With our oven-baked method, you can enjoy the incredible taste of barbecue chicken any time. These baked BBQ chicken breasts are generously coated in our favorite barbecue sauce and baked until tender to become your next easy dinner idea.
This BBQ chicken breast recipe is our new favorite go-to whenever I need a quick and easy protein idea on my dinner table.
The recipe is for those who do not want to worry about the grill. You can place the chicken straight in the preheated oven, but I prefer a quick sear on the stove to seal all the juices.
Chicken breasts have the reputation of being tricky to cook because they often turn out dry and taste bland.
But not with this recipe - all you need is to follow our detailed step-by-step directions for the most flavorful and juicy chicken breasts with tangy BBQ sauce.
This is the overview of ingredients, you can find the ingredient quantities in the recipe card at the end of this post.
- Chicken breasts: I used boneless skinless chicken breasts. Choose medium or small ones. If they are too large, slice them thinly into cutlets, just like I described in this recipe, or pound them slightly with the rolling pin for even thickness.
- Olive oil: for searing and rubbing some onto the chicken.
- Seasonings: I used salt, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper.
- Barbecue sauce: choose your favorite BBQ sauce, it can be store-bought or homemade. Our favorite is Sweet Baby Ray and that's what I used to make this recipe.
Below are 5 easy steps on how to make this recipe:
Season: Pat dry chicken with some paper towels to remove any access moisture. Rub the meat with a little bit of olive oil on both sides. Then rub it on all sides with salt, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper. Let the meat rest for about 10 minutes to bring it to room temperature. It helps to cook the chicken evenly.
Sear: Heat a frying pan over medium-high heat for a minute or two. Add a little bit of olive oil and swirl it around to coat the bottom of the pan evenly. Lay the chicken breasts gently in the hot pan, facing the smooth side down. If you cook more than 3 pieces, do it in batches. Let the chicken cook over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes, without moving it. Once it is golden brown, flip it on the other side and cook for another 3 minutes.
Bake: While the chicken is searing, preheat the oven to 425°F and line a large baking dish with parchment paper. Transfer the seared chicken to the prepared pan. Brush the meat with a thin layer of barbecue sauce on both sides. Place it in the oven and bake for 10 minutes.
Brush more sauce: Carefully, remove the pan and brush the remaining sauce over the chicken breasts.
Finish baking: Place it back in the oven and bake for another 5 minutes or until the instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the chicken breast registers 165°F. Remove it from the oven and cover it with aluminum foil. Let the chicken rest covered for about 10 minutes before serving.
- Room temperature chicken: once you season it, let it rest on the counter for about 10-25 minutes before cooking. This helps to cook it evenly, which is important for juicy meat.
- Quick sear: as mentioned earlier, quick sear before baking helps to develop better flavor, create a nice crust, and seal all the juices.
- Use a quality BBQ Sauce: choose a store-bought or homemade BBQ sauce that you love.
- Meat thermometer: to avoid overcooked or undercooked meat, use the meat thermometer to check if the meat is properly cooked.
- Repurpose the leftovers: you can use the leftovers to make sandwiches, wraps, or salads the next day.
Ways to serve
There are so many ways you can serve barbecue chicken breasts. It goes well with any side dish. To complete the meal, we pair them with a selection of our family's favorite sides.
- Grains: add some fiber to the meal by serving it with quinoa, rice, or less popular (but very delicious) ones such as barley, buckwheat, or millet.
- Potatoes: I love BBQ chicken with mashed potatoes, oven-roasted potatoes with green beans, potato fritters or a simple air-fried whole sweet potato as a side
- Vegetables and salads: carrot raisin salad, purple cabbage and carrots coleslaw, fresh green salad, steamed or roasted veggies of your choice. We often enjoy it with corn on the cob, coleslaw, and some roasted golden beets on the side.
I love to make some extra chicken for busy weeknights throughout the week because it pairs well with any side dish.
To store: Once the chicken cools down to room temperature, transfer it to an airtight container. You can keep leftover chicken in the fridge for 3-4 days.
To reheat: Place the meat on a microwave-safe plate and microwave it for about 40-60 seconds or until hot. You can also reheat it in a preheated to 375°F oven.
Spicy: if you like the combination of sweet and spicy, add some a teaspoon of chili powder or a quarter teaspoon of cayenne pepper to the sauce.
Honey BBQ: add a tablespoon of honey to the BBQ sauce for a sweeter taste.
Stuffed: you can cut a pocket in each chicken breast and stuff it with cheese, and bacon bits. fresh herbs and spinach.
Bacon wrapped: wrap each chicken breast with bacon strips before baking. Bacon will add a smoky and savory flavor that pairs beautifully with the BBQ sauce.
Frequently asked questions
Yes, you can use bone-in, or skin-on chicken breasts, thighs, or legs to make this recipe. Make sure to adjust the cooking time to ensure they cook through. I recommend using a meat thermometer to check for an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C).
BBQ chicken pairs well with a variety of side dishes, such as mashed potatoes, corn on the cob, roasted vegetables, coleslaw, and salads.
Yes, you can freeze baked BBQ chicken by wrapping it in parchment paper and placing it in a freezer-safe bag or container. It can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.
If you don't have BBQ sauce, you can make a simple homemade sauce by mixing ketchup, brown sugar, vinegar, and spices. Or use this simple 5-minute BBQ sauce recipe.
No, you do not need to cover them while baking, because leaving them uncovered helps caramelize the sauce and create a tasty crust.
More chicken recipes
- Thinly sliced baked chicken breasts
- Baked chicken wings
- Air fryer buffalo wings
- Air fryer chicken fajitas
- Air fryer frozen chicken breasts
- Cast iron chicken breasts
- Boiled chicken legs
- Baked chicken kebabs
Baked BBQ Chicken Breasts
- 1 Frying Pan
- 1 Baking pan
- meat thermometer
- 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ⅓ cup barbecue sauce
- Preheat oven to 425 F and line the baking pan with parchment paper.
- Drizzle chicken breasts with 1 teaspoon and season it with salt, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper. Rub it on all the sides. Let it rest to bring to a room temperature for about 10-15 minutes.
- In a frying pan, heat the remaining olive oil over medium heat. Carefully, place the chicken (smooth side up) and sear it for 3 minutes or until browned. Flip it and sear it on the other side.
- Transfer seared chicken breasts on a prepared baking pan. Brush both sides of chicken with the first layer of BBQ sauce (about half of the amount). Bake it in the oven for 10 minutes.
- Carefully, remove the pan out of the oven and brush the meat with the remaining sauce. Bake it for another 5-7 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F. After it s cooked, cover the meat with foil tightly for about 10 minutes before serving.