Are you looking for a way to spice up your baked chicken?
If so, you’ve come to the right place!
There are countless sauces and marinades that can be used to give your chicken an extra kick of flavor.
From classic dishes like teriyaki and pesto to more unusual options like balsamic glaze and honey mustard, there is something for everyone.
In this article, I will share 10 of my favorite sauces for baked chicken.
Whether you prefer sweet or savory flavors, these recipes will help you make delicious meals in no time.
Why Pair Baked Chicken with A Sauce?
Pairing baked chicken with a sauce can add flavor, texture, and visual appeal to the dish.
- Firstly, sauces can provide an extra layer of flavor that complements the taste of the chicken. For example, a creamy garlic sauce will bring out the savory notes in roasted or grilled chicken while a sweet-and-sour glaze will enhance its sweetness.
- Secondly, sauces can add texture to baked chicken dishes by providing contrast between crunchy and smooth elements. For instance, adding a chunky salsa or pesto on top of crispy oven-baked chicken adds an interesting mix of textures for your palate to enjoy.
- Lastly, sauces are also great for presentation purposes as they give color and vibrancy to otherwise plain-looking dishes. A bright red tomato sauce or green chimichurri drizzled over white meat is sure to make any plate look more appetizing!
10 Best Sauces for Baked Chicken
Baked chicken can be a delicious and healthy meal, but it’s even better when paired with the right sauce.
Here are ten of the best sauces you can use to take your baked chicken from good to great:
1. Garlic Parmesan Cream Sauce
Garlic Parmesan Cream Sauce is a creamy, savory sauce made with garlic, butter, cream, and Parmesan cheese.
It’s a great way to add flavor to baked chicken or other proteins.
- To Make It: To make the sauce, start by melting butter in a pan over medium heat. Add minced garlic and cook until fragrant. Then add heavy cream and bring it to a simmer. Reduce the heat and stir in grated Parmesan cheese until melted and combined. Simmer for about 5 minutes until thickened slightly before serving over your favorite protein or vegetables.
- Substitutions: If you don’t have heavy cream on hand, you can substitute half-and-half or whole milk instead. You can also use any type of hard cheese such as cheddar or Gruyere instead of Parmesan if desired.
2. Sweet BBQ Sauce
Sweet BBQ sauce is a type of barbecue sauce that is made with sweet ingredients such as sugar, molasses, honey, or maple syrup.
It has a thick consistency and can be used to marinate meats before cooking or as a condiment for grilled or smoked dishes.
- To Make It: To make sweet BBQ sauce at home, you’ll need the following ingredients: 1 cup ketchup, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon molasses (or honey), 1 teaspoon garlic powder, and salt and pepper to taste. Combine all of the ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and whisk until combined. Taste the mixture and adjust seasonings if desired. The sauce can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
- Substitutions: If you don’t have all of the ingredients on hand to make your own sweet BBQ sauce from scratch, there are some substitutions that can be made. For example, instead of ketchup you could use tomato paste; instead of brown sugar you could use white sugar; instead of Worcestershire sauce you could use soy sauce; instead of apple cider vinegar you could use white wine vinegar; and instead of molasses (or honey) you could use agave nectar or corn syrup.
Salsa is a type of sauce or dip made from tomatoes, onions, peppers, and other ingredients.
It is typically served as an accompaniment to Mexican dishes such as tacos and burritos.
The word salsa comes from the Spanish word for ‘sauce.’
- To Make It: To make salsa at home, you’ll need fresh tomatoes (or canned), onion, garlic, jalapeno pepper (or other hot pepper), cilantro leaves (optional), lime juice or vinegar, salt and sugar. Start by dicing the tomatoes into small cubes and adding them to a bowl. Then add finely chopped onion and garlic cloves. For extra heat add some diced jalapeno pepper or another hot pepper of your choice. Add freshly chopped cilantro leaves if desired for flavor. Finally mix in some lime juice or vinegar along with salt and sugar to taste. Mix everything together until combined then serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.
- Substitutions: If you don’t have all the ingredients needed to make salsa at home, there are several substitutions that can be used instead such as jarred salsa verde (green salsa) which has a milder flavor than regular red salsa; jarred pico de gallo which is similar to fresh salsa but without any added liquid; canned diced tomatoes with green chilies; tomato paste mixed with water; ketchup mixed with chili powder; or even guacamole which can be used as a substitute for both texture and flavor when making salsa.
Pesto is a traditional Italian sauce made from fresh basil, garlic, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, and olive oil.
It originated in Genoa, Italy and is commonly used as a condiment for pasta dishes.
- To Make It: To make pesto at home you will need the following ingredients: 2 cups of fresh basil leaves; 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese; 1/3 cup of extra-virgin olive oil; 3 cloves of garlic; and 2 tablespoons of toasted pine nuts. Place all the ingredients into a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. If desired, add salt and pepper to taste.
- Substitutions: If you don’t have access to all the ingredients needed for pesto, there are some substitutions that can be made. For example, if you don’t have pine nuts on hand you can use walnuts or almonds instead. You can also substitute other herbs such as cilantro or parsley for the basil leaves if desired. Additionally, nutritional yeast can be used in place of Parmesan cheese for a vegan version of pesto sauce.
5. Honey Mustard Sauce
Honey mustard sauce is a condiment made from honey, mustard, and other ingredients.
It has a sweet and tangy flavor that pairs well with many dishes.
- To Make It: To make honey mustard sauce, combine equal parts of Dijon or yellow mustard with honey in a bowl. Then add some mayonnaise to thicken the mixture and season it with salt and pepper to taste. You can also add garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, or cayenne pepper for extra flavor. Whisk everything together until smooth and creamy.
- Substitutions: If you don’t have any honey on hand, you can substitute maple syrup or agave nectar instead. You can also use prepared mustards such as stone-ground or whole grain if you don’t have any Dijon or yellow mustard available. For an even creamier texture, try adding some Greek yogurt to the mix instead of mayonnaise.
6. Creamy Lemon Sauce
Creamy Lemon Sauce is a simple, yet flavorful sauce made with butter, cream, lemon juice, and seasonings.
It’s the perfect accompaniment to baked chicken or fish dishes and can be used as a dip for vegetables or chips.
- To Make It: To make Creamy Lemon Sauce, melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add cream and whisk until combined. Add lemon juice and seasonings of your choice (such as garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper). Simmer for 5 minutes until thickened. Serve warm over cooked chicken or fish.
- Substitutions: If you don’t have cream on hand, you can substitute it with half-and-half or whole milk instead. You can also use white wine instead of lemon juice if desired. For added flavor try adding fresh herbs like parsley or dill to the sauce before serving.
7. Teriyaki Sauce
Teriyaki sauce is a sweet and savory Japanese condiment made from soy sauce, mirin (a type of rice wine), sake, sugar, and ginger.
It is used as a marinade for meats and vegetables before grilling or baking.
- To Make It: To make teriyaki sauce at home, combine equal parts soy sauce and mirin in a small pot over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of sugar per cup of liquid and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Bring the mixture to a boil then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add 1 teaspoon of freshly grated ginger per cup of liquid. Stir until combined then let cool before using as desired.
- Substitutions: If you don’t have access to all the ingredients needed to make teriyaki sauce, there are some substitutions that can be made. For example, if you don’t have mirin on hand, you can substitute it with an equal amount of dry sherry or white wine plus 1 teaspoon of sugar per cup of liquid used. You can also use honey instead of sugar if desired; just keep in mind that this will change the flavor profile slightly.
8. Jamaican Jerk Sauce
Jamaican jerk sauce is a spicy, sweet, and savory condiment made from soy sauce, brown sugar, scotch bonnet peppers, lime juice, and red onion.
It is traditionally used as a marinade for grilled or roasted meats such as chicken or pork.
The combination of ingredients creates an intense flavor that is both sweet and spicy.
- To Make It: To make Jamaican jerk sauce at home you will need the following ingredients: 1/2 cup of soy sauce; 1/4 cup of brown sugar; 2 tablespoons of minced scotch bonnet peppers (or other hot pepper); 2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lime juice; 1/4 cup of finely chopped red onion; and 1 teaspoon each of ground allspice, garlic powder, dried thyme leaves, ground ginger and black pepper. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl until they are well blended.
- Substitutions: If you don’t have access to scotch bonnet peppers you can substitute them with habanero peppers or jalapeno peppers. You can also use honey instead of brown sugar if desired. Additionally, if you don’t have any fresh limes on hand you can use bottled lime juice instead.
9. Hoisin Sauce
Hoisin sauce is a thick, dark-colored condiment made from fermented soybeans, garlic, chilies, and various spices.
It has a sweet and salty flavor with hints of smokiness.
The name hoisin comes from the Chinese words for ‘seafood‘ (hoi) and ‘sauce’ (sin).
- To Make It: To make hoisin sauce at home, combine 1/4 cup of soy sauce with 2 tablespoons of honey or brown sugar in a small bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of rice vinegar, 1 teaspoon of sesame oil, 1 teaspoon of chili paste or hot sauce, 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder and 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger. Whisk all the ingredients together until they are well combined.
- Substitutions: If you don’t have access to hoisin sauce or want to try something different than traditional hoisin sauce recipes call for, there are several alternatives that can be used as substitutes. These include oyster sauce, teriyaki sauce, plum sauce or barbecue sauces such as ketchup mixed with Worcestershire Sauce.
10. Hot Sauce
Hot sauce is a condiment made from chili peppers, vinegar, and other ingredients.
It is used to add flavor and spice to dishes.
The heat level of hot sauces can vary greatly depending on the type of pepper used and the amount added.
- To Make: Making your own hot sauce at home is easy and requires only a few simple ingredients. Start by combining chopped chili peppers with garlic, onion, salt, sugar, vinegar, and any other desired spices in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth then transfer to a pot over medium-high heat. Simmer for 10 minutes before transferring to an airtight container or bottle for storage.
- Substitutions: If you don’t have access to hot sauce or want something milder than store-bought varieties, there are several alternatives that can be used as substitutes such as salsa verde (green salsa), sriracha (a spicy Asian condiment), harissa (a North African chili paste), gochujang (Korean red pepper paste) or even Tabasco sauce.
In conclusion, there are many delicious sauces that can be used to take your baked chicken to the next level.
The best sauces for baked chicken are garlic parmesan cream sauce, sweet BBQ sauce, salsa, pesto, honey mustard sauce, creamy lemon sauce, teriyaki sauce, Jamaican jerk sauce, hoisin sauce, and hot sauce.
Each of these sauces adds a unique flavor and texture to your dish that can tantalize the taste buds.
So the next time you’re looking to give your baked chicken a flavor boost, reach for one of these sauces and enjoy!
10 Best Sauces for Baked Chicken
- Garlic Parmesan Cream Sauce
- Sweet BBQ Sauce
- Honey Mustard Sauce
- Creamy Lemon Sauce
- Teriyaki Sauce
- Jamaican Jerk Sauce
- Hoisin Sauce
- Hot Sauce
- Select your favorite recipe.
- Organize all the required ingredients.
- Prep a sauce recipe in 30 minutes or less!
Jenny has always been passionate about cooking, and she uses her platform to share her joy of food with others. Her recipes are easy to follow, and she loves giving tips and tricks to help others create their own unique culinary creations.