Sweet BBQ sauce meets salty bacon, juicy tomatoes, and hearty kale in this mouthwatering homemade BBQ BLT Pizza. 

BBQ BLT Pizza |

TGIF, everyone!

Every Friday night growing up my family ordered pizza for dinner. Pizza Hut pizzas, to be exact. Two of ’em. One cheese, one pepperoni – no deviation. Ever!

It was a chance for my Mom, who cooked 5+ nights a week, to catch a break, plus it gave my brothers and me something to look forward to all week long. Isn’t it sad that kids don’t always look forward to their Mom’s home-cooked meals that they put so much time, love, and energy into? My sister-in-law recently shared with me that her 4 year old son, my sweet-as-pie nephew Finn, exclaimed “Mommy, this looks terrible!” to the dinner she put in front of him a few weeks ago.

Kids say the darnedest things.

Anyway, Pizza Hut on Friday is fine, but homemade pizza is even better. Homemade BBQ BLT Pizza! Make this tonight, yo!

BBQ BLT Pizza |

To be honest with you, BLTs don’t really do it for me. Dry toast with a couple pieces of bacon, a slab of tomato, and warm limp lettuce? Gag.

Chewy homemade pizza dough slathered with sweet and smoky BBQ sauce then topped with crispy kale, juicy tomato, salty bacon, and a modest yet perfectly melty amount of mozzarella cheese? Now that is one riff on a BLT I can get down with!

Now before you say, but Kristin! I don’t DO homemade pizza crust! Trust me, you do. You must! This recipe is too mouthwatering to miss out on. Making homemade pizza is so easy – almost fool proof. All you need is 5 minutes to make the dough, and one hour to let it rise. I’ll show you how!

BBQ BLT Pizza |

Start by making the pizza dough. Like I said, if can make pizza dough – you can make pizza dough.

Combine 1/2 cup warm water (think hot-tub temp – not scalding, but not lukewarm) with 1-1/2 teaspoons instant dry yeast, and 1 Tablespoon honey. Stir to combine then place in a warm spot until foamy, about 10 minutes. I placed my bowl on top of a heating pad set to low. If your mixture does not foam, likely your yeast was old your water was too cold. Easy fixes!


Foam party! Ugh…foam parties.


To the foamy yeast mixture add 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil then stir until the dough comes together in a ball. I used a wooden spoon.


Next, turn the dough out onto a heavily-floured surface then knead for 3 minutes, adding flour as necessary to prevent sticking. THAT’S IT. Pizza dough = made!


Shape the dough into a ball then place in a nonstick sprayed bowl. Cover the top with a tea towel, making sure it doesn’t touch the dough, then let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 45 minutes to an hour. Again, I placed my bowl over a heating pad set to low.


Works like a charm! Now, at this point you could cover the dough and refrigerate for 1-2 days – just let the dough come to room temperature for 20-30 minutes before using – or you can forge ahead!


When the dough has 20 minutes left to rise, start getting the rest of the ingredients ready beginning with the bacon – the first letter, and most important part, of a BLT.

Place 4 strips bacon on a nonstick sprayed cooling rack set atop a foil-lined baking sheet then place it in a COLD OVEN and set the oven to preheat to 400 degrees. The bacon will cook low and slow as the oven comes up to temperature, rendering out the fat so your bacon will be gloriously crisp yet chewy. Perfection. (The fifth slice was for snacking.) ; )

If your bacon still needs to crisp up a bit after the oven has reached 400 degrees, just let it continue to cook in there. I needed about 5 extra minutes. Let the bacon cool slightly then chop into pieces.


Meanwhile chop 2 cups lacinato kale into bite-sized pieces, removing the ribs first. I like lacinato kale a bit more than curly kale, but use whatever feels right. This, by the way, is the “L” part of the BLT. I swapped out hot lettuce (how much do we loathe hot lettuce?!) for kale, which tastes SO good on this pizza and, more importantly, practically makes it health food.


Lightly massage the chopped kale with 1/2 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper for about 30 seconds. The oil helps the kale crisp up on the pizza, and the salt and pepper make it taste reeeeal niiiiice.


Final piece of the BLT puzzle? The “T”, of course! Seed then chop 2 vine-ripened tomatoes.


Time to put together some pizza! I use a pizza pan I borrowed forever from my Mom, but you can use a 12″ disposable foil pizza pan, or even a rimmed baking sheet. Whatever you use, just spray the heck out of it with nonstick spray first.


Spread the dough out over the pan using your finger tips. This should be incredibly easy if you’re using the dough fresh. If you’re using refrigerated pizza dough it will take a little more coaxing. That’s why it’s important to let the dough come to room temperature first – cold dough does not stretch very well!


Next spread on 1/3 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce (or more or less depending on how saucy you like your pizza.) I chose a sweet BBQ sauce, which tastes awesome with the bacon, and used a pastry brush to make this step easy. Sprinkle on the massaged kale next.


Followed by the tomatoes and bacon.


Finish with 4oz shredded mozzarella cheese then bake in the 400 degree oven for 10-15 minutes.


Presto – BBQ BLT Pizza!

BBQ BLT Pizza |


makes 1-12" pizza


Sweet BBQ sauce meets salty bacon, juicy tomatoes, and hearty kale in this mouthwatering homemade BBQ BLT Pizza.


  • 4 slices bacon
  • 2 cups chopped lacinato or curly kale
  • 1/2 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/3 - 1/2 cup BBQ sauce
  • 2 vine-ripened tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 4oz shredded mozzarella cheese
  • For the pizza dough:
    • 1/2 cup warm water (think "hot-tub" temp - not luke-warm, but not scalding)
    • 1-1/2 teaspoons instant dry yeast
    • 1 Tablespoon honey
    • 1-1/2 cups flour + more for kneading
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil


  1. For the pizza dough: Combine water, yeast, and honey in a large glass bowl then stir to combine. Let sit for 10 minutes in a warm place (I put my bowl on a heating pad set to low heat) or until foamy. Add flour, salt, and extra virgin olive oil then stir until dough comes together in a ball. Turn dough out onto a heavily floured surface then knead for 3 minutes, adding more flour as needed to prevent sticking.
  2. Spray a large glass bowl with nonstick spray then add dough and cover with a towel (don't let towel touch dough.) Place bowl in a warm spot (again, I placed mine over a heating pad set to low) then let dough rise until doubled in size, 45 minutes to 1 hour. You can cover and refrigerate the dough at this point for 1-2 days. Let come to room temperature for 30 minutes before continuing on to next step.
  3. When dough has 20 minutes left to rise, line a baking sheet with foil then place a cooling rack on top and spray with nonstick spray. Lay bacon slices on top of cooling rack then place into a cold oven. Set oven to preheat to 400 degrees. Bacon will cook as oven heats up. Continue to cook at 400 degrees if the bacon still needs to crisp up a bit after oven has come to temperature (I needed about 5 extra minutes.) Cool slightly then chop.
  4. Lightly massage kale with extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper in a bowl, then set aside.
  5. Spray a pizza pan or baking sheet very well with nonstick spray then spread risen dough into a 12" circle, or into an even layer on a baking sheet. Spread BBQ sauce on top then sprinkle on massaged kale, tomatoes, chopped bacon, and cheese. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until crust and cheese are golden brown. Slice then serve.


Pizza dough recipe from Half Baked Harvest.

This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats,


This is one of my favorite homemade pizza concoctions to date. Salty, sweet, smokey, cheesy. SO delicious!! And I love how, when you use flavorful toppings, you really don’t need to add that much cheese. There’s only 4oz on this pizza pie – that’s, like, the amount Pizza Hut puts on one slice! Delicious but, as this BBQ BLT Pizza proves – totally not necessary. Enjoy, guys!

BBQ BLT Pizza |

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  1. Hello happy hubby tonight! I don’t know if a sentence gets better than BBQ, Bacon and pizza so this looks incredible! I love making my own pizza. It’s a bit healthier and 10x more delish. This is a perfect Friday night meal! Pinned!

  2. Madison 01.10.2014

    My mouth is watering for suuuuure. I have an aversion to kale–so I would sub spinach in for that. BUT the rest looks so amazing and I want it in my belly right now!

  3. Losing Lindy 01.10.2014

    I have to try this dough!

  4. My husband just declared that he is no longer buying his pizza from Little Caesars and he wants to follow in my footsteps of homemade healthy pizza! (My heart was very happy :)) This seems like a pizza he would love to try! Pinning now!!

  5. Brittney 01.10.2014

    A few months ago, my husband decreed that we always need to have pizza-making staples in our house so that we can make our own instead of giving in to the Papa John’s down the road. I usually pick up some of Trader Joe’s premade dough in the refrigerated section and keep it in the freezer for any such hankering!

  6. Kathy 01.10.2014

    That looks delicious! Do you have any favorite store-purchased pizza crusts to use instead of making the crust? Thanks!

    • Kristin 01.10.2014

      Trader Joe’s has some good pre-made dough!

  7. Abi@AbsofSteel 01.10.2014

    I like how you put the toppings underneath the cheese, I wouldn’t have thought to do that. This recipe looks so good, it makes me want to get back into making homemade pizza. must buy some yeast!

  8. YUM! I haven’t made pizza in awhile, but this is making me seriously crave some!

  9. That pizza needs to be on my dinner table tonight. Great recipe and I love the pics!

  10. This pizza looks fabulous!

  11. Melanie 01.10.2014

    What a fun flavor combo!

  12. Chicago Jogger 01.10.2014

    YUM! I’ve never made homemade pizza dough. Will definitely give your recipe/steps a try! So smart to include kale too. Pizza health food:)

  13. Kori Landers 01.10.2014

    This pizza sounds and look amazingly yummy… I’m going to give it a try for sure..

    Can the dough be made in a bread machine? Not sure if the making dough process on my machine get warm. I never payed attention to that… Also, I am not a kale fan so will spinach work just as good?

    • Kristin 01.10.2014

      I’m pretty sure my sister-in-law makes her pizza dough in her machine – I’d check the manual! Also, spinach should work just fine!

  14. mmm sounds delicious! I have always been so intimidated by pizza dough, but you make it sound manageable! I will definitely give this recipe a try :-)

  15. Dee 01.10.2014

    I want to make this, but I will probably swap out the BBQ sauce for a white sauce. I LOVE BLTs! Especially with homegrown tomatoes. Not sure how you’re making them that the lettuce gets warm; I always add it last and it’s crispy cold. And it’s “gone, baby, gone” before the lettuce can get warm.

    • Carrie 01.10.2014

      I agree. I love BLT’s. Best with a great sourdough or dense multigrain with a chewy crust. Throw in garden fresh tomatoes….heaven. I didn’t get the warm lettuce part either. I’ve never had a BLT with warm lettuce.

  16. Love this recipe and that there’s kale in the mix, yummmm!

  17. Molly 01.10.2014

    Just an fyi…I LOVE your pizza crust recipe & have used it since I found it about a year ago.

    I’ve had success so far with doing 1/2 and 1/2 white flour and white whole wheat flour.

    I’ve also had success freezing the dough. I freeze it right after it’s made (spray some saran wrap with non-stick spray, wrap it up, and put it in a freezer safe plastic bag) and then pop it in the freezer. When I need some pizza dough, I let it thaw in the fridge or on the counter and once it’s thawed, let it rise as the recipe says. It’s worked like a charm for me!

    • Kristin 01.10.2014

      Thank you for letting me know – I had someone email to ask about freezing the dough, which I’ve never done!

      • Molly 01.10.2014

        Glad I can help!! Thank YOU for the recipe. I’m a homemade pizza crust convert now!

  18. OMG, yum! Most Friday’s in our house we make homemade pizza. I love it because it’s so versatile. Sometimes we sub in half white whole-wheat flour, sometimes it’s grilled rather than baked (now THAT is something special), sometimes we go half and half with the toppings because we can’t agree, etc. It all works!

    Pretty sure bacon, BBQ, cheese, and pizza are four words that would have my boyfriend clamoring for kale – and that’s no small feat!

  19. Cari 01.10.2014

    Looks awesome! Friday was pizza night at our house growing up too. My dad usually made homemade pizza, but of course we loved the nights when my parents bought pizza instead (usually Pizza Hut). Now I appreciate the homemade pizza more and request it when we visit!

  20. Kristin, this looks soooo good – I just had to stop myself from typing in all caps. Didn’t want you to think I was screaming at you or anything :)

    Seriously though, I always think of BBQ chicken pizza, but this clever combo sounds even better.

    Oh – and I love the text overlay on the first pizza pic – so pretty!

    • Update: made this last night and it didn’t stand a chance. The hubs and I devoured and absolutely adored every bite. Such a unique and interesting combination – added to my arsenal of pizza recipes, for sure!

      Thanks again for sharing :)

  21. Lisa 01.10.2014

    I always want to try bacon in the oven, but I’m AFRAID! Does the bacon grease splatter EVERYWHERE?? Cleaning the oven is one chore I HATE. :(

    • Kristin 01.10.2014

      Nope, it doesn’t! :) I loathe cleaning the oven too!

  22. A BLT pizza sounds awesome! I think I am going to try making a “B”LT vegan pizza! Hopefully it will be good :). Also, I have never thought to use a pastry brush to spread sauce, but awesome idea!

  23. Brittany 01.10.2014

    I showed this to my husband, he said “omg. I want it.” and it’s now on the menu for tonight! ;) Do you think arugula would be an OK sub for kale? I know that kale is a bit heartier but I have the arugula on hand!

    • Kristin 01.10.2014

      Hooray! Hmmm, I might add it on top at the end (if you don’t mind it warm!) I’ve never tried baking with arugula so I’m just not 100% sure what the texture would be like after 15 minutes in a hot oven!

  24. wow that first picture makes my mouth water. we had the same tradition on friday nights growing up, but we had round table instead. i’m starting it up again with my husband, but with homemade pizzas. this looks like a recipe to try next friday!

  25. AbbieD 01.10.2014

    Mmmm yummy! I might give that a try this weekend…but maybe like a BBQ Chicken pizza. Maybe with really thinly sliced red onion and spinach? How bad could that be? :)

    Thanks for the dough recipe!

  26. Jackie 01.10.2014

    This looks to die for!

  27. Anne [A Squared] 01.10.2014

    Can’t wait to add this to our homemade pizza recipe rotation!

  28. Anna 01.10.2014

    I love this combo, I will put it on the docket for a weekend meal. I’m also a big fan of homemade pizzas, my two cents on the topic is to get a pizza stone. Huge difference! I preheat my oven with the pizza stone in it so as soon as you put pie down to cook it begins evenly cooking the bottom as well as the top. Took my homemade pizza endeavors to another level.

  29. Stephanie 01.10.2014

    This looks absolutely amazing!

  30. Lori @ RecipeGirl 01.10.2014

    Looks like a tasty one to make for GameDay!
    Seeding the tomatoes was a good reminder – It keeps the dough from getting soggy.

  31. I am impressed you went full go with making the pizza dough too. Some recipes I have found go the easy way out with pre-made pizza crusts.

  32. Anna 01.10.2014

    Hi Kristin,
    I don’t know what particularly compelled me to comment on here today, but I’ve been an IGE reader for ~4 years now and I wanted to sincerely thank you for the amazing blog you continue to pour love into day after day…for all of your readers. I’m a recent college grad and, although I love food, I’m not entirely comfortable in the kitchen and am skeptical of a lot of impressive recipes that claim to be “easy.” With your candid comments, beautiful step-by-step photography, and mouthwateringly delicious creations, you make it a LOT easier for me to WANT to try something new (and to actually follow-through with it!). I’ve tried a lot of your recipes throughout the years and you are – without a doubt – my go-to blogger (I’ve even got my sister addicted to your blog…and my mom made her first IGE recipe this week!). I guess I’m rambling now, but throughout everything – going off to college, studying abroad in Italy, procrastinating on homework, or looking for some inspiration when dinner-time strikes…I always, always come back to IGE. My sister and I usually start our days with “OMG did you see IGE today? We’re making this.” I can guarantee it will be that way for as long as you keep up the beyond-lovely work. Love from Wisconsin!

  33. Yum – I love homemade pizza and this looks fabulous!

  34. Jane 01.10.2014

    This one looks like a winner. Looking forward to giving it a try!

  35. Steph 01.10.2014

    That looks delicious! Love your blog, sending Iowa love!


  36. Kim C 01.10.2014

    We make pizza on the grill most Fridays, and this is on tap tonight, using my usual ww pizza dough from cooking light

    This makes double recipe, but I always freeze half—works great! We are always looking for new ideas for toppings, and this looks great. Thanks for another great recipe.

  37. Carrie 01.10.2014

    If you make homemade pizza you really need to try a pizza stone. I wouldn’t make pizza without mine. It’s a world of difference in taste and texture.

  38. Stephanie 01.10.2014

    Dang I should have checked my IGE email today, I made a Black Bean Nacho pizza, and while I really liked the ‘sauce’ and toppings, I did not like the crust. After reading your blog it could have been me- yeast or water, but your recipe looks much easier to follow. So I’ll have to try this homemade pizza. In case your interested in the pizza I found I added the link below. The sauce was black beans, a pepper, chili powder, and salt blended and was really good!

  39. Barbara Bell 01.10.2014

    Ohmygosh! This looks so good! Can you add a warning label to the post: ‘do not continue if you are feeling hungry and lightheaded. This will make you drool!’ Kind of thing. :-). Otherwise, I can’t wait to make this!

  40. Tieghan 01.10.2014

    Perfect all around family pizza!! Everyone would love this!

  41. Loving that you made your own pizza dough! Nothing beats fresh baked bread from scratch!

  42. Lindsay Elmore 01.11.2014

    Bread flour makes awesome, chewy dough. I multiply the recipe by three and freeze the rest in balls wrapped in Saran Wrap and then in freezer bag. Take out day ahead and put in fridge, then half day before take out of fridge!!

  43. […] 2. I want to spend tonight with this pizza. […]

  44. Bri 01.11.2014

    Kristin, I love that you used instant yeast. Most of my yeast issues over the years happen with the active dry yeast. I placed my dough a few feet away from our fireplace, which worked perfectly. Thanks for another awesome recipe.

  45. Looks delicious! I’m surprised you don’t heat your pizza pan first though, it gives the crust a crunch and makes it easier to pick up. :)

  46. AmberLynn Pappas 01.11.2014

    I love your recipes and BBQ chicken pizzas, so I will have to try this one. My family adores your cheeseburger macaroni recipe and I make it at least once every two weeks for them. Since moving to the south (I’m originally from Iowa too) I’ve learned a lot about sweet potatoes and their many uses. I found a quick recipe for a sweet potato biscuit that I have also used as a pizza crust on the BBQ chicken pizza I make currently. It doesn’t take any time to rise and is nice a doughy if you like more of a soft crust feel. Can’t wait to dig into this!

  47. Jill S 01.11.2014

    I made this last night and it was as delicious as it sounds! I can verify that the dough was indeed foolproof, since this is the first recipe with yeast I have ever had success with! The heating pad tip is fabulous for those of us living in freezing Minnesota apartments!

  48. I always like finding alternatives to just plain tomato sauce on pizza- just to keep things interesting! BBQ sauce is a great idea! Love the addition of kale too.

  49. Debra 01.11.2014

    Homemade is the BEST! I usually make a double-batch of dough and freeze it in round shapes, ready to be rolled out for the next pizza night.

  50. Kristi 01.11.2014

    We always went to Napoli’s on Thursday night when my Dad got paid. I love that I have those memories of a special place we went growing up. I much rather would have homemade pizza now, but my daughter would much rather have Pizza Hut or Domino’s.

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