Baked BBQ Chicken Thighs are ultra-juicy and so full of flavor, smothered in our family-favorite sweet and sticky homemade BBQ sauce. This is an easy, versatile chicken dinner that you’ll want to make for friends and family year-round.

We love our favorite meats smothered with BBQ flavor, from Instant Pot Ribs to Burgers. If you love the smoky sweetness of BBQ foods, wait until you taste these Baked BBQ Chicken thighs.

Two baked BBQ chicken thighs on a white plate next to roasted potatoes and asparagus.

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Juicy BBQ Baked Chicken Thighs

These baked BBQ chicken thighs are simple to make and come out unbelievably saucy and juicy. Savory barbecue sauce carmelizes over the thighs to lock in all the tenderness and flavor. 

We’ve made this chicken thighs recipe so many times, either for family dinners or for friends when we entertain. We’ve even tripled the recipe for a teacher’s appreciation lunch at our kids’ school. Nothing beats boneless thighs smothered in smoky, sticky-sweet flavor. 

Why You’ll Love This Easy Chicken Recipe

This BBQ chicken is one of our family’s favorite weeknight meals. Here’s why you’ll love it, too: 

  • Flavorful – These thighs are rich and smoky, and a little sweet from the BBQ Sauce. But your preferred sauce will also work perfectly.
  • All-Season – Enjoy this tasty BBQ chicken year-round. Baking your boneless chicken thighs in the oven is super easy, or fire up the grill during grilling season.
  • Great for a Crowd – Double or even triple the batch if you need a generous amount of chicken (or if you just want leftovers). Be sure to scroll for the make-ahead tips below.
A fork stuck into a piece of juicy baked BBQ chicken thigh, on a plate next to roasted potatoes and asparagus.

Ingredients

The key to perfectly flavorful BBQ baked chicken thighs lies in just a handful of ingredients, summarized below. Don’t forget to refer to the recipe card for the full details. 

  • Chicken Thighs – You’ll need between 2 and 2 ½ pounds of boneless, skinless chicken thighs. Remember to trim the chicken of excess fat before you start.
  • Oil – Use a good-quality cooking oil, like olive oil or avocado oil.
  • Seasoning – We season our chicken thighs with a combination of sea salt and fresh cracked pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder for extra flavor.
  • BBQ Sauce – Use your preferred brand of store-bought BBQ sauce, or make your own using our recipe for tasty homemade BBQ sauce.
The ingredients for BBQ baked chicken thighs.

Pro Tip: You can definitely use bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs for this recipe if you prefer. Bone-in thighs take longer to bake, though. Refer to the baking instructions for our Honey Mustard Chicken Thighs.

How to make BBQ Chicken Thighs in the Oven

First, line a baking sheet with parchment paper while you preheat the oven to 400ºF. Now, let’s make some juicy baked BBQ chicken thighs:

  1. Season the Chicken – Add chicken thighs to a bowl along with the oil and seasonings and toss to coat.
  2. Add BBQ Sauce – Stir in about half of the BBQ sauce so that the chicken is evenly coated.
  3. Bake – Place the chicken thighs onto your prepared baking sheet with the smooth side (what would be the skin side) facing down. Bake for 20 minutes, flip, then brush the leftover BBQ sauce over the other side. Return the chicken to the oven to bake for another 10 minutes.
  4. Broil – Lastly, you’ll want to get the BBQ sauce nice and caramelized. Switch the oven to broil, keeping an eye on the chicken while it cooks for another 3-5 minutes, or until the sauce is set. Once the chicken is out of the oven, leave it to rest for a few minutes before serving. See below for easy serving ideas. 
Photo collage showing how to prepare BBQ baked chicken thighs.

Pro Tip: Don’t forget to line your pan for easy clean-up. It’s difficult to scrub burnt sugar off of a baking sheet.

Can I Prepare This Chicken Ahead?

Absolutely. This BBQ chicken is very make-ahead friendly, so you can get a headstart on the recipe if you’re expecting a crowd.

  • Marinate Ahead: After the chicken thighs are oiled and seasoned (leave the BBQ sauce off for now), cover and refrigerate the uncooked chicken for up to 2 days.
  • Keep Warm: To keep the cooked chicken warm until you’re ready to serve it, transfer it to a slow cooker as soon as they come out of the oven and set it to the “keep warm” setting for up to 4 hours.

Common Questions

How can I tell when the chicken thighs are done baking?

Chicken is cooked when the internal temperature reaches 165ºF on an instant-read thermometer.

Can I use chicken breast instead?

Yes, you can make this recipe using chicken breasts in place of thighs. Bake the chicken for 22-26 minutes at 400ºF.

How many chicken thighs are in 2 lbs? 

Two pounds is about 8 chicken thighs. You can scale this recipe up or down as needed.

Can I grill these chicken thighs instead?

Absolutely. These chicken thighs will take about 24-30 minutes on the grill. Refer to our recipe for Grilled Chicken Thighs for details. 

Can I cook these in the air fryer?

Yes, follow our Air Fryer Chicken thighs instructions for boneless skinless thighs, and air fry for 12-15 minutes at 375, basting with sauce halfway through after flipping.

Serve With

Looking for tasty sides to turn this saucy BBQ chicken into a meal? Try these ideas:

A white platter filled with baked BBQ chicken thighs.

Storing and Reheating Leftovers

According to the FDA guidelines, cooked chicken can be left at room temperature for up 2 hours. After this, you’ll need to refrigerate or freeze the baked BBQ chicken.

  • To Refrigerate: Store the cooked chicken thighs airtight and keep them in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
  • Reheating: Warm leftover BBQ chicken thighs in the oven at 350ºF, covered, until they’re hot throughout. You can also reheat in the air fryer for 4-5 minutes.
  • To Freeze: Store the baked chicken thighs in an airtight, freezer-safe container or zip-top bag and keep them frozen for up to 3-4 months. Thaw the chicken in the fridge overnight before reheating.

We hope you’ll get as much mileage out of this easy, baked BBQ chicken thighs recipe as we have! It’s the perfect meal whenever you’re craving those delicious smoky BBQ flavors. Let us know what you think in the comments below.

More Easy Chicken Recipes

If you loved this baked chicken thighs recipe, you’ll definitely want to give these other mouthwatering chicken dinner ideas a try:

Natasha's Kitchen Cookbook

Baked BBQ Chicken Thighs Recipe

5 from 24 votes
Author: Natasha Kravchuk
Two baked BBQ chicken thighs on a white plate next to roasted potatoes and asparagus.
Baked BBQ Chicken Thighs are an easy dinner idea that's fully loaded with flavor. This chicken thighs recipe is ultra juicy, smothered in sweet and smoky homemade BBQ sauce.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients 

Servings: 4 – 6 servings

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF with a rack in the center of the oven. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Set chicken into a mixing bowl (or zip-top bag). Drizzle with oil and season with salt, pepper, onion, and garlic powder. Mix until evenly coated with seasonings.
  • Pour half of the bbq sauce over the chicken and stir to evenly coat.
  • Arrange chicken thighs on a baking sheet with the smooth side down. Bake for 20 minutes then flip the chicken over, brush with the remaining bbq sauce, and bake for another 10 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches at least 165°F on an instant-read thermometer.
  • Set the oven to broil and continue baking for 3-5 minutes to caramelize and set the bbq sauce. Keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn. Rest for at least 5 minutes then serve with more bbq sauce if desired.

Nutrition Per Serving

365kcal Calories15g Carbs44g Protein13g Fat3g Saturated Fat2g Polyunsaturated Fat6g Monounsaturated Fat0.04g Trans Fat215mg Cholesterol1152mg Sodium649mg Potassium0.5g Fiber12g Sugar136IU Vitamin A0.3mg Vitamin C35mg Calcium2mg Iron
Nutrition Facts
Baked BBQ Chicken Thighs Recipe
Amount per Serving
Calories
365
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
13
g
20
%
Saturated Fat
 
3
g
19
%
Trans Fat
 
0.04
g
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
2
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
6
g
Cholesterol
 
215
mg
72
%
Sodium
 
1152
mg
50
%
Potassium
 
649
mg
19
%
Carbohydrates
 
15
g
5
%
Fiber
 
0.5
g
2
%
Sugar
 
12
g
13
%
Protein
 
44
g
88
%
Vitamin A
 
136
IU
3
%
Vitamin C
 
0.3
mg
0
%
Calcium
 
35
mg
4
%
Iron
 
2
mg
11
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: baked bbq chicken thighs, baked chicken thighs, bbq chicken thighs
Skill Level: Easy
Cost to Make: $
Calories: 365

Natasha Kravchuk

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the blogger behind Natasha's Kitchen (since 2009). My husband and I run this blog together and share only our best, family approved and tested recipes with YOU. Thanks for stopping by! We are so happy you're here.

Read more posts by Natasha

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Recipe Rating




Comments

  • Misty Peterson
    April 7, 2024

    Made this recipe tonight… sooooo good! My only thought is I wish I’d come across this recipe sooner!! I will be making these again!! Thank you so much!!

    Reply

  • Kay
    February 10, 2024

    So simple and absolutely delicious. I used no sugar added Sweet Baby Ray’s. This is the BBQ recipe I will make on repeat.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      February 10, 2024

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Kay!

      Reply

  • Amy Miller
    January 15, 2024

    I have made this recipe 4 times im the past 2 months.
    My teenage son and I LOVE these BBQ thighs.
    Easy and delish!
    You’ve made us into lovers of the chicken thigh. No more dried out chicken breasts here.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      January 15, 2024

      Hi Amy! Yes, they are so juicy and tender. I’m glad you loved this recipe.

      Reply

  • NYC Dad
    November 16, 2023

    My HS son loved these as did we. Very clear & easy recipe which is appreciated. Thanks!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      November 16, 2023

      You’re very welcome! I’m glad to hear that.

      Reply

  • Nancy H.
    August 5, 2023

    Easy, moist, delicious, and pretty. Big hit with company tonite

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      August 5, 2023

      That’s wonderful, Nancy!

      Reply

  • Rachel
    July 20, 2023

    These were surprisingly yummy! Juicy and flavorful and we didn’t change a thing from the recipe.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      July 20, 2023

      Great to hear that you loved it!

      Reply

  • Sandra Hench
    July 19, 2023

    I just made these for dinner with some leftover raw bone in chicken thighs I had . They were so tasty, juicy, and delicious! Nice to make BBQ chicken without having to fire up the grill. I am looking forward to making these for company!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      July 19, 2023

      Happy to know that you enjoyed it and I hope it becomes a hit when you share it with others too!

      Reply

  • Joyce gorka
    July 15, 2023

    Just made these..DELICIOUS and so easy!! Your recipes never fail me..thank u!!!!!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      July 15, 2023

      That’s just awesome! Thank you for sharing your wonderful review, Joyce!

      Reply

  • Brooke
    June 5, 2023

    Have you tried making these with chicken legs? I have some in my freezer I would like to use.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      June 5, 2023

      Hi Brooke, I haven’t tried it with a chicken leg, but it may work. If you experiment, let me know how you liked the recipe.

      Reply

  • Richard R. Anke
    May 25, 2023

    Natasha, I made these last night for my wife and I with your Air Fryer potato recipe and asparagus just as you have it pictured. We loved it, thank you for all of your great recipes. Have never had a loser. Sincerely, Richard Anke, Canton, GA

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      May 25, 2023

      I’m so glad to hear that, Richard! Thank you so much for the feedback.

      Reply

  • Moe
    May 23, 2023

    Delicious and full of flavor!! Making more this week . Easy to prep and store

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      May 23, 2023

      I’m so happy you enjoyed that. Thank you for sharing that with us, Moe!

      Reply

  • Judy
    May 19, 2023

    Hi Natasha. I haven’t tried this recipe yet but I will. It looks delicious.
    I need help. I have frozen chicken breasts in my freezer since the beginning of covid. That’s what? 3 years? Are they edible?
    I would be very grateful for a reply. 🙂.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      May 19, 2023

      Hi Judy! I hope you love the recipe when you try it. I’m sorry, I don’t have that answer for you. You could do a quick Google search to see what food safety measures are, and maybe start with a USDA search. I hope that helps.

      Reply

  • Sharina
    May 16, 2023

    Dinner will never go wrong with these baked BBQ Chicken thighs! They were so tender and juicy, they melted in our mouths!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      May 16, 2023

      Thanks, Sharina for your comments and review. We’re so glad that you love our recipe!

      Reply

  • Lucinda Bikali
    May 16, 2023

    These BBQ Chicken Thighs are melt-in-your-mouth happy. easy.

    Being single, I will be able to NOT COOK nor clean the kitchen for 3 days. I have enough for a relaxing dinner after work! Pair this chicken with a sweet potatoes, white wine and a green veggie…and “wha-la” easy-peasy.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      May 16, 2023

      I’m so happy you enjoyed that. Thank you for sharing that with us, Lucinda!

      Reply

  • Eileen
    May 16, 2023

    You’re the best Natasha! Love your recipes! Can’t wait to try your homemade barbq sauce! How many thighs would it cover?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      May 16, 2023

      I’m so glad you’re enjoying my recipes, Eileen! We used 1/2 cup of homemade BBQ sauce for this recipe! the full Easy Homemade BBQ Sauce Recipe makes Yields 2 1/4 cups.

      Reply

  • wilhelmina
    May 16, 2023

    These chicken thighs are incredible!! My family loved every bite. So juicy and full of flavor, YUM!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      May 16, 2023

      So glad to hear that!

      Reply

  • Sammi
    May 16, 2023

    These BBQ chicken thighs were easy to make and DELICIOUS. My family gobbled them down. A perfect dinner for busy weeknights!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      May 16, 2023

      That’s wonderful, Sammi! Thank you for sharing.

      Reply

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