BBQ Chicken Pizza with Homemade BBQ Sauce and Honey-Sauteed Onions

The homemade BBQ sauce drizzled on top means pizza night has never tasted so good.

BBQ Chicken Pizza with Homemade BBQ Sauce

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Time: 30 mins
  • Difficulty: Intermediate
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You won't always have a recipe ready when a craving strikes, but, if it turns out this good, it doesn't even matter.

Sometimes, out of nowhere, I’ll get a craving for a very specific food.  Tonight, that food was BBQ chicken pizza.  All of a sudden, it just hit me that I needed to eat it for dinner.  I’d never made it before, but I figured that it couldn’t be that hard, so I started making a list of the ingredients I thought I’d need.  Of course, I wrote down chicken, cheese and pre-made pizza crust (those things are lifesavers), and I was just about to add a bottle of BBQ sauce to the list when I realized I could take this opportunity to make something else I’d never home-made before…

Pizza pie minus two (maybe three) slices fresh out of the oven.

I’ve seen recipes for BBQ sauce in the past, plus I recently made some tomato-bacon jam that had a distinctly BBQ vibe, so I figured I could give home made BBQ sauce a go without a significant risk of it ruining my entire pizza.  Let’s just say I will never buy another bottle of BBQ sauce for as long as I live. If I do say so myself (and I do): this stuff came out tasting amazing.  I love the tang from the red wine vinegar balanced with the smoky chili powder and the sweetness of the brown and white sugars.  Full disclosure: I had no idea how this stuff would turn out when I started adding various spices and flavors to a big ‘ole pot of hot ketchup (which is quite literally what I did).  Luckily, from cooking so often, I’ve got a pretty decent idea of how to start from scratch and make something taste at least halfway decent, but this stuff came together super quickly, and the first batch I made was a total winner with just a few tweaks. It was great on the pizza I put together, which was pretty straightforward (we’re talking chicken, onions and cheese and you’re about done), with just one or two special tricks thrown in to make this a pie that nobody would ever mistake for one that comes in a box.

Ranch dressing and pizza – a classic taste from my childhood (and college. and law school. and Fridays.)

I poached the chicken, which I only really like to do when the meat is ultimately being used as an ingredient in another dish (poached chicken looks pretty gray and unappetizing on its own), and I honey-caramelized the onions because honey and BBQ sauce seemed to me to be something that would work well together and, as it turns out, they definitely do. This pizza came out so well that even my chicken-hating (and ‘strange’ pizza topping-hating) dad loved it.  A store bought crust makes this a dinner that can be prepared any time, without a ton of prep, so make a batch of this BBQ sauce ahead of time and turn your next pizza night into something really delicious.

Ingredients (for the BBQ sauce):

1 cup ketchup

1/4 cup water

1 tbsp vinegar

1 tsp Worcestershire

1/2 tsp ground mustard

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp chili powder

4-5 tsp dark brown sugar, depending how sweet you like your sauce

1 tsp white sugar

Directions (for the BBQ sauce):

Combine all ingredients in saucepan and heat through, stirring occasionally.

Ingredients (for chicken and pizza assembly):

Store-bought crust

2 chicken breasts (boneless/skinless)

1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped

1/2 cup grated sharp white cheddar cheese

1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese

1/2 tbsp black peppercorns (whole)

2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed

1 tbsp honey

1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

2 tbsp olive oil

1 1/2 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp salt

1 tbsp chopped green onions

Directions (for chicken and pizza assembly):

Poach chicken by placing the two chicken breasts on the bottom of a dry sauce pan.  Add peppercorns and garlic and cover with water.  Cover and bring to simmer and cook through, about 8-10 minutes.  Remove chicken from water and let cool.  Once cooled, chop into bite size pieces.

Meanwhile, saute the onion with the honey until soft and browning, about 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat.

Assemble pizza:

Brush crust with olive oil and sprinkle with 1 tsp of the oregano

Add chicken and onions

Top with cheese, followed by crushed red pepper, remaining oregano and salt

Bake per the instructions on your store-bought crust (mine took 12 minutes at 425).

Drizzle with the BBQ sauce, garnish with green onions and enjoy!

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