Baked BBQ Chicken Thighs

Baked barbecue chicken thighs are made right in your oven — no special cooking equipment required. The trick to making them so delicious is using both barbecue seasoning rub and barbecue sauce.
chicken thighs with bbq sauce on them on sheet pan

Have you ever tried making baked barbecue chicken and felt like it was just a little underwhelming? I’m here to help fix that. This recipe for baked barbecue chicken thighs has a ton of flavor thanks to both a barbecue seasoning rub and homemade barbecue sauce.

The best barbecue seasoning rub

We often think of using a good barbecue sauce but the real trick to making good barbecue chicken at home is to start with a good rub. This helps infuse every bit of chicken with bold flavor. My favorite rub starts with smoked paprika. This mimics the smokey flavor of the grill and gives the chicken a nice rosy color. Dried sage is also key to authentic barbecue flavor.

Why broil barbecue chicken?

After the chicken thighs are cooked through, brush them with your favorite sauce and then broil them for a few minutes. Broilers mimic the super hot, direct heat of a grill, making them perfect for this step. You don’t want the sauce to cook too much – just long enough to thicken it and help the sugars caramelize and get super sticky and for the chicken to char slightly in a few spots. Nothing beats homemade barbecue sauce so be sure to check out this collection of our favorite barbecue sauce recipes.

What temp should you bake barbecue chicken to?

Chicken should be cooked until the internal temperature reaches 165°F. The best way to ensure this is to use an instant read thermometer like this one.

Now let’s make some fingerlickin’ good bbq chicken.

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Baked BBQ Chicken Thighs

chicken thighs with bbq sauce on them on sheet pan

Baked barbecue chicken thighs are made right in your oven — no special cooking equipment required. The trick to making them so delicious is using both barbecue seasoning rub and barbecue sauce.

  • Author: Lauren Keating
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 68 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. dried sage
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1/4 cup barbecue sauce

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F.
  2. Arrange the chicken thighs on a baking sheet.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the smoked paprika, garlic powder, sage, salt, and pepper.
  4. Rub the spice mixture onto the chicken thighs and drizzle with olive oil.
  5. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until cooked through to 165°F as read on an instant read thermometer.
  6. Remove the pan from the oven and brush the chicken with the barbecue sauce.
  7. Broil on high for 3-4 minutes, until the sauce begins to darken and gets thick and sticky.

Baked BBQ Chicken Thighs
Baked BBQ Chicken Thighs

Lauren Keating

Lauren has been cooking for as long as she can remember and shares her recipes at Healthy-Delicious.com, where she features on easy weeknight meals with an emphasis on fresh, seasonal ingredients. She completed the professional plant-based cooking certification from Rouxbe cooking school and enjoys using plant-based cooking techniques to incorporate more fruits, vegetables, and grains into traditional recipes in unique ways. Food-obsessed from a young age, her first words included “cookie” and “eat meat!”