BBQ Chicken Pizza (in the oven or grill)

5 from 2 votes
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This homemade BBQ Chicken Pizza beats the pants off any restaurant version. This easy oven baked pizza is made with smoked chicken (or any leftover chicken), red onions, tomatoes, cheese, with a secret sauce that brings everything together.

BBQ Chicken Pizza cut into slices

BBQ Chicken can be grilled or cooked in the oven, and is perfect for Friday Night Pizza Night! We also have a Neapolitan BBQ chicken pizza if you are looking for a recipe with a wood fired grill.

Friday nights in our house mean pizza night! We live in the country, far from any restaurants, so we’re rarely going out for pizza. That means we’ve had to perfect our pizza game.

We cook our pizzas two ways around here, either in the oven on high heat using a pizza stone, or grilled pizza on our Big Green Egg. This BBQ Chicken Pizza can be successfully cooked on either.


  • Dough – For the oven we like to use a NY Style pizza dough and target 12 – 14 inches in diameter. You can use our Neapolitan style pizza dough as well.
  • Sauces – This BBQ chicken pizza shines with our Red Wine BBQ sauce and mixed in equal parts with a good pizza sauce.
  • Chicken – You can make this easy with a store bought rotisserie chicken. Alternatively you can use shredded grilled chicken breast or whole smoked chicken for more flavor.
  • Veggies – Fresh tomatoes (diced up) and thinly sliced red onions add a bright fresh flavor.
  • Cheese – Fresh Mozzarella is creamy and melts well. The fresh in water is best. Be sure it’s drained. If all you have is the shredded mozzarella be sure it’s low moisture. We also like to add shredded cheddar cheese for more of a tangy flavor.
  • Finish – Add fresh cilantro and some Maldon finishing salt after the pizza is done.
A Whole Roaster Chicken cooked on a Smoker

The Sauce

I’m not a fan of using 100% BBQ sauce as the base. I find most BBQ sauces have so much sugar in them that when you bake at a high heat the sauce starts to caramelize before the pizza is done cooking, and the end result is more like candy then a nice rich sauce.

So I like to mix ½ BBQ sauce with ½ regular pizza sauce (or just regular tomato sauce). It provides a richness and saucy texture that I’m going for, but you still get the BBQ flavor. We use the same ½ and ½ sauce technique with this killer Buffalo Chicken Pizza.

Best Cheeses

My favorite is a combination of shredded cheese (cheddar or smoked cheddar) and some mozzarella cheese.

Feel free to use any combination, or just stick with the traditional mozzarella.


In an oven you really want to use a good pizza stone. Be sure to measure your oven and buy the largest pizza stone that will fit in the oven. Note you want to measure from the door to the back of the oven as well as side to side so the stone doesn’t prevent the door from shutting.

We like using a pizza stone versus steel because it’s gentler on the base of the pizza as it cooks but needs time to warm up.

If using your grill we have a full list of essential pizza tools you want to be sure you have.

Smoked BBQ Chicken Pizza

Preparation Tips

  • Prep your mis en place so you can make the pizza (or pizzas) easily with ingredients already prepped.
  • Be sure your dough is at room temperature. Working cold dough is a pain. Trust us.
  • Preheat your oven well before you plan to cook the pizza. You want the stone hot when the pizza hits.
  • As the dough cooks be sure to turn the pizza once 180 degrees half way through the cooking. Most ovens are hotter toward the backside and this prevents one side from overcooking and mirrors using a pizza oven.

Recipe Instructions

  1. Preheat Oven: to 550 degrees Fahrenheit, with a pizza stone in the center of the oven. See notes for grilling your pizza.
  2. Prepare Pizza Dough: we absolutely love Ken’s Artisan Pizza dough for our pizzas. But feel free to use your favorite pizza dough. Roll it out to 12″.
  3. BBQ Pizza Sauce: we combine equal parts BBQ Sauce and traditional pizza sauce. We’ve learned through experience that 100% BBQ sauce will start to burn before the pizza is done cooking. That’s because most BBQ sauces contain a high amount of sugar, and sugar cooked at a high heat will burn quickly. So we mix in some traditional tomato sauce to reduce that risk. Plus the combination tastes great. Spoon your sauce evenly throughout your dough.
  4. Toppings: layer your pizza with shredded chicken, sliced red onions, diced tomatoes, and a combination of cheeses (we use a combination of cheddar cheeses and mozzarella).
  5. Cook Pizza: Gently slide the pizza onto the pizza stone, rotate the pizza 180 degrees after 6 minutes and finish baking (about 10-12 minutes total).
  6. Garnish Pizza with fresh chopped cilantro, slice, and serve.
Smoked BBQ Chicken Pizza drizzled with bbq sauce

Wine Pairing for BBQ Chicken Pizza

You have lots of options here. You’ve got some smoky components from both the meat and the BBQ sauce, but you also have some sharp flavors from the onions and cheddar, and some herbal cilantro. If you go red this is where a low tannic fruity wine is great, like Zinfandel, Syrah, or Grenache.

BBQ Chicken Pizza and Wine Pairing

But I also love it with a bolder style Rosé. Rosés will have lots of fresh acidity and bright fruit flavors that will balance well with the multitude of flavors going on in the BBQ Chicken Pizza. They are very versatile and also super refreshing.

More Pizza Recipes:

Note: This post was originally published April of 2016 and updated April of 2020.

About Vindulge

About Vindulge

Mary (a certified sommelier and recipe developer) and Sean (backyard pitmaster) are co-authors of the critically acclaimed cookbook, Fire + Wine, and have been creating content for the IACP nominated website Vindulge since 2009. They live in Oregon on a farm just outside Portland.

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5 from 2 votes

BBQ Chicken Pizza Recipe

An easy Smoked BBQ Chicken Pizza, made with smoked chicken, a blend of cheeses, and our favorite toppings. Perfect for Pizza Night!!!
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 servings


  • 1 Pizza dough, your favorite homemade or store-bought dough (enough for one 12″ pizza)
  • ¼ cup bbq sauce, (your favorite homemade or store-bought)
  • ¼ cup pizza sauce (or tomato sauce)
  • 1 cup smoked chicken, shredded (or the equivalent of other cuts of chicken, shredded)
  • ¼ medium red onion, sliced into thin strips (approx ½ cup)
  • 1 medium tomato, diced (about ½ cup)
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese, (my favorite combo is ½ cheddar, ½ smoked cheddar, more or less depending on how cheesy you want your pizza)
  • ¼ cup mozzarella cheese
  • Diced cilantro, for garnish


  • Preparation: Preheat oven to 550 degrees F (see notes for alternative methods), with a pizza stone in the center of the oven. Slice and prep all of your ingredients in advance and mix the BBQ sauce and tomato sauce in a small bowl.
  • Prep Dough: Roll out the pizza dough to about 12” circle onto a slide-able pizza peel (or onto a round pizza pan). Layer the dough with the BBQ/pizza sauce mixture, shredded chicken, onion, tomato, and cheeses.
  • Bake: Slide the pizza onto the pizza stone, and cook for 6 minutes. Rotate the pizza 180 degrees and then finish until the crust is golden brown and toppings are bubbly (about 10-12 minutes).
  • Serve: Top pizza with fresh chopped cilantro, slice, and serve.


This pizza is also fantastic grilled. For instructions on how to grill pizzas, start with a high heat in the grill. Ideally 425 – 450 degrees. As the grill warms up, be sure the pizza stone or steel is on the grill at the same time also heating up.
For a Big Green Egg: We use the convEGGtor plate, the grill grate, and a pizza stone in that order. 
For a Kettle Grill, We use a pizza steel, a typical pizza stone can crack over direct heat.
When grilling, place the pizza onto the steel or the pizza stone. After 5 minutes, rotate the pizza 90 degrees. This helps to distribute the heat if any hot spots and make an evenly cooked crust.
Remove the pizza after an additional 5 minutes or the bottom of the crust has a golden color and the cheese is melted.


Calories: 807kcal | Carbohydrates: 57g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 59g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 12g | Monounsaturated Fat: 24g | Cholesterol: 60mg | Sodium: 1097mg | Potassium: 186mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 505IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 119mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Course: Entree
Cuisine: barbecue, bbq, Pizza
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 807
Keyword: BBQ Chicken Pizza, Grilled Pizza
Like this recipe? Leave a comment below!

mary cressler headshot


About Mary

I'm Mary, a wine/food/travel writer, Certified Sommelier, mom of twins, former vegetarian turned BBQ fanatic, runner, founder of Vindulge, and author of Fire + Wine cookbook. Thanks for stopping by!

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  1. 5 stars
    Hey Mary,

    Great job with the images and the description and the recipe (of course!)
    I really enjoyed looking at the pictures, and would like to use one of them in a small mobile app-project of mine.. is that okay with you?

    Please keep writing such beautiful blogs with these colorful images. Makes me go hungry!

    1. Thanks! And yes, you’re welcome to use photos as long as there is proper photo credit and linking back to this site.

    1. Thanks! They love getting messy in the kitchen (or outside!). I think they see both of us cooking so often that they like to get involved 🙂

  2. ugh–it’s not friday, it’s monday, and that sucks! this pizza doesn’t suck, though, and it would be perfect for any night!

  3. Friday night is our pizza and movie family night too! BBQ chicken pizza is hands down my fave and my husband’s fave, and I might need to use my real-cheese-hall-pass for this one (I normally use Daiya because I’m 90% dairy free, but I think this recipe calls for the real thing!). Looks delicious!

  4. That is a beautiful pizza. I love the idea of a traditional meal. We used to do Pancake Saturdays at our house, but having an infant has made us not be very consistent. Pizza Friday sounds wonderful.

    1. That sounds like us! So hard to be consistent with the kiddos.
      MMM Pancake Sunday sounds glorious. We love those around here.

  5. Happy Friday! When my husband and I met, he worked at a pizza place that made an incredible BBQ chicken pizza. We should make this as a little reminder of that time! <3

  6. I have yet to try the BBQ Chicken Pizza. It sounds delicious, but I always end up going for a regular meat lovers instead. One day, I will give it a try.

  7. Pizza Night!! I promise we will build that oven!! Until then, it’s Friday Night Lights at your place 🙂 Yum!