Smoky Mountain Chicken

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Just wait until you try this classic smoky BBQ mountain chicken! Marinated in barbecue sauce and topped with ham and melted provolone cheese, this easy weeknight dinner will have the whole family begging for more! 

chicken with cheese and asparagus


If you liked the smoky mountain chicken served over rice from Ruby Tuesday, then you are going to LOVE this one–except mine is way better! My family and I love making this chicken when we’re in the mood for a bold, savory, and cheesy recipe. We usually are always talking about seconds by the time we finish our meals. 

Wanna know something else? You can even serve this chicken as a sandwich, too! Perfect for weekday lunches or dinners! 


chicken with melted cheese

One of Our Favorite Family Meals

We eat chicken a few times per week and finding a recipe that is this good and only 4 ingredients, was a complete win for me. I originally posted this recipe back in 2015 when I was doing a review of a cookbook by Mary of Deep South Dish. I had made Mary’s Skillet Red Beans & Rice, but I couldn’t get this chicken out of my head, so later that week, when I was in a dinner bind, I made it, too!

It’s one of those recipes that I always have the four ingredients it calls for on hand, which makes it perfect for those crazy weeknights!


chicken with cheese and asparagus

We make this recipe with chicken breasts, but honestly, you could even make it with boneless thighs. No matter how you eat it, you’ll love this tender chicken recipe! If you’re looking for a way to level it up even more, whip up a batch of my Homemade Barbecue Sauce and use it to prepare this chicken recipe.


smoky mountain chicken on fork

Why This Recipe Works

  • This recipe works because it is so easy to make! An easy marinade, that does all of the prep and the grilling steps are just as simple. 
  • The whole family can enjoy this recipe! My boys ask for this smoky mountain chicken ALL of the time. Everyone loves barbecue sauce and cheese right? 
  • Serve as the main dish to your side dishes such as corn pie pudding or Greek-style cucumber salad. We also like to serve this recipe with asparagus, rice, and cornbread, too. 


sliced ham and provolone cheese

Ingredients in Smoky Moutain Chicken

  • Barbecue sauce: The barbecue sauce truly makes this recipe! You’ll want to make sure you have enough barbecue sauce to allow the chicken to marinate in. Be sure to check out my yummy homemade barbecue sauce that contains the perfect amount of sweetness and spice (this is what we usually use).
  • Chicken: If you’re cooking for a crowd, then make sure you have enough chicken breasts for the family. Like I said above, this recipe could work with chicken thighs, too.
  • Ham: Make sure the ham is not too thin, but not too thick, either. We like to use freshly sliced ham from the local butcher shop or market. But this recipe is also a great way to use leftover ham from the holidays. 
  • Cheese: Provolone cheese is great for this recipe because it’s subtle, but still rich enough in flavor to blend perfectly well with the BBQ sauce. 


chicken with melted cheese

How to Make Smoky Mountain Chicken

If you’re looking for the perfect recipe to make for game days or nights, holidays, parties, and so much more– then I think you’ll really love this recipe! 


bbq sauce on chicken

Step 1

Marinate the Chicken: First, place the chicken breasts in a ziplock bag with the barbecue sauce and squish them around until they are fully coated. Place the bag in the refrigerator for at least two hours to marinate. (You can marinate them longer if you need to.)

chicken on baking sheet

Step 2

Cook: Next, grill the chicken until done or an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit is reached with a meat thermometer

ham on top of chicken on baking sheet

Place the chicken on top of a baking sheet and pile it with sliced ham. 

smoky moutain chicken on baking sheet

Top with provolone cheese.

Step 3

Bake: Place the baking sheet in the oven and cook until cheese melts. (if you don’t want to heat up the kitchen, we have had success placing the baking sheet onto the grill as well)


smoky mountain chicken with fork


  • Store the leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for three to four days. 
  • If you would like to serve this smoky mountain chicken as a sandwich, then pair it with your favorite bread such as sourdough, challah, honey wheat, etc. 
  • Use any type of sliced ham that is thick. 



graphic for smoky mountain chicken


Save this yummy smoky mountain chicken for later! Pin this recipe to your Pinterest board before you go! 

If you like this grilling recipe, then be sure to check out my entire page of easy grilling recipes! 


crack chicken on a sesame seeded bun

More Chicken Recipes You Will Love


chicken with cheese and asparagus

There is nothing I love more than grilled chicken.  It is just amazing. Summertime food is the BEST!    M.




chicken with cheese and asparagus
4.75 from 4 votes
Print Recipe

Smoky Mountain Chicken

Marinated in BBQ sauce, grilled and then topped with ham and cheese and finished in the oven, this chicken is so flavorful, your family will LOVE it!
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time35 minutes
Additional Time2 hours
Total Time2 hours 40 minutes
Course: Chicken
Cuisine: grilling
Keyword: BBQ chicken with ham and provolone cheese, how to make smoky mountain chicken, smoky mountain barbecue (BBQ) chicken, Smoky Mountain Chicken, Smoky Mountain Chicken recipe, smoky mountain recipes
Servings: 4 -6 servings
Calories: 256kcal
Author: Michaela Kenkel


  • BBQ Sauce enough to marinate in
  • chicken breasts 4-6, enough for your family
  • ham slices about 2 thick slices per breast
  • provolone cheese one slice per breast


  • Place chicken breasts in a zip lock bag. Pour in BBQ sauce to cover, and squish them around to coat them. Place in the fridge for at least two hours to marinate. (longer if needed) Move them around in the bag a couple of times during the marinating process if you can.
  • Grill the chicken until done.
  • Place chicken on a baking sheet, top with a pile of sliced ham.
  • Top with a slice of provolone cheese.
  • Bake at 350 degrees until cheese melts. About 10 minutes.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 256kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 43g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 120mg | Sodium: 409mg | Sugar: 2g

I originally posted this recipe on June 5th, 2015. It was updated to improve user experience and reshared on August 5, 2021.

Smoky Mountain Chicken

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  1. I’m always looking for chicken recipes too! this one is perfect for us. All that ham and cheese on top looks so good.

  2. This chicken looks absolutely delicious! Paired with some rice and vegetables it would make for the perfect dinner, so much flavor. Can’t wait to try it out!

  3. I’ve never been to Ruby Tuesday’s, but with how simple this recipe looks and the way you described it, I’m sold! Less than 5 ingredients is always a win in my book!

  4. I couldn’t believe how easy this recipe was to make!! It was so simple, but so satisfying and filling!

  5. This will definitely be a new regular on the dinner menu! It was so flavorful with plenty of gooey melted cheese. So, so good!

  6. I love all the flavors in this! Such a great idea to add the bbq sauce before the other toppings for a pop of smokey flavor!

  7. I love the combination of flavours in this smoky mountain chicken recipe. We’re planning to grill at the weekend and I’m definitely going to add this to the menu!

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