This Oven Baked Barbecue Chicken is slathered in an easy homemade sauce you’ll want to make again and again! Use boneless and skinless breasts or thighs for this family favorite entree.

Update: This recipe was originally published in 2017 and has been republished with all new photos and instructions.

When I first began paying attention to the ingredient lists of the food products I was purchasing I was genuinely surprised by all the unnecessary junk thrown into barbecue sauce. So many of them are filled with high fructose corn syrup and food coloring. In fact very first ingredient is usually sugar or corn syrup! I knew right away that I wanted to create my own that was free from these things.

This Oven Baked Barbecue Chicken is the result of lots of trial and error. It’s simply sweetened with no sugar, corn syrup, honey, or molasses. That means that enjoying it won’t compromise your healthy lifestyle. Plus it’s Whole30 compliant!

You can use boneless and skinless chicken breasts or thighs. Either way the chicken comes out juicy because it bakes in the sauce.

I hope you enjoy this delicious saucy chicken as much as my family does!

For this recipe you’ll need (full list of ingredients and instructions are in the recipe card below):

  • Chicken breasts or thighs
  • Olive oil
  • Ketchup
  • Coconut aminos
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • A few seasonings

Chicken thighs or chicken breasts?

Feel free to use boneless and skinless chicken breasts or thighs. I use breasts most often simply because that’s what my family prefers but I’ve tested both and you’ll be happy with the results either way.

If cooking thighs you may need a little extra time because of the higher fat content and greater thickness.

Why slice chicken breasts horizontally?

I love to slice my chicken breasts horizontally to create thinner cutlets. This means your chicken will cook faster and you’ll have more opportunity to cover the chicken in sauce.

Can this entree be Whole30 compliant?

Absolutely! Just check the label on your ketchup to make sure it’s allowed on Whole30. Many ketchup brands include sugar. Here are a few brands that offer compliant ketchup at the time of this recipe posting.

Whole30 Ketchup: Tessemae’s Organic KetchupPrimal Kitchen Organic Unsweetened KetchupGood Food for Good Organic Ketchup

Is this barbecue sauce spicy or sweet?

The barbecue sauce we’re making isn’t spicy at all. It’s mildly sweet. You can add crushed red pepper flakes or chipotle seasoning to increase the heat if you like.

This sauce has a mild sweetness but it isn’t over the top. If you’d like a sweeter sauce add honey.

Is this barbecue sauce thick?

The sauce is smooth and thick. You’ll notice that it thins a bit as the chicken cooks because chicken releases juice during baking. Let your chicken rest for a minute or two and it will thicken again.

How to store leftovers

Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

How to serve this

I like to serve this chicken with a green side + a carb + a salad. A few sides I recommend are my Garlic Green Beans, Baked Herb Potato Rounds, and a simple salad with Homemade Croutons. That’s a pretty perfect meal!

More recipes like this:

Sugar Free BBQ Grilled Chicken

Baked Barbecue Chicken Wings

Buffalo Baked Chicken Wings

Buffalo Chicken Bites

Chipotle Peach Baked Wings

5 from 3 votes

Oven Baked Barbecue Chicken

This Oven Baked Barbecue Chicken is slathered in an easy homemade sauce you'll want to make again and again! Use boneless and skinless breasts or thighs for this family favorite entree.


BBQ Sauce

  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup coconut aminos
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground mustard
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder


  • 2 lbs chicken breasts, boneless & skinless, about 4 chicken breasts or can sub 8 chicken thighs
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, extra virgin
  • salt to taste


  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • Add all sauce ingredients to a bowl and stir until well combined.
  • Spread oil on the bottom of a baking dish.
  • If using breasts, slice chicken in half horizontally so you have 8 cutlets. (Or just use 8 skinless and boneless chicken thighs).
  • Place the chicken in a single layer in baking dish. Sprinkle salt on top of each cutlet or thigh. Use a spatula, spoon, or brush to spread 1/2 of the barbecue sauce on top of chicken.
  • Bake for 15 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and flip the chicken over. Spread remaining sauce on top. Bake for another 15 minutes. (You may need a bit more time if using thighs instead of chicken cutlets.)


Nutrition information is for one chicken breast. If you slice your breasts horizontally that means two cutlets = 1 breast. 


Serving: 1chicken breast (2 cutlets), Calories: 349kcal, Carbohydrates: 13g, Protein: 49g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 145mg, Sodium: 1577mg, Potassium: 955mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin A: 372IU, Vitamin C: 4mg, Calcium: 21mg, Iron: 1mg
Did you make this recipe?Tag @thewholecook and hashtag it #thewholecook on Instagram.

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