This Vegan BBQ Chicken Pizza features homemade gluten-free, vegan pizza crust topped with a layer of my Pumpkin BBQ Sauce, vegan mozzarella cheese, vegan blue cheese, plant-based chicken, red onion, and fresh cilantro for the most delicious homemade pizza!
For as much as a pizza lover that I am it’s weird that I don’t have more pizza recipes on the blog… I do have my Beet Hummus Pizza, Vegan Meatball Pizza, Kale + Crispy Chickpea Sweet Potato Crust Pizza, and Caramelized Peach and Red Onion Arugula Pizza, but I think I’m going to be adding more homemade pizzas on the blog this year. And those pizzas are all delicious, but they are more unique pizzas… sometimes I think I’m just craving a classic, like a good BBQ Chicken Pizza 😉
The homemade gluten-free, vegan crust is simple to make and doesn’t require any rise time with the use of quick yeast. There’s just 7 simple ingredients in this crust: gluten-free 1:1 baking flour, baking powder, salt, coconut/maple sugar, 1 packet of quick yeast, olive oil, and warm water. You’ll combine the warm water with the quick yeast and sugar and let it proof for about 5-10 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl and whisk to combine. When the yeast is bubbly/foamy, add that to the flour along with the olive oil and gently stir to create your pizza dough!
Press the dough out onto a flat, parchment-lined baking sheet and roll the edges up slightly to create that traditional pizza crust edge. You don’t want the dough to be too thick or the center won’t bake all the way through, so make sure you press it out enough. It will rise slightly with the use of yeast and baking powder. I’ve also made this Vegan BBQ Chicken Pizza in a cast iron skillet and it was also scrumptious that way!
To get the crust edges nice and golden you can brush it with olive oil, coconut oil, or plant-milk before baking. I used oat milk and it worked great.
The BBQ Sauce
I happened to have some of my Pumpkin BBQ Sauce in the fridge already made, but to make it for this pizza is really quick and easy. This barbecue sauce doesn’t have a pumpkin flavor if that’s what you’re wondering, but rather I add pure pumpkin puree to the sauce to add some nutritional value! It’s both sweet and tangy and comes together in just 10 minutes. You won’t use the whole batch for the pizza so it’s great for other recipes, especially as we are in the midst of grilling season.
If you feel like using store bought BBQ sauce, that’s fine, I just like to make mine at home so I know exactly what’s going into it and to avoid a ton of added artificial sweeteners. Make sure the ketchup you use is clean as well.
I use two different kinds of vegan cheese on this pizza: vegan mozzarella cheese, which is pretty easy to find in grocery stores these days, and vegan blue cheese, which is specially made by the Follow Your Heart brand (not sponsored). I like to add the vegan blue cheese as it gives this pizza a fun, unique flavor, but if you can’t find it, using just the mozzarella is fine and the pizza still tastes amazing!
The Red Onions & Vegan Chicken
I love the sweetness of red onion, especially if you sauté them with a little bit of oil and salt, which I suggest doing before adding them to the pizza.
There are lots of options for plant-based chicken out there now! Pick your favorite, or if you prefer you can use real chicken, but I encourage you to try this with plant-based chicken on a Meatless Monday or something and see how you like it! Alternatively, if you can’t find any plant-based chicken, you can use tofu cut into strips or chunks! I like to cut mine into smaller strips and then precook it with a little oil in a skillet before adding it to my pizza. You can sauté the chicken and onion together in the same skillet to on save time (and cleaning!).
Lastly, garnish with fresh cilantro and enjoy!
I’d love to hear how like this Vegan BBQ Chicken Pizza down below in the comments section, as well as giving it a rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ so that others can discover this homemade gluten-free, vegan, plant-based pizza recipe! Tag me on Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest!
Gluten-Free Vegan Pizza Crust
- 1.5 cups warm water (not hot!)
- 1 packet of quick yeast
- 1 tablespoon coconut/maple sugar (may also use cane sugar)
- 3 cups gluten-free 1:1 baking flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cups ketchup (pay attention to the sugar content in your ketchup)
- 3 tablespoons pure pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix!)
- 1/4 cup coconut/maple/brown sugar
- 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce or coconut/liquid aminos
- 1 tablespoons lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1-2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 cup BBQ sauce
- 1 cup vegan mozzarella cheese
- 1/3 cup vegan blue cheese (optional if you can find it)*
- 1-2 cups plant-based chicken or tofu (based on preference)
- 1/2 large red onion, sliced
- fresh cilantro leaves to garnish
- 1-2 tablespoons oat milk (or other plant milk), olive or coconut oil for brushing the crust
- Make the BBQ sauce first. Do this by whisking together all of the ingredients in a medium saucepan. Heat the pan to medium, whisking frequently until the sauce begins to bubble. Pour the sauce into a glass jar and allow it to cool while you make the rest of the pizza. Cover and keep leftover sauce stored in the fridge.
- Proof the yeast. Add the warm water (not hot!) to a glass measuring cup/bowl. Add the yeast and sugar and stir. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes to proof until it gets bubbly and foamy. Meanwhile, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl and whisk to combine. When the yeast is bubbly/foamy, add that to the flour along with the olive oil and gently stir to create your pizza dough. Cover the bowl with a towel and set aside while you saute the chicken and red onion.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Cut the plant-based chicken/tofu into smaller strips/chunks and then add it to the skillet. Add the sliced red onion to the same skillet, then drizzle both the chicken and onion with a little oil and sprinkle with salt. Saute the chicken and onion for about 5-7 minutes. This is to pre-cook them before adding to the pizza.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Press the dough out onto a parchment-lined baking sheet in any shape you'd like, making sure the center of the pizza isn't too thick or it won't bake all the way through. Roll up the outer edges slightly to create a traditional pizza crust.
- Spread 1/2 cup of the BBQ sauce over the dough, then spread the cheeses, onion and chicken over the entire pizza.
- Brush the outer crust with plant milk or oil and then bake in the oven for 25-35 minutes, until the crust starts to turn golden brown. I like to broil the pizza for an additional 5 minutes at the end to really make the cheese melty and the crust crunchy. Garnish with fresh cilantro and allow it to cool slightly before slicing.
*Pizza crust recipe adapted from Orchids & Sweet Tea.
**Vegan Blue Cheese is made by the Follow Your Heart brand and is optional, but if you can find it- I recommend it! I found mine at Whole Foods.