Sweet, smoky and savory BBQ chicken pizza made fast and delicious directly on a grill! Topped with tender pieces of chicken, bacon, onion, tomato, peppers, and corn.
The grill isn’t just a means for firing up hearty pieces of meat, oh no my friend. If you haven’t thrown a pizza directly on those sizzling hot grates, then you’ve been missing out on crispy, cheesy bliss. No need for a fancy outdoor pizza oven or pizza stone which I find the dough sometimes gets annoyingly stuck to or ends up with pockets of raw bites no matter what you do.
Get ready to be amazed by how easy and delicious it is to make homemade pizza right on your barbecue grill. This season, I’m all about barbecue chicken, so I created a recipe inspired by the flavors you may have in a BBQ feast. Ready to give this technique a try? I can’t wait to see what you think of the tasty results!
The key ingredients
To make this grilled pizza, I’ve added elements that provide a balance of sweet, smoky, and savory goodness. What’s it got you ask?
- Barbecue Sauce: Homemade barbecue sauce is easy to make, or I like Sweet Baby Ray’s for a convenient store-bought option.
- Cheese: Creamy mozzarella and Smoked Gouda for layers of flavor.
- Vegetables: Fresh tomatoes, green bell peppers, red onion, and corn add texture.
- Protein: Savory chopped bacon and grilled, sauteed, or roasted chicken slices.
How to make a BBQ chicken pizza
This recipe is excellent for using up leftovers. I often use marinated chicken, roasted chicken, or grilled chicken made previously for a quick pizza topping. The finishing touch is some sliced green onions, barbecue sauce drizzle, freshly cracked black pepper, and a dash of kosher salt.
Want even more bold flavor? Toss the chicken in a little bit of barbecue sauce before adding it to the pizza. It also helps to prevent the chicken from drying out.
1) Prep the pizza dough
- Preheat grill to about 550°F (287°C) by setting all of the burners to medium-high heat.
- Start with chilled dough for easier handling.
- Shape dough on a floured piece of parchment paper.
- Generously brush on olive oil to prevent sticking to the grates.
- Use parchment paper to flip the dough onto the grill, olive oil side down.
2) Once the dough is on the grill
You will have to work quickly to remove the parchment paper and adjust the edges with tongs to get a round pizza shape.
If you like a flatter pizza, leave the BBQ uncovered and cook the first side for 2-3 minutes until crispy. You can also close the cover, and the dough will become bubbly, giving a more thick and chewy crust.
Now that one side is cooked flip the dough over and get ready to add the toppings quickly. You have to work fast, so the bottom doesn’t burn. Make sure to turn the heat down to medium-low, and close the grill and cook for 4-5 more minutes until the base is toasted and cheese melts.
3) Grilled Pizza
I’ve noticed that my bottom crust gets pretty toasty, but the hubby likes that flavor and crunch. If you prefer less of a charred crust, then turn the heat down to low before flipping.
Another option is to take the half-cooked dough off the grill, add toppings to the cooked top, and then carefully transfer back and finish cooking. Play around and see what works best for you because each barbecue grill is different.
See those beautiful grill marks peeking through all of those yummy toppings? That’s flavor for sure. You can’t get that level of goodness with merely baking in a hot oven alone. All of the layers of fresh, crunchy, savory and sweet ingredients have melded together into one nice slice, chomp, chomp, chomp!
My family shared what turned out to be about a 14-inch round pizza and obliterated it. If I could add one thing to this pizza, it would be some diced pineapple to bring out the sweetness of the BBQ sauce further. There’s always next time! Let me know comments below which pizza cooking method you prefer, grilling or baking.
More chicken recipes
Why is it important to grill a pizza at very high temperatures?
The desired temperature to cook a pizza is between 500-600°F (550°F target), which can be easily achieved on a barbecue grill. This hot temperature not only gets you a nice crispy pizza crust, but it also causes “oven spring,” when steam created from the water trapped inside the dough and air creates bubbles, making it expand at the beginning of cooking. The results are large holes in the dough that give a delicate balance between crunchy outside crust and soft, airy inside. (Source: The Food Lab; 11 Essential Tips for a Better Pizza)
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Grilled BBQ Chicken Pizza
- 1 pound pizza dough, raw
- all-purpose flour, for dusting dough
- olive oil, for brushing on grill and pizza
- ½ cup barbecue sauce
- 1 ¼ cups mozzarella, shredded
- ½ cup smoked gouda, shredded
- ⅓ cup roma tomato, ¼-inch thick slice
- ⅓ cup green bell peppers, ¼-inch thick slice
- ⅓ cup red onions, ¼-inch thick slice
- ½ cup corn, fresh, canned or defrosted frozen
- 2 slices bacon, cooked, diced
- 1 cup cooked chicken breast, ¼-inch thick slice
- ¼ cup green onions, thinly sliced
- On a floured piece of parchment paper in a baking sheet pan, stretch or roll out the dough to about 12 inches in diameter.
- Make sure the bottom of the dough is floured and not sticking to the paper.
- Preheat barbecue grill to have all burners on medium-high heat, or direct heat if you are using charcoal, try to target 550°F (287°C).
- Clean the grill, then use a folded piece of paper towel to carefully grease the grill grates with a small amount of olive oil to help prevent sticking.
- Brush the top of the dough with olive oil.
- Use the parchment paper to transfer the dough oiled-side down onto the grill, work quickly to stretch the pizza dough into a circle before it sets on the grill.
- Cover the grill for 2 minutes, open and check if the bottom of the pizza crust has browned and no longer sticks, the dough may look bubbly.
- Cook for an additional 1 to 2 minutes uncovered if needed.
- Turn all of the burners heat down to medium-low.
- Flip the dough over and work quickly to add the BBQ sauce, mozzarella, smoked Gouda, tomato, bell pepper, onion, corn, bacon and cooked chicken.
- Cover and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
- Check the bottom of the crust halfway through to make sure it doesn't burn too much.
- Top pizza with sliced green onions and more barbecue sauce if desired.
- Transfer pizza to a cutting board and cut into 8 slices, serve immediately.
Tried this recipe?
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4 Comments Leave a comment or review
Judy Caywood says
I don’t have a grill but this looks delicious. Really like that the crust is thinner too. Thank you Jessica and the toppings seem so different to me for a pizza but you can put almost anything on a pizza just keeping in mind that nothing is too wet. I learn so much from you.
Jessica Gavin says
Thank you Judy! You can try baking it at high temperature as well 🙂
any recommendations for either store-bought or homemade pizza dough?
Jessica Gavin says
Hi Lisa- i like fresh pizza dough from Trader Joes 🙂