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Dinner Recipes

This Cherry-Cola Barbecued Chicken Recipe Is the Perfect Blend of Sweet, Spicy + Smoky

Barbecue is one those dishes that’s almost a fun to make as it is to eat. You can create your own delicious sauce and adjust the seasonings so it’s as spicy as you like. I can never decide which type of sauce is my favorite because, honestly, I love them all! But I’ll admit, I’m always drawn to a sauce that’s a combo of sweet and spicy. The balance is flavors is just so good! That’s the idea behind our cherry-cola barbecued chicken recipe. It features a can of cherry-flavored cola that’s cooked into a delicious glaze with chili sauce. We pair the scrumptious sauce with grilled chicken, but it’s just as good on ribs or pork chops.

You don’t even need a grill to make this dish. Simply place the chicken pieces on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake at 375°F for 35-45 minutes. Give our recipe a try and leave us a comment.


8 servings

Total Time

Prep Time

Cook Time


  • 1 (12 oz.) can cherry cola–flavored soft drink
  • ½ cup chili sauce, such as Heinz
  • 2 Tbs. white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbs. sugar
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • 4 lbs. chicken thighs and drumsticks



In large pot, combine cola, chili sauce, balsamic vinegar and sugar; over medium-high heat, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened and reduced to 3⁄4 cup, 15–20 min. Reserve.

Prepare grill for medium direct- and indirect-heat cooking. Mix garlic powder, salt and pepper; sprinkle over all sides of chicken. Place chicken skin sides down over direct heat on grill; grill until browned, 4–5 min. Turn skin sides up and move to indirect heat.

Cover grill; cook until chicken is no longer pink near bones, 25–30 min., generously brushing with sauce several times during last 15–20 min. of cooking.


  • Calories: 268
  • Fat: 10 gram
  • Saturated Fat: 3 gram
  • Protein: 28 gram
  • Carbohydrate: 15 gram
  • Cholesterol: 147 mg
  • Sugar: 12 gram
  • Sodium: 496 mg
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