Easy Oven Barbecue Chicken Breasts

Baked BBQ chicken breast with white rice
The Spruce
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 40 mins
Servings: 4 servings

Barbecue chicken is often a family favorite but can require a lot of time and attention when cooked on a grill. This recipe simplifies the process by baking boneless chicken breasts in the oven. A basic grill seasoning for chicken (aka dry rub mix) adds excellent flavor; you can put one together easily using items from your spice rack such as cumin, cayenne, paprika, and salt, along with garlic and onion powders. This recipe also includes a quick and easy homemade barbecue sauce to provide that quintessential BBQ taste. For an even speedier preparation, you can use your favorite store-bought barbecue sauce.

If the chicken breasts are very thick, you may be able to get by with just two. In order to feed more people and have the chicken cook evenly, slice them horizontally to make four cutlets. Serve the chicken with mac and cheese or a potato salad and sliced fresh vegetables for a quick and tasty family meal. It's also great served with simple steamed rice.

Ingredients

  • For the Chicken:
  • 4 boneless chicken breast halves (skin removed)
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil or canola oil
  • Grill seasoning (to taste)
  • For the Barbecue Sauce:
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup or packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or canola oil

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for baked BBQ chicken breast
    The Spruce
  2. Heat the oven to 350 F.

  3. Rub the chicken breasts with 2 teaspoons of oil and sprinkle generously all over with the grill seasoning. Arrange in a greased shallow 2-quart baking dish.

    Seasoned chicken for baking
    The Spruce
  4. Combine the barbecue sauce ingredients in a bowl and stir to blend.

    Sauce for BBQ chicken
    The Spruce
  5. Pour the sauce over the chicken.

    BBQ chicken and sauce
    The Spruce
  6. Cover the baking dish tightly with foil and bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 35 minutes, or until the chicken is tender and cooked through.

    Barbecue chicken covered in foil before baking
    The Spruce
  7. The chicken should register at least 165 F, the minimum safe temperature for chicken according to the USDA, on an instant-read food thermometer.

    Baked barbecue chicken in a glass baking dish
    The Spruce
  8. Serve and enjoy.

Tips

  • If you're in a hurry or don't have all of the ingredients, you can use about 1 1/2 cups of your favorite store-bought barbecue sauce in place of the homemade.
  • For quicker cleanup, line the baking dish with foil and grease the foil before adding the chicken to prevent sticking. 

Recipe Variations

  • You can make your own spicy grill seasoning for chicken. Combine 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper with 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, and 1 teaspoon ground coriander. Blend well and store in a small, clean spice jar or container. Makes about 2 tablespoons.
  • Honey may be used in place of the brown sugar or maple syrup in the BBQ sauce.
  • Slice an onion and arrange it in the baking pan around the chicken breasts for added flavor.

How to Store Oven Barbecued Chicken

Storing leftovers of this recipe is great because the chicken is in a sauce, which will help keep it moist when you reheat it. Covered, it will keep in the refrigerator for three to four days. Reheat it in the oven (around 300 F), covered, for about 15 minutes or until heated through. You might need to add a little more barbecue sauce.