Store-bought pizza dough, leftover chicken, BBQ sauce ... check, check, check! This weeknight pizza couldn't be easier. It's savory, sweet, tangy, and it only takes 15 minutes of oven time. Who could ask for anything more?
I definitely took some shortcuts with the ingredient list here, to minimize cooking time on weeknights. I always pick up some prepared dough from the grocery or pizza shop — this dough will keep in the fridge for up to three days — and then I just pull out some leftover cooked chicken breast for the topping. This pizza is finished in no time.
Chopped green onions and cilantro add a fresh pop of flavor — sprinkle those on top right when the pizza comes out of the oven.
Recipe Tester's Notes
These pizzas made for such a great weeknight dinner. I took a cue from Stephanie and used a ball of store-bought, whole-wheat pizza dough, so the pizzas came together in under 30 minutes. Store-bought dough is perfect for nights when you really want some pizza, but don’t feel like doing too much in the kitchen.
The original recipe was topped with sliced tomatoes and caramelized onions, which made the pizza a little sweet for my and my husband’s tastes. We liked it much better with a generous sprinkle of chopped cilantro and green onions, added just before serving. A pinch of red pepper flakes doesn’t hurt either, if you like a little spice.
I made one more change to the recipe, calling for low-moisture (a.k.a. dry) mozzarella instead of the water-packed variety. When I baked my first pizza with fresh mozzarella, the cheese weeped so much liquid that there was a big pool in the middle of my pizza. All that moisture meant that I wasn’t able to get any browning on top without copious dabbing with paper towels, followed by a last-minute run under the broiler.
Use thinly sliced or shredded dry mozzarella instead, whichever is easier to find at the grocery store. The decreased moisture in the cheese translates to a pizza that's not water-logged, and it'll get nice and bubbly brown.
One last note: These pizzas are great for preassembling and freezing. The next time I have leftover cooked chicken on hand, I’ll be sure to throw one of these together and pop it in the freezer for a busy night!
2 balls pizza dough, store-bought or homemade (approximately 22 ounces or enough for two 12-inch pizzas)
1 cup tomato or pizza sauce
1/2 cup BBQ sauce
1 pound low-moisture mozzarella, thinly sliced or shredded
1 chicken breast, cooked and chopped into bite-size pieces
Flour for rolling out dough
Chopped cilantro and green onions, to garnish Optional topping: Sliced fresh tomatoes and caramelized onions
Preheat oven to 425°F. If you have a baking stone, place it in the oven to pre-heat.
Using flour as needed, roll out one ball of pizza dough until thin (thin enough so the dough isn't in danger of tearing), about 12 inches across. Transfer the dough to a sheet pan or hot baking stone. Spoon 1/2 cup tomato sauce and 1/4 cup BBQ sauce onto dough. Add half of the sliced mozzarella and half of the chopped chicken.
Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until dough is crisp and cheese is melted. Repeat with remaining dough for second pizza, or bake the pizzas side-by-side if your oven is big enough.
Garnish pizzas with cilantro and green onions, and serve while hot.