Grilled Chicken Thighs

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Summertime and grillin’ are super easy (and delicious) with this recipe for juicy grilled chicken thighs!

Made with boneless, skinless chicken thighs, this recipe is a go-to for last-minute get-togethers, make-ahead picnics, and crowd-pleasing potlucks!

The simple marinade coats each piece just right! Most of the ingredients are probably already on hand, so just mix it, marinate it, and make it!

Grilled Chicken Thighs on a plate with a fork and garnish

Perfectly Grilled Thighs

This recipe is a favorite because the marinade does all the work adding flavor and making the chicken extra tender. (This marinade is great brushed onto grilled veggies, too)!

It takes just minutes to prep the marinade and then only about 10-15 minutes to grill (of course time for marinating in between too). Easy peasy!

Serve these grilled chicken thighs with a southern potato salad or garlic dill new potatoes and toss some corn on the grill while you’re at it!


This recipe uses boneless skinless thighs, but bone-in/skin-on thighs will work great too! (If using bone-in chicken, the cook time and method will change, I would suggest following the method in my bbq chicken recipe).

Simple ingredients like vinegar, mustard, and soy sauce make up the base for the marinade.

As long as you have oil, sweetness, acid, and a bit of bold flavor, ingredients can easily be substituted. Switch it up by using ketchup, honey, or even Italian dressing! Make a signature marinade and sauce!

chicken in marinade before mixing to make Grilled Chicken Thighs

How to Make Chicken Marinade

This marinade comes together in a snap:

  1. Whisk marinade ingredients in a bowl or shake them up in a zippered bag.
  2. Add chicken and marinate in the refrigerator up to 4 hours, but at least 30 minutes.

How Long to Grill Chicken Thighs

These thighs are boneless so they cook much quicker than baked chicken thighs.

Grill thighs for about 5 to 7 minutes on each side. It’s best to cook thighs at medium-high heat, making sure to rotate the thighs in and around the “hot spots” on the grill. This creates evenly grilled pieces. Look for a caramelized, golden brown color all around (and a temperature of 165°F).

close up of Grilled Chicken Thighs on a plate


  • Choose chicken pieces that are uniform in size so they will cook evenly on the grill.
  • If using chicken breasts in this recipe, pound them to an even thickness so they cook evenly.
  • Make grilled veggies or corn for a complete meal without the oven! Even garlic bread can be cooked on the grill!

How to Store Leftovers

  • Leftover grilled chicken thighs make a great second meal, even served cold! Boneless thighs can be tucked into a wrap with some salad greens, onions, and tomatoes.
  • Or, serve leftover grilled chicken on top of a bed of salad greens with some ranch or bleu cheese dressing.
  • Keep grilled chicken thighs in a zippered bag or airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
  • To reheat, just microwave for a minute or two and add a little salt and pepper or even homemade BBQ sauce!

Favorites From the Grill

Did your family love these Grilled Chicken Thighs? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below! 

close up of Grilled Chicken Thighs on a plate
5 from 38 votes
Review Recipe

Grilled Chicken Thighs

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Marinate Time 30 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 4
Author Holly Nilsson
These Chicken Thighs are juicy & flavorful, perfect for a backyard BBQ!


  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary slightly crushed
  • 1 clove garlic minced

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  • Combine all marinade ingredients in a small bowl or a freezer bag. Mix well.
  • Add chicken thighs and allow to marinate at least 30 minutes or up to 4 hours.
  • Preheat a grill to medium-high heat. Add chicken thighs and cook 5-7 minutes per side or until chicken reaches 165°F.
  • Rest 5 minutes before serving.

Recipe Notes

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. 
Reheat on the grill or in the microwave until heated through. 

Nutrition Information

Calories: 385, Carbohydrates: 5g, Protein: 44g, Fat: 20g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 215mg, Sodium: 498mg, Potassium: 565mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 54IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 20mg, Iron: 2mg

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Keyword best grilled chicken thighs recipe, Grilled Chicken Thighs, How to grill Chicken Thighs
Course Chicken, Dinner, Entree, Main Course
Cuisine American
Grilled Chicken Thighs on a white plate with a fork and writing
close up of Grilled Chicken Thighs with writing
close up of Grilled Chicken Thighs on a plate with a title
Grilled Chicken Thighs with a fork and a title
About the author


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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

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Recipe Rating


  1. Decided to ty it on chicken wings instead, only because I had thawed some wings already.
    Marinated all day and the put on the grill for supper. They were delicious and will be made again
    Thanks5 stars

  2. This was SO DELICIOUS!!! I marinated the chicken thighs overnight and cooked them in the air fryer (I don’t have an outdoor grill and didn’t want to deal with stovetop splatter), and they turned out perfectly browned with the charred edges. So good! This recipe has been saved to my “Recipes to Keep” bookmark which currently number about a handful from all the different cooking websites I’ve been trying. Thank you very much for a marinade that I’ll use again and again!5 stars

  3. Followed marinade recipe exactly and am really happy with the finished product! Thank you!5 stars

  4. Oh my gosh, Holly, we made these chicken thighs tonight on the grill and they were AAAAMAZING! Thank you so much for the recipe! ❤️

  5. These were amazing ! Only had about half hour to marinate, then on the grill to sear the outsides a bit, then turned off the flame below the chicken, but left the other flames on, and let them ‘bake’ in the BBQ. So tender and moist !5 stars

  6. This will now be my go to marinade for chicken. I often struggle to come up with something quick and easy that isn’t a casserole. It was delicious! I did use a balsamic glaze instead of balsamic vinegar only because I could not find my vinegar or I’m out. Thanks for the recipe!5 stars

  7. I didn’t have lemon pepper seasoning so I used a lemon balsamic vinegar that I had. I grilled them in my new Ninja grill for 13 minutes, turned half-way thru. Delicious!!5 stars

  8. I made this marinade for our chicken tonight! So great! I didn’t have lemon pepper, but I did have Trader Joe’s 21 seasoning Blend, I subbed that. We will for sure make this marinade again.5 stars