This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
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.
Baked 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!
Baked BBQ Chicken Breast Ingredients
- Chicken Breasts
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Coconut Sugar (omit if your BBQ sauce is already sweet)
- Garlic Powder
- Onion Powder
- Chili Powder
- Cayenne Pepper
- Your Favorite BBQ Sauce
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.
What to Serve with Baked BBQ Chicken
Serve this bbq chicken up with all your favorite bbq sides. Here are some of ours:
- Baked Sweet Potato Fries
- Classic Mashed Potatoes (Paleo + Vegan)
- Collard Greens with Bacon
- Easy Gluten Free Cornbread
- Instant Pot Corn on the Cob
- How to Make the Best Rice Ever (Stove Top and Instant Pot)
- Classic Macaroni Salad
Watch the video here:
If you like this chicken breast recipe, check out these others:
- French Onion Chicken Bake
- Chili Garlic Chicken Satay Skewers
- Instant Pot Balsamic Chicken
- Chopped Antipasto Salad with Chicken
The Best Baked BBQ Chicken Breast
- 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.