What mom really wants for Mother's Day is barbecue chicken pizza

Forget brunch this year! Celebrate mom with melted cheese instead

By Mary Elizabeth Williams

Senior Writer

Published May 7, 2022 12:25PM (EDT)

Mother’s Day pizza (Mary Elizabeth Williams)
Mother’s Day pizza (Mary Elizabeth Williams)

In "Quick & Dirty," Salon Food's Mary Elizabeth Williams serves up simplified recipes and shortcuts for exhausted cooks just like you — because quick and dirty should still be delicious.

This year, give mom what she really wants for Mother's Day. Is it pizza? I bet it's pizza.

I have an admittedly strong anti brunch bias, but I suspect I'm not alone in wanting to avoid the annual eggs and French toast thing. Look, if you're a family and you want Mother's Day brunch, you have two options — neither of which is great. You can go out, which involves crowds, meltdowns, noise and just so-so food. Or you can stay in and attempt to make brunch, which likely involves forcing mom to stay confined to bed while the rest of you make a batter splattered mess of the kitchen.

Consider, then, another way. Give mom the gift of a normal morning. Then, for either lunch or dinner, make her something easy to cook, easy to clean up and downright delicious.

RELATED: "Stroganachos" are a sheet pan twist on two classics — and an easy dinner that's ready in 30 minutes

I started making "sweet and sassy" barbecue chicken pizza a thousand years ago when I didn't know how to cook. In other words, the kids can definitely handle it. As long as there's a big person around to supervise and manage the getting things in and out of the oven part of the process, everything else is a snap.

You just toss some cooked chicken (rotisserie, leftover, your choice) on a prebaked crust (Boboli is the classic) with some barbecue sauce, cheese and onions. In about 8 minutes, you've got a shockingly good meal — and a reasonably clean kitchen still.

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The original recipe is great, but over time, my family has found that we prefer a blend of smoked and regular cheese for a more gooey final product. We also like to shred one cheese and slice the other for contrast. You can customize your own version to your heart's content, playing with the toppings you like best.

Barbecue chicken pizza is perfect with a simple salad and ice cream sandwiches for dessert. Oh, and forget the mimosas! Mom deserves a nice cold beer today too, don't you think?


Recipe: Mom's "Sweet & Sassy" Barbecue Chicken Pizza
Inspired by Boboli

4 servings
Prep Time
10 minutes
Cook Time
 10 minutes


  • 1 12" premade pizza crust, such as Boboli
  • 2/3 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1 cup cooked chicken, diced or shredded
  • 2 green onions, chopped, or 1/4 small red onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup smoked cheddar or smoked Gouda cheese, grated or thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup grated mozzarella
  • A few handfuls of chopped cilantro (optional) 


  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. 
  2. Spread the barbecue sauce on the pizza crust, leaving a little room around the edge.
  3. Evenly top with the chicken, green onion and cheeses.
  4. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until the crust is light brown and the cheese is melted.
  5. Top with cilantro, if that's your thing.


More easy comfort food we love: 

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By Mary Elizabeth Williams

Mary Elizabeth Williams is a senior writer for Salon and author of "A Series of Catastrophes & Miracles."

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Barbecue Chicken Food Mother's Day Pizza Quick & Dirty Recipe