Tender Grilled BBQ Chicken Breast with smoky BBQ sauce and simple ingredients. This easy chicken recipe is a summer favorite!

We love baked BBQ chicken breast and Instant Pot BBQ chicken during colder months, but grilled chicken breast is always on our summer menu.

Grilled BBQ chicken breasts garnished with parsley served on black plate.

Grilled BBQ chicken breast is layered with a sweet, caramelized sauce and ready in 45 minutes! Wow your guests in no time with this quick chicken breast recipe.

I hate turning my oven on when it’s hot and I love how grill recipes make everything perfectly crisp on the outside with a juicy center.

Serve BBQ chicken breast on a grill all season next to your favorite side dish, on a bun, or make BBQ chicken salad with it.

Ingredients for Grilled BBQ Chicken Breast

This grilled BBQ chicken breast recipe uses very simple ingredients, you can easily make it any night of the week.

Chicken breasts, smoked paprika, garlic powder, BBQ sauce, salt and pepper.
  • Boneless skinless chicken breasts: 4 large chicken breasts around 2 pounds total.
  • BBQ sauce: I use Stubbs or make my own low calorie BBQ sauce when I have time. Healthy BBQ sauce and this Hawaiian BBQ sauce recipe are super easy to make and less expensive.
  • Oil: Extra virgin olive oil enhances the flavor in the grilled chicken marinade. Avocado oil works great too.
  • Seasonings: Garlic powder, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper add rich flavor to this barbecue chicken recipe. Don’t skip the seasonings.

How to Make Grilled BBQ Chicken Breast

Here’s a quick photo overview on how to make grilled BBQ chicken breast. You just marinate the chicken for 30 minutes, making this a quick and easy dinner.

Step by step process how to make grilled BBQ chicken breast.
  • Tenderize chicken: Place chicken breasts on a cutting board, cover with plastic wrap and pound lightly until they are even thickness. You can use a meat mallet or a rolling pin.
  • Marinate chicken breasts: Add BBQ sauce, oil, garlic powder, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper to a large bowl. Wisk to combine then add chicken breasts. Use tongs to coat and marinate at least 30 minutes.
  • Grill: Preheat your grill on medium-high heat, 450F – 500F. Rub grill gates with oiled paper towel then add chicken. Brush each breast with BBQ sauce and grill for 5 minutes with lid closed.
  • Finish the chicken: Open the lid, brush the same side with more BBQ sauce. Then flip and brush with sauce again. Close the lid and cook for another 5 minutes or until internal thermometer reads 165 F at the thickest part of the breast.
  • Rest and serve: Place chicken on a large dish, cover with tinfoil and rest for 5-10 minutes. Slice and serve hot with a simple side.

Tips for Best Results

Here are my best tips on how to make this grilled BBQ chicken breast recipe mouth-watering delicious every time.

  • Similar size chicken breasts are not important: We can flip them when we want to make sure each breast is cooked through. It’s also why we pound them at the start to even out the thickness and cook through better.
  • Feel free to use chicken thighs: If you love dark meat, boneless skinless chicken thighs also cook nicely on the grill. They tend to take a bit longer, make sure they reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
  • Regular paprika will work: The result will be a slightly sweeter taste instead of a rich smoky flavor.
  • Make sure to rest the meat: This allows juices to settle inside the meat making juicy, tender grilled BBQ chicken breast.
  • Use quality BBQ sauce for best flavor: You want a sauce that’s smooth with a rich flavor. Grab your favorite from the grocery store or make your own for the best BBQ chicken recipe.
Grilled BBQ chicken breast served with rice and broccoli on a plate with a fork.

What to Serve Grilled BBQ Chicken Breast with?

Whether you make a cold or hot side dish, there are many options that pair amazing with grilled BBQ chicken breast.

Some of our favorites include spring mix salad, healthy coleslaw, creamy cucumber tomato salad, Mediterranean pasta salad, cauliflower potato salad, and Instant Pot corn on the cob.

Hosting a big crowd? Make extra BBQ sauce, slather it on porkribslamb, even shrimp and grill the same way!

How to Store It

Store: Keep leftover chicken in an airtight storage container and refrigerate for up to 5 days.

Freeze: I recommend freezing whole chicken breasts to retain maximum moisture, your leftovers will taste better too. Store them in an airtight container for up to 3 months.


Do you put barbecue sauce on chicken before or after grilling?

Before and during for best results. Marinating the chicken in barbecue sauce infuses each breast with flavor. Then brush in thin layers to prevent burning. You can drizzle any remaining BBQ sauce on after.

How long to grill BBQ chicken breast?

Total time for grilling boneless chicken breast is 8-10 minutes on medium-high heat.

As per US food safety, your chicken is ready when you insert an instant-read thermometer into the thickest part of the breast and it reads 165 degrees F.

Do you flip BBQ chicken breast when grilling?

Yes. Flip your chicken halfway through cooking so it cooks evenly. This will also give you beautiful sear marks on each side and helps lock in the flavor.

Do you leave the lid open or closed when grilling chicken breast on gas grill?

Keep the lid closed so no heat escapes. The steam creates moisture leaving you with juicy barbeque chicken.

How to grill BBQ chicken breast on grill without drying out?

First, marinate your chicken for a minimum 30 minutes. This allows enough time for the marinade to tenderize your meat.

When grilling, make sure your grill isn’t too hot, keep lid on, and don’t over cook your chicken. If your chicken breasts are really thick I recommend slicing them in half parallel to the cutting board before pounding.

Can I use bone-in and skin-on chicken?

Sure, just grill it a bit longer. The best way to check if your chicken is ready with an internal read thermometer inserted into the thickest part close to the bone but not touching it.

More Chicken Recipes to Try

Grilled barbecue chicken breasts on a grill.
Grilled BBQ chicken breasts garnished with parsley served on black plate.

Grilled BBQ Chicken Breast

Tender Grilled BBQ Chicken Breast with smoky BBQ sauce and simple ingredients. This easy chicken recipe is a summer favorite!
5 from 2 votes
Servings 4
Calories 322
Diet Gluten Free
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Marinating Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes



  • Place chicken breasts on a cutting board, cover with a piece of plastic wrap and pound slightly with a meat mallet or rolling pin until even thickness.
  • In a large bowl, add barbecue sauce, oil, garlic powder, smoked paprika, salt, pepper and whisk. Add chicken breasts, stir with tongs to coat and let marinate for 30 minutes to up to 24 hours.
  • Preheat grill on medium-high (450-500 degrees F) and rub with oiled paper towel. Place chicken on the grill, brush with BBQ sauce, close the lid and grill for 5 minutes.
  • Open the lid, brush with more BBQ sauce and flip. Brush with BBQ sauce again, close the lid and cook for another 5 minutes or until internal read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the breast registers 165 F.
  • Remove chicken from the oven, cover with foil and let rest for 5-10 minutes.
  • After slice and serve with your favorite more plain side like rice and broccoli or make BBQ chicken salad.


  • Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
  • Freeze: Freeze whole chicken breasts to retain maximum moisture in an airtight container for up to 3 months.


Serving: 1breast | Calories: 322kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 48g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.03g | Cholesterol: 159mg | Sodium: 804mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 5g
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: North American
Author: Olena Osipov
Did you make this recipe?Mention @ifoodreal or tag #ifoodreal!

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About Olena

Welcome! I grew up in Ukraine watching my grandma cook with simple ingredients. I have spent the last 11 years making it my mission to help you cook quick and easy meals for your family!

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  1. 5 stars
    Oh my goodness your grilled bbq chicken is so, so, yummy. Full of flavour & chicken is so tender. Would give you 10+ if I could. Your recipes are full of flavour. Everything is so easy to follow, and you never disappoint. Thank for taking the time to send me your wonderful meals.🤗😋.

    1. I’m so happy to hear your love my recipes this much Elizabeth. Thank you for being a dedicated iFoodReal reader!

5 from 2 votes (1 rating without comment)

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