This post has been updated to reflect the changes I’ve made since it was first posted in 2009.
Remember when California Pizza was all the rage? It was years before it came to our city. Every time we visited Las Vegas, or California or Naples, FL (places we frequented for one reason or another in the 90’s) we had to make a stop at California Pizza Kitchen for a BBQ Chicken Pizza!
My early favorite flavor was BBQ Chicken Pizza. I also loved the Thai pizza and one of our family favorites was BLT pizza. CPK pizzas are the thin-crust type. Most pizza places let the crust or cheesy topping take center stage. A few times back in the experimental stages, I made bbq chicken pizza with thick crust (because I love a good thick crust pizza), but realized that thick crust and lots of cheese take away from other toppings in this case. This BBQ Chicken Pizza recipe is best when made using a thin crust to highlight the combination of flavors on top of the pizza. Remember, thin to win on crust for this pizza!
I love the dough recipe attached to this BBQ Chicken Pizza or also the dough on this recipe for Margherita Pizza. If you’re looking for a no egg dough, use the Margherita Pizza dough recipe. The pizza crust on this recipe is easy and makes about two 14-16″ pizza crusts, or about 4 -8″ crusts. If you are in a hurry, or making your own crust is too overwhelming, you can buy frozen bread dough, and roll it out really thin, or use a pre-made pizza crust. Sometimes, you can even talk one of those take and bake pizza places ( like Papa Murphy’s) into selling the crust-rolled out without toppings.
Making this recipe is a simple process- make the dough, cook the chicken while dough is rising, shred the cheese, chop the onions and cilantro and get ready for bbq pizza perfection. This is also a great meal to make with kids or for a party. Just make the dough, and let your guests help prepare the toppings and put together in assembly line fashion. I know you’ll love this home made version of everyone’s favorite BBQ Chicken Pizza!
BBQ Chicken Pizza
California-style Barbecue Chicken Pizza recipe is easy to make at home! Perfect for parties or family dinners.
- 1 1/4 cup warm water
- 1 package yeast or 2 1/4 teaspoons
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 eggs beaten
- 4-5 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2-3 chicken breast halves cooked and chopped or shredded
- barbeque sauce recipe below or bottled
- 2 1/2 cups shredded smoked Gouda cheese
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup chopped red onion
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
Homemade Barbecue sauce
- 2 cups ketchup
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 5-8 drops hot sauce Tabasco
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- 3 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
- ground pepper
Stir yeast and sugar into warm water. Let stand about 10 minutes until foamy.
In large bow of a stand mixer, mix eggs and salt, add yeast mixture. Add flour a cup at a time, just until dough pulls away from bowl. If using mixer, continue mixing with dough hook attachment until smooth and elastic. Put dough in large oiled bowl, and sit in warm place for about 1 hour or until doubled.
Heat all ingredients for bbq sauce in a pan on stove. Add additional sugar, hot sauce according to your taste. Whisk until smooth. Remove from heat when sugar is dissolved and mixture starts to boil. Set aside.
Prepare Oven for Cooking
Place rack on lowest shelf in oven. Preheat oven to 450 degrees for at least 30 minutes while dough is rising and topping ingredients are being prepared. Very important to have the oven HOT when placing pizza in oven.
Place the chicken in about 1/4 cup barbeque sauce and let sit for a few minutes. Roll out the pizza dough into a 14" circle and place onto a pizza pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray or dusted with cornmeal. Spread about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of barbeque sauce onto the crust (depending on how saucy you like your pizza). Top with half of the chicken, half of the Gouda and mozzarella, and chopped red onion. Repeat the process with the ingredients on the other crust. You should have two 14" crusts or 4 small pizzas.
Bake at 450 for about 12 minutes until cheeses are melted and bottom of crust is golden. Remove from oven and sprinkle on fresh cilantro and a few pieces of chopped fresh red onion for color. Cut and serve immediately.
- If you don't want to make homemade bbq sauce or don't have the time, I recommend a sweet and slightly spicy sauce, such as Sweet Baby Ray's.
- This combination of fillings is also amazing on a pita or a greek pita bread, fill with toppings, Microwave on a paper towel just until cheese is melted, roll up, stuff (if pita) or fold in half and enjoy.