A simple, easy recipe for the juiciest, most flavorful, Grilled Lemon-Herb Chicken with grilled lemons- that turns out perfect every time. Make this with skinless chicken breast or chicken thighs to pair with salads or veggies. Great for meal prep!
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This recipe for Grilled Lemon-Herb Chicken was one we used often in our catering business because it always turned out juicy and flavorful. The chicken is coated with a flavorful marinade infused with garlic, lemon and fresh herbs, and can be marinated for as little as 30 minutes, or several hours, overnight, or even for several days if so inclined!
The herbs can be fine-tuned to fit the theme of the dinner or to simply use what you have on hand. We served this with a Classic Greek Salad, so we used oregano to compliment that!
What you’ll need:
- skinless, boneless chicken breast (or chicken thighs)
- fresh herbs- oregano, thyme, rosemary, sage (pick one or use a combo)
- olive oil
- salt, pepper and chili flakes
How to make Grilled Lemon-Herb Chicken:
Step One: POUND the chicken.
Pound the thick end of each chicken breast into similar sized thicknesses- aiming for 3/4 of an inch thick. If your chicken breasts are very large, cut them at a diagonal into smaller 4-6 ounce portions. The goal here is to have similar-sized pieces so they take roughly the same amount of time to grill through. Pounding the chicken will help achieve this. If you don’t have a mallet, use parchment and a rolling pin, or even a wine bottle in a pinch.
Step Two: Make the flavorful grilled chicken marinade!
Zest 1-2 lemons and place in a bowl along with 6 cloves of finely minced garlic and chopped herbs. Here I’m using oregano- but rosemary, thyme, or sage would also be lovely here.
Such a delicious yet simple marinade for grilled chicken!
Step Three: Marinate the Chicken.
Place the chicken breast in a bowl, baking dish or large ziplock and pour all but 2 tablespoons of the chicken marinade over top. Massage this into all sides of the chicken breasts, really getting in there.
*Save 2 tablespoons marinade to drizzle over the chicken after it is grilled.
Marinate for 30 minutes. Or for more flavor, marinate a few hours, overnight, or even for a few days in the fridge! At this point, you could also freeze it right in the marinade.
Step 4: Grill!
Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Let some of the marinade drip off the chicken into the bowl as you place it onto the grill, to prevent flare-ups.
Cut the zested lemons in half and place face down on the grill, along with any other veggies. Grilling the lemons really intensifies the flavor and gives the chicken a burst of amazing flavor!
Grill each side of the chicken breast 5-6 minutes, until golden and deep grill marks appear. Lower heat or move to a cooler part of the grill and cook until chicken reaches 160F, or until flesh at the thickest part is opaque and no longer pink. Let rest 5-10 minutes.
Step 5: Platter.
Place the grilled chicken breast onto a platter, spoon the remaining marinade (that you saved-NOT from the marinated chicken) over top, and squeeze generously with the grilled lemon. This will elevate!
Tuck in a few herbs for color and voila! It is ready to serve.
This week we had a Greek theme going on, so I intentionally used oregano. Like I said before, you can change the herb to better fit what you serving.
Here, served it the Grilled Lemon Herb Chicken with a classic Greek Salad- soooooooo delicious!
More recipes you may like:
- Classic Greek Salad
- Moroccan Chicken
- Peruvian Chicken with Peruvian Green Sauce
- Mexican Grilled Chipotle Chicken
- Chipotle Grilled Chicken Salad with Corn, Peppers and Arugula
- Grilled Lemongrass Chicken
- Our best 35 Grilling Recipes for Summer
Give this simple Grilled Lemon-Herb Chicken a try this summer and let us know what you think!
A simple, easy recipe for the juiciest, most flavorful Grilled Lemon-Herb Chicken with grilled lemons, that turns out perfect every time. Make this with skinless chicken breast or chicken thighs to pair with salads or veggies.
- 1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts (4–5 small-ish breasts) or boneless, skinless chicken thighs (6–8 pieces- see notes.)
Grilled Chicken Marinade:
- 2 tablespoons fresh oregano, rosemary, thyme, or sage, finely chopped (or use a combo)
- zest from one medium lemon (2 tablespoons) and save the lemon for grilling/ juicing.
- 6 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cracked pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon chili flakes- optional (Aleppo or Urfa Biber are good here)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Pound thickest part of the chicken breast into uniform thickness aiming for 3/4 inch thick and if very large, cut into uniform sizes roughly 5-6 ounces each.
- Make the marinade: Mix marinade ingredients together in a small bowl. Set aside 2 tablespoons (for garnish). Place chicken and marinade in a bowl, baking dish or large zip lock bag and massage to coat all sides well. Marinate for 30 minutes, a few hours, overnight or even a few days.
- Grill: Preheat grill to medium-high. (See notes for chicken thighs.) Lift chicken breasts out of the bowl, letting most of the oil drip off -before carefully placing it on the grill. Cut the zested lemons in half, placing open sides down on the grill too. Feel free to add any veggies to the grill- here we added halved tomatoes. Close the grill lid and cook for 5-6 minutes (or until deep golden grill marks appear) before flipping. Cook the other side, 5-7 minutes, and lower heat or move to a cooler spot until the thickest part of the breast registers at 160F and meat is no longer pink, and the meat looks opaque. Let it rest 5-10 minutes before serving.
- Serve: Place the grilled chicken on a serving platter, squeeze generously with the grilled lemon, and tuck in fresh herbs for garnish. Spoon the reserved 2 tablespoons marinade over the chicken, and serve! (NOTE: DO not use the “used marinade” that the raw chicken was in for this!).
THIGHS: If using chicken thighs, follow the same directions up until grilling. Have a spray bottle filled with water handy for flare-ups. Using tongs, let marinate drip off each piece, before placing on the grill. If grill flares, lightly spray the flame out (don’t spray the chicken). Cut the zested lemons in half, placing open sides down on the grill too. Feel free to add any veggies to the grill- here we added halved tomatoes Grill each side until deep grill marks appear- 5-7 minutes, lower heat, then continue cooking low and slow until cooked all the way through to 170F. ( You can also finish thighs in a warm oven- they won’t dry out.)
Store: The grilled chicken can be refrigerated for up to 4 days for midweek meals!
If making a big batch of marinated chicken, feel free to use a blender for the marinade ingredients.
The raw chicken breast can also be refrigerated in the marinade for up to 3 days or frozen in the marinade if doing meal prep.
Do not use “skin-on” chicken here- the oil from the marinade will cause it to burn.
Keywords: grilled chicken breast, grilled chicken marinade, grilled lemon herb chicken, grilled chicken with lemon, how to grill chicken breast, grilled chicken breast with herbs