Spicy Grilled Chicken BBQ Flatbread with Broccoli

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california bbq pizza

What’s Up, Hungry People?

This week’s challenge was “California cuisine”—a concept that evokes images of avocados and sushi rolls for many. Yet, for me, it’s all about flatbread and broccoli. This preference largely stems from a memorable scene in Inside Out where the characters bemoan a pizza shop that serves exclusively broccoli pizza!

My take on broccoli pizza features both broccolini and broccoli, paired with a homemade tangy BBQ sauce, shallots, and onions, then topped off with a balsamic drizzle. It’s the perfect combination of sweet and spicy flavors presented on a thin and crispy crust. Plus, when broccoli is baked, it starts to crisp and caramelize, offering a delightfully salty taste with a hint of sweetness at the stalk.

barbecue pizza flatbread

Here’s What You Need:

  • Ketchup: Adds a tangy base to the homemade BBQ sauce.
  • Spicy ketchup: Alternative to regular ketchup for extra heat.
  • Paprika: Provides a smoky flavor to the sauce.
  • Brown sugar: Balances the tanginess with sweetness.
  • Worcestershire sauce: Adds depth with its savory, slightly tangy flavor.
  • White vinegar: Brightens the sauce with acidity.
  • Red pepper flakes: Introduces heat, adjustable to taste.
  • Salt: Enhances overall flavor balance.
  • Aged balsamic vinegar: Finishes the dish with a sweet and tangy drizzle.
  • Pizza dough: Serves as the base for the flatbread.
  • Sweet corn: Adds a hint of sweetness and texture.
  • Shallot: Brings mild, sweet flavor when baked.
  • Broccoli or broccolini: Offers a crunchy texture and earthy tones.
  • Corn meal: Helps the bottom of the pizza become crispy.
  • Flour: Used for dusting and rolling out the pizza dough.

Let’s Cook

Prepping Your Oven and Surface: First things first, let’s get that oven ready. If you’ve got a pizza stone, pop it into the oven and preheat it to 425°F for about an hour. No pizza stone? No problem. Just use a baking sheet instead. While the oven heats up, take this time to sprinkle your wooden cutting board or another heat-proof surface with corn meal. This little trick helps your pizza slide off easily and adds a bit of crunch to the crust.

Making the BBQ Sauce: Now, let’s whisk up that BBQ sauce. Grab a bowl and mix together the ketchup, paprika, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, white vinegar, red pepper flakes, and salt. Give it a good stir until everything’s nicely blended. Set this aside for now—we’ll come back to it soon.

Rolling Out the Dough: Next, on a clean, floured surface, roll out your pizza dough. You can make it as thick or as thin as you like, but remember, the thinner the crust, the crispier it will be. Once you’ve got it rolled out, transfer it onto your corn meal-dusted board.

Topping Time: It’s topping time! Spread that delicious BBQ sauce you just made right over the dough. Then, layer on your grilled chicken, shallots, broccoli, and sweet corn. Feel free to arrange them however you like—make it pretty!

Baking Your Masterpiece: Carefully shift your assembled pizza from the cutting board to the preheated stone or baking sheet in the oven. Bake it for about 10-15 minutes. You’ll know it’s done when the edges are golden and crispy and the bottom is just how you like it.

The Final Touch: Right before serving, drizzle that aged balsamic vinegar over the top for a final flair of flavor. It really ties it all together.

BBQ Flatbread Tips:

  • Rolling the dough: Make sure your rolling surface and rolling pin are well-floured to prevent sticking. Thinly rolling the dough ensures that it cooks through and gets crispy, creating the perfect base for your toppings.
  • Using spicy ketchup: If you enjoy dishes with a kick, consider substituting regular ketchup with spicy ketchup in the BBQ sauce. It’s an easy swap that significantly changes the flavor profile.
  • Managing the heat: Red pepper flakes can vary in heat. Start with a smaller amount and adjust according to your preference. Remember, it’s easier to add more than to fix a sauce that’s too spicy.
  • Baking on a pizza stone: For the crispiest crust, use a preheated pizza stone. If you don’t have one, a baking sheet will work, but the results might not be as crispy. Make sure it’s hot before adding your pizza.
  • Adding the balsamic drizzle: Drizzle balsamic vinegar right after baking for a burst of flavor. It complements the spicy and savory elements beautifully without overpowering them.
cali barbecue pizza recipe

So there you have it, my take on California cuisine with a spicy grilled chicken BBQ flatbread that’s anything but ordinary. While broccoli might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of pizza, this recipe will change the way you see those green trees. The homemade BBQ sauce, combined with the crispy, caramelized bits of broccoli and broccolini, creates a flavorful fusion that’s beyond incredible.

california bbq pizza

Spicy Grilled Chicken BBQ Flatbread

The Starving Chef
Experience the unique blend of spicy grilled chicken, tangy BBQ sauce, and crispy broccoli on this homemade flatbread.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Pizza
Cuisine American, Pizza
Servings 4




  • 16 oz raw pizza dough
  • 2 cups grilled chicken
  • ¼ cup sweet corn
  • 1 shallot sliced thin
  • 1 cup broccoli or broccolini roughly chopped
  • 4 tablespoons corn meal
  • 1 tablespoon flour


  • Preheat a pizza stone in the oven for one hour at 425°F. If you are not using a pizza stone, place a baking sheet in the oven while it preheats and you prep the pizza. A hot stone or baking sheet will help create a crispy bottom. Sprinkle the corn meal onto a wooden pizza peel or a similar surface that will not melt or burn if it comes into contact with the hot pizza stone or baking sheet.
  • Whisk together the ingredients for the BBQ sauce and set aside.
  • Flour a clean surface and roll out the pizza dough until it reaches your desired thickness. Place the rolled dough on the board sprinkled with corn meal.
  • Spread the BBQ sauce evenly on the dough, then top with grilled chicken, sliced shallots, chopped broccoli, and sweet corn as desired.
  • Carefully transfer the uncooked pizza from the board to the preheated pizza stone or baking sheet by sliding it off the peel. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until the dough is cooked through and the bottom is crispy.
  • Use the peel to remove the pizza from the stone and cool for 5-10 minutes to finish cooking. Drizzle with aged balsamic vinegar before serving. Enjoy!
Keyword BBQ, chicken, corn, pizza, sauce
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