The easiest baked BBQ chicken thighs recipe! Juicy chicken thighs, baked to perfection, slathered in a mouthwatering BBQ rub and sauce that is just waiting to be put on your dinner table.
I love grilling in the warmer weather but honestly sometimes living in the Mid-Atlantic can be rough. The humidity and/or the afternoon thunderstorms really put a damper on grilling. I swear thunderstorms around here love to time themselves around rush hour or dinnertime. The ability to make these baked BBQ chicken thighs in the oven gives a great alternative to being weather-dependent.
I know turning on the oven in the summertime can seem like a sin but it’s not terrible, and these chicken thighs, because they are boneless, they cook up pretty fast. It’s also pretty hands-free and gives you the ability to prep other dishes while it’s cooking up in the oven. The result is a juicy, tender chicken smothered with a thick, tangy, smoky and sweet BBQ sauce.
Why You’ll Love This
- Foolproof method. Baking chicken thighs in the oven is an ideal method for beginner cooks or those who prefer a hands-off approach that are short on time. It requires minimal supervision and delivers consistent results.
- Incredibly quick and easy. All this recipe involves is generously sprinkling a dry rub on top of the chicken thighs then slathering it with your favorite BBQ sauce. Seriously so easy!
- Easy main protein or meal prep. This recipe allows you to make it in bulk (just in a larger baking dish) so you can have this flavorful chicken on hand for the week for meal prep and/or a quick dinner option you just pull out of the refrigerator and reheat.
Ingredients You’ll Need
Baked BBQ chicken thighs require minimal ingredients but still has bold flavor. Here is what you’ll need. Make sure to scroll down to view the full recipe for exact measurements.
- Basic BBQ Rub
- Boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- Your favorite BBQ sauce
How To Make Baked BBQ Chicken Thighs
Here is a general overview of the steps involved to make oven-baked BBQ chicken thighs. Be sure to scroll to the bottom of this post for the full recipe.
Set the oven and prep baking dish. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and lightly spray a baking dish with cooking spray.
Season the chicken. Brush on BBQ sauce on the chicken thighs then generously sprinkle dry rub on top.
Bake chicken. Bake the chicken for 20 minutes, uncovered, until internal temperature reads 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Brush more BBQ sauce on top then broil for 1-2 minutes, if desired.
Recipe Tips, Substitutions, and Variations
- Use a meat thermometer. To ensure you’re cooking chicken to safe temperature, I highly recommend investing an instant meat thermometer. Chicken should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Broil the chicken. In the last couple minutes of cooking, broil the chicken so you can get a nice crispy top. Just be sure to keep an eye on it! It can burn faster than a blink of an eye.
- Different cuts of chicken. There are a variety of cuts of chicken that would work well in this recipe if you choose to substitute the chicken thighs. Drumsticks, chicken breasts, or chicken wings would work in this recipe. Make sure to adjust cooking time for all these cuts, especially if they’re bone-in.
- Kick it up a notch. An easy way to give this a spicy kick is to add extra cayenne pepper to the dry BBQ rub, or use a spicy BBQ sauce! My favorite balance is the sweet heat version from Stubb’s.
- Use different BBQ sauces. There always seems to be a battle of BBQ sauces as they vary in different regions of America. One thing is for sure – they’re all tasty and you can use whichever to your liking!
- Use a store-bought dry rub. If you have a store-bought BBQ dry rub, feel free to use that, but my homemade one is so good and very easy to make a large batch of to store in your spice cabinet.
- Ways to use BBQ chicken thighs. This is just a base recipe to other creations with BBQ chicken! You can shred the chicken and make BBQ chicken sliders, sandwich the BBQ chicken thigh between brioche buns and make a BBQ chicken sandwich, or dice up the BBQ chicken and make mac and cheese or top it on a cornbread pie! Use it in this one pot rice dish if you haven’t tried it yet!
Storage and Reheating Instructions
Allow chicken to cook then either slice up for meal prep or keep whole. Place in an airtight container and put in the refrigerator for up to five days. To reheat, zap in the microwave until warmed through.
What to Serve with Baked BBQ Chicken Thighs
BBQ chicken and side dishes are a pairing that is quintessential and classic! Here are some ideas:
- Broccoli Salad
- Big Mac Salad
- Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese
- 4-Ingredient Tangy Potato Salad
- BLT Pasta Salad
Baked BBQ Chicken Thighs
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 2 tablespoons your favorite BBQ sauce more if desired
- 3 tablespoons BBQ dry rub
- Preheat oven to 400 °F and lightly spray a baking pan with cooking spray.
- Add chicken thighs to baking pan and brush BBQ sauce on top of chicken. Generously sprinkle dry rub on top.
- Bake uncovered for 20 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165 °F.
- Brush more BBQ sauce on top and broil for 1-2 minutes. This step is optional. I just like doing it for a darkened crisp top.