Stovetop BBQ chicken is a quick and easy recipe that you can make year-round whenever you're craving BBQ flavor. No need to fire up the grill!

This stovetop BBQ chicken is delicious with our celery salad or creamy cucumber salad and some cajun sweet potato fries.

Stovetop BBQ chicken on a plate with celery salad.

Stovetop bbq chicken

This recipe is your answer to your wintertime BBQ cravings. Get all the delicious BBQ flavor without having to leave your warm and cozy kitchen.

You can make this recipe with either boneless chicken thighs or chicken breast. Use whichever you like best!

The BBQ sauce gets extra thick and sticky and completely coats the chicken in the tastiest sweet glaze. You'll love it!

How to make stovetop BBQ chicken

This recipe is so easy to make that it's almost not a recipe at all. After you make it the first time, you'll likely not have to look at the recipe again.

  1. Season the chicken with some garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt, and pepper.
  2. Now sear the chicken until it is golden brown and almost cooked through.
  3. Add some BBQ sauce to the skillet and continue to cook the chicken until the sauce is beautifully thick and caramelized.

That's it! You've just made BBQ chicken on your stovetop!

Full recipe in the recipe card below.

Skillet BBQ chicken in a frying pan.

What kind of chicken is the best for skillet BBQ chicken?

The recipe calls for boneless chicken thighs. They're great as they cook fast, and their small size means that the BBQ sauce to chicken ratio is high. They're also a little fattier than chicken breasts, so they're deliciously tender and juicy.

You can easily make this recipe using chicken breasts instead, but they'll need to be cooked a little longer. Sear them for 5 minutes per side, then add a little water to the pan with the BBQ sauce and cook them in the sauce for 8-10 minutes. (Full details in the recipe card below.)

Is Stovetop BBQ chicken a healthy recipe?

It can be! Chicken thighs are a good source of healthy protein. So whether or not this recipe is healthy depends on the type of BBQ sauce you use.

Typical, store-bought BBQ sauce is loaded with unhealthy sugar. But in larger stores, you may be able to find some that are refined sugar-free.

You can also make your own refined sugar-free BBQ sauce in just 15 minutes!

A spatula lifting a piece of stovetop BBQ chicken out of a pan.

Does bbq chicken make good leftovers?

Yes! This chicken makes amazing leftovers and will keep well for 3-4 days in your fridge. We like it best sliced cold and served over a simple green salad for a quick, healthy, and tasty lunch.

But it also reheats well. Just add a little extra BBQ sauce to the pan when you're warming it up!

What to serve with stovetop bbq chicken

Stovetop BBQ chicken goes well with all the same sides that traditional grilling recipes go with. Here are a few of our favorites:

READ MORE: Best BBQ Sauce for Chicken

A close up of stovetop BBQ chicken covered in sauce on a plate.
Skillet BBQ chicken in a frying pan.

Stovetop BBQ Chicken

  • Author: Kristen Stevens
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: North American


Stovetop BBQ chicken is a quick and easy recipe that you can make year-round whenever you're craving BBQ flavor. No need to fire up the grill! 

If you love this recipe as much as we do, let us know with a 5-star review in the comments!



  • 8 boneless chicken thighs (see notes about how to make this with chicken breast)
  • 1 teaspoon EACH: garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika
  • ½ teaspoon EACH: sea salt and pepper
  • 2 teaspoons cooking oil
  • ½ cup bbq sauce


  1. Season the chicken with garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt, and pepper. 
  2. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the chicken thighs and cook until they start to brown, about 4 minutes. Flip them over and cook for another 4 minutes. They should be mostly cooked at this point. If your chicken thighs are very large, you may need to cook them for an additional minute or two.
  3. Lower the heat to medium then pour the BBQ sauce into the pan and mix the chicken around so that all the pieces are well coated. Continue to cook the chicken for 2 minutes more, or until the chicken is cooked and the BBQ sauce is thick. 



To make this recipe using 4 chicken breasts instead of the thighs, add ½ cup water or chicken stock to the pan when you add the BBQ sauce. Continue to cook the chicken breasts for 8-10 minutes, or until they are fully cooked and the sauce thickens. 

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Stovetop BBQ chicken on a plate with celery salad and the recipe title on top of the picture.