Oven BBQ Chicken Breasts & BBQ Chicken Casserole

Today’s delicious dish – Oven BBQ Chicken Breasts  

Oven BBQ Chicken Breasts - on platter

Don’t you just love barbecued chicken?  It is tantalizingly savory and sweet, and when done right it is also tender and maybe even drippingly delicious.  Makes me want to lick my fingers!  I’ve written already about my fear of grills, so I won’t repeat that story.  I do all my barbecuing in the oven, which works well enough for me.

Here’s an Oven BBQ Chicken recipe that uses boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut in half the long way, dredged in seasoned flour, and baked and then broiled while barbecue sauce is applied a couple of times.  I’ve heard that barbecue sauce is a source of anxiety to some people – those who are worried about added sugar, those who are worried about sodium, and those who have FODMAP issues.  I hope you will use a barbecue sauce you like in this recipe, or maybe even make your own.  I’ve done it with sweet honey barbecue sauce, with spicy hot barbecue sauce, and with regular traditional barbecue sauce.  They all are good, although thicker barbecue sauce works better than thinner.  If you need to be gluten free, use rice flour in the dredge, and look for a gluten free barbecue sauce.

It’s a good idea to examine your chicken breasts and do any trimming that is necessary.  You don’t want your family to have to eat around inedible parts.  Sometimes boneless skinless chicken breasts have hunks of fat hanging on them, sometimes there is a piece of cartilage running down the side, and I have even occasionally seen a small bone in there that must be part of the wishbone.  The mechanical process that cuts chicken breasts away from the bone is probably less successful with chicken breasts that are larger or smaller than average.

You will start by putting olive oil in a 9” x 13” baking and getting it very hot (while you get the rest of the stuff ready).  Take care not to burn yourself as you fit the chicken pieces in the pan.  It starts out as a tight squeeze, but some room gets made as the chicken cooks.  It can be challenging to handle the finished chicken pieces without losing control of them – I dropped one on the floor recently!  I suggest using large tongs, although a fork works pretty well too.

At the end, you will broil the chicken pieces after a last slather of barbecue sauce.  Keep an eye on it to be sure it doesn’t burn; I find that 5 minutes is just right.

Oven BBQ Chicken Breasts

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 boneless skinless chicken breasts (4 to 4 1/2 pounds)
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon parsley flakes, crumbled
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2/3 cup barbecue sauce

Turn oven on to 400 degrees.

Pour olive oil into a 9” x 13” baking pan and spread it around the bottom of the pan.  Put pan in the oven.

Trim chicken breasts, if necessary, to remove big globs of fat and any other inedible bits.  Cut chicken breasts in half the long way.

Combine flour and spices to make a dredge.  Pour into a pie plate or flat bowl.

Remove baking pan from oven.  Roll each piece of chicken in dredge, coating completely.  Fit pieces into hot pan.  Discard remaining dredge.

Bake for 20 minutes.  Remove pan from oven.  Turn oven down to 325 degrees.

Spread 1/3 cup barbecue sauce on top of chicken pieces.  Cover pan and return to oven.  Bake chicken for 15 more minutes.  Remove from oven and turn broiler on high.

Spread remaining 1/3 cup barbecue sauce over chicken pieces and then broil until barbecue sauce caramelizes – about 5 minutes.  Take care not to let the sauce burn.

Makes 6 servings (2 pieces per serving)

Nutritional information (per serving): 459 calories, 12 grams fat, 4 grams saturated fat, 73 grams protein, 15 grams carbohydrate, 9 grams sugars, 0 grams fiber, 165 milligrams cholesterol, 1361 milligrams sodium 

Cost per serving:  $1.85

Preparation time: 1 hour 


What happens next?

This Oven BBQ Chicken keeps nicely in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.  It also freezes well – probably in a container rather than in a bag, since it is pretty saucy.

I’ve seen leftover barbecued chicken used the next day in a sandwich or on a pizza, both tasty options.  I came up with a BBQ Chicken Casserole, which requires you to put aside 2 servings (4 pieces).  Freeze them if you aren’t going to make the casserole within 5 days.


Another day’s delicious dish – BBQ Chicken Casserole

BBQ Chicken Casserole - served

This is a nicely simple casserole that combines chicken, rice, beans, barbecue sauce, and cheese.  If your Oven BBQ Chicken Breasts were frozen, be sure to thaw them.  If you have cooked rice on hand, you can skip the step of cooking the rice, which will save you some time.  I typically use the same barbecue sauce for this casserole that I used to cook the chicken; but you should do what pleases you.  As far as cheese goes, I really like the Colby and Monterey Jack blend; it seems to melt nicely on top of the casserole.  But you should use any cheese you have on hand – I think sharp cheddar is good too.

This casserole does break one of my casserole rules – it doesn’t have any vegetables in it.  I tried a number of things, and none of them seemed right.  So, I suggest you serve vegetables or a salad on the side.  Of course, a person could add onion to this casserole; it should be sautéed until translucent and added to the beans and rice mixture.

If you don’t have any Oven BBQ Chicken Breasts saved, you can still make this casserole.  Use any cooked chicken you have – you’ll need about 2 1/2 cups of diced chicken.

BBQ Chicken Casserole

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
  • 1/2 cup white rice
  • 15 ounce can Pork & Beans
  • 1/2 cup prepared barbecue sauce
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 2 servings Oven BBQ Chicken Breasts (4 strips)
  • 4 ounces (1 cup, lightly packed) shredded Colby/Monterey Jack cheese

Combine water, salt, and parsley flakes and bring to a boil.  Stir in white rice, then lower heat and simmer, covered, until water is absorbed and rice is tender (about 20 minutes).  Remove from heat and allow to stand (covered) for 15 minutes. You should have about 1 1/2 cups of cooked rice.

Turn on oven to 375 degrees.

While rice rests, dice Oven BBQ Chicken Breasts into bite–sized pieces and set aside – you should have about 2 1/2 cups of diced chicken.  Dump can of beans in a colander and drain away the liquid, also remove and discard any pieces of bacon or fatty meat that are found – you should have about 1 1/4 cups of drained beans.

Gently combine cooked rice, drained beans, and barbecue sauce, taking care not to mash beans.

Grease a 9” x 9” baking dish or a casserole dish with butter.  Gently press rice mixture into baking dish.

Spread diced chicken evenly over rice mixture.

Top with shredded cheese.  Cover and bake for 30 minutes.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional information (per serving): 561 calories, 17.5 grams fat, 9 grams saturated fat, 48 grams protein, 53 grams carbohydrate, 13 grams sugars, 1 gram fiber, 113 milligrams cholesterol, 1947 milligrams sodium

Cost per serving:  $1.82 

Preparation time: 1 hour

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