BBQ Chicken Dip

This bbq chicken dip is your favorite pizza turned into a favorite appetizer!

This BBQ Chicken Dip is always a crowd pleaser for parties, game days, baby/bridal showers, game nights, movie nights and on and on! It’s made with shredded chicken, cream cheese, barbecue sauce, mozzarella cheese, cheddar cheese, bell peppers, red onions and bacon- are you drooling yet? This BBQ Chicken Pizza Dip can be served with tortilla chips, baguette slices or veggies for an addicting dip every time.

a baguette slice dipping into ooey gooey BBQ Chicken Dip

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BBQ Chicken Dip

This BBQ Chicken Dip is perfect for all your New Years parties just around the corner…and for every football game after that! It is everyone’s’ favorite dip that is quick and easy to make, hot and bubbly delicious, make ahead friendly and only dirties one mixing bowl. So, let your last bites of 2014 and your first bites of 2015 be of cheesy barbecue cream cheese layered with tender barbecue shredded chicken, tender crisp green peppers and crispy bacon.  

This crazy delicious Pizza Dip was inspired by two of my (and the world’s) favorite foods: Buffalo Chicken Dip that has been around the internet and then around again and again and California Pizza Kitchen’s Barbecue Chicken Pizza that I have consumed pounds of in my lifetime.  It’s a match made in my mind but it might as well have been made in heaven because this dip is out-of-this world!

This easy BBQ Chicken Dip adds your favorite barbecue chicken pizza ingredients along with cream cheese to a baking dish, layers them with cheese and is baked to golden, bubbly, oozy cheese heaven.

whY THIS IS THE BEST BBQ Chicken Dip RECIPE

  • This chicken dip is mega creamy made with a generous amount of cream cheese WITHOUT being greasy!
  • It uses 3 cheeses: cream cheese, mozzarella and sharp cheddar cheese which means more flavor and ooey gooey delight
  • It is multi-dimensional flavorful made with barbecue sauce, ranch dressing and handpicked seasonings – no one note pizza dip here!
  • This chicken dip uses pantry friendly ingredients so you can make it at a moments notice.
  • This BBQ Chicken Dip comes together in less than 20 minutes by mixing the ingredients together in a bowl then layering.
  • You can prep it entirely ahead of time and refrigerate so all you have do to is pop it in the oven when guests arrive!
up close top view of baked BBQ Chicken Dip

How to BBQ Chicken Dip

Step 1: Make Pizza Dip

The base of the BBQ Chicken Pizza Dip is cream cheese mixed with barbecue sauce, a little ranch dressing, a little hot sauce (optional), sour cream and sharp cheddar cheese.  I like to mix it up in mixing bowl with hand beaters so it comes together super quickly.

Step 2: Layer Pizza Dip

Next, layer the creamy, cheesy barbecue delight into a baking dish/skillet and top with more sharp cheddar, fresh thinly sliced green peppers, red onion, barbecue chicken and mozzarella cheese.

showing how to make BBQ Chicken Dip by layering cream cheese mixture with onions and bell peppers

Step 3: Bake BBQ Chicken Dip

Bake the pizza dip until bubbly cheesy barbecue goodness permeates the air – AKA 20 minutes.

showing how to make BBQ Chicken Dip by topping dip with cheese

Step 4: Garnish Pizza Dip

Top hot pizza dip with bacon and cilantro – as little or as much as you like.

Step 5: Serve BBQ Chicken Dip

Now this BBQ Chicken Dip is ready to be scooped with chips, bread, crackers or veggies.  I personally love it spread on bread – tastes more like pizza that way, but it is delicious any way you serve it.  I think you friends and family will agree. And I think they will sing your praises for ringing in the New Year with this BBQ Chicken Pizza Dip.

showing how to make BBQ Chicken Dip 
 recipe by baking until cheese is melted

Tips for BBQ Chicken Dip

  • Use store bought OR homemade shredded chicken. I like to use rotisserie chicken in this pizza dip recipe because it is always tender and flavorful but you can use whatever is more convenient for you! Chicken breasts are also a great option because they are less expensive and usually stocked in your fridge or freezer.
  • How to make homemade chicken. To make homemade shredded chicken, bake chicken breasts smothered in barbecue sauce (about ½ cup) for 20 to 25 minutes, or until chicken is baked through.
  • Use soft cream cheese.  Make sure you soften your cream cheese well so it mixes easily.  Full fat cream cheese is more creamy and melts better but you may use less fat cream cheese.
  • Use fresh cheese. Use only freshly grated mozzarella and cheddar cheese because they not only tastes far superior but melts much better.
  • Use sharp cheddar. Please use SHARP as opposed to MILD cheddar cheese as we need the sharpness to cut through the cream cheese.
  • Use full-fat sour cream. The sour cream adds a wonderful creaminess to the pizza dip that can’t be beat.  Full fat sour cream melts better but you may use nonfat.
  • Slice red onion thinly. Make sure it’s sliced thin enough so it’s tender after baked.

recipe variations

You can follow the recipe as written or get creative:

  • protein: swap the chicken for sausage, pepperoni, ham, etc,
  • veggies: swap or add veggies such as mushrooms, olives, artichokes, etc. – pineapple would also be delicious.
  • cheese: You can also use a combination of your favorite cheeses – Gouda, cheddar, mozzarella, Monterrey, etc.

No matter how your serve this warm, gooey pizza dip, it will be gone in a flash!

WHAT SHOULD I BAKE pizza Dip IN?

Any oven proof dish will work that is roughly 3 quarts or 8 or 9 inches and 4″ deep. You can use a casserole dish that is roughly 8×11” or an 8×8 or 9×9 square baking dish 4″ deep or a 9-10″ skillet.  I don’t recommend an 8″ pie pan because it is not deep enough.

HOW DO YOU serve BBQ Chicken Dip?

  • After the BBQ Chicken Dip comes out of the oven, let it sit for at least 5 minutes so guests don’t burn their mouths.
  • If using a skillet, wrap the skillet handle in a towel to protect your guests from burning themselves.
  • Pizza Dip is best served hot with:
    • French Baguette
    • sourdough
    • tortilla chips (sturdy tortilla chips are best otherwise they can break)
    • crackers
    • pita chips
    • veggies: carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumber bell peppers
  • My favorite dippers for BBQ Chicken Dip are slices of a French baguette.  I toast the slices first by brushing them lightly with olive oil, spreading in an even layer and baking at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.
up close side view of easy BBQ Chicken Dip

CAN I MAKE BBQ Chicken Dip IN ADVANCE?

Absolutely! You can prepare the BBQ Chicken Dip up to the point of baking then cover with foil and refrigerate. When ready to serve, let it sit at room temperature for 20 minutes then bake per recipe instructions or until nice and hot in the center.

Crockpot pizza Dip

  1. Lightly grease slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray or use a crock pot liner.
  2. Layer the ingredients in the crockpot per recipe instructions.
  3. Cook on LOW for 2-3 hours or until all the cheeses have melted and the dip is hot and creamy.
  4. Stir dip well before serving for a stress free party appetizer!

HOW DO YOU REHEAT BBQ Chicken Dip?

Reheat pizza dip in the same oven proof baking dish or skillet in the oven at 350 degrees for approximately 25 minutes or until hot and bubbly. You can microwave smaller portions at 30 second intervals until heated through.

HOW LONG WILL the chicken Dip LAST?

BBQ Chicken Dip will last about 4-5 days in the refrigerator. To store, allow it to come to room temperature first, then either cover with foil or transfer to an airtight container. If you made crockpot pizza dip, then you can either place your entire crock pot insert in the refrigerator or transfer to an airtight container.

DOES BBQ Chicken FREEZE WELL?

I do not recommend freezing BBQ Chicken Dip due to the cream cheese, sour cream and cheeses. The fat will separate and become a funny texture.  Instead, you can half the recipe if you are worried about leftovers.

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a piece of bread dipping into cheesy BBQ Chicken Dip

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BBQ Chicken Pizza Dip

This pizza dip is your favorite pizza turned into your favorite appetizer! It is always a crowd pleaser for parties, game days, baby/bridal showers, game nights, movie nights and on and on! It’s made with shredded chicken, cream cheese, barbecue sauce, mozzarella cheese, cheddar cheese, bell peppers, red onions and bacon- are you drooling yet? This pizza dip recipe can be served with tortilla chips, baguette slices or veggies for an addicting dip every time.
Servings: 10 -12
Total Time: 30 mins
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins

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Ingredients

  • 2 ½ cups shredded rotisserie chicken
  • 2 8 oz. blocks cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup ranch dressing
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 3/4 cups your favorite BBQ sauce
  • 2-4 teaspoons hot sauce, or more to taste
  • 1 cup freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated mozzarella cheese
  • 1 green pepper thinly sliced then halved
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced then halved
  • salt and pepper
  • Garlic salt
  • cilantro
  • 6 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
  • Bread, chips, or crackers for dipping

Instructions

  • Add cream cheese to a mixing bowl and beat until smooth. Add sour cream, ¾ cup BBQ sauce, ranch, cumin and hot sauce to taste and beat until smooth. Stir in ½ cup sharp cheddar cheese.
  • Add mixture to a lightly greased oven proof 10″ round skillet or baking dish that is at least 8″x8″ and 4″ deep and spread out evenly. Top with remaining ½ cup sharp cheddar cheese, followed by the red onion, green peppers, chicken, and mozzarella cheese (I save a few red onions and green peppers to throw ontop of the chicken layer purely for looks). Season with garlic salt.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes OR until hot in the center.
  • Optional: Drizzle with extra barbecue sauce, top with bacon and cilantro.
  • Serve as a dip with crackers/chips or as a spread with bread. Best served warm.

Notes

Feel free to add any other toppings you desire! Pineapple in particular would be amazing with this combo. Just note that if you add mushrooms, they don’t need to be cooked first but do need to be sliced very thin so they don’t “sweat” when baked.

HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN SHREDDED CHICKEN

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Line a small oven proof dish (about 8×8) with foil and lightly grease.
  3. Add chicken breasts then pour ½ cup barbecue sauce over the chicken (this will be in addition to the ¾ cup BBQ sauce you add later.
  4. Turn chicken a few times to completely cover in the BBQ sauce.
  5. Generously season the chicken with freshly cracked salt and pepper.
  6. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until chicken is baked through. Let chicken rest at least 5 minutes before shredding.

Serving Suggestions

  • After the Pizza Dip comes out of the oven, let it sit for at least 5 minutes so guests don’t burn their mouths.
  • If using a skillet, wrap the skillet handle in a towel to protect your guests from burning themselves.
  • Pizza Dip is best served hot with:
    • French Baguette
    • sourdough
    • tortilla chips (sturdy tortilla chips are best otherwise they can break)
    • crackers
    • pita chips
    • veggies: carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumber bell peppers
  • My favorite dippers for pizza dip are slices of a French baguette.  I toast the slices first by brushing them lightly with olive oil, spreading in an even layer and baking at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.

Storage 

Pizza dip will last about 4-5 days in the refrigerator. To store, allow it to come to room temperature first, then either cover with foil or transfer to an airtight container. If you made crockpot pizza dip, then you can either place your entire crock pot insert in the refrigerator or transfer to an airtight container.
Reheat pizza dip in the same oven proof baking dish or skillet in the oven at 350 degrees for approximately 25 minutes or until hot and bubbly. You can microwave smaller portions at 30 second intervals until heated through.

MAKE Ahead Instructions

You can prepare the pizza dip up to the point of baking then cover with foil and refrigerate. When ready to serve, let it sit at room temperature for 20 minutes then bake per recipe instructions or until nice and hot in the center.

Crockpot pizza dip

  1. Lightly grease slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray or use a crock pot liner.
  2. Layer the ingredients in the crockpot per recipe instructions.
  3. Cook on LOW for 2-3 hours or until all the cheeses have melted and the dip is hot and creamy.
  4. Stir dip well before serving for a stress free party appetizer!

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14 Comments

  1. Jessica says

    This looks amazing! We are huge BBQ chicken pizza fans but we always add pineapple to ours. I’m definitely going to make this, may even add pineapple chunks.

    • Jen says

      I LOVE pineapple too – that would be amazing on this! I hope you enjoy! Thanks Jessica!

  2. Gail says

    I just found your site today and I fell in love with all of the beautiful pictures and recipes! I am a oamc’er so I am planning on incorporating many of your recipes into our monthly menu. This recipe has inspired me to create a Buffalo BBQ pizza, omitting the sour cream & cream cheeses. Thank you for your time and efforts in the recipes. I can not wait to try them all! Blessings to you and your family.

    • Jen says

      Hi Gail, you are so kind! I so appreciate you taking time to let me know you found and are enjoying my site. I hope you find many new family favorites here to add to your menu. Enjoy and blessings to you and yours as well. THank you!

  3. Autumn says

    I made this for New Year’s and everyone loved it and demanded the recipe – LOL! Thanks for my new go-to appetizer!

    • Jen says

      Hi Autumn, I am so glad everyone in your “demanding’ 🙂 group loved this dip for New Year’s – what a fun appetizer to share! Happy 2015!

  4. Bri says

    I usually never leave comments after trying recipes from blogs…but this recipe needs some justice brought to the table!! I actually made this like a month ago. The only kind of pizza I like PERIOD is bbq chicken pizza so I thought I’d give this a try. IT WAS AMAZING! Honestly, such a change of pace for my tastebuds. I actually wish my bbq chicken pizza tastes like this! I am still so astounded at how good this stuff was! It will definitely be on our list to make from now on! Thanks so much for the recipe, it’s genius!

    • Jen says

      Hi Bri, I am so happy you DID comment – yay! Your comment made my day! I am so happy you loved the dip so much and is now on your list – the ultimate compliment! I’ll make BBQ Chicken pizza eventually so stay tuned 🙂 Thanks for being such a sweetheart and letting me know how much you loved this!

  5. Molly says

    Hello,

    I am hoping to make this for a get together Saturday night. I am able to make this ahead of time?

    • Jen says

      Absolutely! It is definitely best served warm so I would do all the prep up until baking and then you can refrigerate it and then just bake when ready. have fun, enjoy!

  6. Nadine says

    I love love love your recipes!!! I would like to make this for a tailgate potluck at work but I would have to make it in my crockpot. Do you think that would work? I could add the chicken breast and bbq sauce first and cook on high until the chicken is done, shred the chicken and add it back to the crock pot along with all the other ingredients and then continue cooking?

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much for your kind comment Nadine! I love hearing you are enjoying my recipes! I think this would definitely work in the crockpot. I would make it just as you described! Please let me know how it goes!

  7. Priscilla Freeman says

    I plan on making this for the Michigan vs. Michigan State football game I’m going to today. Can this be made in the crockpot? If not, I don’t have a cast iron pan like you do in your lovely picture. What can I instead? Thanks, I love all your amazing looking dishes.

    • Jen says

      Hi Priscilla, yes a slow cooker will work great! Once your chicken is cooked through, then add your cream cheese, sour cream, etc. You can also use any type of oven proof dish and transfer the dip to that to bake. Enjoy!

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