These simple Maple Chipotle Barbecue Chicken with amazing homemade sauce are summer grilling perfection. The sauce is brushed on at the very end of grilling just to caramelize it a bit, but it doesn’t burn. The sweet, tangy, tender, juicy and smoky results are smokin’ good! 

healthy Barbecue Chicken on a plate

Well hello, June. In my mind, when I hear June I think SUMMER!!! June is summer, right? I know the summer solstice isn’t for another three weeks, but in my little brain, June, July and August is summer. Please leave me a comment below and let me know if this is crazy talk.

overhead of Barbecue Chicken on a plate

I have set myself some goals for things to accomplish this summer. Later in June and into July, I am actually planning to take some serious time off. It’ll be A FULL MONTH of no recipe testing or photography!! So that in and of itself is an accomplishment for this workaholic. It’s kind of scary, but I need it and it will be so good for me.

healthy barbecue chicken on a plate with bbq sauce

After my vacation I’ll be headed back into the kitchen to begin work on some new recipes for the blog and for clients as well. I am sure the rest will get my creative juices flowing again.

Speaking of recipes and juices flowing let’s talk about this healthy barbecue chicken recipe shall we? Like that transition? 😉

chicken on a plate with a fork

Making this Barbecue Chicken

This grilled barbecue chicken recipe is going to be big. To give you an example. When Stephanie and I shot this video a couple weeks ago, she asked me to send her the recipe even though it wasn’t on the blog yet because she couldn’t wait and was “craving it.” Yeah, it’s that good. It’s can’t-wait-good. (If that’s not a level of goodness, it should be.)

Can you make this with boneless chicken thighs?

We’ve actually had this Barbecue Chicken with maple chipotle sauce a bunch already since the grill came out for the season, and I even tested it with boneless thighs since I knew the question would come up.

I prefer it with the bone, so that’s what I recommend, but if you use boneless, the cook time will just be shorter.

How To Avoid Flare Ups On The Grill

When making this recipe, make sure you remove the skin from the chicken. You’ll save 50 calories just like that. So that’s a good reason, but it also causes flare-ups, and the exterior texture of the chicken will be too crusty and charred.

Coat the Chicken at the End of the Cook Time To Prevent Burning

And one last note: the maple chipotle barbecue sauce goes on the chicken at the end of grilling.

I did this after the chicken is cooked through and waited for a few spots to show charring. Just enough to caramelize the sugars in the maple syrup and give it that classic barbecued flavor, without making the chicken burnt and bitter.

Steps To Make Barbecue Chicken

What To Serve With This Maple Chipotle Barbecued Chicken

Of course Corn on the Cob and Coleslaw would be appropriate with a big platter of tomato salad would be great! 

My Italian Pasta Salad is the next thing that comes to mind. 

Or a delicious Panzanella recipe would also be great as a side. 

We have been devouring bean recipes this year, and this Mexican Four Bean Salad is a favorite. 

And absolutely no good barbecue meal would be complete without dessert… so make sure and check out this yummy No Bake Apple Pie by Allergylicious. It’s gluten free and vegan!


8 More Easy Chicken Thighs Recipes You’ll Love:

  1. Crispy Skin Chicken is one of my family’s favorite meals of all. It’s a must try.
  2. My Chicken Cacciatore recipe is one of the most popular recipes here on Healthy Seasonal Recipes!
  3. We just had this 5-ingredient Honey Mustard Chicken Thighs recipe this week, and it is so good! 
  4. If you like curry, then you’ll love this Yogurt Curry Chicken Thigh recipe.
  5. This basic recipe for Simple Italian Balsamic Chicken is a great meal prep recipe.
  6. And my one pan recipe for Chicken and Brussels is super easy and tasty. 
  7. These Lemon Artichoke Chicken Thighs from Heidi look so good! I adore artichoke hearts! 
  8. My mouth waters at the idea of this Holy Yum Chicken from Julie. She had me at Maple and Dijon!! 

healthy barbecue chicken

Thanks so much for reading. If you make this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review! 

Happy Cooking!


These Strawberry Rhubarb Shortcakes are a make-ahead healthier twist on the classic recipe. The perfect summer vegetarian dessert showcasing the magical combination of strawberries and rhubarb! | Healthy Seasonal Recipes | Katie Webster

barbecue chicken

  • Author: Katie Webster
  • Prep Time: 16 minutes
  • Cook Time: 18 minutes
  • Total Time: 34 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Main Course
  • Method: Grilled
  • Cuisine: American


These maple chipotle barbecue chicken recipe is summer grilling perfection.



  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup, preferably dark
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 ½ teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 8 bone-in chicken thighs, skin removed, about 2 ¾ pounds* see ingredient note
  • oil for grill


  1. Preheat grill to medium-high heat.
  2. Whisk maple syrup, tomato paste, cider vinegar, chili powder, chipotle and granulated garlic in a medium bowl.
  3. Sprinkle salt and pepper all over the chicken. Soak a paper towel with oil and set near grill with tongs.
  4. Just before grilling, hold the oil soaked towel with tongs. Drag gently along grill grates, pulling toward you. Immediately add chicken to the oiled grill. Grill chicken, turning often, until the meat is cooked through to the bone and no-longer pink inside, 18 to 25 minutes.
  5. Brush barbecue sauce all over the tops side of the chicken, and turn over and allow the sauce to caramelize and char ever so slightly, 1 to 2 minutes. While it chars, brush barbecue sauce all over the other side of the chicken. Turn over again, to caramelize the second side. Remove from the grill to a serving platter or carving board and allow chicken to rest 4 to 6 minutes before serving.


*Ingredient note: If you prefer to use boneless skinless chicken thighs, the cooking time will be 10 to 14 minutes total.


  • Serving Size: 1 chicken thigh
  • Calories: 127
  • Sugar: 7 g
  • Sodium: 417 mg
  • Fat: 5 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 8 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Protein: 13 g
  • Cholesterol: 43 mg

Maple Chicken Thighs on a white plate with a blue rim

chicken photo collage with text overlay