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Looking for a quick and flavorful way to cook chicken breasts? This Baked BBQ Chicken Breast recipe is perfect for any night of the week. Plus, we’re sharing our best tips for cooking chicken breasts in the oven.

Juicy sliced baked bbq chicken breastBaked BBQ Chicken Breast Recipe

These perfectly cooked BBQ Chicken Breasts are your answer to a quick and delicious weeknight dinner. The chicken is pounded out to an even thickness, quickly marinated with a bit of apple cider vinegar and spices, topped with BBQ sauce (homemade or store-bought) and then baked to perfection. And we’re sharing all the tips we have to make sure you get the juiciest chicken possible! Serve this along side sweet potato fries, mashed potatoes, cauliflower rice or on top of a big salad and dinner is served!

Piercing chicken breasts with a forkBaked BBQ Chicken Breast Ingredients

  • Chicken Breasts
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Coconut Sugar (omit if your BBQ sauce is already sweet)
  • Garlic Powder
  • Onion Powder
  • Salt
  • Paprika
  • Chili Powder
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Your Favorite BBQ Sauce

Marinating bbq chicken breasts

How to get Perfect Juicy Baked Chicken

The secret to getting juicy and flavorful chicken is ultimately about not overcooking it. That is the single most important part of cooking chicken breasts, which are lower in fat than their dark meat counterparts. However, we took a few extra steps in addition to correctly cooking the chicken to make sure this recipe is amazing.

First, you’re going to pound out the meat to an even thickness with a meat mallet (or a rolling pin). This ensures the chicken is perfectly cooked throughout, instead of having some parts of the chicken overcooked because they are thinner.

Next, you are going to quickly marinate the chicken with a dry rub. The apple cider vinegar adds flavor and makes the meat more tender, as does the sugar and spices. Once extra step we took with this chicken was to pierce the breast all over with a fork. This again, lets the marinade and BBQ sauce penetrate the chicken a bit more, as well as gently tenderizes the meat.

Lastly, and the most important step is to remove the chicken just before it has finished cooking. As all meat does, the chicken will continue to cook after it has been removed from the oven. We always suggest using an instant-read thermometer to check the temperature of meat, and chicken breast should be removed from the oven between 155º-160º. Once the chicken has been pulled out, cover the pan with aluminum foil and allow the chicken to rests. This let’s the chicken finish cooking to 165º and lets the chicken rest so all the juices stay within the chicken breast.

What type of BBQ Sauce to use

We really wanted to keep this recipe as simple as possible, so we left the option open to use either homemade bbq sauce or store-bought. Our recipe for homemade is pretty quick to put together, and can actually cook in the time required for this chicken to marinate. If you are want to use a BBQ sauce that you know has simple and clean ingredients, go ahead and make it from scratch! You won’t be disappointed.

One thing to note is that dry rub for the chicken has coconut sugar in it. If your bbq sauce has a lot of sugar in it, you can feel free to omit the extra added sugar. If you are using our homemade version, go ahead and use the coconut sugar as suggested.

Oven baked bbq chicken in a dish

What to Serve with Baked BBQ Chicken

Serve this bbq chicken up with all your favorite bbq sides. Here are some of ours:

Slicing into baked bbq chicken

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The Best Baked BBQ Chicken Breast

4.83 from 17 votes
Looking for a quick and flavorful way to cook chicken breasts? These Baked BBQ Chicken Breasts are perfect for any night of the week. Plus, we're sharing our best tips for cooking chicken breasts in the oven.
Servings 4
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour


  • 2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons coconut sugar see note
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • Pinch cayenne Pepper
  • ½ cup BBQ sauce homemade or store-bought


  • Preheat oven to 400ºF.
  • Place chicken breasts on a steady surface between two sheets of parchment or plastic wrap. Using the flat side of a meat mallet or rolling pin, pound each to an even thickness of 1”.
  • Place chicken inside a 9x13” baking dish. Pour the apple cider vinegar over the chicken and rub on the coconut sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, paprika, chili powder and cayenne on both sides of the chicken. Pierce the chicken lightly with a fork all over. Let the chicken marinate for 15-30 minutes at room temperature.
  • Pour BBQ sauce over the chicken and cook until the chicken is nearly finished cooking through, to 155º-160ºF, about 30-35 minutes.
  • Remove the chicken from the oven and loosely cover it with aluminum foil. Let it rest for 5-10 minutes while the temperature of the chicken continues to cook from residual heat.
  • Slice and serve with your favorite sides.


If you are using a store-bought barbecue sauce that is already very sweet, you can omit the sugar in this recipe.


Serving: 1/4 recipeCalories: 550kcalCarbohydrates: 28gProtein: 70gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 202mgSodium: 800mgFiber: 2gSugar: 13g
Course: Cuisine Gluten-free, Paleo
Cuisine: Dinner Difficulty: Easy
Author: Lexi's Clean Kitchen

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    I love this recipe & have made it many times. SO Delicious! Super moist too. Everyone always loves this. I made slight changes:

    I don’t use the coconut sugar.
    I don’t pound my breasts.

    I do line my pan with parchment for easy clean up.

    I upped my my marinade to the following measurements:

    1.5 TBL ACV
    1.5 tsp garlic powder
    1.5 tsp onion powder
    1.25 tsp salt
    3/4 tsp paprika
    3/4 tsp chili powder

    I use 3/4 cup BBQ sauce. Make sure sauce covers bottom of pan.

  2. 5 stars
    Made my own barbecue sauce minus the sugar and minus the molasses. Marinated the chicken breasts overnight and baked the chicken for 35 mins, send cooked the rest of the barbecue sauce stove top boil and simmer for about 15 minutes to thicken. Chicken came out extra moist and had plenty of barbecue sauce Leftover

  3. 5 stars
    I made this last night. Everyone really liked it. I didn’t have chicken breasts quite as big as the recipe described so I baked them for 13 minutes per side and they came up juicy and tasty. Loved that BBQ smell in the house too!

  4. 5 stars
    Made this for my mom today. I used her favorite store bought bbq sauce. Pounding the chicken breasts to an even thickness, letting them rest 30 minutes in the excellent rub/marinade prior to baking, and removing them just before reaching temperature for another rest to come to correct temp (all per your excellent instructions) — resulted in what Mom, surprised – um, I’m not known for my cooking skills – pronounced as “a restaurant-quality dish” . But I can follow a recipe! This turned out so amazingly tender and juicy, and was so easy to make! Many, many thanks! 🙂

    and so easy! A keeper! Many, many thanks!

  5. 2 stars
    Was very careful and checked after 25 minutes was only about 95 degrees. but back in about another 7 minutes and it had shot up to 170. pretty dry. I blew it.

  6. 5 stars
    I’ve never baked a BBQ chicken before. This will be added on my list of recipes to try. Looks so delicious!

  7. 5 stars
    Been making this for years in the oven and in foil packs when camping. We always add slices of onion and pineapple rings and a little pineapple juice. Some like to add a slice of green or red pepper. It’s all good. The pineapple seems to keep the chicken moist and it tastes great with the BBQ sauce. A keeper and so easy.

  8. 5 stars
    Great recipe. Simple and delicious. Our bbq sauce is a bit sweet so we skipped the sugar. We will make this again.

  9. 5 stars
    Absolutely delicious and tender! I chose to use a low sugar sweet and spicy Bbq sauce. I loved the tang of the apple cider vinegar and it was so easy. The seasonings used were so good. Thank you! My new easy go too