posted January 17, 2024
Backyard BBQ Chicken Pizza
Smoky chicken with 3 melty cheeses on a crispy crust slathered in tangy BBQ sauce, my Backyard BBQ Chicken Pizza has something for everyone. Top with spicy jalapeños and crisp onions, and savor the flavor.
Backyard BBQ Chicken Pizza
It’s hard to imagine now, but there was a time not so long ago when BBQ chicken pizza didn’t exist. Then, in 1985, pizza chef Ed LaDou heard the angels singing, He swapped out the traditional tomato sauce for a tangy, sweet BBQ sauce, created a masterpiece, and never looked back. This pizza is traditionally topped with gooey melted cheese, juicy chicken, and crisp red onions.
For my Backyard BBQ Chicken Pizza, I like to give it a little something extra. Yes it’s got tender, smoky chicken, crisp red onion, and cheese that will give you the ultimate cheese pull, but that’s not all. With this recipe we’re going to bring the heat. Not only does the sauce have a little jalapeño kick, I also top it with some jalapeño slices. It’s savory, it’s spicy, it’s sweet, and it cooks in just a few minutes. Let’s get started.
Homemade Pizza Dough
In my opinion, the best pizza dough is the kind you make yourself. There’s really nothing better than a slice of pizza your prepared from scratch. Now, you can obviously get by using store-bought dough, but where’s the fun in that? I’m using my Neapolitan Pizza Dough for this recipe, but I’ve got a couple different doughs, like my Homemade Grilled Pizza Dough, you can try as your pizza skills grow.
Keep in mind making a homemade pizza dough recipe is super rewarding, but you will have to prepare ahead a little. With most homemade doughs, you’ll need to allow 24-72 hours for proofing and fermentation. It’s mostly refrigerator time, so don’t be intimidated. Just be aware if you want to know exactly what’s in the dough you eat, you’ll want to make it ahead of time.
BBQ Pizza Sauce
The sauce is the main thing that sets BBQ chicken pizza apart from more traditional pies, so your choice here will make all the difference. For this recipe I’m using my Apple Jalapeño BBQ sauce, which you can purchase here or make by following the recipe. It’s got all the tangy goodness you expect from a BBQ sauce, with some extra sweetness from the apple and the jalapeño adds some sassy, spicy kick.
The Best Chicken for BBQ Pizza
Using the right chicken is the key to a great backyard BBQ chicken pizza. I mean, it’s right there in the name, after all. You want to make sure you’ve got tender, juicy, savory chicken to really bring this pie across the finish line. You can pick up a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store for shredding, or use one of my chicken recipes, available in the Hey Grill Hey app.
- BBQ Pulled Chicken
- Rotisserie Chicken with Buttermilk Brine
- Smoked Whole Chicken
- Whole Smoked Chicken with Smoked Chicken Brine
Toppings for BBQ Pizza
One of the best parts of making your own pizza is the ability to choose exactly what goes on it. Here are my go-to toppings when I’m making BBQ chicken pizza. Let me know in the comments what some of your unique favorites are.
- Cheese. The possibilities are endless when it comes to cheese for your pizza. I like to use a blend of fresh shredded mozzarella and shredded sharp cheddar, but feel free to experiment here. I also like to finish off all my pizzas with some grated Parmesan.
- Jalapeños. I love adding jalapeños to my pizza (and everything, really) for some much-desired heat. These are optional, so if you don’t love heat, then you can skip them. If you want the spice, check out my recipe for Quick Pickled Jalapeños, or grab a jar from the store.
- Red onions. This one is totally optional as well, but I highly recommend it. Not only will freshly sliced red onions add to the overall spiciness of your pizza, they’ll also give you a nice crispness when you bite into them.
How to Make BBQ Chicken Pizza
With just these few easy steps, you can making perfect pizza to feed the people you love, and of course yourself.
- Stretch and sauce. Once you’ve made your dough and sauce (or purchased it) you want to stretch your dough onto a pizza peel coated generously with flour. Then, spoon your sauce onto the dough, circling from the center out in a nice, even layer.
- Cheese. Sprinkle on generous portions of both shredded mozzarella and sharp cheddar cheeses. You’re going to drizzle on fresh sauce at the end, so don’t be afraid to go heavy with the cheese. Nobody ever said a pizza was too cheesy.
- Chicken. Add your shredded chicken to your pizza. This is the star of your pizza, so make sure you spread it around. The goal is to get some juicy, tender chicken with every bite.
- Toppings. Add on your favorite BBQ toppings. I like to use jalapeño slices and sliced red onion, but any toppings you like will be great. Honestly, this pizza will taste pretty great either way, but you won’t regret using these tasty toppings.
- Bake. Make sure your pizza oven is somewhere in the 600-650 degrees F range, and then slide your pizza off the peel and into the oven. You’ll want to rotate your pizza 90 degrees every 1-2 minutes so you get a nice, even crispiness, and those coveted leopard spots.
- Rest, slice, and serve. Once your pizza crust is a nice golden brown, remove it and allow it to rest for 2-5 minutes before slicing it up. This will make cutting your slices much easier, rather than having all your toppings stick to your cutter. I like to sprinkle on some grated Parmesan at this point as well.
More Killer Pizza Recipes
Keep the pizza party going. Check out the Hey Grill Hey app for even more tasty pizza options for variety at your next big backyard shindig. Not only do I have a traditional pizza sauce recipe, I’ve got delicious dough recipes, and several topping combos for you to try. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Margherita Pizza
- Dutch Oven Pizza with Pear, Brie, and Porsciutto
- Thai Grilled Chicken Pizza
- Wood Fired Pizza with Red Pesto and Grilled Chicken
- 4 Ingredient Pizza Sauce
Backyard BBQ Chicken Pizza Recipe
Follow the recipe and you’ll be serving hot, tasty pizza in no time. If you enjoyed making this yummy pizza recipe, be sure to rate it 5 stars, and tell us about your experience in the comments. If you’re ready to dive in more on pizza, head on over to The Grill Squad. Former pizza joint owner and general pizza pro Jack Carlisle teaches you all the ins and outs of making delicious pies for your family and friends.
Make sure to follow Hey Grill Hey on all our social channels including YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook. This way you never miss out on any new recipes, useful tips and tricks, behind the scenes fun, or anything else.
Backyard BBQ Chicken Pizza
- red onions (sliced)
- Quick Pickled Jalapeños
- Stretch and sauce. Stretch your dough onto a lightly floured pizza peel, and then spoon your sauce from the center out in a circular motion.4 8 ounce balls Neapolitan Pizza Dough, 1 cup Apple Jalapeño BBQ Sauce
- Cheese. Sprinkle on both shredded mozzarella and sharp cheddar cheeses evenly on your pizza.8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese
- Chicken. Add your shredded chicken to your pizza, making sure you've got it spread evenly and generously.1 cup shredded chicken
- Toppings. Add on your favorite BBQ pizza toppings.red onions, Quick Pickled Jalapeños
- Bake. Slide your pizza into your oven. Bake at 600-650 degrees F, rotating every 1-2 minutes.
- Rest, slice, and serve. After removing your pizza from the oven, allow it to cool for 2-5 minutes. Slice, add fresh Parmesan, and enjoy.4 ounces Parmesan cheese
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