This healthy BBQ chicken pizza recipe is a great way to satisfy your pizza cravings, with the classic California Pizza kitchen favorite.
By using key ingredient swaps and juicy chicken, this pizza is not only delicious but will help you stay fit too. It’s also a very quick recipe to put together.
While they are undeniably delicious, is BBQ Chicken pizza healthy?
BBQ Chicken pizza can be a very healthy dish given that it consists of a balanced macronutrient profile with ample protein from the chicken and cheese, carbs from the crust, and a healthy amount of fats. A slice of this healthy BBQ chicken pizza comes in at only 157 calories with 9 grams of protein, 4 grams of fat, and 19 grams of carbs. This allows you to indulge in a few slices to make a complete, nutrient-packed meal.
✅ Why This Recipe Works
Easy to make – No hours of prep needed. All you need is to cook the chicken ahead of time and gather the ingredients. Once you’re ready to make the pizza, it will only take 15 minutes to put it together.
Flavorful and well-balanced – By utilizing quality and easy-to-find ingredients to create the pizza, you can make a restaurant-quality burrito from the comfort of home.
Low in calories and macro-optimized – This recipe was specially developed by yours truly to be low-calorie and macro-friendly, so you can satisfy your BBQ chicken pizza cravings while staying on track with your fitness goals!
🍎 Calories and Nutrition – How to Make It Healthy
Most pizzas can be quite heavy due to their larger portion sizes and outsized amount of carbs and fats. In addition to the crust, which is already upwards of 200 calories, most pizza toppings largely consist of higher fat ingredients such as cheese, olive oil, and pork-based meat products such as pepperoni which tend to be higher in fats.
BBQ Chicken Pizza, although not the “traditional” type of pizza, already has an added advantage from a nutrient perspective since it uses chicken, a lean protein, as a main topping. From there, it was easy to make some minor adjustments to the recipe without compromising its taste to create a healthier recipe.
In this recipe, I adjusted this BBQ chicken pizza to be 470 calories with 28 grams of protein, 11 grams of fat, and 56 grams of carbs.
Here’s what I did to make it healthier:
- Used chicken breast – I used a leaner cut of chicken. Pizza mainly comprises of cheese, which adds a decent amount of fat content, so a leaner cut of chicken makes more sense here.
- Use a low–calorie crust – This helps us manage calorie intake from carbs while still providing a great base for the pizza. I used the Golden Home Ultra Thin crust, which I loved.
- Portion the BBQ Sauce – BBQ sauce, while not high in calories, comprises largely of carbs so portioning this helps to manage calorie intake from carbs
- Portion the cheese – Cheese actually brings a significant amount of protein in this dish but is also relatively high in fats, so it’s best to keep portion control in mind.
For a detailed breakdown of each ingredient, their portioning, and how they make up the nutrition profile of this pizza recipe, you may refer to the table below:
📋 Ingredient Notes
To make a healthy BBQ chicken pizza, you will need these key healthy ingredients.
Chicken – I used leftover rotisserie chicken breast. You can also make your own shredded chicken breast by seasoning, cooking, and shredding.
BBQ Sauce – A key ingredient for the base of the pizza. I opted to use Baby Ray’s brand, which is a fan favorite among barbecue sauce lovers.
Low-Calorie Crust – I used a low-calorie crust from Golden Home, which you can order from Amazon. The entire crust is only 130 calories!
Cheese – I used a mix of Mozzarella cheese, which is lower fat compared to most cheeses, as well as Cheddar. This gives the pizza a more complex flavor while helping manage calories. You can also opt to use Gouda instead of cheddar, which is used in the original California Pizza Kitchen recipe.
See my recipe card below for a complete list of the ingredients with measurements.
📖 Substitutions and Variations
Chicken options – I used rotisserie chicken breast, but you can also cook and shred your own chicken and season it to your liking. Not many things don’t go well with BBQ sauce! You can also opt to use chicken thigh if you’d like, but keep in mind that this dish already has an ample amount of fat content so adjust based on your fitness goals.
Swap out the BBQ chicken sauce – I used the Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce but you can swap in any BBQ sauce brand our flavor. For example, you can use a spicier BBQ sauce if you prefer some kick, or a sweeter one if you prefer it with some honey undertones.
Switch out cheese – I used mozzarella and cheddar here since it was what was available for me, but smokier cheese such as gouda or gruyere have been known to compliment the BBQ sauce well.
Add toppings of choice – Some popular ones include pineapple mushrooms or peppers. This is your pizza so top to your heart's content!
🔪 Step by Step Instructions
Preheat the oven – Start by preheating the oven to 425 Fahrenheit.
Assemble the pizza – On a pizza baking sheet or plate, add the low-calorie crust. Spread the BBQ sauce over the crust, leaving the edges of the crust bare.
Add the toppings – Layer the cheese over the sauce, keeping them off the edges as well. Shred the chicken if not shredded and add the chicken pieces, along with the red onions, over the cheese.
Bake the pizza – Put in the oven and let bake for 9-12 minutes, or until the crust is golden and the cheese is melted.
Garnish and serve – Add chopped cilantro on top of the pizza, cut into slices, and enjoy your healthy pizza!
💭 Recipe FAQs
To make your own shredded chicken, cook boneless, skinless chicken breasts in boiling water or broth until fully cooked. Then, use two forks to shred the cooked chicken by pulling the meat apart along the grain. Season the shredded chicken with your desired spices and sauces for added flavor.
Use any that you like! If you like a spicier sauce, get a spicier one. Or if you prefer a sweeter, one, you can use a sweeter one as well.
Yes, you can make this in advance and store it in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days. I would not recommend storing it more than that, as the crust can go soggy and the chicken may go bad.
💡 Expert Tips
BBQ Sauce nutrition – Different brands of BBQ sauce can vary in nutrition content. Check nutrition labels to ensure it’s in line with the kind of diet you want, whether it's lower sugar, lower sodium, etc. Be sure to get a good quality one you love since this is the base of the dish!
Don’t worry about overtopping the pizza – The chicken tends to shrink in the oven, which will make the pizza a lot less crowded looking.
🍽 Related Recipes
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Healthy BBQ Chicken Pizza
- 1 Ultra Thin Pizza Crust
- 130 g BBQ Sauce
- 70 g Mozzerella Cheese
- 70 g Cheddar Cheese
- 4 oz Shredded Chicken Breast
- ¼ Red Onion
- 1 bunch Cilantro
- Chili flakes
- Preheat the oven – Start by preheating the oven to 425 Fahrenheit.
- Assemble the pizza – On a pizza baking sheet or plate, add the low-calorie crust. Spread the BBQ sauce over the crust, leaving the edges of the crust bare.
- Add the toppings – Layer the cheese over the sauce, keeping them off the edges as well. Shred the chicken if not shredded and add the chicken pieces, along with the red onions, over the cheese.
- Bake the pizza – Put in the oven and let bake for 9-12 minutes, or until the crust is golden and the cheese is melted.
- Garnish and serve – Add chopped cilantro on top of the pizza, cut into slices, and enjoy your healthy BBQ chicken pizza.