A play on the classic party appetizer, “Little Smokies”. These BBQ Chicken Bites will fit your whole-food diet while still pleasing a crowd! Easy to modify when you’re in a pinch for time with store bought sauces and slow-cooker “buffet” safe to keep them warm all party long!
BBQ Chicken Bites
I love appetizers.
No, no. I think you may have read “she really likes appetizers” but I want to be clear. I LOVE APPETIZERS.
They are the single handed best thing at any party, they are the reason I go out to dinner, and they just make all main dishes better. But… Appetizers are always so unhealthy.
Walk into a party in you have 5 cream dips made of God knows what, 3 things wrapped in bread or a tortilla, and about 12 crock-pots with sugary sauces or cheese. Like, no wonder I love appetizers. That’s literally what my afterlife looks like, but with Jesus asking if I’m ready for cake.
Appetizers bring people together. Yes, all food is a party but never have I ever walked into a gathering and immediately began eating a burger, brisket, chicken legs, or a steak [at least not historically]. It’s all about the hype and appetizers are the hype.
These BBQ Chicken Bites are my healthier hype. They’re made with chicken instead of little sausages, and with a coconut amino sauce instead of the added sugar packed jelly’s and processed BBQ sauces. They are so delicious and you’re going to love serving them at your next gathering!
How to Make Chicken Bites
- Boneless, skinless, chicken thighs
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Coconut aminos
- Dijon mustard
- Smoked paprika
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- sea salt
Step 1: Make the Chicken Bites
Cut the chicken thighs into bite size pieces. Heat a large skillet coated with olive oil. Working in batches, cook each side of chicken for 3-4 minutes to allow the pieces to crisp and turn golden brown in color.
Step 2: Make the Easy BBQ Sauce
In a sauce pan, bring the coconut aminos to a boil. Reduce heat to a low simmer and add mustard, garlic power, onion powder, smoked paprika, and salt. Whisk to combine. Once the sauce is reduced by about half and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon– you’re all set!
Step 3: Put it All Together
Pop all of the chicken back into the skillet and pour the BBQ mixture over the bite. Stir to evenly coat the chicken bites!
To serve in a crock-pot/slow-cooker, transfer all of the chicken to a warmed crock-pot and pour in the sauce. Stir to evenly coat just as above!
Can I use chicken breast?
Technically, yes. However, chicken breast holds more water than thighs so you may have to give yourself a little more time [and oil] to crisp the pieces.
Can I use store bought BBQ?
Heck yes you can! Keto friends, get that G Hughes sauce out! Our favorite is the classic New Primal BBQ sauce along with Tessemae’s Date BBQ. Warm 1 cup of your BBQ sauce in place of making the sauce.
Where can I find coconut aminos?
Almost at any major grocer. You will find coconut aminos most likely in the Asian foods section somewhere near the soy sauce. However, if you have access to a Trader Joes, get them there. They are far less expensive and taste even better than the brand names. You can also find them easily online, such as Amazon.
Can I use something other than BBQ sauce?
Hey, hey.. Slow down! Of course you can! I’m not going to give you any other ideas though because perhaps it’ll spoil all the chicken bite surprises. If you’re in the market for serving Orange Chicken as an appetizer, be sure to check out my Paleo Orange Chicken recipe. It uses the exact same method and is beyond delicious.
More Tailgating and Party Snacks
Whole30 BBQ Chicken Bites
A play on the classic party appetizer, “Little Smokies”. These BBQ Chicken Bites will fit your whole-food diet while still pleasing a crowd! Easy to modify when you're in a pinch for time with store bought sauces and slow-cooker "buffet" safe.
- 3 pounds boneless, skinless, chicken thighs
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 batch easy BBQ sauce
Easy BBQ Sauce
- 1 cup coconut aminos
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Begin by cutting the chicken thighs into to bite size pieces, about 1 inch.
In a large skillet warmed to medium-high heat, add olive oil and rotate the skillet evenly coating the surface with oil. Working in batches, add half of the chicken thighs to the pan being careful not to overlap them. Cook each side for 3-4 minutes [the goal is to allow them to crisp up and become golden in color on each side]. Once cooked, remove and sit aside. Repeat until all the thigh pieces are cooked.
While the chicken is cooking, continue with the next step to make sauce.
In a small sauce pan, combine all sauce ingredients. Whisk together to dissolve mustard. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer until chicken is finished cooking. By this time, the sauce should have reduced half in size while becoming thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
Place the cooked chicken back into the skillet and pour BBQ sauce over the bites. Stir to coat chicken and serve in your favorite party dish.
To save time: Use 1 cup of your favorite store bought BBQ sauce. We love The New Primal and Tessemae’s.
For slow-cooker/crock-pot: Once chicken is cooked, transfer it to a crockpot and pour BBQ sauce over the bites. Stir to coat the chicken and let warm prior to serving.
For an added kick: Serve with a side of ranch and pickled onions!