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This Garlic Brown Sugar BBQ Chicken adds a subtle sweet and savory flavor that is truly unique and so delicious.

BBQ chicken tenders, rice and asparagus on a plate.
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Garlic + Brown Sugar BBQ Chicken

The brown sugar and garlic combination is absolutely amazing! The savory garlic blends so well with the sweet molasses flavor of the brown sugar. It would make a fabulous chicken dinner all on it’s own, but adding your favorite barbecue sauce sends it over the top.

I used chicken tenders for this recipe, because sometimes I actually prefer that to the larger chicken breasts. There is a much quicker cooking time and no pounding required. I think my kids really like the more sauce, less chicken ratio! You could certainly use larger chicken breasts or even chicken thighs, but the cooking time would change.

It’s super easy to make, using just a few ingredients that you probably already have on hand. Our favorite Barbecue sauce is Sweet Baby Ray’s, but you can use any of your family’s favorites.

How to Make Brown Sugar and Garlic Chicken

See the recipe card below for full, detailed instructions

  • Prep a pan by greasing it with nonstick cooking spray and preheat your oven.
  • Combine brown sugar and garlic cloves in a small bowl.
  • Pat chicken dry with paper towels then arrange in a baking dish. Spread the brown sugar and garlic mixture over the chicken.
  • Bake the tenders for 10 minutes.
  • Brush the tenders with bbq sauce and broil for 3-5 minutes, careful not to let them burn.
Chicken tenders in a white baking dish.


Store leftover chicken in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days. Reheat in the microwave for 45-60 seconds, or until warmed through.

Hot Tip

If using chicken breasts, increase the time to 20-25 minutes and thighs, 25-30 minutes. Check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer.

bbq chicken, asparagus and rice on a blue plate.

More Chicken Recipes


Brown Sugar & Garlic Barbecue Chicken

4 from 2 votes
This Brown Sugar & Garlic Barbecue Chicken adds a subtle sweet and savory flavor that is truly unique and so delicious.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 servings


  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 pounds chicken tenders
  • 1/2 cup of your favorite barbecue sauce
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  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a 9″ x 12″ baking dish with foil or lightly coat with cooking spray.
  • Mix brown sugar and garlic in a small bowl.
  • Place chicken in the baking dish and spread the brown sugar/garlic mixture evenly over the chicken.
  • Bake chicken for about 10 minutes for tenders, 15-20 for chicken breasts, or until juices are clear.
  • Turn on the broiler and brush barbecue sauce evenly over chicken. Broil for about 5 minutes, careful not to let it burn.


I used chicken tenders because it’s what I had on hand, but sometimes I actually prefer that to the larger chicken breasts. There is a much quicker cooking time and no pounding required. I think my kids really like the more sauce, less chicken ratio!
Store leftover chicken in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days. Reheat in the microwave for 45-60 seconds, or until warmed through.
Keyword barbecue chicken, garlic chicken


Calories: 174kcalCarbohydrates: 19gProtein: 18gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 53mgSodium: 345mgPotassium: 396mgFiber: 1gSugar: 16gVitamin A: 79IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 28mgIron: 1mg

Nutritional Disclaimer Kristin Maxwell of “Yellow Bliss Road” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. For accurate calorie counts and other nutritional values, we recommend running the ingredients through your preferred online nutritional calculator. Calories and other nutritional values can vary depending on which brands were used.

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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  1. Michelle says:

    Going to be giving this recipe a try tonight. Took out chicken breasts and wanted to try something different. We are fans of Sweet Baby Rays and love garlic so this sounds like it should be a big hit! Thank you for a nice change in chicken recipes??

    1. Kristin says:

      You are so welcome Michelle, thank you so much for for stopping by.

  2. C says:

    I’m using boneless chicken thighs I let them marinate for 30 min. Do I need to turn it halfway?

    1. Kristin says:

      If one side isn’t covered at all you could turn it, but it probably isn’t necessary.

  3. Stevieee says:


    1. Kristin says:

      Thanks Stevieee!

  4. Amber says:

    I loved this chicken! Ingredients on hand, baked according to recipe, and came out delicious!!! My 12 year old daughter (Miss Picky) loved it. The flavor was restaurant quality! I am definitely making this recipe again! I love finding simple recipes that taste sensational! ?

    1. Kristin says:

      Thank you Amber! So happy that you and your family loved this recipe!

  5. Krista says:

    Has anyone cooked with frozen chicken tenderloins?? Curious on what the cook time would be ?

    1. Kristin says:

      You would add about 10-15 minutes to the cooking time. Be aware that frozen chicken will render more liquid so it won’t be as thick.

  6. MaryRasmussen says:

    Kristin: Are you sure it’s four (4) tablespoons of minced garlic?!

    1. Kristin says:

      Yes, it’s lots and lots of garlic! You can use less if you prefer, but it pretty much coats the chicken in this recipe.

  7. Candace Slack says:

    Thank you for this recipe! It was so incredibly easy!

  8. Dorothy cations says:

    Made chicken with garlic and brown sugar. Delicious.

    1. Kristin says:

      Glad you enjoyed it!

  9. Neysha says:

    I made this tonight and it was absolutely delicious. The garlic with brown sugar is an awesome mix. I seasoned up my chicken breast with adobo, all purpose seasoning, Cayenne, salt and galric salt the spice gave it a good kick. I also used hickory BBQ sauce. Over all this a great recipe. Keeper!!! 😉 Thanks.

  10. Pamela says:

    should I be Turning the chicken at any point during cooking?

    1. Kristin says:

      No need to turn the chicken, that would only be if you were browning it.

  11. Dawn B says:

    Excellent recipe ! New family favorite for my clan . Thanks for sharing

  12. Deana says:

    Fixed tonight and was GREAT!!

  13. Nashika says:

    Hi….do u bake with top on or off in the recipe

    1. Kristin says:


  14. Sara says:

    I just made this for my family, unfortunately none of us liked it. The flavors didn’t seem to pair together very well 🙁

    1. Kristin says:

      Sorry to hear that your family didn’t enjoy it. It’s been a really popular recipe, but I understand it might not be for everyone. Thanks for your feedback!

  15. Diane says:

    Made this tonight. I too just mixed all the ingredients together, coated some chicken thighs, and popped them in the oven. So easy and delicious.

  16. alyssa says:

    Any chance I can use this recipe but substitute pork chops? If so, any idea how long I would cook them?

    1. Kristin says:

      Hi Alyssa, Pork Chops have a completely different cook-time and it depends on their size and thickness. I think the marinade would be delicious though. If you try it, please come back and let us know how it worked!

  17. Laura says:

    We enjoyed this recipe tonight and my daughter ate it up without complaint! I went the lazy route and dumped the BBQ sauce in with the brown sugar/garlic and cooked it all together. Thanks for sharing an easy week night recipe 🙂

  18. Gabrielle says:

    This recipe was delicious! I also am a huge fan of Sweet Baby Rays, the taste is so wonderful, and the added brown sugar really makes everything work together. This was super easy to make, though I will say it took longer to bake the chicken (as I figured it would). I didn’t use exact measurements, I just added as I went along. I also used garlic powder instead, and it tasted just as good to my family and I. As a side I cooked up asparagus in the skillet, and had a spinach salad with added pine nuts, dried cranberries, goat cheese, and a balsamic vinaigrette dressing (too add a healthy side dish). Overall, thank you for this recipe, and I will definitely be making this again!!

    1. Kristin says:

      Sounds like a delicious meal! If you use chicken breasts versus tenders, it will definitely take longer to cook.

  19. Stephanie says:

    I took chicken out of the freezer this morning unsure what I would make with it and I am so glad I found this! Can’t wait to try it!!

    1. Kristin says:

      Thanks Stephanie – I hope you enjoyed it!

  20. Janet says:

    This looks good to me. We were just having bbq chicken tonight and my son was not into it but maybe the added flavors will help. I like mixing onion soup, french dressing and apricot jam together and pour that on chicken. Yummy!! Thanks for sharing this recipe.