Easy Baked BBQ Chicken

Baked BBQ Chicken Breasts are super simple to make with just a few pantry ingredients. Using the tips in this post, you’ll have tender, juicy baked bbq chicken that’s ready in about 20 minutes!

baked bbq chicken in a baking dish

I pull out this Baked BBQ Chicken recipe when I need something on the table fast that no one will complain about! I usually pair it with Sour Cream Cornbread, Slow Cooker Baked Beans and a Garden Salad. The leftovers are great for BBQ Chicken Salad or BBQ Chicken Quesadillas.

Just like my Baked Chicken Breast recipe, this oven baked bbq chicken recipe uses simple spices and a quick roasting method to get the most tender and juicy chicken. I do have a secret weapon to get that sticky barbecue finish – the broiler!

Baked BBQ Chicken is one of the most popular chicken recipes and my weeknight dinner go-to for my busy family! It’s easy to customize with different flavors of barbecue sauce or dry rubs and it make excellent leftovers, too.

Ingredients and Swaps

  • Chicken – I use boneless, skinless chicken breasts because they cook quickly and are super easy. You can also use boneless chicken thighs (you might need to add a little cooking time).
  • BBQ Sauce – When I don’t have time for Homemade BBQ Sauce, my personal favorite to purchase is Sweet Baby Rays Sweet & Spicy because it’s the perfect blend of sweet and heat.
  • Seasoning – I use my favorite Chicken Seasoning blend, but even a simple sprinkle of salt and pepper would be fine.

How to Make Baked BBQ Chicken Breast

Prep the chicken. Start with boneless, skinless chicken breasts that have been lightly pounded so they are the same thickness. This is so important to ensure that your chicken cooks evenly.

chicken breasts wrapped in plastic and a meat mallet

Season. Next rub the chicken with a blend of spices, mainly chili powder, garlic powder and salt and pepper.

chicken breasts with seasoning on a plate

Sauce. Arrange the chicken breasts in a large baking dish or on a baking sheet, then brush with your favorite barbecue sauce.

chicken breasts in a baking dish with barbecue sauce and a basting brush

Bake. Bake the BBQ Chicken at a high temperature of 450 degrees. It will cook quickly, keeping the juices locked inside.

Pro tip: At the end, move the rack up and broil the chicken for the last few minutes to caramelize the bbq sauce. Be sure to watch it closely because as the sugars in the sauce caramelize, they can burn quickly.

baking dish with 4 pieces of chicken breast covered in bbq sauce

How long should you cook chicken in the oven?

Chicken Breasts – Chicken breasts can be tricky to bake because they are very lean with little to no fat making it overcook them. Bake the bbq chicken in a preheated oven at 450 degrees for about 15 minutes or until the juices run clear and the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Baking your chicken breasts at a high temperature for a shorter amount of time ensures that they retain their moisture.

Chicken Thighs – To bake boneless chicken thighs instead of breasts, preheat the oven to 450 degrees and just bake for a little longer, around 20-25 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees in the thickest part of the chicken. Chicken thighs have a higher fat content so you don’t have to worry as much about them drying out. Bone-in chicken thighs will take an about 35-45 minutes.

baked bbq chicken on a plate

Expert Tips and FAQs

  • Don’t wash your chicken. Washing chicken in the sink spreads harmful bacteria. All you need to do is pat chicken dry with paper towels.
  • Feel free to switch up the sauce and seasonings. This method will work just as well with teriyaki sauce or honey mustard. Or, add a little bit of brown sugar to the sauce for a sweet finish that caramelizes beautifully under the broil.
  • Chicken should be even in thickness. If you have a particularly thick piece of chicken, use a meat mallet to lightly pound the thicker parts so all pieces are roughly the same thickness and will take the same amount of time to cook.
  • Make Ahead: You can prep the chicken up to a day in advance, just be sure to cover it tightly and let it come to room temperature while your oven preheats.
  • Storage: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2-3 days after cooking. Reheat in the microwave or use leftovers for salads, sandwiches and wraps. To freeze, cool completely then place in resealable freezer bags for up to 6 months. Thaw in the fridge.
How do you keep BBQ chicken from drying out?

Lean cuts of meat, like breasts, tend to dry out quickly. The best way to ensure they stay moist and juicy is to keep an eye on the internal temperature, which should be between 160-165 degrees when you remove it from the oven.

bbq chicken on white plates with a white napkin and forks

Serving Suggestions

This recipe is a very versatile entree, and goes so well with just about anything you want to serve it with. Some of our favorite side dishes include:

More Delicious Chicken Dinners

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Baked Barbecued Chicken

Baked BBQ Chicken Breasts are simple to make with just a few ingredients. Learn how to bake tender, juicy bbq chicken in about 20 minutes!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Servings 6 servings
Calories 211kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts medium size, about 2 pounds
  • 1 ½ cups of your favorite barbecue sauce (or homemade)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika or chili powder
  • Optional garnish: fresh minced parsley

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Pound chicken breasts lightly so they are of even thickness.
  • Pour about a ½ cup of barbecue sauce in a 13" x 9" baking dish and spread to coat.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and paprika or chili powder. Sprinkle the seasoning mixture over both sides of the chicken and rub it in with your hands. Place chicken breasts side by side in the prepared baking dish, making sure there is no overlap.
  • Brush with barbecue sauce, enough to cover the chicken.
  • Bake in a preheated oven for 15 minutes, until juices are clear or a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees. Baste with more sauce after about halfway through.
  • Turn the broiler to high and move chicken to the top rack of the oven. Broil for about 5 minutes, or until sauce is caramelized – careful to watch closely to avoid burning.
  • Cover with foil and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes while the juices settle before slicing.
  • Garnish with fresh minced parsley if desired and serve hot. Spoon extra sauce from the pan over the chicken.

Notes

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2-3 days after cooking. Reheat in the microwave or use leftovers for salads, sandwiches and wraps.
To freeze, cool completely then place in resealable freezer bags for up to 6 months. Thaw in the fridge.

Nutrition

Calories: 211kcalCarbohydrates: 30gProtein: 17gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 48mgSodium: 1210mgPotassium: 455mgFiber: 1gSugar: 24gVitamin A: 266IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 30mgIron: 1mg
Keyword bbq chicken sandwiches

Kristin Maxwell

Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.

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Comments

  1. Do we use chili powder or paprika? Ingredients list paprika but the instructions say chili powder. Thanks so much. Can’t wait to try this. Just don’t want to mess it up. Thanks.

    1. Hi Joan, you definitely wouldn’t mess it up using either spice. I often list them as interchangeable in my recipes because some people feel strongly about one or the other. Sorry for the confusion – I updated it to either/or.

  2. So delish !!! the chicken was so moist!! My husband is not a Chicken man but he LOVED this chicken ! This is truly a keeper > Thanks

  3. WOW…WOW…WOW! The absolute best BBQ chicken I’ve ever made in the oven. PERFECT. I followed the recipe except for the dry seasonings. I used a barbecue rub and I only broiled for about 2 minutes…since I smelled the BBQ sauce starting to burn on the glass pan I used. This recipe is a KEEPER! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Our bar b que chicken turned out great….very moist and we will definitely do this again. I will definitely use more sauce next time!!
    Thank you so much !!

  5. Hello we tried making it today for father’s day and it turned out delicious it wasnt dry but juicy n we will use it more!!!

    1. We are working on updating all of our recipes with nutritional information. In the meantime, myfitnesspal.com is a useful option.

  6. Hi, I just made this. It is fantastic! I wasn’t sure if I should bake uncovered or foiled, I went with uncovered. As I was feeling lazy and/or adventurous, I dumped some coarsely chopped pineapple and onion in the same pan and stirred a bit to get the sauce on everything. Thank you!!

  7. Here’s a silly question, when we put the foil on at the end do we leave it in the oven off or take out of oven

  8. I made this recipe for a crowd, and it was fabulous!!! Everyone raved about the chicken breasts! Will definitely make them again. They are also good cold as leftovers.

  9. The simplicity of this recipe is amazing and the chicken was gorgeous! I bookmarked this recipe earlier in the day, and after dinner my husband requested that I keep the recipe because we both agreed-this chicken was RIDICULOUSLY moist! The cooking time and temperature is spot on! I made a single chicken breast instead of four. I folded the chicken in cling wrap and used a mallet to even it out. I poured the sauce in the bottom of my baking dish and seasoned one side of the chicken on the cling wrap, and put the seasoned side down in the sauce, and then seasoned the top (I did “rub” both sides), and topped with more sauce. I used a knife to trim the breast and spread the sauce I poured onto my chicken, cling wrap, and a baking dish. Done, done and DONE! I burned the edges of my barbeque sauce when I broiled, so now I have a baking dish that has to soak. THAT was my only trip-up in the recipe, but so very worth the elbow grease. Thank you SO very much for this delicious dish! I am thrilled to add this to our dinner repertoire.

  10. I made this tonight for dinner! It took just a bit longer to cook but came out so juicy and good, definitely was a hit at our house and will be one of my go tos ☺

    1. It can definitely depend on the thickness of the chicken and the actual heat of your oven for cooking times, but so glad you enjoyed it!

  11. Confused about:
    Bake in a preheated oven for 15 minutes, until juices are clear or a meat thermometer reads 160-170 degrees. Baste with more sauce after about 10-12 minutes….
    Do I bake it for 15, then for another 10-12?

  12. Cooking this as I type. Finding out 15 min is not near enough time. I’m closing in on 30 min and the BBQ sauce is beginning to burn around the edges.

    1. Hi Krissa, Every kitchen (and oven!) is different. You have to make sure to pound out the chicken breasts so the are an even >1″ thickness. Mine always take 15-18 minutes.