Tony Roma’s Inspired BBQ Chicken Recipe

BBQ chicken is a classic dish loved by many. This recipe is inspired by the famous BBQ chicken from Tony Roma's, a renowned chain known for their ribs, steaks, and BBQ chicken. The secret lies in their unique BBQ sauce, a blend of tangy, sweet, and spicy flavors that make the chicken incredibly tasty. Now, you can recreate this iconic dish at home, making it perfect for family gatherings or a weekend meal.

Tony Roma’s Inspired BBQ Chicken Recipe

Photos of Tony Roma’s Inspired BBQ Chicken Recipe

Most of the ingredients for this recipe are common pantry items like ketchup, vinegar, sugar, and various spices. Corn syrup, however, might not be a regular in your pantry. This sweet, thick liquid is often used in recipes to moisten and sweeten baked goods. You can find it in the baking aisle of your supermarket. If you don't have any, you can substitute it with honey or maple syrup. Also, do not forget to pick up some Tabasco sauce if you don't have any. This hot sauce will give the BBQ sauce a spicy kick.

Key Ingredients for Tony Roma's Inspired BBQ Chicken

Ketchup: The base of the BBQ sauce, it provides a sweet and tangy flavor.

Vinegar: Adds acidity and balances the sweetness of the ketchup and corn syrup.

Corn syrup: Adds sweetness and gives the sauce a glossy finish.

Sugar: Additional sweetener to enhance the overall taste.

Salt: Enhances the flavors of the other ingredients.

Garlic powder: Adds a subtle garlic flavor.

Onion powder: Provides a mild onion flavor.

Tabasco sauce: Adds a spicy kick to the BBQ sauce.

Chicken: The star of the dish. It's cooked and then glazed with the homemade BBQ sauce.

Salt and pepper: Basic seasonings for the chicken.

One reader, Jere Reddy says:

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This Tony Roma's inspired BBQ chicken recipe is a game-changer! The sauce is a perfect blend of sweet and tangy, and it caramelizes beautifully on the chicken. It's a hit every time I make it, and my family can't get enough. It's a must-try for any BBQ lover!

Jere Reddy

Key Techniques for Making Tony Roma's Inspired BBQ Chicken Recipe

How to make the BBQ sauce: Combine ketchup, vinegar, corn syrup, sugar, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and Tabasco sauce in a saucepan. Whisk until well combined, then bring to a boil and simmer on low for 45 minutes.

How to cook the chicken: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper, then bake for 35-40 minutes. Once cooked, coat the chicken with the prepared BBQ sauce and broil for a few minutes until the sauce caramelizes.

How to serve: Serve the BBQ chicken with onion loaf, coleslaw, and extra BBQ sauce on the side.

How To Make Tony Roma’s Inspired BBQ Chicken

Inspired by one of Tony Roma’s more popular meals, this BBQ chicken is a sweet yet tangy dish that’s sure to be a hit with everyone.

Preparation: 5 minutes
Cooking: 1 hour 40 minutes
Total: 1 hour 45 minutes



  • 1cupketchup
  • 1cupvinegar
  • ½cupcorn syrup
  • 2tspsugar
  • ½tspsalt
  • ¼tspgarlic powder
  • ¼tsponion powder
  • ¼tsptabasco sauce
  • 8pieceschicken,skin and bone on, preferably
  • salt and pepper


  1. Add all the ingredients into a saucepan and whisk until combined.

  2. Bring to a boil, then simmer on low for 45 minutes.

  3. Set oven to 400 degrees F.

  4. Season chicken liberally with salt and pepper.

  5. Cook chicken for 35-40 minutes.

  6. Coat with BBQ sauce, then put under broiler for a few minutes.

  7. Put the pan on the top rack under the broiler.

  8. With the oven door open, watch the sauce as it begins to bubble and caramelize.

  9. When it is browned, take out.

  10. Serve with onion loaf, cole slaw, and lots of extra BBQ sauce!


  • Calories: 588.27kcal
  • Fat: 27.11g
  • Saturated Fat: 7.73g
  • Trans Fat: 0.17g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 11.17g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 5.81g
  • Carbohydrates: 52.22g
  • Fiber: 0.48g
  • Sugar: 47.63g
  • Protein: 34.04g
  • Cholesterol: 134.10mg
  • Sodium: 801.58mg
  • Calcium: 43.21mg
  • Potassium: 526.11mg
  • Iron: 1.96mg
  • Vitamin A: 89.43µg
  • Vitamin C: 5.37mg

Helpful Technique for Perfecting This BBQ Chicken Recipe

To ensure your BBQ chicken is juicy and tender, avoid overcooking it. Chicken is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a meat thermometer to check. Also, let the chicken rest for a few minutes after removing it from the oven before serving. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the chicken, making it more moist and flavorful.

Time-Saving Tips for Preparing This BBQ Chicken Recipe

Prep ahead: Chop vegetables, marinate meats, and mix sauces in advance to streamline the cooking process.

One-pot wonders: Opt for recipes that allow you to cook everything in a single pot or pan to minimize cleanup and save time.

Batch cooking: Prepare larger quantities of food and freeze individual portions for quick and convenient meals later.

Time-saving tools: Utilize kitchen gadgets like food processors, slow cookers, and pressure cookers to expedite meal preparation.

Organized workspace: Keep your kitchen well-organized to easily locate ingredients and cooking utensils, reducing time spent searching.

Substitute Ingredients For Tony Roma’s Inspired BBQ Chicken Recipe

  • Ketchup - Substitute with tomato sauce: Tomato sauce can provide a similar tangy and sweet flavor as ketchup, and can be used as a base for the BBQ sauce.

  • Vinegar - Substitute with apple cider vinegar: Apple cider vinegar can offer a slightly sweeter and fruitier flavor compared to regular vinegar, enhancing the overall taste of the BBQ sauce.

  • Corn syrup - Substitute with honey: Honey can add a natural sweetness and thickness to the BBQ sauce, similar to corn syrup, while also imparting a unique flavor profile.

  • Sugar - Substitute with maple syrup: Maple syrup can replace sugar and add a rich, caramelized sweetness to the BBQ sauce, elevating the depth of flavor.

  • Garlic powder - Substitute with minced garlic: Minced garlic can provide a more intense and fresh garlic flavor compared to garlic powder, enhancing the overall aroma and taste of the dish.

  • Onion powder - Substitute with finely chopped onions: Finely chopped onions can offer a more pronounced and natural onion flavor, adding texture and depth to the BBQ sauce.

  • Tabasco sauce - Substitute with hot sauce: Hot sauce can provide a similar level of heat and tanginess as Tabasco sauce, adding a spicy kick to the BBQ sauce.

  • Chicken - Substitute with turkey: Turkey can be used as a lean and flavorful alternative to chicken, offering a similar texture and absorbing the BBQ sauce well.

  • Salt - Substitute with sea salt: Sea salt can provide a more nuanced and natural saltiness, enhancing the overall flavor of the dish.

  • Pepper - Substitute with smoked paprika: Smoked paprika can add a subtle smoky flavor and mild heat, complementing the BBQ sauce and adding depth to the dish.

How to Beautifully Present Tony Roma's Inspired BBQ Chicken

  1. Elevate the plating: When presenting the dish, focus on creating a visually appealing arrangement. Use fresh herbs and edible flowers to add color and vibrancy to the plate. Consider the contrast of colors and shapes to make the dish visually striking.

  2. Incorporate artistic drizzling: Use the BBQ sauce as a canvas and drizzle it in an artistic manner around the plate. This not only adds a touch of elegance but also showcases the attention to detail in the presentation.

  3. Emphasize precision: Pay attention to the placement of each component on the plate. Ensure that the chicken is positioned thoughtfully, and the cole slaw and onion loaf are arranged in a visually appealing manner.

  4. Utilize negative space: Embrace the concept of negative space on the plate to allow the dish to stand out. Avoid overcrowding the plate and let the elements breathe, creating a sense of balance and sophistication.

  5. Garnish with finesse: Garnish the dish with finely chopped chives or scallions to add a pop of color and a hint of freshness. This small detail can elevate the overall presentation and showcase attention to detail.

Essential Kitchen Tools for Making BBQ Chicken

  • Saucepan: A saucepan is a deep cooking pan with a handle and a lid, used for cooking sauces, boiling liquids, and simmering.

  • Whisk: A whisk is a kitchen utensil used for whipping and mixing ingredients such as eggs, sauces, and batters.

  • Oven: An oven is a kitchen appliance used for baking, roasting, and heating food.

  • Broiler: A broiler is a part of an oven used for cooking food by exposing it to direct radiant heat.

  • Mixing bowl: A mixing bowl is a deep bowl used for mixing ingredients, marinating, and preparing various dishes.

  • Baking pan: A baking pan is a flat, rectangular metal pan used for baking and roasting foods in the oven.

  • Tongs: Tongs are a kitchen tool with two arms and a pivot used for gripping and lifting hot objects, such as the chicken pieces.

  • Basting brush: A basting brush is a cooking utensil with bristles used to apply sauces, marinades, or melted butter to food.

  • Oven mitts: Oven mitts are insulated gloves used to protect hands from hot surfaces and objects in the kitchen, such as when handling the hot baking pan or broiling the chicken.

Storing and Freezing Tips for Tony Roma's Inspired BBQ Chicken

  • Allow the chicken to cool completely before storing or freezing.
  • Store leftover bbq chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • To freeze, wrap each piece of chicken individually in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, then place them in a freezer-safe container or resealable bag.
  • Label the container or bag with the date and contents for easy identification.
  • Frozen bbq chicken can be stored for up to 3 months in the freezer.
  • To reheat, thaw the chicken in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) and place the thawed chicken on a baking sheet.
  • Baste the chicken with additional bbq sauce if desired, and cover the baking sheet with aluminum foil to prevent the chicken from drying out.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the chicken is heated through and the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C).
  • Alternatively, you can reheat the chicken in the microwave, but be aware that the skin may become soggy.
  • If reheating in the microwave, place the chicken on a microwave-safe plate and cover with a damp paper towel to help retain moisture.
  • Microwave on high for 1-2 minutes per piece, or until the chicken is heated through.

How To Reheat Leftover BBQ Chicken

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Place the leftover bbq chicken in an oven-safe dish and cover it with aluminum foil. Heat the chicken in the oven for about 15-20 minutes, or until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C). This method helps to retain the moisture in the chicken and prevents it from drying out.

  • If you prefer a crispier texture, you can reheat the bbq chicken under the broiler. Place the chicken on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and broil it for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until the skin is crispy and the chicken is heated through. Keep a close eye on the chicken to prevent it from burning.

  • For a quick and easy method, you can use the microwave to reheat the leftover bbq chicken. Place the chicken in a microwave-safe dish and cover it with a damp paper towel. Microwave the chicken on high for 1-2 minutes, or until it is heated through. Be careful not to overheat the chicken, as it can become rubbery and tough.

  • If you have a slow cooker or crockpot, you can use it to reheat the leftover bbq chicken. Place the chicken in the slow cooker and add a small amount of chicken broth or water to keep it moist. Cook the chicken on low for 1-2 hours, or until it is heated through. This method is great for keeping the chicken tender and flavorful.

  • For a smoky flavor, you can reheat the bbq chicken on the grill. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat and place the chicken on the grates. Grill the chicken for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until it is heated through and has nice grill marks. Brush the chicken with additional bbq sauce during the last minute of grilling for extra flavor.

Interesting Trivia About BBQ Chicken

The barbecue sauce in this recipe is a classic combination of tangy and sweet flavors, which is a signature of Tony Roma's dishes. It's a versatile sauce that can be used not only for chicken but also for ribs, burgers, and other grilled meats. The combination of ketchup, vinegar, and corn syrup creates a rich and flavorful base, while the addition of garlic powder, onion powder, and Tabasco sauce adds depth and a hint of heat. This sauce is a great addition to any barbecue dish and can be customized to suit individual taste preferences.

Is Making Tony Roma's Inspired BBQ Chicken at Home Cost-Effective?

This bbq chicken recipe is quite cost-effective for a household. The ingredients are commonly found in most kitchens, and the cost is minimal. The use of basic pantry staples like ketchup, vinegar, and corn syrup keeps the expenses low. The chicken is a budget-friendly protein option. The approximate cost for a household of 4 people is around $10-$15, making it an affordable meal option. The overall verdict for this recipe is 8/10, considering its simplicity, flavor, and cost-effectiveness.

Is This BBQ Chicken Recipe Healthy or Unhealthy?

The Tony Roma's inspired BBQ chicken recipe, while undeniably delicious, raises some concerns from a nutritional standpoint. The main issues lie in the high sugar content from the corn syrup and added sugar, as well as the sodium levels from the salt and ketchup. The generous use of BBQ sauce also contributes to the overall sugar and calorie count. However, the recipe does use chicken, which is a lean protein source.

To make this recipe healthier, consider the following modifications:

  • Reduce the amount of corn syrup and sugar in the BBQ sauce, or opt for a low-sugar or sugar-free alternative
  • Use a reduced-sodium ketchup and decrease the added salt to lower the overall sodium content
  • Incorporate more spices and herbs to enhance flavor without relying on sugar and salt
  • Grill or bake the chicken instead of cooking it under the broiler to reduce the formation of potentially harmful compounds
  • Serve the chicken with a variety of colorful vegetables to increase the nutritional value of the meal

By making these adjustments, you can enjoy the bold flavors of the Tony Roma's inspired BBQ chicken while promoting a more balanced and nutritious dish. Remember, moderation is key, and pairing this dish with healthy sides and limiting the frequency of consumption can help maintain a well-rounded diet.

Editor's Opinion on Tony Roma's Inspired BBQ Chicken Recipe

This Tony Roma's inspired BBQ chicken recipe is a classic and delicious choice. The combination of ketchup, vinegar, and spices creates a tangy and sweet barbecue sauce that perfectly complements the chicken. The cooking method ensures the chicken is tender and flavorful, with a caramelized and slightly charred exterior. The addition of an onion loaf and coleslaw completes the meal, providing a satisfying and well-rounded dining experience. It's a timeless recipe that is sure to please anyone looking for a taste of classic American barbecue flavors.

Enhance Your Tony Roma’s Inspired BBQ Chicken Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Onion Loaf: Create a crispy, golden-brown onion loaf with a hint of sweetness and a touch of saltiness. Perfect for dipping in extra bbq sauce!
Cole Slaw: Whip up a creamy and tangy cole slaw with a refreshing crunch. The perfect side to balance out the smoky and savory flavors of the bbq chicken.
Mashed Sweet Potatoes: Indulge in velvety smooth mashed sweet potatoes with a hint of cinnamon and nutmeg. The perfect complement to the tangy and savory bbq chicken.
Grilled Pineapple: Fire up the grill and caramelize some juicy pineapple slices for a sweet and smoky side dish. The perfect pairing for the bold flavors of the bbq chicken.

Similar Recipes to Try If You Like BBQ Chicken

Grilled Lemon Herb Salmon: Marinate the salmon in a mixture of lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, and herbs. Grill until the fish is flaky and tender, then serve with a side of roasted vegetables.
Mango Avocado Salsa: Combine diced mango, avocado, red onion, jalapeno, and cilantro in a bowl. Squeeze fresh lime juice over the mixture and season with salt. Serve with tortilla chips or as a topping for grilled chicken or fish.
Creamy Mushroom Risotto: Sauté chopped onions and garlic in butter, then add Arborio rice and cook until translucent. Gradually add warm chicken or vegetable broth, stirring constantly until the rice is creamy and tender. Stir in sautéed mushrooms, Parmesan cheese, and a splash of white wine for a decadent finish.
Apple Cinnamon Crisp: Toss sliced apples with cinnamon, sugar, and a squeeze of lemon juice. Spread the mixture in a baking dish and top with a crumbly mixture of oats, flour, brown sugar, and butter. Bake until the apples are tender and the topping is golden brown. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Appetizer and Dessert Pairings for Tony Roma's Inspired BBQ Chicken Recipe

Spinach and Artichoke Dip: Combine creamy spinach and artichoke with a blend of cheeses for a rich and savory appetizer that will leave your guests craving for more. Serve with crispy tortilla chips or warm bread for a delightful start to your meal.
Stuffed Mushrooms: Indulge in the earthy flavors of mushrooms stuffed with a savory mixture of herbs, breadcrumbs, and cheese. These bite-sized delights are perfect for a sophisticated appetizer that will impress your guests with every flavorful bite.
Chocolate Mousse: Indulge in a rich and creamy chocolate mousse, topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa powder. The smooth texture and decadent flavor will leave your taste buds craving more.
Apple Pie: Savor the warm and comforting flavors of a classic apple pie, with a flaky golden crust and a sweet, cinnamon-spiced filling. Pair it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for the perfect balance of sweetness and creaminess.

Why trust this Tony Roma’s Inspired BBQ Chicken Recipe:

This recipe offers a perfect balance of sweet and tangy flavors, using high-quality ingredients such as ketchup, vinegar, and corn syrup. The slow simmering process allows the flavors to meld, creating a rich and robust barbecue sauce. The cooking method ensures the chicken is perfectly seasoned and tender, while the final step under the broiler caramelizes the sauce, adding a delightful charred flavor. Trust the expertise behind this Tony Roma's inspired recipe for a mouthwatering BBQ chicken that will surely impress your taste buds.

Share your thoughts on Tony Roma's Inspired BBQ Chicken Recipe in the Recipe Sharing forum and let us know if you have any tips or variations to make this dish even better!
What type of vinegar should I use for the BBQ sauce?
You can use any type of vinegar you prefer, but apple cider vinegar or white vinegar work well for this recipe.
Can I use boneless chicken for this recipe?
Yes, you can use boneless chicken for this recipe. Just adjust the cooking time as boneless chicken tends to cook faster.
Can I make the BBQ sauce ahead of time?
Absolutely! You can make the BBQ sauce ahead of time and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Can I use the BBQ sauce for other dishes?
Yes, this BBQ sauce is versatile and can be used as a marinade for other meats or as a dipping sauce for various appetizers.
Can I adjust the spiciness of the BBQ sauce?
Of course! If you prefer a spicier sauce, you can increase the amount of Tabasco sauce or add some red pepper flakes to suit your taste. If you prefer a milder sauce, you can reduce the amount of Tabasco sauce or omit it altogether.

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