Grilled Chicken Breast is the perfect meal! It’s great added to pasta, put on top of a salad or served with a side of zucchini salad and corn on the cob on a hot summer evening! This easy, healthy recipe produces tender and plump marinated chicken breasts that are grilled to golden perfection.
Grilled Chicken is one of our favorite meals! With a quick marinade and an even quicker grill time, you can have a meal on the table in no time at all!
How to Grill Chicken Breast
In the cooler months, Oven Baked Chicken Breasts are always on our table but come warm weather, we switch over to cooking everything on the grill or BBQ! Grilling chicken breasts over a medium high heat helps to seal the juices in, keeping your chicken breasts nice and moist. The higher heat gives a nice sear adding the char from the barbecue that we all love so much!
If your chicken breasts are very thick in some areas and thin in others, use a meat tenderizer to pound them and even them out slightly. Having them at a somewhat even thickness helps to ensure an even cooking time and perfectly moist grilled chicken!
Boneless chicken breasts are very lean and can dry out easily if overcooked. I’ve found the best way to make tender grilled chicken breasts is to marinate them. You don’t have to marinate for a long time, 30 minutes is good if you can (I like to prep my sides while I wait).
How to Make a Marinade for Grilled Chicken Breasts
A marinade is the perfect way to add flavor to grilled chicken (and it can help tenderize). I try to allow for 30 minutes or more if possible! There are a few essential ingredients in a marinade.
- Oil: Most often the base of marinades.
- Acid: This helps tenderize the meat by breaking down tougher proteins (vinegar or lemon juice are good options)
- Sugar: Helps with flavor and the caramelization process. (Honey or brown sugar are common).
- Seasonings: This is the flavor profile, you can use anything from Italian seasoning to curry powder to season your marinade. This may or may not include salt.
- Time: Give yourself time to allow your meat to marinade. The purpose of the marinade is not only to add flavor but to help tenderize your meat. For chicken I allow 30 min to 4hrs.
The marinade in this recipe caramelizes on the outside of the chicken when grilled, creating a beautiful flavor and an incredibly juicy tender chicken breast!
I love making grilled chicken breasts in large batches to put on top of salads, in weekly meal prep, into quick pasta dishes, or even into chicken noodle soup! It goes so well with just about anything.
Amazing Salads to pair with Grilled Chicken
- Greek Salad
- BLT Pasta Salad – a big hit!
- Dill Pickle Pasta Salad – family favorite!
- Southwest Salad with Lime Vinaigrette
- Zucchini Salad (spiralized)
How Long To Grill Chicken Breast
This answer can fluctuate depending on how hot your grill gets and the thickness of your chicken breasts.
In this grilled chicken breast recipe, I don’t pound my chicken out unless it is extremely thick in some parts and thin in other parts. Once your chicken breasts are marinated, place them on the grill. Cook them for 7-8 minutes on each side, not lifting during the cooking process (you don’t want to lose your pretty grill marks!)
Flip your chicken and cook for an additional 7-8 minutes, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the largest part of the chicken breast reads 165°F.
It is important to allow your chicken to rest about 3-5 minutes before cutting to keep it juicy (just enough time to fill your plates and get to the table). Serve with your favorite sides, and preferably on a patio with a big pitcher of Easy White Sangria!
More Grilled Favorites
- Grilled Zucchini – The perfect summer recipe
- Grilled Herb Marinated Veggie Skewers – Any veggie works!
- Lemon Parmesan Grilled Asparagus – Great with steaks too!
- Grilled Potato Packets – Favorite recipe!
- Homemade Garlic Bread – Perfect with every summer meal!
Easy Grilled Chicken Breasts
- 1/3 cup oil olive oil or vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup cider vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
- 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
- 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon pepper
- 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
Combine all ingredients in a bowl or freezer bag. Add chicken and toss well to combine.
Marinade for a 30 minutes (or up to 4 hours) before cooking chicken.
Preheat grill to medium high heat.
Place chicken on the grill for 7-8 minutes. Flip over and cook an additional 7-8 minutes or until no pink remains and chicken reaches 165°F.
Rest 3-5 minutes before slicing.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)