I can't stop thinking about this Cheesy Bacon BBQ Chicken. Smoky seasoned chicken topped with tangy barbecue sauce, cheddar cheese, and crunchy bacon for a deliciously easy dish that every cook needs in their repertoire. This cheesy chicken is simple but unforgettable!
Looking for an easy chicken recipe that the whole family will love? You need this Cheesy BBQ Bacon Chicken in your back pocket.
With just seven ingredients (plus salt and pepper), you have got a chicken dinner that comes together in about 30 minutes and is nothing short of spectacular.
Ingredients for Making BBQ Bacon Chicken
- Cheese - I used white cheddar slices, but yellow cheddar or shredded cheese works too.
- Garlic Powder - I love fresh garlic, but since we are cooking at medium-high heat and garlic burns so quickly, garlic powder is better suited here.
- Smoked Paprika - Also called pimentón, Smoked Paprika is smoky and mildly spicy, with deep flavors you don't get from regular paprika. It is a favorite at my house. If you don't have it, sweet or hot paprika works here too.
- Sea Salt - I use fine pink Himalayan sea salt, but whatever salt you prefer works. If you are using a coarser salt, you may wish to use a touch more. As always, adjust the amount of salt to your taste. I love salt, so consider that when determining how much to use.
- Fresh Ground Black Pepper - It only takes a few extra minutes, and the extra pop of flavor is so worth it!
- Avocado Oil - Avocado oil is my go-to oil for cooking over medium-high heat. You can use another oil if you prefer, just make sure that it is safe. You can read more about cooking over high heat here.
- Boneless Chicken Breast - I am partial to chicken breast, but if you prefer chicken thighs, that will work too. Just make sure you use an instant-read thermometer to adjust the cooking time and ensure that the internal temperature reaches 160° F before you remove the chicken from the oven.
- BBQ Sauce - You can use your favorite brand - hickory, mesquite - it all works. If you are sugar-free and looking for a homemade recipe, this one from my low-carb website is my personal favorite. If buying bbq sauce and you are gluten sensitive, make sure you read the label to make sure it is gluten-free.
- Bacon - Any bacon that you like will work here.
Tips, Tricks, and Variations
- As mentioned under the ingredients, please ensure that you are using an oil that is safe for high heat.
- I recommend always using an instant-read thermometer when cooking meat. Take the meat off the heat when it reaches 160° F. The internal temperature will continue to rise to the recommended 165° F as the chicken rests.
- Want creamy cheesy BBQ Chicken? You can either top the chicken with softened cream cheese before you add the cheddar cheese and bacon or finish it with ranch dressing.
Frequently Asked Questions
Absolutely! If you are like me and have teenage boys, doubling recipes like this is a necessity.
Yes! If the BBQ Sauce is high in acid, I recommend marinating for no more than four hours. Otherwise, you can marinate in the refrigerator overnight.
You will want to use an instant read thermometer to ensure that your chicken is done. It should read 160° F at it's thickest point.
At this point, you can take it out and rest it for 5 to 10 minutes. Carryover cooking will have it reach the recommended temperature of 165° F.
Tools Needed to Make Cheesy Bacon Chicken
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- Instant Read Thermometer
- Ovenproof Pan (Or a skillet and casserole dish.)
You can store leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to three days. I recommend reheating in a 350° F oven for about 10 minutes, until warmed through.
How to Make This Cheesy BBQ Chicken Recipe
First, start by making the spice blend. Combine the garlic powder, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.
Sprinkle the seasoning over the chicken. If you have time, allow it to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Pressed for time? No worries - this step is completely optional.
Next, heat the oil in a large ovenproof skillet.
(If you aren't one for measuring, make sure you don't have a heavy hand, as the skillet will eventually be going in the oven and too much oil can cause it to smoke.)
Cook the chicken until it is golden brown and then remove the skillet from the heat.
Top with the cheese and bacon.
Cook in the oven until the internal temperature of the chicken registers 160° F.
Cheesy Bacon BBQ Chicken
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika or sweet paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt of choice
- ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil or any high heat oil
- 1 ½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breast
- ¼ cup BBQ Sauce
- 7 ounces sliced cheddar cheese
- 8 ounces bacon cooked and crumbled
- Preheat the oven to 400° F. In a small bowl, combine garlic powder, smoked paprika, sea salt, and fresh ground pepper.
- Rub the spice mixture over the chicken breasts. Heat the oil in a large oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Sear the chicken for 5 minutes per side, until golden brown.
- Remove from the heat and carefully spread the BBQ sauce over the chicken. Top with the cheese slices and bacon.
- Cook in the preheated oven for 5 to 8 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the chicken registers 160° F with an instant-read thermometer.
- Allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.