BBQ Chicken Pizza with Cornmeal Crust

by Erin

Break out of the traditional pizza mold with this BBQ chicken pizza. A cornmeal crust topped with BBQ chicken, mozzarella, smoked gouda, and red onion.

BBQ Chicken Pizza with Cornmeal Crust

I love pizza, mostly for it’s versatility. Just like brownies andcookies you can cram just about anything in there. Change the crust, sauce, cheese, toppings, seasonings – the combinations are endless. This allows you to make your pizza your own which is why making pizza at home is so much fun. You can even stuff the crust, adding a whole new variable. Did anyone else drool over Pizza Hut’s commercial for their new bacon and cheese stuffed crust? Come to mamma.

If my childhood self knew the kinds of things my adult self would be putting on top of a sacred cheese pizza I would have be dumbfounded. Falafel? Butternut squash? JalapenoEggs!? The horror! And to think I even dared to put onion on today’s pizza. My childhood self would not have stood for it. It was a brave day when I would have sausage or pepperoni. As you can tell I was a very adventurous child when it came to food and I have come a long, long way. Some of my family members still like to recall how picky of an eater I used to be whenever I whip up something particularly unusual.

But I digress. Bring on all the toppings! Today I give you the recipe for a pizza I discovered upon moving to Memphis nearly a decade ago (holy crap), BBQ pizza. I thought Cincinnati was weird their their combination of chili and spaghetti, but BBQ on pizza? Yes BBQ on pizza and it’s wonderful. I even added cornmeal to the crust to give it a cornbread-like flavor. BBQ pizza was the first pizza to open my eyes to the world of non-marinara sauce based pizzas. And what a fabulous journey it has been!

What is your ideal pizza?

Two years ago: Buckeye Cheesecake

Three years ago: Rustic Sourdough Bread


Makes 1 pizza



1 pkg. (2-1/4 tsp) active dry yeast

3/4 cup warm water

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp salt

2 cups bread flour (or all-purpose flour)

1/2 cup yellow corn meal, plus more for dusting

2 Tbsp olive oil, plus more for coating


1/2 cup BBQ sauce, divided

8 oz. chicken breast, cooked and shredded

3 oz. (2/3 cup) smoked gouda, shredded

3 oz. (2/3 cup) mozzarella, shredded

1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced

Fresh cilantro, for garnish (optional)


  1. In a small bowl bloom yeast in water, approximately 5 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the sugar, salt, flour and cornmeal. Add yeast and oil, and knead by hand 20 times or until well incorporated (or use the dough hook of a stand mixer), adding a little bit of extra flour (too sticky) or water (too dry) if necessary. Form into a ball, coat with oil on all sides and place in a clean bowl. Cover and let rise for 20 minutes or until doubled.
  3. Meanwhile, place pizza stone on middle rack and allow to preheat in the oven to 400 degrees, for at least 10 minutes.
  4. Once the dough has doubled, roll out to desired size and transfer to a pizza peel (or flat baking sheet) sprinkled with cornmeal. Let rest.
  5. In a medium bowl toss chicken with 2 tablespoons of BBQ sauce. Spread remaining BBQ sauce over the pizza dough, leaving a 3/4-inch border for the crust. Top with chicken, cheeses, and red onion.
  6. Transfer to the pizza stone (it’ll take a couple shakes) and bake for 20-25 minutes or until it the crust turns golden and the cheese starts to bubble. Allow to cool slightly before cutting and serve sprinkled with cilantro, if desired.

Source: Toppings adapted from Food Network. Crust adapted from my Pizza Dough and Baked by Rachel.


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[…] making BBQ chicken pizza last week my cravings for BBQ were satisfied, but only for BBQ pizza. My taste buds immediately […]

Susan April 1, 2015 - 9:48 am

This one had Trader Joe’s Fig Butter, lots of caramelized onions, chicken sausage (I used mild Italian but would have liked kielbasa better) and mozzarella cheese. My thought is to next time use kielbasa or something similar and then sprinkle the top with feta…

spiffycookie April 1, 2015 - 9:52 am

Oh my goodness that sounds incredible! Maybe with goat cheese? I know what I’m making soon…

Susan March 31, 2015 - 5:12 pm

Tried this pizza crust today with different toppings – the toppings were an idea a commenter posted on another blog. The crust is outstanding – easy to make and very tasty. When I offered my husband the choice of your thin crust or this one, he wasn’t sure how this one would work out but chose it anyway. He was glad he did. In looking at my recipe notebook I have realized that I am getting a collection of pizza/pizza crust recipes – and they are all yours. :-)

spiffycookie April 1, 2015 - 9:09 am

Haha I love that I have a monopoly on your pizza recipes. What toppings did you put on this?

Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust September 16, 2014 - 9:17 pm

I love that there is cornmeal in the crust!! Perfect!

Susan September 15, 2014 - 8:10 pm

This sounds very interesting. I really like the idea of cornmeal in the crust. I haven’t made pizza in years, but when I did I liked to put a layer of fresh spinach under the tomato sauce, pile it high with veggies and meat, with the cheese layer in the middle to hold it together. Then add feta cheese chunks on top, which get browned edges during baking. Yum! Actually, my favorite pizzas these days are white pizzas, especially of the Greek persuasion. And one we had at Snake River Brewing in Jackson Hole, WY which had BBQ sauce, chorizo, cheese and grilled peaches – possibly the best pizza we’ve ever had. I would probably use the cilantro in your recipe, because it would be a nice addition to the flavor profile. Question: approximately how many people would you expect this to serve?

spiffycookie September 15, 2014 - 10:31 pm

Yum! All of that sounds delicious. I would say it serves 3-4.

Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes) September 15, 2014 - 11:46 am

This pizza is calling my name this morning!

Joanne September 15, 2014 - 11:35 am

Stomach = GROWLING. I love the idea of bbq flavors on a cornmeal crust!

kita September 15, 2014 - 8:08 am

Cornmeal eh? I have totally got to give this a try.


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