark meat work well.
  • Benefits: It’s a time-saver and a great way to use leftovers. The mix of dark and white meat adds depth to the pizza.
  • Considerations: Be mindful of the original seasoning of the rotisserie chicken as it will influence the overall taste of the pizza.

Canned Chicken

  • Preparation: Drain the chicken thoroughly and break it apart. It’s usually pre-cooked, so it just needs to be warmed through in the pizza.
  • Benefits: Quick and easy to use, requires no additional cooking.
  • Considerations: It can be less flavorful than other options and might contain added sodium.

Boiled and Shredded Chicken

  • Preparation: Boil chicken breasts or thighs until fully cooked, then shred. Season as desired.
  • Benefits: Customizable in terms of flavor; can be made in bulk and used in various recipes.
  • Considerations: Requires additional preparation time and can be less moist than other methods.

Grilled Chicken

  • Preparation: Grill seasoned chicken breasts or thighs, then slice or shred.
  • Benefits: Adds a smoky depth that complements the BBQ theme.
  • Considerations: Requires access to a grill and additional cooking time.

Baked Chicken

  • Preparation: Season and bake chicken in the oven, then shred or chop.
  • Benefits: Easy to season and customize; can be made healthier by using skinless chicken.
  • Considerations: Takes longer than using pre-cooked options.

Store-Bought Pre-Cooked Chicken Strips

  • Preparation: Simply chop or use as is, since they’re already cooked.
  • Benefits: Extremely convenient and quick to use.
  • Considerations: Can be more expensive and may contain preservatives or added flavors.


  • Soggy Crust: To avoid this, ensure the skillet is well-greased and the oven is properly preheated.
  • Cheese Burning: If the cheese is browning too fast, cover with foil and reduce the oven temperature slightly.
  • Uneven Cooking: Rotate the pizza halfway through cooking to ensure even browning.

Tips From the Chef

  • Spread the sauce evenly: Avoid putting too much sauce in the center to prevent a soggy crust.
  • Layer wisely: Start with cheese, then add chicken and bacon, and top with more cheese for an even melt.
  • Watch the oven: Keep an eye on the pizza during the final minutes of baking to prevent over-browning.
Overhead view of a bbq chicken pizza.

Storage, Freezer & Reheating Instructions 

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat in an oven preheated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, or in the microwave in 30-second increments until warmed through.

To freeze, store your cooked and cooled pizza in an airtight container, layering parchment paper between slices to keep them from sticking to each other. Your pizza should keep for up to 3 months in the freezer. When ready to eat, warm your pizza in an oven or toaster oven at 325 degrees Fahrenheit until warmed through.

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