What’s for dinner tonight? If you’re still deciding, what about this wonderful BBQ chicken flatbread! This easy BBQ chicken pizza can be made in under 30 minutes, so it’s great for a busy weeknight supper. You can buy a flatbread base and then all you need to do is add the toppings and cook it. Served as it is or with a green salad or other side dish, this is really filling. It is so easy to make flatbread pizza at home! You should definitely try out this recipe if you want to make a barbecue chicken flatbread like Panera.
This spicy chicken bacon flatbread pizza combines a crispy delicious base with chicken breast or rotisserie chicken, red onion (green onion too if you want) and bacon. It makes a hearty dinner or special lunch, and even tastes good the next day as cold leftovers, like all pizza recipes do.
Why You’ll Love This
- A great copycat recipe: Whether you want to recreate your favourite pizza recipes from California Pizza Kitchen or you’re more of a Panera fan, you’ll love how similar this grilled chicken, bacon and red onion pizza is.
- Simple to make: Begin with a prepared flatbread and then cook chicken and bacon, arrange that with the other ingredients and bake. That’s pretty much all!
- Impressive: You don’t have to tell anyone else at the table how easy this recipe is to make. Enjoy their praise, because you’ll definitely get it!
Chicken Bacon Flatbread Ingredients
A lot of flatbread and pizza recipes start off with similar ingredients, namely the crust, some cheese and other toppings. For this one you can use a regular flatbread crust. You will need chicken, bacon, mozzarella (or you can use cheddar cheese or another kind) and red onion for the flavourful topping, along with BBQ sauce, carrot, green onions, and cilantro. Add more spices to the chicken if you want, such as garlic powder, just a pinch.
How to Make Panera BBQ Chicken Flatbread
For more detailed instructions with weights and measurements, jump to the printable recipe card.
- Cook the meats: Cook the bacon, then cook the chicken in the bacon grease.
- Prepare the other toppings: Slice the red onion, shred the carrot and chop the green onions.
- Add BBQ sauce to the chicken: Tear the cooked chicken into bite-sized pieces and toss in some of the BBQ sauce.
- Top the flatbread base: Brush BBQ sauce over the flatbread then add mozzarella cheese, BBQ chicken, bacon, and more mozzarella cheese, then the red onion and carrot.
- Cook it: Bake the flatbread in the oven, then top with green onions, chopped fresh cilantro, freshly ground black pepper, and remaining BBQ sauce, and serve hot.
Making Flatbread Pizza at Home
It’s easy to make barbecue chicken flatbread like Panera yourself at home. Or maybe you’re looking for more of a California Pizza Kitchen type flatbread. Either way, this recipe is really tasty and a worthy homemade equivalent.
You don’t need a lot of ingredients either. As well as the flatbread base, you need chicken, bacon, cheese, BBQ sauce, and veggies. Some green onion and cilantro make a nice garnish. While you’re cooking the bacon and BBQ chicken breasts, you can prepare the vegetables.
Top the flatbread with BBQ sauce, cheese and chicken, followed with bacon, more cheese and veggies. And that’s how easy it is to make flatbread pizza at home! Your easy BBQ chicken pizza is then ready to bake.
You will need to get the oven nice and hot to make BBQ chicken flatbread. Does your oven reach 500 degrees F? If not, don’t worry, get it as hot as it will go, whether that’s 450 or 475 degrees F.
The best part is that will also result in barbecue chicken flatbread like Panera but might take a few minutes longer. Another option is to cook it on the grill for 10 minutes or 20 minutes – not too close to the flame though, or else the bottom will burn. Keep an eye on it!
Add green onions and cilantro to the BBQ chicken flatbread when it’s cooked as well as an extra drizzle of sauce. Italians like to add a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil too – just a little. So you could do that also if you wanted.
For a meal that can be made in 20 minutes, or at least under 30 minutes, this shredded chicken flatbread is impressive.
Easy BBQ Chicken Pizza Variations
You can use mozzarella and provolone or try some sharp cheddar or a Mexican blend. Any kind of cheese is good so pick your favourite. Looking for some added heat? Sliced jalapenos or pepperoncini would be good. Or some extra chili powder mixed in with the barbecue sauce.
Other ingredients which would be good include pineapple chunks (well drained) or sliced red bell peppers. You could use turkey instead of chicken, or swap the bacon for ham. When you make flatbread pizza at home you can take your pick of ingredients. Either make this barbecue chicken flatbread like Panera or tweak it to pair perfectly with your palate.
Where to Find Flatbread Crust
For an easy dish that can be made in under 30 minutes you might like to use a readymade crust. Other options would be using a flatbread crust mix or even making it from scratch if you have more time or want to make your own. Kinnikinnick flatbread crusts are always good. They are ‘heat ‘n serve’ so you can make this easy BBQ chicken pizza in record time. Or even try something different like regular pizza dough, a flour tortilla or even plain or garlic naan bread.
What’s the Difference Between Flatbread and Pizza?
Sometimes it’s called flatbread, sometimes pizza and other times flatbread pizza! So what’s the difference between both these terms anyway? The main difference is the dough. Pizza dough has yeast and a pizza is typically topped with tomato sauce and cheese. So BBQ chicken flatbread Panera style, for example, is unyeasted and therefore a flatbread.
Flatbread has a thinner crust and the sauce isn’t usually tomato. Most pizzas have more toppings than flatbreads or are at least more generously topped. Some people describe flatbread as being un-yeasted while others use the term for any rectangular, thin crust pizza. If you’re a Panera BBQ crispy flatbread fan, you’ll really like this recipe.
Flatbreads are typically smaller as well as thinner. That means a whole flatbread can serve one (or two with side dishes) while a whole pizza usually won’t. There are exceptions of course. I’m very fond of pizza and can eat a whole small(ish) one! Honestly though, flatbread and pizza are very similar.
Flatbread Shortcuts Worth Knowing
As well as using a prepared flatbread crust, there are some other shortcuts you can take. This can be made in around 20 minutes if you use leftover chicken and bacon to make it. It’s a great way to use up leftover chicken actually! Using shredded cheese instead of grating your own also saves time. The same applies to the vegetables which can be bought shredded or chopped.
How to Store Flatbread Pizza
- Store: Keep leftovers covered and refrigerated and eat within 3 days.
- Freeze: You can freeze this as long as you don’t add the green onions or cilantro first because they’ll go mushy. Double-bag the leftovers first to avoid freezer burn.
- Reheat: Microwave leftovers to warm them back up, thawing first if frozen.
How to Serve BBQ Chicken Flatbread
Since it’s so easy to make flatbread pizza at home, you will want to make it often. But how should you serve this easy BBQ chicken pizza? I like to have it with a simple salad on the side. The flatbread is rich and spicy so a basic green salad with lemon vinaigrette would be great. Heartier options for flat bread include sautéed Brussels sprouts or garlic bread.
Chicken Bacon Flatbread FAQs
Yes, absolutely. You can use a gluten free flatbread crust instead of a regular wheat one.
Although popping it in the microwave can warm the flatbread back up, some people don’t like the softer texture. Another method would be putting the flatbread pizza in a dry nonstick skillet, adding a few drops of water around it and covering with a lid. Heat the burner gently and the water will turn to steam, warming the toppings up while the crust crisps back up on the hot metal.
BBQ Chicken Flatbread Pizza Recipe
Savoury Bacon, Onion and BBQ Chicken Flatbread Pizzas
- 1 flatbread crust readymade
- 1 chicken breast
- 6 Ounces bacon
- 1/2 red onion
- 1 carrot
- 1 Bag shredded mozzarella or a mozzarella provolone mix
- 1/2 Cup BBQ sauce
- cilantro fresh
- green onions
- black Pepper
- Season the chicken breast thoroughly with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Cut bacon into 1-inch pieces and fry in a pan until cooked through.
- Remove the cooked bacon from the pan and drain most of the grease from the pan, reserving a bit in the pan to cook the chicken with.
- Using the same pan with the reserved bacon grease, cook chicken breast until the center reaches 165 degrees F.
- Set the chicken aside to cool.
- Preheat oven to 500 degrees F.
- Slice the red onion thinly, and set aside.
- Using a peeler, peel your carrot, then continue to create thin slices of the carrot using your peeler.
- Chop up 2 to 3 green onions, and remove the leaves from a few sprigs of cilantro.
- When the chicken is cool enough to handle, pull it apart into chunks, then mix in a bowl with a couple spoonfuls of your BBQ sauce.
- Take your flatbread out and place on a cutting board or pizza peel. Brush the top of the flatbread with BBQ sauce.
- Sprinkle a light layer of cheese over the sauce, then cover with the BBQ chicken pieces.
- Cover the chicken with a layer of the cooked bacon, then a thick layer of cheese.
- Add the onions and the carrots to the top of the pizza.
- Carefully transfer your flatbread directly to a rack in the center of your preheated oven
- Cook for approx 6 or 7 minutes, checking on the pizza frequently – it may need more or less time depending on your oven.
- When the flatbread is ready, very carefully remove from the oven and place on a cutting board.
- Top the flatbread with green onions, cilantro, fresh black pepper, and a drizzle of BBQ sauce, then slice and serve hot.
- This flatbread also tastes great when cooked on a high rack in a grill, just be extra cautious not to burn the bottom.
- For an extra kick add pickled jalapeño peppers or pepperoncini.
- Any cheese will work great with this flatbread, a mozzarella/provolone mix is traditional although sharp cheddar is delicious, and pepper jack will give it a little extra heat.
The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.
Leftover flatbread is nice cold (or warmed up in a covered skillet over a low heat) the following day. It will keep for two or three days in the refrigerator.
Let me know if you try out this BBQ chicken flatbread recipe. It is so easy to make flatbread pizza at home, and it can be made in under 30 minutes! This easy BBQ flatbread chicken pizza is always a big hit for dinner. You should definitely try out this recipe if you want to make a barbecue chicken flatbread like Panera. Enjoy!
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Bella Bucchiotti is a storyteller, food lover, dog mom and adventure seeker living on the Pacific coast. She shares her passion for food, dogs, fitness, adventures, travel and philanthropy, in hopes of encouraging followers to run the extra mile, try new recipes, visit unfamiliar places and stand for a cause. Bella lives with Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease.