Craving BBQ, but don’t have a pit? These Easy BBQ Chicken Sandwiches only take about 30 minutes to make and cost only a couple of bucks a piece, making them a really fast, inexpensive, and tasty way to kill that BBQ craving. Keep this recipe in your back pocket because you’ll be pulling it out often for quick weeknight dinners!
This recipe utilizes my Quick BBQ Chicken recipe, which I created as a sort of “à la carte” meat option for households who are trying to feed both meat-eaters and vegetarians. In addition to adding this super simple BBQ chicken to other recipes, it can also be used to make sandwiches and wraps, like this one!
OR, you can choose to make this sandwich using my Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken. Both are great options!
I really like the combination of BBQ and ranch dressing, so I made a quick “ranch slaw” for this sandwich using bagged coleslaw mix (shredded cabbage and carrots) and a thick ranch dressing as the dressing. If you’re not into ranch (many people aren’t), try my classic creamy coleslaw recipe instead. It also goes great with BBQ!
Other BBQ Chicken Sandwich Topping Ideas
I kept my BBQ Chicken Sandwiches simple, because that’s how I roll, but if you like to get fancy, here are some other things you can add on top of your sandwich:
- French Fried Onions
- Cheddar cheese
- Fresh red onions
- Sliced avocado
- Pineapple slices
What Kind of BBQ Sauce is Best?
You can use pretty much any type of BBQ sauce for this recipe, so I suggest going with whatever brand or flavor that you like the best. I’m not too picky about BBQ sauce, so I used what I had on hand, which was a Kroger brand hickory smoke flavored BBQ sauce. I also tend to like Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauces, so that’s another affordable option. Or, you can even try making your own Homemade BBQ Sauce.
What to Serve with BBQ Chicken Sandwiches
I’m a big fan of sweet potatoes with BBQ, so I love Spicy Sweet Potato Fries as a side for these BBQ Chicken Sandwiches. Thick cut Steak Fries (and maybe some Comeback Sauce) would also be awesome on the side. Creamy potato salad is always a nice side to go along with tangy BBQ sauce, or if you’re looking for something a little more fresh and vibrant to lighten up the plate, try Cowboy Caviar! Or try my recent favorite, Loaded Smashed Potatoes!
Easy BBQ Chicken Sandwiches
- 1 tsp smoked paprika ($0.10)
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder ($0.05)
- 1/4 tsp salt ($0.02)
- 1/4 tsp pepper ($0.02)
- 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs ($2.99)
- 1 Tbsp cooking oil ($0.04)
- 1/4 cup BBQ sauce ($0.11)
- 7 oz. coleslaw mix* ($0.65)
- 2 green onions, sliced ($0.20)
- 1/4 cup ranch dressing ($0.37)
- 4 buns ($2.49)
- Combine the smoked paprika, garlic, powder, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Cut any large chicken thighs in half to make them more sandwich-sized (you'll want four pieces total). Season both sides of the chicken thighs with the prepared spice mix.
- Heat the cooking oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, swirl to coat the surface of the skillet. Add the seasoned chicken and cook for 5-7 minutes on each side, or until the chicken thighs are well browned and cooked through.
- Remove the chicken from the heat and brush BBQ sauce over both sides of each piece.
- Add the coleslaw mix, sliced green onions, and ranch dressing to a bowl. Stir until everything is combined and evenly coated in dressing.
- To build the sandwiches, place one piece of BBQ chicken on each bun and top with a heaping scoop of the ranch slaw. Serve immediately.
See how we calculate recipe costs here.
Looking for a vegetarian option? Try my BBQ Tofu Sliders.
How to Make Easy BBQ Chicken Sandwiches – Step by Step Photos
In a small bowl, combine 1 tsp smoked paprika, ½ tsp garlic powder, ¼ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper. Cut any large chicken thighs in half to make them more sandwich-sized. You’ll need about 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs. Season both sides of the chicken thighs with the prepared spices.
Heat 1 Tbsp cooking oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, swirl the oil in the skillet to coat the surface, then add the seasoned thighs. Cook on each side for 5-7 minutes, or until they are well browned and cooked through.
Turn off the heat and brush BBQ sauce over both sides of the chicken pieces (about ¼ cup in total).
To make the ranch slaw, combine 7 oz. (half of a 14 oz. bag) of coleslaw mix (shredded cabbage and carrots), 2 sliced green onions, and ¼ cup ranch dressing.
Stir until everything is combined and coated in dressing.
To build the BBQ Chicken Sandwiches, place one piece of chicken on a bun and top with a heaping scoop of the ranch slaw.
I am shocked how easy and tasty this was! I am doing the 30-minute meal plan, and I made the sandwiches exactly according to the directions with a side of cowboy caviar, which I also never had made. It was a perfect combination and a dinner outside of my normal rotation of recipes. Highly recommend!
This was amazing, coleslaw was great but not everyone likes it so I might try different variations.
This meal is now a staple in our family. Easy and delicious. And the suggested side of baked sweet potato fries with the Creole seasoning are addictive!!!
This is a great recipe that everyone in my family loves. We skip the coleslaw and always serve along with sweet potato fries and it is a very easy and satisfying meal.
My family loved this one!
Wow… this sandwich looks amazing
This looks so good! Any suggestions for a ranch substitute, dairy-free if possible?
Unfortunately I don’t have a good dairy-free sub for this one, but you might be able to find a dairy-free store bought ranch dressing to use. :)
There are lots of recipes online to make your own dairy free ranch, and some stores have been selling Daiya brand dressing which is completely vegan. I hope this helps!
Woud these work with chicken breasts?
Yes, but you’ll want to make sure to pound the breast to make them thinner and an even thickness, so they cook quickly and evenly. You can probably use ½ breast for each sandwich.
I’ve made this 2 times so far and it is SO GOOD! I cannot get enough. I’m glad I used thigh meat instead of the breast because of how juicy the meat is after cooking. This is so simple to make and is even better if you have leftover burger buns, like I tend to do, over the summer!
I’ve been serving this with baked beans and chips, but I think I might try a potato salad next!
Hi Beth, long time reader first time commenter…. what type of cooking oil would you rec?
Hi there! You could use whatever you have on hand. My recommendation is extra virgin olive oil.
We made them yesterday. Served them with sweet potato fries as suggested as well as a simple green salad. A big hit! Thanks!
Made the BBQ chicken sandwiches (with the potato bread hamburger buns) yesterday AND today. I put together extra of the spice mix and added to an empty spice container for less prep for tomorrow when I make this sandwich again ;)
Outstanding sandwich! Thank you!
Looks great, Beth..!!