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    This homemade BBQ chicken pizza will compete with your favorite restaurant’s version. It is topped with a sweet, tangy, and smoky BBQ sauce, juicy seasoned chicken, zesty red onions, buttery mozzarella, and the secret ingredient, which is a rare, smoky Gouda cheese. The BBQ Chicken Pizza is baked until bubbling and oozing, then garnished with fresh, tangy cilantro.

    Intoxicating layers of flavor simply cannot be surpassed. You may use store-bought BBQ sauce and pizza dough for a dinner that comes together in minutes, or you can use homemade BBQ sauce and handmade pizza dough for an outstanding thick-style pizza crust that also comes together in minutes – with a little more preparation. Whatever of culinary journey you select, you will like this homemade BBQ Chicken Pizza!


    BBQ Chicken Pizza must be one of the most popular “non-traditional” pizzas sold in all Italian American pizzerias. Together with my other favorite Thai Chicken Pizza, I fell in love with it at California Pizza Kitchen, back when CPK was a yellow-and-black checkered restaurant. While CPK’s walls and menu have changed throughout the years, its classic BBQ Chicken Pizza has remained the same.

    This Barbecue Chicken Pizza dish is inspired by the immensely popular CPK variation and is absolutely wonderful. In fact, upon biting into a slice, Patrick remarked, “This tastes exactly like CPK!” Unbeknownst to him, that was just what I had in mind. So I am excited to share my rendition of CPK’s BBQ Chicken Pizza with you today!


    • Everyone enjoys pizza night, and they will appreciate this new family ritual. This Barbecue Chicken Pizza is also perfect for game day, parties, and business functions.
    • Less expensive: offer this flavorful meal to the entire family for a fraction of the cost of dining out.
    • Layer upon layer of flavor and texture will have you forgoing CPK in favor of your own handmade BBQ Chicken Pizza. This dish is elevated by the handmade BBQ sauce, homemade dough, seasoned chicken, and gouda cheese.
    • You probably have most of the ingredients for BBQ Chicken Pizza in your pantry or refrigerator, so you can cook it at any moment.
    • Simple: season and cook the chicken, spread the dough with barbecue sauce, and layer the chicken, cheese, and red onions on top.
    • All the components can be prepared in advance so that dinner can be assembled in a second. My pizza dough recipe can be prepared in advance and refrigerated or frozen until ready to use. My homemade barbecue sauce can also be prepared weeks beforehand. This makes assembly extremely quick and simple; however, you can also use pizza crust and barbecue sauce purchased from a supermarket, which is also quick and simple.
    • You can add more or less of an ingredient, or whatever you choose, to your pizza.
    • My pizza dough recipe yields enough for two 12-inch pizzas, so you can double the BBQ Chicken Pizza recipe and create two pizzas, or freeze the remaining dough for later use.


    This BBQ Chicken Pizza is sweet and tangy from the BBQ sauce, earthy, robust, and smokey from the spice-rubbed chicken, zesty from the red onions and cilantro, and delightfully creamy from the mozzarella and gouda, all atop a garlic salt-infused soft and chewy crust with crispy edges — drool. Here is what you will require:


    Chicken breasts: You will need one big uncooked chicken breast, chopped, or approximately 12 oz/1 1/2 cups chopped chicken. Before cooking, the chicken is seasoned with smoked paprika, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, chipotle chile powder, and salt, so that it is not only barbecue-sauce-coated chicken but rather chicken with a captivating flavor.

    Rotisserie chicken: If you don’t want to prepare your own chicken, you may use leftover cooked chicken or shredded, chopped rotisserie chicken and combine it with the same spices.


    • Store-bought BBQ Sauce: You can use your preferred sweet barbecue sauce, such as Sweet Baby Rays or honey-bbq sauce, to replicate the flavor of CPK BBQ Chicken as precisely as possible, but I highly recommend using my homemade BBQ Sauce recipe.
    • Homemade BBQ Sauce: My homemade BBQ sauce recipe is an enticing blend of sweet, sour, spicy, and smokey, and it’s ready in less than 20 minutes – 15 of which are hands-free simmering! It may be prepared weeks in advance, so it doesn’t require any additional time while creating the BBQ Chicken Pizza, and I guarantee that every second of the 15 minutes is well worth it! Simple pantry ingredients, including ketchup, molasses, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, liquid smoke, seasonings, and my secret ingredient, are simmered to produce layers of flavor that you will want. Here are a few remarks about the Homemade Barbecue Sauce:


    • Use both Gouda and mozzarella cheese to provide the greatest flavor and the trademark BBQ Chicken Pizza flavor. Gouda is delicately sweet, smokey, and melts beautifully. Its smokiness pairs wonderfully with the sweet barbecue sauce and fresh cilantro. Gouda is typically located with deli and specialty cheeses in supermarket stores. You may use half of this recipe for BBQ Chicken Pizza and the rest for my Homemade Mac & Cheese – Delicious! If you don’t want to make an extra trip to the grocery, you can substitute mozzarella for the Gouda; but, the next time you’re at a restaurant, go for gold and use Gouda.
    • Mozzarella: gives the characteristic pizza flavor. If you use mozzarella packed in water instead of low-moisture fresh mozzarella, the cheese will bleed excessively, resulting in a sloppy pizza. Also, DO NOT utilize pre-shredded mozzarella, since it is covered with anti-clumping agents that prevent it from melting properly.


    I adore the exquisite simplicity of BBQ chicken, but you can also use it as a base to add your favorite toppings, such as:

    • Crumbled bacon
    • Ham
    • Pineapple tidbits
    • Bell Peppers
    • Sweet Corn
    • Olives
    • Jalapeños



    Whether you haven’t planned ahead, don’t want to spend additional time in the kitchen, or life gets in the way, store-bought pizza dough is a convenient shortcut. You may find pizza dough in the deli department of specialty grocery stores, as well as in select pizza shops. In a pinch, you can get a canned dough that is still edible but don’t anticipate restaurant-quality results.


    While store-bought pizza dough is convenient, I strongly recommend creating your own. Similarly to how nothing beats handmade bread, nothing beats homemade pizza dough. It is baked with olive oil and garlic salt for improved taste and texture, resulting in the Finest BBQ Chicken Pizza! In case you still need convincing, here is a small sample of the hundreds of glowing reviews:

    As much as you will adore how delicious this pizza dough is, you will adore how simple it is to make – SO much simpler than you might expect! After making pizza dough for the first time, the irrational dread will vanish, and you will enjoy pizza night every other week – or at least be strongly inclined to do so.

    My homemade pizza dough recipe is ideal for novices because I’ve included step-by-step images and a plethora of success-guaranteeing recommendations. This pizza dough is particularly fantastic because it can be refrigerated or frozen! After allowing the dough to rise and dividing it into two balls, the dough can be refrigerated or frozen until ready for use. You can now have homemade pizza dough on hand in an instant for this BBQ Chicken Pizza, Philadelphia Cheesesteak Pizza, or Pulled Pork Pizza.


    To obtain a crust that is crisp on the exterior and chewy on the inside, a very hot pizza stone or perforated pan is necessary (you can also use a baking sheet in a bind). To accomplish this. While rolling out the dough, prepare the pizza stone or pan in the oven for 30 to 60 minutes at 475 degrees Fahrenheit. Upon transferring your pizza, the dough will immediately begin to sear, resulting in a beautifully crisp surface and soft, chewy interior.


    The components of this BBQ Chicken Pizza can be prepared in advance, leaving only the assembly of the pizza for dinner.

    THE DOUGH: Let the dough rise for a second time, then tightly wrap each dough ball in plastic. Refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze for longer storage. When you are ready to use the dough, unwrap it and set it on a floured surface, parchment paper, or a non-slip mat. Let the dough reach room temperature for 30 to 60 minutes before rolling it out, while you preheat the pizza stone.



    This recipe for BBQ Chicken Pizza yields one 12-inch pizza or eight slices. Depending on how many large eaters you have and how substantial your side dishes are, you can serve anywhere from 3 to 5 people.



    • 1 ½ cups (12 oz.) UNCOOKED chicken breast chopped into bite-size pieces
    • 1 tsp EACH smoked paprika, chili powder
    • 1/2 tsp EACH onion, powder, garlic powder, salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder


    • 1/2 recipe homemade pizza dough or store-bought
    • 1/3 cup + 3 tablespoons homemade BBQ Sauce or your favorite store-bought BBQ sauce, divided
    • 1 cup freshly shredded mozzarella cheese (low moisture)
    • 1 cup shredded smoked Gouda cheese
    • 1/4 small red onion thinly sliced


    chopped fresh cilantro


    • PREPARE HOMEMADE PIZZA DOUGH in accordance with the instructions. For both handmade and store-bought dough, lightly spray the formed dough with olive oil (to keep it from becoming soggy), sprinkle with garlic salt (don’t forget the edges), and prick with a fork several times.
    • In a small bowl, whisk together the chicken spices. Pat the chicken dry and uniformly coat it with seasonings while it is still on the cutting board. Set aside.
    • In a heavy-bottomed skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat until rippling hot. Add chicken and cook to completion. Take the pan from the heat and stir in three tablespoons of barbecue sauce.
    • Spread evenly one-third cup of barbecue sauce over the uncooked dough. The dish is topped equally with cooked chicken, cheese, and red onions.
    • BAKE: Bake at 475 degrees F for 12-15 minutes. Remove from the oven and, if wanted, garnish with cilantro. Immediately slice with a pizza cutter and serve.
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