BBQ Chicken & Corn Pizza – Summer Fest

Summer Fest is in full swing and  the theme for this week is corn, lovely sweet corn. To participate, read more about Summer Fest on Away To Garden from Margaret then come join the community!  Catch up on  last week’s theme on the bounty of Cukes N Zukes.

As a kid, I wasn’t particularly picky, but I had my likes and dislikes. We were lucky to grow up in a farming valley and during summertime there were the little farm stands filled with amazing freshly picked fruits and vegetables, not to mention ours and our neighbors’ gardens.  There were tastes of perfect fruit sweetness and textures of faultless crops which I will never forget.  Sugar snaps picked straight from the vine.  Raspberries gently slid from their dangling vine tips, carefully picked amongst the thorns. Walla Walla sweet onions straight from gentle hills and valleys of Walla Walla.  The sweet, chin dripping goodness of Hermiston watermelons, seeds spat as far as the lungs could push. And fresh corn snapped from its elephant-eye high perch.

The aromatic husks heaved back.  The silks falling across the kernels just as a beautiful woman’s hair flows across her neck and down her shoulders. Such sweet, ripe corn doesn’t need cooking, or at least as little as possible.  When we find summer corn like this nostalgia rushes back being a knee high troublemaker pushing his way through the corn stalks.

Corn like this is perfect for a summer bbq pizza.  Made as either a highlight of the day’s grilling, or it can be the perfect pizza to make the day after, using up the leftover bbq chicken.  Begin with a par-baked pizza crust, then add a little bbq sauce rubbed onto the  crust. Take the edge charred chicken, slice it up and and toss with a little more sauce.  Using sweet summertime onions, saute them with some garlic, then toss with the freshly shucked corn. Add a gentle layer of cheese, some fresh tomatoes (preferably Sun Golds because they are absolutely the best tomato ever!), a little fresh cracked pepper and heat just to char the crust and melt the cheese.  Add some fresh basil then gather with friends and loved ones to soak in the summer’s evening.

If you have grill room, it is easy to par-bake the crusts at the same time the chicken cooks.  Get a pizza stone or unglazed quarry tile, and place over the grill.  Heat the grill to high heat, direct grilling.  Stretch out the pizza dough as thin as possible using flour to keep it from sticking (not oil), flour or have a nice layer of corn meal on a pizza peel, and add place pizza dough on the peel.  Give it a little shake to make sure it isn’t sticking to peel and slide onto heated stone.

Every once in a while rotate the pizza crust to make sure it is cooking evenly, then remove when it is starting to brown on the underside. Add the toppings and finish baking in grill with lid down or in the oven under the broiler.

The tomatoes should just be barely starting to soften, the corn sweet slightly charred and with a beautiful juicy and crisp texture. The edges of the crust will start to char and the cheese just begin to bubble.  Fresh summertime nostalgia is born.


BBQ Chicken & Fresh Corn Pizza Recipe

Yield: 2 10" pizzas

Total Time: 15 minutes

If your corn is summertime fresh, it is best to use par-baked pizza crusts for this so that the corn and tomatoes are barely cooked and their flavors are at their brightest. Read post for how to par-bake pizza crusts on the grill.


  • 2 10" par-baked Pizza Crusts
  • @ 1c BBQ Sauce
  • @ 2 lbs Grilled Chicken thighs, sliced into 1"x1/2" chunks
  • 1 T Olive Oil (more if needed, depending on onions)
  • 1 Lrg Sweet Onion, diced
  • 4 cloves Garlic, crushed or minced
  • 1 ear of fresh Corn, silked and shucked
  • @ 1/2 lb fresh Cherry Tomatoes (preferably Sun Gold or Sweet 100 tomatoes) sliced in half
  • 1 c Cheese of choice (we prefer a nice gouda, or an aged cheddar combined with a little feta or goat cheese)
  • fresh basil to top
  • fresh cracked pepper


  1. Add a gentle layer of bbq sauce on pizza crust. Toss chicken with remaining sauce and layer onto pizza crusts.
  2. Heat oil in saute pan over medium-low heat. Saute onions and garlic just until soft. In the meantime shuck corn into a med. sized bowl.  After onions and garlic are soft, combine with corn kernels and toss.
  3. Add a layer of corn-onion mix on pizzas. Add a gentle layer of cheese on pizzas, making sure you don't suffocate the pizza under cheese.  Add remaining corn-onion mix, sliced tomatoes and fresh cracked pepper to taste.
  4. Char on grill over high heat, using a pizza stone (close lid of grill while cooking) or char under broiler in oven until cheese starts to bubble and edges of pizza begin to char (only takes a couple minutes).   Top with fresh basil, slice, gather and enjoy!
Recipe Source:

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Recipe Note for Salt: All recipes containing salt are based on kosher or sea salt amounts, not table salt. If using table salt, reduce the amount used to taste.

 Summer Fest is back for its 3rd year! And we’re happy to be participating again thanks to Margaret Roachand Deb Puchalla, the creators of Summer Fest.


{ 45 comments… read them below or add one }
  1. Kathryn

    Oh my gosh, that looks amazing! My absolute favorite pizza is this one with blackened shrimp on it– you should try it!

  2. val

    Looks simply amazing!!!

  3. Prerna

    Hey there,
    I had no idea that you existed and ‘m so glad I discovered you. Love your photography. I’m sure I’ll learn a lot of recipes and photography from you.
    Keep up the good work!

  4. Amy (Minimally Invasive)

    Love this idea. I’ve never thought to put corn on pizza, but it makes all the sense in the world at this time of year.

    For this week’s theme, I have a couple of dishes to contribute — grilled corn with harissa:

    and smoked corn chowder:

  5. caitlin

    My husband and I just had two ears each the other day for a snack and could have gone for third!!

    I wish I had a cooling, Mexican corn salsa, but here’s a warming potato-corn-kale chowder recipe I created that is perfectly in season here in chilly old England:

  6. Priscilla - She's Cookin'

    I love the imagery in your writing – and of course, your photos and recipes are always delicious! Here’s my garden-to-table contribution to Summer Fest: a Tomato, Corn, and Purple Pepper salad

  7. H

    I have to say that I have never heard of corn on a pizza. Looks like the perfect Friday Night meal to me. 🙂

  8. Ann

    Can’t wait to try this pizza! I have never thought to grill the crust; sounds terrific. Just recently stumbled across your blog when a google search landed on your grilled snapper recipe (which is great by the way). It is beautifully done and I’ll check back here often!

  9. marla {family fresh cooking}

    Hi guys!
    Here is my Strawberry, Roasted Corn & Avocado Salsa- Summer Fest recipe:

    Wish I had some of your pizza for travels tomorrow 🙂 xo

  10. Louise Mellor

    WOW… looks like everyone is invloved in SUMMER FEST! I do love a good pizza, specially with corn. I kept it fresh and sweet – Grilled Corn Serrano Salsa with Lime Cumin Vinaigrette.

  11. Lana

    I have to admit I never tried putting fresh corn on the pizza. And why not? Yours look extremely appetizing. This is a prefect recipe when only one or two ears of corn are left over from the dinner. As I right now have:)
    You connect food and nostalgia, as do I. My approach to food is always emotional. Therefore my Summer Fest post talks about first love and grilled corn.

  12. fotografiafoodie

    Corn on pizza? Never would have thought! But it would add the perfect sweetness. Thanks for this one!

  13. Melanie @ 40 Degree Day

    I love corn, especially in the summer. There’s something just so perfect about it.

  14. Purple Cook

    Enjoying Summer Fest!

    Here is my post about Creamy Corn Soup.

  15. Sherry

    Your talk of your childhood summers is making me flashback to mine, although mine involve more orchards than farms… And your pizza looks absolutely delicious. I am definitely very envious right now.

  16. Trish

    That pizza looks superb. BBQ chicken is my favorite kind of pizza, and then add corn?! Heaven:)

    I’ve made some Fresh Corn and Black Bean Salsa to celebrate Summer Fest. Cheers!

  17. alison

    I love your site! Here is my post for corn this week for Fresh Corn-Tomato and Basil

  18. Dave

    Someone once told me never to put BBQ on pizza but I say to heck with that!

    Looks incredible!

  19. Terri

    That pizza looks great!

    In honor of SummerFest I made Thai Shrimp & Corn Cakes:

  20. Nancy@acommunaltable

    Oops, the link didn’t work!!

    Here it is – Corn, Crab and Tomato Salad

  21. Nancy@acommunaltable

    Your post brought back my own fond memories of going to the farm stand with my mom. Loved your description of corn silk!! Your photographs continue to inspire me to work harder on my photography!! I am having a great time with Summerfest 2010 – here is my contribution – a /a>
    Can’t wait to see what other corn dishes are posted!!
    Thank you for helping put this together!!

  22. RV

    Your food styling is simple and elegant and makes me crave for some pizza now.

  23. My Persian Kitchen

    Oohh I never thought about adding corn to pizza!!

    My contribution to the Summer Fest 2010 this week is super easy and quick to make!

  24. The Duo Dishes

    It’s sweet and tangy! Great combination of flavors. And if it’s pizza, it’s going to be good. We made a corn and sweet tater salad that hit the sweet and tangy spot:

  25. Valeria

    Hello!! I loved your idea of the summer fest and thought to partecipate starting with the second round 🙂 here is my recipe
    hope you like it! Your pizza is amazing, fresh and light, just perfect for a summer dinner with friends!

  26. Alice

    Not only does this pizza sound delicious, it looks beautiful, too!

    I’d like to share my version of a simple corn-and-squash sauté I had at Chez Panisse. It’s great for dinner parties when you want to serve corn but don’t want your guests to mess with eating it off the cob!

  27. Maria

    Great pizza creation. Sweet corn is one of my favorite things about summer. I can’t get enough!

    We love this sweet corn salad:

  28. Sarah

    That pizza looks amazing! I love making pizza with everything that is in season – it’s my way of cleaning out my fridge most days! – and this one looks fantastic! This time of year, I can’t help but just eat corn straight off the cob most of the time, grilled or steamed, but if I do cook with it, my favorite recipes include:


    Three Sisters Chili, and

    Green Chile Chicken Tortilla Soup

    A few have been on the blog for a while, but I couldn’t help but share them this week for SummerFest! Thank you for hosting!


  29. Melissa

    Wonderful recipes.
    Enjoying being a part of the fun. This week at It’s The Way She…

    I made Goat Cheese and Roasted Corn Quesadillas

  30. Margaret Roach

    Well if that doesn’t look delicious and oh-so-seasonal, I don’t know what does. Thank you for your nonstop good energy and creativity and all of it.

  31. Stacey Ballis

    For more corn recipes, like Caramelized Corn with Mint, Chilled Corn Soup, Corn and Bacon Souffle and Sweet Corn Cupcakes with Brown Butter Honey Ginger Frosting check out my Summerfest post today

  32. Kristina

    I love your description of the corn silks – so true and such a beautiful way to describe them. 🙂

    Here’s my entry – Fresh Corn-and-Asiago Cheese Bread Pudding:

  33. bunkycooks

    This is a beautiful post. I love the fresh corn on the pizza. I think I have put corn in just about everything but a pizza…now I will try that, too! 🙂

  34. Deborah (The Food Psychologist)

    Your pizza sounds divine! I am excited to learn so many new corn recipes! I’m also sharing a corn and tomato salad today.


  35. marla {family fresh cooking}

    Todd, your descriptions of your youth and this grilled pizza are a great mouthwatering read. The concept of pizza on the grill is something I have never tried but need to asap. We head out to CO for the rest of the summer this week. I will add this pizza to my to do list. This would be great after climbing 12,000 foot peaks. Ahhhhhhh, I can taste it now.

  36. Tokyo Terrace

    Yum! I just love fresh corn in the summer. I’m not a fan of eating it on the cob, but I like chopping it off the cob and eating it raw or in gyoza like this scallop & corn gyoza recipe:

  37. deeba

    It’s screaming summer and moorish! WOW! I love it fresh…

  38. Cookin' Canuck

    What a fantastic post – both the recipe and the writing.

  39. Barbara @ VinoLuciStyle

    A pizza I know I could love. I’ve never been a huge pizza fan but in the past couple of years that has changed. Why? Moving beyond the same old same old of tomato sauce and pepperoni to fresh ingredients and unique combos like this. I have corn. I have chicken. I have grill. I think I might have this for dinner!

  40. Ranjani

    I am so inspired by all these summer fest recipes!
    I made two corn recipes this week:
    Corn and tomato gratin:
    Summer succotash:

  41. Kim

    Over at Flexitarian Foodie ( we’ve featured a bunch of corn dishes recently!

    BBQ Corn:

    Avocado-Corn Quinoa:

    Pasta with corn and tomatoes:

    Nothing’s better than fresh summer corn!!

  42. Cate O'Malley

    That looks like a perfect way to celebrate summer – delish!

  43. Winnie

    That pizza looks amazing 🙂
    I made a corn and green zebra tomato salad in honor of Summer Fest…
    I love corn and can’t wait to check out all the other recipes this week!

  44. TheKitchenWitch

    Oooh…is that rose’ in the background, there? Sorry. The pizza looks absolutely delightful, but I’m drawn to refreshing pink liquids…kind of like a magpie is drawn to shiny objects. It’s a sickness.

    I never thought to put corn on pizza, although the Aussies do it all the time. At least your corn is FRESH, which makes all the difference. I’m trying this!

  45. Judy

    I am also in the summerfood line-up!! no corn here but polenta!!

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