In this healthy chicken breast recipe, bottled barbecue sauce--often loaded with sodium and high-fructose corn syrup--is replaced with a homemade barbecue sauce recipe. Use the barbecue sauce to baste the chicken breast while cooking--but if you want to also serve the barbecue sauce at the table, separate some before grilling to avoid cross-contamination.

David Bonom


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • To prepare barbecue sauce: Combine ketchup, beer, molasses, orange juice, vinegar, Worcestershire, mustard and onion powder in a medium heavy saucepan; bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook, stirring frequently, until reduced to about 1 1/2 cups, 20 to 25 minutes. Stir in hot sauce.

  • To prepare chicken: Preheat a gas grill to medium or build a fire in a charcoal grill and let it burn down to medium heat (about 400 degrees F).

  • Cut each chicken breast in half crosswise and combine with oil in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

  • Oil the grill rack (see Tip). Grill the chicken, with the lid closed, until lightly browned on the bottom, about 4 minutes. Brush with about 1/2 cup barbecue sauce, close the lid and grill for 4 minutes more. Turn the chicken over, brush another 1/2 cup of the barbecue sauce on the second side, close the lid once more and continue grilling until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest portion of the chicken registers 165 degrees F, 1 to 2 minutes. Serve the chicken with more barbecue sauce on the side, if desired.


Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate barbecue sauce for up to 1 week.

Once the grill is heated, oil a folded paper towel, hold it with tongs and rub it over the hot rack right before placing the chicken on the grill.

Nutrition Facts

218.9 calories; protein 23.2g 46% DV; carbohydrates 15.9g 5% DV; exchange other carbs 1; dietary fiber 0.1g; sugars 14g; fat 6.2g 10% DV; saturated fat 1.2g 6% DV; cholesterol 62.7mg 21% DV; vitamin a iu 113.4IU 2% DV; vitamin c 2.8mg 5% DV; folate 6.4mcg 2% DV; calcium 44.8mg 5% DV; iron 1.6mg 9% DV; magnesium 57.7mg 21% DV; potassium 458.1mg 13% DV; sodium 550.6mg 22% DV; thiamin 0.1mg 6% DV; added sugar 13g.