Fast, juicy, and delicious this low carb Keto Barbecue Chicken recipe is bound to be a family favorite. From start to finish it takes less than 30-minutes, so it's great even on the nights when you have no desire to cook. 5 ingredients and a few minutes are all you need to make this keto-friendly, low carb, gluten-free, and grain free dinner.
Admittedly, there are lots of delicious main dish recipes out there for chicken, but I am especially excited about this barbecue chicken recipe. The meat cooks up really tender, and grilling helps lock in the moisture, so it stays really juicy.
My special combination of seasonings is just perfect on keto barbecue chicken. I'm not a fan of most packaged barbecue rubs because they use sugar and/or nutmeg. But by making your own the flavor can be customized, they are cheaper, and the taste is not overpowering as some seasonings can get.
This is one of my favorite meals to cook when we are spending the evening outdoors. It's easy to make and doesn't need a ton of attention, so we can relax and enjoy being outside. So, if you love to grill, this one is for you!
You know how I feel about recipes that take minimal ingredients. This keto barbecue chicken comes together with just 5 ingredients.
- Chicken Tenderloins - I like to buy tenderloins because they are already cut for me. All I have to do is trim any fat and get busy cooking. You can trim chicken breasts into this size yourself by cutting them in half lengthwise but tenderloins really are more tender.
- Oil - The oil acts as glue, so the seasonings stick to it. You can use any oil that you like, but we typically go for olive oil or avocado oil.
- Seasonings - The combination I use is smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper.
Sugar free bbq sauce is optional. The spice rub plus grilling the chicken give this plenty of barbecue flavor. If you want a sauce to drizzle on or dip into check out my 3 varieties of easy keto barbecue sauce. I have keto recipes for a golden mustard sauce, white sauce, and a classic red sauce within that one blog post.
How To Make Keto Barbecue Chicken
This easy, healthy bbq chicken recipe is a hit with crowds and anyone else who tries it.
Step One: Coat the chicken in the oil, then sprinkle it with the seasonings.
Step Two: Turn the heat on the grill too high. Place the chicken tenderloins on the grill and lower the heat to medium. Cook for 15-20 minutes and flip every 5 minutes. Cook until the chicken reaches 160 degrees F. then let rest for 5 minutes. Serve and enjoy!
PRO TIP: Invest in a digital meat thermometer. They are easy to read, and there is no guessing what the temperature of the food is.
Grilled Chicken Tips
- Don't cook the chicken at too high of a temperature. It will cause the outside of the chicken to become charred while the inside isn't done all the way. It doesn't take long to cook with medium heat, and the results are way better.
- If you opt to make chicken breasts instead of tenderloins, be sure to cut them. Otherwise, they will take longer to cook.
- For some extra flavor, add your favorite sugar-free keto bbq sauce in the last 5 minutes of cooking.
- You can also make the bbq keto chicken using an indoor grill. It may take longer to cook, so keep a close watch on the internal temperature.
Can I Use Chicken Breasts?
Yep! There is no issue with substituting the tenderloins for breasts. The biggest thing is that you need to cut the chicken, so it's evenly sized and in much smaller strips.
Keep in mind; tenderloins do tend to be more tender than chicken breast. So the texture is going to vary a bit if you opt for breasts.
Additionally, you can use boneless skinless chicken thighs as well for this keto barbecue chicken recipe. Cut them into strips and cook as directed.
Can I Cook this in an Instant Pot or Slow Cooker?
What Do You Serve With Barbecue Chicken?
I'll admit...there are LOTS of things that go with keto barbecue chicken. So, we will change what we are having depending on what I am in the mood for that day. For this particular meal, I made grilled zucchini and broccoli. It was DELICIOUS!
Try out some of these low carb recipes and ideas:
- Cauliflower - It goes with just about everything and keeps you feeling satisfied. For inspiration, check out my pesto cauliflower.
- Broccoli - The broccoli in my photos is actually GRILLED. See our grilled broccoli recipe here.
- Fries - Sometimes, we get a craving for my keto fries. They are incredible and simple to make.
- Garden Salad - I think everything is better when you have a fresh salad to go with it. Try out my keto thousand island dressing!
- Easy Sides - My keto ranch broccoli salad with bacon and cheddar cheese and keto coleslaw both hit the spot. They pair well with the barbecue chicken too. If you want a healthy side for the kids try these Sweet Potato Fries in Air Fryer.
- Drizzle the chicken with oil and sprinkle it with the seasoning rub.
- Heat the grill to high. Add the chicken. Reduce heat to medium. Grill for 15-20 minutes, flipping every 5 minutes until fully cooked.