Baked Chicken With Barbecue Sauce


Baked chicken with barbecue sauce recipe is fried chicken made moist and mouthwatering flavorful by baking it with one of my favorite things on earth, barbecue sauce. You can use either homemade or store bought barbecue sauce.

Wholesome baked chicken in a sweet and tangy barbecue sauce, served with crispy baked potatoes! That’s the main meal, but your guests will be pleasantly surprised for dessert when you serve this delicious cobbler.


Baked BBQ chicken breast is an easy weeknight dinner recipe that is always a winner. The chicken is smothered in bbq sauce then baked for 30 minutes. It turns out tender, juicy, and delicious every time. If you’re looking for an oven baked bbq chicken breast recipe, this is the one that you want to make!

This recipe is the chicken breast version of our popular baked bbq chicken thighs. It’s all about the sweet and sticky bbq sauce that coats the chicken and creates a delicious sauce as it cooks.

The chicken turns out tender and juicy and absolutely smothered in a thick and caramelized bbq sauce.

It’s an incredibly easy recipe that you can reach for on busy weekday evenings and know that it will be a hit at your dinner table!

And if you make your own bbq sauce (it’s easy!) then you can skip the refined sugars and turn this into a healthy recipe.


Is this a saucy chicken recipe?

There will be enough sauce in the baking dish to spoon some over the chicken breasts when you serve them.

What BBQ sauce should I use?

We love to make our own homemade BBQ sauce so we can control the sugar and other ingredients. If you have a favorite store-bought BBQ sauce – use that! Sweet Baby Ray’s is a popular choice.

Can I make this recipe with chicken thighs?

Chicken thighs cook differently than chicken breasts. If you want to use thighs, we recommend using our baked BBQ chicken recipe.

Why is the sauce runny?

Some chicken breasts are injected with water to make them look larger. This water is released during cooking which can water down the sauce. If this happens to you, pour the sauce into a small pan and boil it rapidly over high heat for a few minutes so it thickens.

How do I tell if the chicken is cooked?

When chicken breast is ready to eat, the meat will be completely white on the inside. Using an instant-read meat thermometer is the best way to check the chicken. Knowing the exact temperature helps ensure that you don’t overcook the chicken, which is essential if you want it to remain juicy. Once the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit, it is fully cooked and safe to eat.

Baked BBQ Chicken Breasts (3 Ingredients)

Need something quick and easy for dinner? Baked BBQ Chicken is a favorite recipe with just a couple of minutes of prep.

These chicken breasts come out juicy and tender with lots of flavor and are a great way to get dinner on the table fast! Serve them with a side of coleslaw, a fresh salad, some corn on the cob, and a big slice of garlic bread.

Baked BBQ Chicken breast on a plate

Easy Prep

  • Prep it in just a couple of minutes and bake it!
  • Just 3 ingredients needed (plus any add ins you’d like below).
  • Use store-bought BBQ sauce to make it extra fast or try homemade bbq sauce.
  • Meal prep baked BBQ chicken for lunches all week! Slice or shred and add to sandwiches, wraps, or salads.

3 Ingredient Chicken

Chicken breasts, garlic, and barbecue sauce is all it takes, why not double up the recipe and freeze extra for last-minute salads?

CHICKEN: We love this recipe with lean boneless skinless chicken breasts, they’re so easy and cook fast.

Any cut of chicken will do in this recipe, drumsticks, thighs, and legs come out juicy every time. If using bone-in chicken, coat the chicken with bbq sauce and place in a larger casserole dish (and it tends to have more juices). The chicken will need closer to 45 minutes.

SAUCE: Store-bought BBQ sauce & fresh garlic make this recipe super easy but if time allows, we love homemade bbq sauce. Choose BBQ, hickory, honey, sweet and sour.


This chicken is one of those recipes that’s really easy to change with a few additions to the BBQ sauce. Try any of the following.

  • Sweet: Maple syrup, honey, brown sugar
  • Spicy: sriracha, chili flakes, diced jalapeno
  • Tangy/Savory: Apple cider vinegar, smoked paprika, ranch seasoning mix

How to Bake BBQ Chicken

3 ingredients & 2 easy steps are all it takes to make baked BBQ chicken!

  1. Place all ingredients in a bowl or a zippered bag. Marinate.
  2. Place pieces in a prepared dish and bake per recipe below.
chicken breasts in sauce

Storing Leftovers

Keep leftover baked BBQ chicken in the refrigerator in a zippered bag or covered container for up to 5 days. Enjoy it cold or reheat it in the oven.

Freeze whole or sliced pieces in individual zippered bags with the date labeled on the outside for up to 4 weeks. Simply thaw in the refrigerator overnight and eat or reheat!


This simple baked BBQ chicken breast recipe will bring that sweet, salty, smoky flavor of barbecue home at any time of the year! It’s a great winter-time version of grilled chicken that everyone will enjoy having as part of a fantastic, flavorful meal!

Sliced baked bbq chicken breasts served with steamed broccoli.
Easy oven baked BBQ chicken breast are a flavor-packed part of a great chicken dinner!

Finger-licking delicious BBQ you can make without a grill!

Who doesn’t love the smoky-sweet combo of grilled chicken and barbecue sauce? With liquid smoke, garlic and onion powder, and paprika you can get the fantastic flavor of a good old-fashioned cookout without the grill!

Cranking up the grill can make for a fun evening, but sometimes it seems like a lot of extra work for a weeknight dinner. Other times the weather doesn’t want to cooperate. In these cases, all you need to do is bake some tasty BBQ dinner up instead!

Whether it’s too hot to bother or it’s a dark winter day with enough snow on the ground that you’d rather be in the warmth of your kitchen, there’s never a bad time to pull out this recipe. After all, who says you can’t enjoy some barbecue in the winter?


It Tastes Grilled! Get all the flavor of grilling out without any of the extra hassle or grill skills.

Makes Great Leftovers! Chicken is quickly converted into scrumptious sandwiches over the next couple of days for packable school or work lunches.

Minimal Prep Time! It only takes 5 minutes to get this dish ready to go into the oven; just clean, trim, and season!


If you love barbecue as much as I do, you’ll likely have most of these ingredients already in your kitchen. Liquid smoke, however, might be new to you.

It’s a special addition that adds a unique smoky flavor that gives your baked chicken that just-off-the-grill flavor.

  • Chicken Breasts – You’ll need the boneless, skinless chicken breasts for this recipe.
  • Seasoning – A flavorful blend of salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika to amplify the deep, rich BBQ sauce coating.
  • BBQ Sauce – There are a million different kinds of BBQ sauce, so pick your favorite, or make your own special blend! 
  • Liquid Smoke (optional) – While this is optional, I highly recommend you try it out for best results! Find it in your condiments aisle at the grocery store above the Worcestershire sauce.


You can create the same great flavor with any cut of chicken, boneless or bone-in, but be aware that cooking times will change. Bone-in pieces will need more time in the oven.
It’s always a good practice to use a digital meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. No matter what cut you use, the internal temperature of the cooked chicken should reach a minimum of 165℉ (74℃) before eating.

For an extra kick, add cayenne pepper. To amp up the heat, add ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper to your spice mix in Step 3 of the instructions. If it’s still not hot enough, season to taste after baking.

Replace paprika with smoked paprika for an extra smoky flavor. If you really want to accentuate the grilled hint of smoke from the liquid extract, try using smoked paprika alongside it.


There are just a few easy-to-follow steps. You’ll need a baking dish, a small bowl for mixing spices, and a brush or spoon for the BBQ sauce.

  1. Preheat the oven. Set the temperature to 400℉ (205℃). Prepare a baking dish by lightly greasing it or coating it with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Prepare the chicken. Rinse 4 6-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts for a total of around 1 ½ pounds (24 ounces)Dry them with paper towels and cut off fatty parts if needed. Transfer them to your prepared baking dish.
  3. Add the seasoning. Mix ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon paprika, ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper, ¼ teaspoon garlic powder, and ¼ teaspoon onion powder in a small bowl. Use the blend of spices to season the chicken breasts, making sure to cover all sides generously.
  4. Mix the sauce. Add 1 teaspoon liquid smoke (optional) to ½ cup BBQ sauce and combine thoroughly. Brush it onto the chicken breasts.
  5. Bake. Move the chicken to the middle of the center rack in your oven and cook for 40-45 minutes. Use a probe thermometer in the thickest part of a breast to test for internal temperature. It should be at least 165℉ (74℃) for it to be safe to eat.
  6. Rest and serve. After removing the chicken from the oven, let it rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serve.

This makes a delicious lunch or dinner and is excellent when served with all of the best cookout sides. Try my southern baked macaroni and cheesebaked beans, or smoked baked potato!


My chicken breasts were very large here, for smaller chicken breasts please note these times.

  • The cooking times for smaller chicken breasts (4-5 ounces) are roughly 25-30 minutes, and 30-40 minutes for medium chicken breasts (6-8 ounces).

Don’t forget to let the meat rest for 10 minutes after pulling it out of the oven.

  • Resting allows the juices to be redistributed and reabsorbed before you slice it. If you cut into it straight out of the oven, the liquid will all come out. In other words, you’ll dry out your chicken. So keep the juice and the flavor in by giving it a few minutes to sit.
  • If the internal temperature of your chicken breasts reaches 162°F (72°C) the temperature will increase about 3-4 degrees during the resting period (carryover cooking).

Leftovers make great pulled BBQ chicken sandwiches.

  • The next day, reheat and pull chicken apart so it’s stringy. Put it on toasted brioche buns or pretzel buns with some extra BBQ sauce. Serve with waffle fries and a salad for a quick meal.

For a deeper barbecue flavor, marinate your chicken.

  • It’s easy to do this by marinating the chicken with my BBQ chicken marinade recipe before adding extra sauce and cooking. Essentially, instead of putting the dry seasonings on top of the raw chicken, you take the same spices and put them in a liquid. In a marinade, spices soak into the chicken and leave a more lasting flavor.
Tall image of the sliced baked bbq chicken breast on white plate.


Leftover baked bbq chicken breast will last for 3-4 days if stored properly in the fridge. After cooling, put any extra cooked chicken into an airtight plastic storage bag or container. You may also tightly wrap the chicken breasts with aluminum foil or plastic wrap, eliminating extra air.

Freeze extra chicken and eat it up to 4 months later for the best flavor, though it will be safe to eat indefinitely when properly frozen. Store wrapped in tin foil, then placed into a freezer storage bag or airtight container to prevent freezer burn.


Reheat your leftover chicken breasts in the oven at 400℉ (205℃) on a wire rack-topped baking sheet for 15 minutes. For frozen chicken, leave it in the fridge overnight to thaw before reheating.


Do I need to cover the chicken while baking?

Everyone has their own opinion on this. I lean towards leaving it uncovered. With this recipe, your meat will stay plenty juicy. Most people who choose to cover their chicken do so to keep it from drying out. I find that it’s not necessary, and I like the thick texture the sauce takes on when cooked uncovered in the oven.

What kind of BBQ sauce should I use?

Any sauce will be great in this recipe. You can even make your own! I’m a Kansas City-style fan and personally like Sweet Baby Ray’s and anything in Jack Daniels’ line (original, honey, or sweet and spicy)All of these are on the sweeter side with a touch of brown sugar or honey.
If you prefer smokier or more vinegar-forward, try something from Lillie Q’s line. The latter was started by a two-time World BBQ Champion and offers smoky Memphis-style and mustard-based Carolina options.

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