Summer in Upstate New York doesn’t last long, so I like to soak up every ounce of it while it’s here. That means spending tons of time outside and not a lot of time holed up in the kitchen.
Luckily, just about everything I’d want to make inside can also be cooked on the grill. Including pizza! Since grills get super hot (mine is upwards of 600 degrees on high), they’re closer to pizza ovens than normal indoor ovens are. That means the pizza cooks really quickly (8 minutes, tops) and the crust gets charred and smokey. If you don’t have a grill, or if it’s gross and rainy outside, you can always make this in the oven too, but the crust won’t be quite as delicious.
We eat pizza pretty frequently and sometimes I get kind of sick of it. This time, I decided to mix things up and use barbecue sauce instead of tomato sauce. I had some extra chicken legs from another recipe I’m working on (the store only had huge packs! I’ll be eating chicken legs for weeks!), so I grilled those with more sauce and used them as my main topping. At the last minute, I decided to add a little cheddar cheese – it was delicious with the barbecue flavors! A sprinkle of fresh cilantro over the cooked pizza kept tasting light and fresh.



Grilled Barbecue Chicken Pizza

Yields 4 servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes Total Time: 30 minutes

The beauty of this recipe is in its simplicity, so use the best ingredients you can to really let the flavors shine through. This pizza dough has a really delicious and complex flavor, but it needs to rest for one hour and chill for at least two. If you don’t have time for that, use the best refrigerated dough your grocery store has. Same with the sauce. I like the zip from a sweet and spicy sauce, but use whatever you like best.

I used chicken legs because I had them already; thighs will work just as well. Chicken breast is ok, but won’t be as juicy or flavorful.


    • 3/4 cup Barbecue Sauce
    • 2 boneless, skinless Chicken Legs
    • 12 ounces Pizza Dough
    • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
    • 1/4 cup Diced Red Onion
    • 1 cup (total) shredded Cheddar, Mozzarella, and Provolone Cheese
    • Chopped Cilantro


  1. Brush chicken legs with 1/4 cup barbecue sauce. Grill over high heat for 12-15 minutes or until their internal temperature reaches 165*F. Cool slightly, then finely chop the meat. Set aside.
  2. Divide the dough in half. Stretch each half into an oval about 1/4″ thick. Brush one side of each crust with olive oil. Place on grill, oiled side down, and cook until the crust is dry and grill lines form, about 3 minutes. Remove from grill and reduce heat to medium.
  3. Flip the crusts so the grilled side is up. spread with barbecue sauce. Top with cheeses, chicken, and onion. Return to grill and close the lid. Cook 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted and crust is cooked through. Remove from grill and sprinkle with chopped cilantro.
  4. Cut each pizza into 4 slices.