How to Bake Chicken Breasts in Barbeque Sauce

Baked chicken breasts with barbecue sauce are a simple main course you can cook quickly and easily, for a large gathering or a small family meal. For the healthiest preparation, use skinless chicken breasts. The fat in the skin keep the meat moist when cooked alone, but it isn't needed if you cover the chicken with barbecue sauce. Also, use homemade or no-sugar-added barbecue sauce when possible.

Chicken breasts and legs covered in barbecue sauce. (Image: pedrosala/iStock/Getty Images)

Step 1

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Step 2

Pat the chicken breasts dry with paper towels.

Step 3

Brush with the barbecue sauce.

Step 4

Sprinkle with sea salt or kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Step 5

Spray the bottom of a large baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Place the seasoned chicken breasts in the dish, leaving about a 1/2 of space between each.

Step 6

Bake on the middle rack, without opening the oven door, for 30 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer reads at least 165 F when inserted halfway into the thickest part of a breast.

Step 7

Allow to rest at room temperature for 5 or 6 minutes before slicing.

Things You'll Need

  • Nonstick cooking spray

  • Instant-read thermometer

  • 1/2 fresh lemon, optional

  • Cayenne pepper, optional, to taste


For a tangier flavor, squeeze 1/2 fresh lemon into 1/2 cup of barbecue sauce and stir.

To add extra spiciness, sprinkle with cayenne pepper before brushing on the barbecue sauce.

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