How to make the BEST Grilled Chicken that turns out flavorful and juicy every single time! Made with chicken breast (or chicken thighs), lemon, garlic and fresh herbs- perfect to serve with salads, grilled veggies, or meal prep for the week ahead! Video.
Openness gives us the ability to remain open, not simply to the suffering and insanity of our world or the seeming imperfections of our reactions to it, but to how our deepest nature might want to move in response. ~Dorothy Hunt
This recipe for Grilled Chicken was hands-down the most requested grilled chicken recipe in our catering business because it always turned out perfectly juicy and seasoned.
What I love about this recipe, is how simple it is to make, and how it can be made ahead- either prepped & marinated, ready to grill, or even grilled ahead to use for mid-week salads and bowls. The herbs can be adapted to fit the theme of your meal!
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, several hours, overnight, or even for several days if so inclined!
Best Grilled Chicken Video
Ingredients for the Best Grilled Chicken
- skinless, boneless chicken breast (or chicken thighs)
- garlic (or sub-granulated garlic)
- fresh herbs- oregano, thyme, rosemary, parsley, sage (pick one or use a combo)
- olive oil
- salt, pepper and chili flakes
How to make the BEST Grilled 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 works in a pinch. 😉
Step Two: Make the marinade!
Zest 1-2 lemons and place in a bowl along with finely minced garlic and chopped herbs. Here I’m using oregano- but rosemary, thyme, or sage would also be lovely here. Pour in the olive oil, salt and pepper. Add chili flakes if you like.
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.
Marinate for at least 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.*Save 2 tablespoons of marinade to drizzle over the chicken after it is grilled.
Marinate for at least 30 minutes.
Step 4: Grill the chicken!
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.
What to serve with Grilled Chicken
- Classic Caesar Salad
- Spinach Salad with Grilled Veggies & Herb Chicken
- Classic Greek Salad
- The Best Grilled Asparagus
- Grilled Tuscan Bread Salad
- Grilled Romaine Salad with Maitake Mushrooms
- Grilled Eggplant with Greek Relish and Creamy Polenta
- Grilled Eggplant Steaks with Gremolata and Tomatoes
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 Chicken with a classic Greek Salad- soooooooo delicious!
More grilled chicken recipes you may like:
- Grilled Tandoori Chicken
- Grilled Chicken Caprese
- Grilled Moroccan Chicken
- Grilled Peruvian Chicken with Peruvian Green Sauce
- Easy Grilled Chicken Shawarma Recipe
- Indonesian Grilled Sambal Chicken
- Mexican Grilled Chipotle Chicken
- Chipotle Grilled Chicken Salad with Corn, Peppers and Arugula
- Grilled Lemongrass Chicken
- Our best 35 Grilling Recipes for Summer
Never serve dry, flavorless chicken again! Give this delicious, juicy Grilled Chicken recipe a try this summer, and let us know what you think!
How to make Best Grilled Chicken with lemon, garlic and herbs that turns out juicy and flavorful every single time. Pair this with a salad, grilled veggies, or meal prep it for the coming week.
- 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.
- 1 tablespoon granulated garlic, or 4 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.
- Serving Size: 1 chicken breast
- Calories: 242
- Sugar: 0.1 g
- Sodium: 372 mg
- Fat: 12 g
- Saturated Fat: 2 g
- Carbohydrates: 1.6 g
- Fiber: 0.3 g
- Protein: 30.9 g
- Cholesterol: 99.3 mg
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