Optional Toppings/Garnishes: sliced banana peppers, freshly chopped coriander, chopped spring onion, and/or any of your favorite pizza toppings!
For the Spicy BBQ Chicken:
Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper to taste.
Heat olive oil in a pressure cooker over medium high-heat. Once hot, add the chicken breasts, followed by the BBQ sauce, smoked paprika, and ground cayenne to taste. Then flip the chicken breasts and stir the sauce to mix up all the spices and seasonings.
Cover the pressure cooker with its lid and turn down the heat to medium-low. Cook for 10 minutes (about 2 to 3 whistles), then switch off the heat. Allow the pressure to release naturally (this will take around 8-10 minutes), then remove the lid of the pressure cooker.
Use tongs to transfer the chicken breasts to a cutting board and allow to cool for 10 minutes or so, then cut into bite-sized cubes.
Return the diced chicken back to the sauce in the pressure cooker and stir to combine.
Transfer to an airtight container and use within 3-5 days.
Note: Alternatively, you can use leftover baked or pan-seared diced chicken, or even rotisserie chicken. Just mix it into the sauce with the spices and seasonings. You’ll need about 2 to 2.5 cups of cooked chicken.
See Notes section below for Instant Pot cooking instructions.
For the Spicy BBQ Mayo Sauce:
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix with a spoon until evenly combined.
For Assembling the Spicy BBQ Chicken Pita Pizza:
Preheat oven to 200°C/400°F. Line a baking tray with aluminum foil (or nonstick cooking paper), and brush lightly with a little bit of oil. Brush a bit of oil under each pita bread and around the edges (for a more crispy and golden crust!), then place them on the foil/nonstick cooking paper.
Spoon 1-1.5 TBLS of the Spicy BBQ Mayo Sauce on top of each pita bread.
Scatter shredded Italian Blend cheese (or mozzarella) as well as cheddar cheese over the sauce.
Add 8-10 pieces of chicken over the cheese and some red onion slices over each pita bread (use as much or as little onion slices as you like).
Top with some more Italian Blend and cheddar cheese.
Bake for 10-11 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and is bubbly, and the pita crust is nice and crispy.
To Serve: Garnish with freshly chopped coriander and spring onion, cut the Spicy BBQ Chicken Pita Pizza into quarters using a sharp knife (or a pizza cutter), and serve immediately!
Spicy BBQ Chicken Instant Pot Cooking Instructions: Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper to taste. Select the ‘Sauté’ function on the instant pot. Once the pot displays ‘Hot’, add olive oil in the inner pot and heat for a minute. Place the chicken breasts in the pot, then add the BBQ sauce, ground cayenne, and crushed red chili pepper flakes. Then flip the chicken breasts and stir the sauce to mix up all the spices and seasonings. Select the ‘Cancel’ function and close the lid. Make sure that the vent is in ‘Sealing’ position. Select ‘Manual’ and adjust the +/- buttons to set the cook time to 10 minutes. Once cooking has completed, allow the pressure to release naturally. Remove the lid. Use tongs to transfer the chicken breasts to a cutting board and allow to cool for 10 minutes or so, then cut into bite-sized cubes. Return the diced chicken back to the sauce in the pressure cooker and stir to combine. Transfer to an airtight container and use within 3-5 days.
To make this gluten-free: Use a gluten-free pita bread (or make your own at home), and double check that the cheeses you’re using are GF certified. Most cheeses are actually gluten-free, but it’s best to double check if you’re cooking for anyone with specific dietary restrictions. Also, be sure that the BBQ sauce you use is gluten-free.
To make ahead: You can make the Spicy BBQ Chicken and BBQ Mayo Sauce up to 2-3 days in advance. Then all you need to do on the day of serving is assemble the pita pizza with your favorite toppings, cheese, and garnishes!
Storing and Leftovers: The cooked Spicy BBQ Chicken pieces will last in your fridge for 3-5 days in an airtight container. If you aren’t using all of the BBQ mayo sauce immediately, you can store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.