The Best Barbecued Chicken With an Amazing Homemade Sauce

What makes this chicken de-licious is the fabulous homemade sauce!  It’s sweet and a little spicy. You’ll notice one unusual ingredient on the list… Root beer!  This ingredient really packs a punch with flavors of sassafras, sarsaparilla, cherry, and ginger. This recipe is made skinny by removing the skin from the chicken, using very little oil, and adding diet root beer instead of regular.  Each piece has about 141 calories and 3 grams of fat.
The Best Barbecued Chicken With an Amazing Homemade Sauce

Helpful Tips About this Recipe

Makes 12 pieces (each serving 1 piece of chicken)
Healthy Benefits
Chicken is power packed with lean protein.  It’s a good source of niacin, B-6, B-12, vitamin D, iron and zinc.

Prep Tips

This sauce can be used on chicken, pork or beef.  Store sauce covered in refrigerator for several weeks.  It can be doubled, tripled and so on.
It’s always such a chore to remove skin from chicken.  If you bake it first with the skin left on, it’s a breeze to remove.  It won’t change the calories or fat either.
Precooking the chicken in the oven before grilling makes the chicken very moist and tender.

WW SmartPoints
WW SmartPoints 5-Green
SKINNY FACTS: for about 1 piece of chicken
141 calories, 3g fat, 3g sat fat, 9g protein, 17g carbs, 0g fiber, 280mg sodium, 13g sugar
FACTS: for about 1 piece of chicken
130 calories, 3g sat. fat, 9g protein, 7g sugar


The Best Barbecued Chicken With an Amazing Homemade Sauce

The Best Barbecued Chicken With an Amazing Homemade Sauce

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Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 12
Calories 141 kcal


Ingredients for Chicken:

  • 1 package chicken legs (about 6 pieces), see prep tips
  • 1 package chicken thighs (about 6 thighs)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Ingredients for Barbecue Sauce:

  • 1 cup onions, diced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • ½ tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups diet root beer
  • ¾ cup ketchup
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup spicy brown mustard
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes or to taste
  • Juice of 1 lemon


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Sprinkle chicken with a little salt and pepper.  Arrange on a baking sheet lined with foil.  Cover chicken with foil and bake for 45 minutes.
  • In the meantime, make the barbecue sauce: In a nonstick pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic and saute for about 2 minutes until onions are soft.  Stir in root beer and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and simmer until reduced to ½ cup, about 15 minutes.  Be sure to keep an eye on it as it can burn easily.
  • Stir in ketchup, vinegar, brown sugar, mustard, molasses, Worcestershire, and red pepper flakes.  Simmer for about 15 minutes until the sauce thickens.
  • Remove pan from heat and stir in lemon juice.
  • Remove cooked chicken from oven.  Cool slightly. Remove and discard all the skin.
  • Dip chicken pieces into barbecue sauce to coat. Note: Since the chicken is already cooked there’s no need to worry about cross-contamination. Grill covered for 5 minutes.  Turn over and spread with more sauce.  Continue to grill until charred, about 5 more minutes.
  • ***To broil instead of grilled: Preheat broiler. Dip chicken pieces into barbecue sauce to coat.  Place pieces on a baking sheet lined with foil.  Broil for 5 minutes, turn over, coat with more sauce and broil for another 4-5 minutes until browned.


Serving: 1pieceCalories: 141kcalCarbohydrates: 17gProtein: 9gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 3gSodium: 280mgSugar: 13gBlue Smart Points: 5Green Smart Points: 5Plus Points: 3
Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!

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