This is a really quick and easy sweet & sticky oven-baked BBQ chicken thighs recipe. It's much healthier than using a bottle of store-bought BBQ sauce and comes together in no time.
My all-time, go-to easy chicken dinner used to be something my kids called “sticky chicken”. I used to just take a bottle of bbq sauce and that cheap maple syrup (that’s probably just made of high fructose corn syrup), mix them together, pour over the chicken and bake.
It’s really good but is probably made of little more than high fructose corn syrup, so…not too great for you. But this version I came up with is not only a lot more healthy, but it is also so good that my kids beg for it all the time.
It's really quick and easy to make so it's a win-win. Basically, all I do is put the chicken in a pan and while the oven is preheating, throw all the ingredients in the saucepan and let them get started warming up.
By the time I get all the ingredients in the pan, I call it good enough and dump it over the chicken and throw it in the oven. I love that I can do anything I want while dinner is cooking. And while the oven is already on, I usually add some things to the oven to finish off the meal, like a baked potato and roasted vegetables.
I thought that if you were looking for quick baked chicken recipes, this would be a good one to do. So I made it completely healthy with a very quick made-from-scratch bbq sauce and real maple syrup.
It’s still super-easy and really just involves taking 5 minutes to make the sauce, pour over the chicken and bake. You will love how the sauce thickens up and gets sticky with a nice, roasted flavor and the chicken gets tender from all the time in the oven.
I love meals like this because I can throw it all in the oven and then do something while dinner is cooking, like clean, help with homework, do the laundry, make breakfast and/or dinner for the next day. You get the idea.
Heck, if you're one of those lucky people with a shorter to-do list than mine, you could relax while dinner cooks. I haven't tried this in the slow cooker, but I bet it would be SO good.
Here are some tips, tricks, and variations for this recipe:
- The tomato paste can be subbed with tomato sauce if you want a sauce that's not quite as strong and quite a bit runnier.
- Make sure you use real maple syrup . Not the flavored sugar that some companies like to call maple syrup. The deeper the color and lower the grade, the better.
- You can also use this same recipe on a grill. Cook the sauce longer in the saucepan until it gets thick and rich. Then just baste the chicken every few minutes when you turn the chicken and serve the remaining sauce with the chicken. Make sure and use a separate sauce for basting than you use for the top to avoid cross-contamination. I especially love it this way when there is skin on the chicken.
- Someone always asks this, so I'll just address it now - Yes. You can use chicken breasts. It may turn out a bit dry, and they take less time to cook. I can't tell you exactly how much less cause it totally depends on how thick they are, etc. but maybe 10-20 minutes less. Make sure not to overcook the chicken breasts, because that's very easy to do.
I think this meal goes particularly well with my Paleo mac and cheese recipe. Let me know what you think of this recipe; I'm interested to know if other people like it as much as I do. Let me know what you think by commenting below!Print
This is a BBQ chicken thighs in oven recipe. It is chicken with a sweet and sticky BBQ sauce on top.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Heat the olive oil on medium heat in a saucepan. Add the tomato paste, garlic, cumin, chili powder, and ground mustard to the oil and sauté for 30 seconds.
- Add the pineapple concentrate, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, and salt to the saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and Let the sauce cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Place the chicken in a 9x13 baking dish. Pour the sauce over the chicken, making sure all surfaces are coated. Bake on the center rack of preheated oven for 90-105 minutes, or until chicken is very tender.
Keywords: baked, sweet, sticky, healthy