If you love bold and refreshing pizza flavors, BBQ Chicken Flatbread is the perfect addition to your dinner menu. Chicken flatbread pizza is saucy, savory, and ready in under 20 minutes with no kneading required.
Table of contents
BBQ chicken pizza was made popular by California Pizza Kitchen and is a pizza that uses BBQ sauce in place of traditional red tomato sauce. This BBQ chicken flatbread pizza recipe has all the flavors of a restaurant favorite with the convenience and crispiness of using a flatbread crust.
Premade flatbreads are layered with BBQ chicken made with flavorful spices and shredded chicken, and topped with lots of cheese, red and green onions, olives, and cilantro. Personalize this recipe by using your preferred BBQ sauce and loading your flatbreads with your favorite toppings!
Why You'll Love This BBQ Chicken Flatbread Recipe
- Restaurant-Inspired. Chicken flatbread has bold and fun flavors with melty cheese and elevated toppings, making this a restaurant-inspired meal without needing a reservation. Perfect for movie night or date night with no delivery fee needed!
- No Kneading, Rolling, or Waiting. BBQ chicken pizza flatbread replaces traditional pizza dough with a premade crust for quick and easy pizza in minutes. Perfect for weeknight meals!
- Family-Friendly. Pizza is one of the easiest meals to include your family or friends in the making process. Kids will love helping spread BBQ chicken, sprinkling cheese, and customizing their flatbread with toppings.
- Personalized. This chicken flatbread pizza recipe has everything you need for a classic restaurant-inspired BBQ chicken pizza and can be personalized in so many ways. Use your favorite cheese, more onions, or additional vegetables, or omit something for a truly personalized meal. Ideal for groups with varied flavor preferences.
- Great for Leftover Chicken. Not sure what to do with the rest of that baked or rotisserie chicken? Make this quick BBQ sauce to utilize extra chicken and serve the same day or freeze in the sauce for future use!
This chicken flatbread recipe starts with making saucy and savory chicken with your favorite type of shredded chicken and then layers barbecue chicken on flatbread with melty cheddar cheese, onions, and olives before baking.
BBQ Chicken Ingredients
- BBQ Sauce: Thick and flavorful BBQ sauce coats chicken and acts as a pizza sauce on these BBQ flatbreads. My favorite brands are Dave’s and Trader Joe’s Kansas City BBQ sauce.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: For extra tang, perfect for enhancing the flavor of the sauce and chicken.
- Honey: Gives additional sweetness to the chicken and helps make a thick sauce.
- Worcestershire Sauce: This flavorful ingredient adds depth of flavor.
- Yellow Mustard Powder: I love adding mustard powder to BBQ dishes to include flavors that remind me of summertime barbecues.
- Smoked Paprika: Adds a warm smokiness to the sauce.
- Garlic Powder: Sweet garlicky flavor without mincing.
- Onion Powder: Pair with garlic powder to up the flavor of this sauce.
- Chicken: Cooked and shredded chicken breast, thigh, or a combination of breast and thigh meat.
BBQ Chicken Flatbread Ingredients
- Flatbread or Pita Breads: Your favorite variety of flatbread or pita serves as the crust for shredded chicken pizza without kneading or rolling out dough.
- Red Onion: Adds crunch and color to the flatbreads, minced.
- Sharp Cheddar Cheese: Shredded sharp cheddar melts smoothly and blends perfectly with sweet BBQ sauce.
- Cilantro: For topping baked bbq flatbread pizzas, chopped.
- Black Olives: A pizza topping favorite adds texture and saltiness, sliced.
- Green Onions: More sweet and peppery onion flavor, sliced.
- Sweet Pickled Jalapenos: Add a bold heat to your flatbreads with jalapenos, optional.
- Sour Cream: Drizzle on sour cream to balance the heat of jalapenos and compliment the BBQ sauce flavors. Additional for dipping, if desired.
- Parsley: If you aren’t a cilantro fan but want to finish chicken BBQ flatbread with a garnish, use chopped parsley instead of cilantro.
- Bread and Butter Pickles: Use in place of jalapeno peppers for added crunch and sweetness without heat.
- Mozzarella Cheese: If you prefer melty mozzarella cheese on your pizza, substitute the same amount for the sharp cheddar cheese.
- Instant Pot Chicken: Use this saucy and tender instant pot chicken for the BBQ chicken.
- Baked or Rotisserie Chicken: Almost any chicken you can shred works for this recipe. Great with baked or roasted chicken breasts or save time by using a rotisserie chicken.
- Shredded Pork: Try flatbreads with BBQ shredded pork, perfect for leftover pork loin or pork roast.
How to Make BBQ Chicken Flatbread
For the complete recipe and measurements, scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Prepare two large baking sheets with aluminum foil or parchment paper.
Step 2: Combine the barbecue sauce and seasonings in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until combined and saucy. Add the chicken to the BBQ sauce. Stir to coat and heat the chicken in the sauce for another 2-3 minutes, or until the chicken is thoroughly heated through. Remove the saucepan from the heat.
Step 3: Spread the flatbreads or pita breads out on the prepared baking sheet. Spread ½ cup of the BBQ chicken mixture on each pita. Top the BBQ chicken mixture with red onion, sliced black olives, and shredded cheddar cheese.
Step 4: Bake the BBQ chicken pitas or flatbreads for 8-10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted. Turn the broiler on high and broil the flatbreads for 1-2 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbling and the edges of the flatbreads are golden brown.
Step 5: Sprinkle the flatbreads with cilantro, green onions, and pickled jalapenos or bread and butter pickles (if using). Enjoy hot with sour cream to dip, if desired.
- Make BBQ Chicken Ahead of Time. BBQ chicken can be prepared ahead of time for easy flatbreads on busy nights when you have minimal prep time. Refrigerate BBQ chicken for up to 5 days.
- Watch Pizzas While Broiling. The heat of broilers can vary greatly from oven to oven, so stay nearby while broiling. Take a peek through the oven window or crack the door slightly and remove the pizzas as soon as the cheese is the desired amount of golden brown.
- Freeze Extra Flatbreads. Flatbreads freeze well and bake from frozen in 10-15 minutes. Make 5 easy dinners at once or double the recipe to have multiple flatbreads ready for just you or feeding a crowd! Place assembled flatbreads on a baking pan and freeze them flat for 1-2 hours before transferring them to a zip-top bag. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- Extra Cheesy: Smoked Gouda is a signature ingredient of the popular California Pizza Kitchen restaurant version of this pizza. Add smoked Gouda for extra cheesy restaurant-style flatbreads.
- BBQ Chicken, Bacon, and Ranch: Add chopped or crumbled bacon to flatbread before baking and drizzle with ranch dressing before serving. Or cut flatbread into skinny slices for dipping and serve with a side of ranch dressing.
- Lower Sugar: Use a no sugar added BBQ sauce, such as Primal Kitchen, and omit the honey for a less sweet and more savory flavor.
- Hot Honey: Add a drizzle of hot honey just before serving. If you don’t have hot honey, drizzle honey and top with red pepper flakes or a sprinkle of cayenne pepper.
Flatbread chicken pizza is a tasty weeknight meal and a crowd-pleaser for serving friends. Personalize pizzas for kids, spicy jalapeno lovers, or make a gluten-free option and enjoy with Avocado Blueberry Salad or a kale Caesar salad for a classic combo of pizza and salad.
- Gluten-Free: To make this recipe gluten-free use a gluten-free flatbread, pita, or premade thin pizza crust.
- Dairy-Free: You can easily make dairy-free flatbread pizzas with this recipe by substituting vegan cheddar shreds for cheddar cheese.
- Vegan: Make a vegan flatbread by substituting shredded jackfruit for the chicken and vegan cheddar shreds for the cheddar cheese.
- Storing: Leftovers keep covered in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 1-2 days. The ingredients can also be stored separately covered in the refrigerator for 4-5 days and heated up according to the recipe directions as desired.
- Reheating: Reheat already cooked/assembled pizzas in an oven or air fryer preheated to 300 degrees for 3-5 minutes, or until heated through.
- Freezing: Freeze assembled flatbreads by freezing them flat on a baking sheet for 1-2 hours and then transferring them to a large zip-top bag. Add 2-3 minutes of additional cooking time if baking from frozen. Baked flatbread can be wrapped in plastic wrap and frozen in a freezer-safe container. Store frozen flatbreads for up to 3 months.
Baking flatbread pizzas in a preheated 400-degree oven for 8-10 minutes will melt the cheese and warm the flatbreads. For bubbly cheese and golden brown flatbreads, finish by placing under the broiler on high for 1-2 minutes.
Flatbreads can be cooked on an outdoor propane grill preheated on a medium setting. Grease the grill or brush the bottom of the flatbreads with oil before assembling. Grilled chicken flatbread pizzas cook with the lid closed for 5-8 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
Tools Needed to Make This Recipe
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