Cheesy Chicken with the Best BBQ Sauce

Guys, this skillet dinner is outta this world! Sautéed chicken, swimming in the best, smoky BBQ sauce ever. The sauce is homemade (with pantry staples) and equal parts sweet, tangy and mesquite. Imagine a BBQ chicken pizza - without the crust. What will you spoon yours over?

We spooned ours into street taco-size tortillas! But, this dish is so satisfying and amazing, you could eat it all by itself. Other options? Serve the chicken and sauce over rice, couscous, pasta, quinoa, onto a baguette, into lettuce wraps... Do you see where I'm going with this? All I know is, I was blown away by the flavor and I know you will be too.
And this sauce... it's definitely a go-to barbecue sauce for ANYTHING. It all comes together in one bowl/saucepan. It's so good, I suggest you make a double batch and store half in the fridge or freezer. Plus, you can tweak it as necessary. For a spicy sauce, add hot sauce. For something sweeter, increase the maple syrup (or honey/brown sugar).

If you don't feel like making the sauce from scratch, use bottled barbecue sauce and you need just 3 ingredients to make the entire dish!

As I mentioned above, I served my chicken and sauce in street taco-size tortillas, with roasted potatoes on the side. Just know that you'll want to mop up the sauce with something - like pasta, rice, couscous, quinoa, or bread. In fact, you can spoon the chicken/sauce/cheese mixture onto rolls and  make incredible sandwiches.

Cheesy Chicken with the Best BBQ Sauce 

1 1/2 cups tomato sauce, from a carton or can
1/2 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon maple syrup, honey or brown sugar
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
1 teaspoon cider vinegar or red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt and ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into bite-size pieces
Salt and ground black pepper
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Chopped green onions for serving, optional

In a small bowl, whisk together the tomato sauce, ketchup, maple syrup, liquid smoke, vinegar, chili powder, onion powder, and garlic powder. Set aside.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until browned on all sides, stirring frequently. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Add the barbecue sauce and bring to a simmer.
Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, until the mixture thickens and the chicken is cooked through. Top the chicken and sauce with the cheese, cover and remove the pan from the heat. Let stand for a few minutes to melt the cheese.
Top with green onions (if using) and serve.
Serves 4