Sweet Heat BBQ Chicken Sandwich for Game Day

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We are grilling all year long in San Diego. I’d say cause we have “perfect weather” all year, but really it’s cause it’s too hot in the summer to cook inside and too nice in the fall not to!
Sweet Heat Tailgate BBQ Chicken Sandwich

First, happy Friday Night Lights! We have really gotten back into college football this year, which has amped up our game night/date night around here. I had missed it since my college days, and my husband hasn’t ever really been into it as much as I have been {since I was raised with mostly boys who were into sports, and he had only sisters who watched the 6-hour Pride & Prejudice}.

It’s been fun a fun excuse to get together with family, be crazy, and of course–  food.

I have had this sandwich idea brewing around for a bit and wanted to share this sauce with you anyway. We discovered Stubbs sauce earlier this year when my husband and I started counting calories. It is WAY less calories than most other brands {not advertised as low-calorie or anything, but look, it is}, and because there isn’t any corn syrup and nasty stuff added in, it’s just better. And, since I have friends who are G-free, it IS gluten free. And though we like all the flavors, this Sweet Heat is by far our favorite. I had been dreaming up a way to use this for a game day meal and we finally did.

Sweet Heat Tailgate BBQ Chicken Sandwich with Stubbs

We used Foster Farms chicken and grilled thighs. I am going to go ahead and tell you- YES definitely yes go with dark meat on this one. It makes a big difference on the flavor and I think it’s so much juicier in the BBQ when it’s dark. This stuff was also on CRAZY SALE at Vons so we got tons and grilled it all up for later. I’ve done this lots of times and then have grilled chicken for lots of meals! I’m also a big Foster Farms fan because it’s always fresh and raised here in California and in the Pacific Northwest and I know they don’t add hormones or steroids. {PS, there is an Instant Redeemable Coupon in stores to grab the chicken AND BBQ sauce so you can save. The coupon expires on 12/31/15}

grilled chicken thighs
foster farms chicken and stubbs sauce 2 foster farms chicken and stubbs sauce 4foster farms chicken and stubbs sauce 1foster farms chicken and stubbs sauce 3
Anyway, what you’re going to do is marinade your chicken in your favorite italian dressing. It almost doesn’t matter which, because it’s just about the seasoning and oil there. Then grill the chicken, shred it and toss it with the Sweet Heat sauce. Just trust me on the Sweet Heat. I mean, grab a few so you can try them, but make this sandwich with the Sweet Heat. Don’t hurt my feelings.

Then make up a slaw- I like using shredded broccoli, cabbage, and carrot {buy in a bag as “broccoli slaw” and add purple onion. Saute in italian dressing until softened, but not cartelized. Sandwich goes BBQ chicken, pepper jack cheese, sautéd slaw, and lots of fresh avocado. The flavor is this unexpected melding of sweet, savory, and tangy and is one of the more flavorful ways I’ve done BBQ. Also, because the slaw and sauce are lighter, it’s not as heavy as perhaps a more “traditional” BBQ chicken sandwich…
Sweet Heat Tailgate Game Day BBQ Chicken Sandwich

Sweet Heat BBQ Chicken Sandwich


  • 6-8 Chicken Thighs
  • 1 cup Italian Dressing
  • Stubbs Sweet Heat BBQ Sauce
  • avocado
  • pepper jack cheese

  • Slaw
  • 1 cup broccoli, shredded
  • 1 cup carrot, shredded
  • 1/2 cup purple cabbage, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup cabbage, shredded
  • 1/2 purple onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup italian dressing

what to do

Marinade chicken thighs in Italian dressing for at least 10 minutes and grill until cooked through. Remove bones, shred with forks, and mix in BBQ sauce.

Sauté broccoli slaw on medium-low heat in a skillet with the italian dressing. Keep it moving and cook until softened, but not slimy or caramelized.

To make sandwich, layer BBQ chicken, pepper jack cheese, slaw, and avocado.


Sweet Heat BBQ Chicken Sandwich with Stubbs

Want more ideas of how to use the Stubbs sauces and rubs on chicken? Lots of recipe ideas here.

I’d love to hear what your favorite game-day food is- be sure to comment below and tell me!


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About Meg

I am Meg, a photographer and designer and a wish-i-owned-a-house-er. My husband and I are self-declared foodies and LOVE projects. We blog about food and DIY adventures from sunny San Diego with our two cutie kids and have an apparel line at colormeapparel.com to keep us busy. Email me at colormemegblog@gmail.com to work with me!

3 comments on Sweet Heat BBQ Chicken Sandwich for Game Day

  1. JanetGoingCrazy
    October 25, 2015 at 6:02 pm (2 years ago)

    This sandwich looks amazing and I didn’t know about this sweet heat sauce that you talk about. I’ll have to try it next time we grill! [client]

  2. Bianca
    October 29, 2015 at 10:27 am (2 years ago)

    Yum!!!! This looks super easy and delicious

  3. Mamabelly
    October 29, 2015 at 11:03 am (2 years ago)

    This looks so mouth watering! I have to make this next week for game day! ~Nina