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Barbecue Chicken Pizza

Barbecue Chicken Pizza

Barbecue chicken pizza, the brainchild of Ed LaDou, the first pizza chef at Wolfgang Puck’s famed Los Angeles restaurant, Spago and the original California Pizza Kitchen’s menu developer, has been popular ever since LaDou conceived the idea in 1985. Our version takes the classic recipe and makes a few adjustments to make it our own. Perfect for a backyard cookout, this recipe is easy but rewarding. 

While barbecue chicken pizza might feel like an obvious crowd-pleaser now, it was anything but when LaDou first created it. Viewed as a “pizza renegade in the 70s and 80s, LaDou and his inventive menu pushed the limits of what pizzas could taste like and woke the world up to artisanal bakes and non-traditional topping combinations. We may never have gotten to summer corn pizza from Lovely’s 50/50 in Portland, Oregon or Brooklyn-based Paulie Gee’s Hometown brisket pizza without LaDou. 

The original recipe called for a barbecue sauce base covered in smoked gouda, chicken, red onions and cilantro. We opted for fresh mozzarella and shredded cheddar for a mix of cheeses that are both sharp and mild. Our red onions are quick-pickled for a hit of vinegar. Finished with cilantro just like the original recipe, our spin on this game-changing pizza is smoky, sweet and fresh. 

Notes: We mix up our own barbecue sauce for this pizza, but if you’d prefer, you can always use your favorite store-bought version. Our US headquarters are based in Austin, so we’re partial to Franklin Barbecue Sauce

90 minutes

4 x 12-inch pizzas

Ooni pizza oven
Ooni Infrared Thermometer
Ooni Pizza Cutter Wheel or Pizza Cutter Rocker Blade 
Ooni Pizza Dough Scraper
4 x 250-gram pizza dough balls

For the barbecue sauce:
2 tablespoons (28 grams) unsalted butter
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic
¾ cup (200 grams)  ketchup
¼ cup (60 grams) brown sugar
½ cup (110 grams) apple cider vinegar
⅛ cup (30 grams) yellow mustard
1 tablespoon (9 grams) chili powder
1 teaspoon (3 grams) smoked paprika
1 teaspoon (3 grams) garlic powder
1 teaspoon (3 grams) cayenne powder
1 teaspoon (3 grams) salt
1 tablespoon (9 grams)) freshly ground black pepper

For the pickled red onions:
2 medium red onions, julienned
1 jalapeño, sliced in half
3 bay leaves, dried
3 cloves garlic
1½ cups (345 grams) white vinegar
1 cup (227 grams) water
½ cup (99 grams) granulated sugar
1 tablespoon (9 grams) kosher salt

For topping:
4.4 ounces (200 grams)  cooked chicken breast, shredded
1 cup (100 grams) fresh mozzarella
¾ cup (80 grams) cheddar cheese, shredded
½ cup (30 grams) cilantro
Barbecue Chicken Pizza

This recipe would suit a variety of pizza styles, but we think sourdough, neo-Neapolitan or classic pizza dough would be a great fit. Make sure to prepare your dough ahead of time to ensure it rises at room temperature before firing up your oven.

For the barbecue sauce:

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Add the onions and garlic and cook until softened, about 6 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and cook for 20 minutes over low heat. Transfer to the blender and blend until smooth. Toss your shredded chicken breast with 100 grams of the sauce.

For the pickled red onions:

Place your julienned red onions in a Mason jar or similarly large airtight container. Add the jalapeño, bay leaves, garlic cloves, vinegar, water, sugar and kosher salt into a saucepan and bring to a boil for five minutes. Pour into the Mason jar over the red onions and let sit overnight.

For the pizza:

Fire up your Ooni pizza oven. Aim for 750-850°F (400-450°C) on the baking stone inside. Use the infrared thermometer to quickly and accurately check the temperature of the middle of the stone.. Stretch your dough on a lightly floured surface. Push the air from the center out toward the crust, then use your knuckles to stretch out the base to 12 inches. 

Begin topping by adding a layer of barbecue sauce before sprinkling on the mozzarella and cheddar. Add the chicken and pickled red onions, then slide the pizza off the peel and into your oven. Cook for one to two minutes, using a peel to turn your pizza about every 20 seconds to ensure an even cook.

When finished, remove from the oven and top with cilantro. Slice into six pieces and enjoy.

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