Skillet Barbecue Chicken

Three chicken breasts coated with barbecue sauce in a red skillet

The Spruce Eats / Oxmoor House

Prep: 6 mins
Cook: 9 mins
Total: 15 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
327 Calories
10g Fat
16g Carbs
40g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 327
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 10g 13%
Saturated Fat 2g 9%
Cholesterol 108mg 36%
Sodium 1216mg 53%
Total Carbohydrate 16g 6%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 12g
Protein 40g
Vitamin C 1mg 7%
Calcium 46mg 4%
Iron 2mg 11%
Potassium 435mg 9%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

With this dish, you'll get the flavor of barbecue without having to fire up the grill. Two of the best features of this easy chicken dish are that it dresses up a store-bought barbecue sauce and everything is cooked in the same skillet.

How To Serve Skillet Barbecue Chicken

Skillet barbecue chicken can be served as-is, with a side of your favorite slaw and mashed potatoes. Or serve it with the slaw on a bun. The chicken can also be sliced and served "barbecue bowl" style atop mashed potatoes and greens with cornbread and slaw. Or slice the chicken and serve in a wrap with romaine lettuce, cheese, and ranch dressing.

Tips for Making Skillet Barbecue Chicken

  • Instead of pounding the chicken breasts you can cut them in half horizontally.
  • For the best flavor, use a smoky barbecue sauce. Anything with "mesquite" or "chipotle" in the name will work well.
  • When you add the barbecue sauce and water to the skillet, allow it to cook down while flipping the chicken pieces occasionally, allowing them to become coated in the sauce. You want the sauce to cook down and become a glaze on the chicken.


  • 4 (6-ounce) boneless skinless chicken breasts

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced, or 1 tablespoon garlic paste

  • 1 tablespoon salt-free Southwest chipotle seasoning blend

  • 1 teaspoon fine salt or 2 teaspoons Diamond Crystal kosher salt

  • 1 tablespoon neutral oil, such as avocado or canola

  • 1/2 cup prepared barbecue sauce

  • 1/4 cup water

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Place chicken between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and pound to 1/2-inch thickness using a meat mallet or small heavy skillet.

  3. Rub garlic over chicken and sprinkle evenly with seasoning blend and salt.

  4. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until the oil shimmers. Add the chicken and cook 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until browned.

  5. Add the barbecue sauce and water to the pan, scraping the pan to loosen any browned bits. Cook the chicken 1 to 2 minutes more or until the chicken is done (it should reach an internal temperature of 155 to 160 F), turning frequently to coat all over with the sauce.

How To Store

Refrigerate leftover skillet barbecue chicken in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Reheat gently in a skillet or in the microwave.

Recipe Variations

Use any of the following prepared sauces instead of the barbecue sauce:

  • Teriyaki sauce
  • Mongolian barbecue simmer sauce
  • Sloppy joe sauce
  • Stir fry sauce
  • Tikka masala simmer sauce