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Fall-Spiced BBQ Chicken Pizza

Tangy and sticky-sweet BBQ sauce combined with chicken and cheese on top of a pizza is an easy combination to love. But this version offers an unexpected seasonal twist with the help of fall favorites like apples, cinnamon, cloves, and allspice. Buying ready-to-bake pizza dough from the store helps you enjoy this irresistible pizza any day of the week. And, there are a few shortcuts you can take when time is scarce – buy a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken to shred, or layer raw red onions on the pizza right before baking instead of pickling onions. But don’t skip on the Fall-Spiced BBQ Sauce, which makes this recipe truly special.


Servings: 4 to 6
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes

*Your Chef will lead you through all the techniques, so prepping ahead of class is optional


  • 2 RANGER® The Free Range chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 slices bacon
  • 1 ready-to-bake pizza dough, about 1 pound
  • 2 cups Mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup smoked Gouda cheese, shredded (optional)
  • Chopped cilantro, for garnish (optional)

Ingredients for the BBQ Sauce:

  • 1 sweet apple, such as Pink Lady, Fuji, or Braeburn, grated on the large hole side of a box grater
  • 1 large yellow onion, grated on the large hole side of a box grater
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely grated, minced or microplaned
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon worcestershire, Maggi, or soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon each nutmeg, clove, and cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard powder or 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Kosher salt, to taste

Ingredients for Pickled Red Onions:

  • 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1-1/2 tablespoon maple syrup or honey
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 whole cloves (optional)
  • 2 allspice berries (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chile flakes (optional)
  • 1 medium red onion, very thinly sliced


  1. Cook the chicken: Preheat the oven to 375F. Pat the chicken breasts dry with a paper towel then transfer the chicken to a small sheet pan. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper and drizzle the olive oil on all sides. Put the chicken in the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until an instant-read food thermometer shows an internal temperature of 165F. When the chicken is finished cooking, let it rest for a few minutes then dice into 1/2-inch cubes and set aside. 
  2. Lay the slices of bacon out on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Place the bacon in the oven to cook with the chicken, about 30 minutes, until the bacon is crispy.  Let the bacon cool slightly after removing it from the oven, then roughly chop the bacon into smaller pieces. 
  3. For the Fall-Spiced BBQ Sauce: Gather all the ingredients and combine in a medium-sized pan along with a 1/2 cup of water. Bring everything to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to medium and let simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep the sauce from burning to the pan. Taste the sauce to be sure it’s thick enough and that it’s balanced between sweet, tangy, and salty. Add additional salt or Worcestershire sauce for more seasoning; add more brown sugar to make it more sweet; add more apple cider vinegar to make more tart. If the sauce tastes good but is too thick, stir in a couple tablespoons of water and a pinch of salt and stir to incorporate. 
  4. For the Pickled Red Onions: Add the vinegar, water, maple syrup, bay leaf, cloves, salt, peppercorns, and chile flakes (if using) to a small pot and bring to a boil over high heat. While waiting for the vinegar to boil, pack the onions in a snug jar or another heat-proof container. When the vinegar boils, take it off heat and pour carefully over the onions. Let the onions sit at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes.
  5. After the chicken and bacon are out of the oven, increase the oven temperature to 425F. On a lightly-floured surface, roll the pizza dough out into a large circle or rectangle, depending on the size and shape of your large sheet pan. (If you want a thinner pizza crust, divide the pizza dough in half and roll out the halves to the same size.) 
  6. Transfer the rolled dough to your baking sheet, then spread 1/2 cup of Fall-Spiced BBQ Sauce evenly over the dough, leaving about a 1/2-inch border for the crust. In a mixing bowl, combine another 1/2-cup of sauce with the chicken and mix. Add the chicken in a single layer on top of the pizza and reserve any remaining sauce for another recipe. 
  7. Sprinkle chopped bacon over the pizza, then the shredded mozzarella and smoked Gouda (if using). Put the pizza in the oven and bake for 12-14 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the pizza crust is golden brown. 
  8. To serve: Garnish with chopped cilantro and Pickled Red Onions and enjoy warm.