Unlike my husband, who loves watching sports, I do not. The only thing I love about sports and live games is the food. Game food is its genre of cooking, and the cuisine sports intense flavors (pun intended). For example, barbecue pizza is sweet, tangy, and hot and topped with hot melty cheese. This sheet pan pizza might be designed for game day, but you can also make it for dinner or the weekend.
This barbecue pizza contains two types of onions, first, a layer of sweet, caramelized onions, and second, a topping of thinly sliced red onions. I’ve also added a sprinkling of nigella seeds because that is one of my favorite spices with onions and cheese; it is the perfect pairing. If you count scallions as onions and you decide to use them as the topping for this pizza, then you can call this a triple onion barbecue pizza. I’ve used leftover chicken in the pizza but feel free to leave it out or use shredded pork or chunks of tofu or tempeh.Print
1 lb/455 g white or yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Fine sea salt
½ lb/230 g pizza dough, homemade or store-bought
1 Tbsp coarsely ground cornmeal or semolina
½ cup/120 ml barbecue sauce plus extra to serve, homemade or store-bought
1 cup/200 g diced or shredded grilled or rotisserie chicken
½ cup/50 g shredded gouda
½ cup/40 g shredded mozzarella
½ cup/50 g red onion, halve and thinly sliced
1 tsp nigella seeds
2 scallions, both white and green parts, ends trimmed and discarded, thinly sliced
- Preheat the oven to 350F/180C.
- Mix the onions with 1 Tbsp of oil and a tiny pinch of salt on a baking sheet. Wrap the sheet tightly with a layer of foil, crimping the edges to seal. Place in the oven and cook for 30 minutes, remove from the oven, and unwrap. The onions will be slightly tender and shrink slightly, move them in a clump towards the center, return the baking sheet to the oven, and roast uncovered for an additional 30 minutes, occasionally stirring with a spatula until the onions turn golden brown and soft. The cooking time might vary. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and keep aside. This should yield about 1 cup of caramelized onions.
- When ready to cook the pizza, preheat the oven to 500F/260C.
- Brush the surface of a 9 in by 12 in/23 cm by 30.5 cm baking sheet with 1 Tbsp of oil. Sprinkle the cornmeal all over the surface. Roll out the pizza dough and spread it using your fingers to cover the baking sheet’s surface. Cover with a damp towel and let rest for 30 minutes in a warm spot in the kitchen, away from sunlight. The dough will relax and rise a little.
- Brush the surface of the pizza with the barbecue sauce followed by the caramelized onions. Top with the chicken, gouda, mozzarella, and red onion. Sprinkle the nigella seeds on the top and bake the pizza in the oven until the edges start to brown and the cheese melts and turns brown in some spots, 10 to 12 minutes. Rotate the baking sheet and bake for 4 to 5 minutes until the crust is crisp and turns a dark shade of golden brown. Remove from the oven, transfer to a cutting board, sprinkle the sliced scallions over the top, and serve immediately with extra barbecue sauce on the side. Leftovers can be stored wrapped in foil or cling film in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Preheat leftovers in an oven at 350F/180C.
- I prefer making caramelized onions in the oven over the stove. The heating is more uniform in an oven, and I find it takes less time than on a stove which can be very unpredictable. The onions are first steamed covered in the method shared to help soften them. In the second step, the onions are cooked in a clump in the center of the baking sheet; this prevents them from drying out and turning crisp, making the result jammy. I will spread them in a single layer over the baking sheet if I want them crispy.
- For a thicker crust, use 1 lb/455 g pizza dough.
- You can also use cilantro with or without scallions for the garnish.