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When you want that sassy, saucy flavor but don’t want to fire up the grill, it’s time to make Baked BBQ Chicken Breasts in the oven. This easy recipe gives you all the barbecue chicken flavor you love with a technique that ensures it turns out perfectly juicy every time.
Easy BBQ Chicken Breasts in the Oven
We are definitely barbecue sauce lovers in our house. Whether we are using it to coat BBQ Turkey Meatballs or slathering it over Instant Pot Ribs, that sweet and smoky and tangy flavor always gets mouths watering in my house.
While I love grilling in the summertime, I don’t want to wait for the warm weather to enjoy juicy barbecue chicken breasts. And then it reached the point where it’s just too hot to stand over an open flame.
So if you are anything like my family, you need a baked barbecue chicken recipe so that you can enjoy this dinnertime staple any time of the year. With the right seasonings, a simple method, and your favorite sauce, you’ll end up with perfectly moist results every time. No dry chicken here!
How Do You Keep Chicken Breasts Moist?
A few simple recommendations and the right equipment will ensure you end up with perfectly moist and tasty chicken! Here’s what you’ll need…
Then be sure to follow these tips:
- Coat it in oil. Before baking, you’ll coat the chicken in a mixture of olive oil and spices to seal in the juices and start to infuse some flavor.
- Bake at the right temperature. Baking at 375°F is hot enough to quickly seal in the juices while ensuring that it isn’t too hot to dry the chicken out before it is cooked through.
- Use a heavy baking dish. Cooking the chicken in a cast iron pan or casserole dish helps to insulate it and conduct the heat so it can cook through before it gets dry on the outside.
- Wait to sauce it. While you can put barbecue sauce on chicken in the oven, you don’t want to do it right away or it will burn and leave a charred, bitter flavor. So you’ll bake the chicken for about 10 minutes before adding the sauce. You do want to give the sauce some time on the chicken in the oven so that it can thicken and caramelize a bit.
- Take its temperature. You want the middle to be cooked through and the juices to run clear. But cutting it open to check will just cause all of those juices to run out of the chicken. So I highly recommend having an instant-read thermometer to check that it has reached 165°F. This is the perfect temperature to ensure it is safe to eat but not dry.
- Let it rest. And don’t forget to let it rest for 5-10 minutes before cutting into it so the juices redistribute and don’t leak out and lose all of the moisture.
You only need a few simple ingredients to make the tasty baked BBQ chicken breasts. You are just minutes away from a family-friendly dinner the kids and adults will enjoy!
- Boneless, skinless chicken breasts: Many packages in the grocery store have three chicken breasts that are a total of 1 to 1 1/2 pounds. This is perfect for this recipe, though you can double it and use a larger baking dish.
- Olive oil: You’ll use this to make a seasoned oil mixture to coat that chicken.
- Salt, onion powder, garlic powder, and chili powder: Of course, you get a lot of flavor from the sauce, but seasoning the oil to coat the chicken really infuses it into the chicken. If you want it more mild and smoky, you can use paprika instead of chili powder.
- Barbecue Sauce: Whether you go for storebought or homemade, you can use your favorite based on whether you prefer it more sweet, smoky, or spicy. For BBQ sauce in a bottle, Stubb’s Original is my favorite, but I also enjoy making my own.
- Bourbon BBQ Sauce
- Apple Honey BBQ Sauce (included with a recipe for Instant Pot Ribs)
- Balsamic BBQ Sauce
How to Bake BBQ Chicken Breasts
Preparations. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Stir together the olive oil, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, and chili powder or paprika. Place the chicken in a cast iron skillet or a glass or ceramic baking dish and cover with the seasoned oil, rubbing it into the surface of the chicken.
Bake and Sauce. Bake for 10 minutes, cover in barbecue sauce, and return to the oven until it is cooked through. Once the chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165°F, remove it from the oven and rest for 5-10 minutes before cutting into it.
Storing and Reheating Leftovers
Let the chicken cool, then place in an air-tight container and refrigerate for up to 3 or 4 days. You can also wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and place it in a plastic freezer storage bag to freeze for up to 2 months.
How to Reheat Leftover Chicken Without Drying it Out
No matter which method you use, you’ll want to add a little bit of liquid to whatever dish you are reheating the chicken on. This can be water or even chicken broth. It is also helpful to let the chicken come to room temperature if you have time.
In the oven, you can place the chicken back into a baking pan, add the water, and cover. The place in an oven at 350°F until it once again reaches 165°F internal temperature.
You can also add the chicken and liquid to a pan on the stove, place the lid on top, and warm over medium heat.
Or wrap the chicken in a damp towel and place it on a microwave-safe plate. Microwave for about 2 minutes, then check it at 30-second intervals to see if it is hot.
- Cut it up and make BBQ Chicken Nachos.
- Shred the leftovers to make Hot BBQ Chicken Dip.
- Turn a BBQ Ranch Salad into a full meal.
- Chop it up to put on your BBQ Chicken Pizza.
Make it a Meal
You can serve any of your favorite barbecue side dishes with these Baked BBQ Chicken Breasts to enjoy a yummy ‘cue dinner any time of the year!
- Coleslaw is always a perfect pairing with barbecue dishes, like this Classic Coleslaw.
- Cold salads go well alongside this chicken, such as Instant Pot Potato Salad or Healthy Apple Broccoli Salad.
- And if you are looking for something hot, traditional recipes like Gluten Free Stovetop Mac and Cheese and Easy Baked Beans will complete the meal.
- Don’t forget the bread, especially a slice of Gluten Free Cornbread or flaky Gluten Free Buttermilk Biscuits slathered with butter and honey.
More Easy Chicken Recipes
- Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Skillet
- Lemon Chicken
- Instant Pot Pineapple Teriyaki Chicken
- Gluten Free Chicken Rice Casserole
Baked BBQ Chicken Breasts
- 1-1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 3 large breasts)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp chili powder (or paprika)
- 1/2 cup BBQ sauce
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Place the chicken breasts in a casserole dish or oven-safe skillet.
- In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and chili powder or paprika and mix together.
- Pour the olive oil mix over the breasts and rub it into the surface of the chicken.
- Bake at 375°F for 10 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and pour the BBQ sauce over the breasts.
- Bake for an additional 20-25 minutes, or until their internal temperature reaches 165°F.
- Let the chicken rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving.