Copycat California Pizza BBQ Chicken Pizza

This California Pizza Kitchen BBQ Chicken Pizza is so good because you can have that delicious restaurant-style pizza without having to leave your house. This recipe has instructions for how to make your own pizza dough, which will make you feel like a professional pizza-maker. My family has pizza night at least once a week, and while take-out pizza is a great option, sometimes it’s more fun to get the whole family involved in the cooking process.

This is a simple recipe, though the prep time is a little long. Don’t let this scare you – most of the time is spent in letting the dough rise and letting the oven pre-heat. You’ll want to pre-heat the oven at least 1 hour before cooking your pizzas, so make note of that. This recipe also yields 2 BBQ chicken pizzas. Keep in mind they are thin-crust pizzas, so they aren’t too filling. I usually make two pizzas for a family of four.

Be sure to read the full recipe below, as well as some of our tips in making this simple delicious BBQ chicken pizza. This can be served on its own or with pasta or salad. Personally, I take mine with a glass of wine.

Prep Time Cook Time Total Time
1.5 hours 10 min 1 hour &  40min


  • 8 ounces chicken breasts grilled
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons barbecue sauce (we use a spicy-sweet sauce)
  • 2 tablespoons semolina for handling the dough
  • 1/2 cup barbecue sauce (we use a spicy-sweet sauce)
  • 2 tablespoons Gouda cheese, shredded
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 cup red onion, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

For the pizza dough
(makes 2 14″ pizzas)

  • 1 teaspoon yeast dry active
  • 1 1/4 cup water warm
  • 1 cupcake flour not self-rising
  • 2 1/2-3 cup flour all-purpose
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • Olive oil


Preparing the Chicken

  • In a large frying pan, cook the chicken in olive oil over medium-high heat until just cooked, 5 to 6 minutes. Do not overcook. Set aside in the refrigerator until chilled through. Once chilled, coat the chicken with two tablespoons BBQ sauce; set aside in the refrigerator.

Preparing the Pizza Dough

  • Add yeast to warm water & allow to sit for 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine flours and salt.
  • Add the yeast mixture & stir to form a soft dough. Then turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic, adding more flour as needed.
  • Coat a bowl with olive oil, and place the dough in the bowl, turning it once to make sure it’s completely covered with oil. Cover the bowl of dough, and let it rise in a warm place. The dough should double in volume (1 to 1 1/2 hours).
  • Flatten the dough and divide in half. Shape each piece into a ball, and let them rise for another hour.
  • Roll the dough out into 2 pizza crusts.

Putting the Pizzas Together

  • Place a pizza stone in the center of the oven and preheat to 500 degrees for one hour before cooking the pizzas. Use a large spoon to spread 1/4 of a cup of BBQ sauce evenly over the surface of the prepared dough within the rim. Then sprinkle 1 tablespoon smoked Gouda cheese and 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella over the sauce. Distribute half the chicken pieces evenly over the cheese of each pizza, and then place slices of red onion over the top. Finally, sprinkle an additional 1/4 cup mozzarella over the top of each pizza.
  • Transfer the pizzas to the oven- one at a time or both at once. Bake until the crust is crisp and golden and the cheese at the center is bubbly, which is about 8 to 10 minutes. When the pizza is cooked, carefully remove it from the oven;  Repeat with the remaining ingredients for a second pizza.

Serving the BBQ Chicken Pizza

  • Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of cilantro over the pizza. Slice and serve.


  • Be sure to allow the correct amount of time for the dough to rise for a crispy pizza crust.
  • Don’t forget to pre-heat your oven at least 1 hour before cooking your pizzas.
  • You can use any of your favorite cheeses. It might not taste exactly like California Pizza Kitchen’s version, but that’s the beauty of making it yourself!
  • To make this a vegetarian option, simply omit the chicken. The sauces, cheeses, and veggies still taste great together. I usually make one with chicken and one without.
  • If you’re preparing more dough than you need right now, you can freeze pizza dough to use later. Let the dough completely rise, then divide it into pieces portioned for single pizzas. The dough will last for up to 3 months in a freezer bag or airtight container.


bbq chicken pizza nutrition

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