Easy Grilled Chicken

5 servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Marinating Time 1 hour
Total Time 20 minutes

Easy Grilled Chicken Breasts is a recipe you’ll use all summer, with a lemon marinade perfect for lunches, dinner, salads, soups and more!

Grilled Chicken is the perfect back pocket Chicken Recipe to keep on hand for when you need to add chicken to other recipes like Classic Chicken SaladEasy Pasta Salad or the favorite, Easy Greek Pasta Salad.

Grilled Chicken sliced on cutting board


One of the most popular recipes on the site for chicken is Easy Grilled Jerk Chicken (and its Slow Cooker version), and this recipe is another way to make deliciously marinated juicy chicken breast, this time with a lemony flavor. Having a quick and easy recipe for grilled chicken is essential, and this recipe will be your recipe you keep forever and maybe even just memorize!

You can make this grilled chicken recipe all year long even when the weather outside isn’t grill friendly. As pictured you can see the grill pan that would be perfect for your indoor use. Place that grill pan over two burners and let it preheat to a medium high temperature until you can feel the heat coming off it from inches away. Wipe it down with a paper towel you’ve wet with olive oil before adding the marinated chicken.

Collage of marinade steps for Grilled Chicken

You’ll love serving grilled chicken with classic summer side dishes like ColeslawEasy Macaroni Salad and Potato Salad or use it as a filling in recipes that called for cooked chicken like Buffalo Chicken Dip.



There are only a few ingredients you need for the perfect chicken marinade. This recipe keeps it simple with no additional spices or herbs.

  • Olive Oil – every marinade will need oil, and this recipe uses olive oil for the best flavor. You can also use vegetable oil for a similarly high smoke point. Do not use oils with a low smoke point as they will burn on the grill and turn bitter. Find a list of oil smoke points for reference here.
  • Lemon Juice – Acid is necessary in a marinade to tenderize the chicken. Sometimes vinegar is commonly used, but in this marinade you use lemon juice. You can also use lime juice or even a tangerine if that is what you have on hand.
  • Salt and Pepper – Seasoning food is mandatory for flavor, so salt and pepper must be used in this grilled chicken recipe to enhance the natural flavor of the chicken.

Easy Grilled Chicken Collage


When cooking (or grilling) chicken you must cook your chicken to a safe minimum cooking temperature of 165 degrees to avoid any issues with possible contamination. While the chicken rests it actually holds this temperature which allows it to kill any germs that may be remaining, so remember to rest the chicken for 5 minutes before serving.

Grilled Chicken on Grill Pan


  • Sugar: You can add brown sugar, honey or granulated sugar to a marinade if you’d like to have a sweet flavor to your grilled chicken, remember this may cause a slight flare up in the grill.
  • Soy Sauce: Many popular chicken marinades include soy sauce. This is an easy swap for salt in the recipe but not necessary. You can use it for Asian flavored marinades.
  • Fresh Herbs: Any fresh herbs you’d like to use would work great in the marinade as they’ll flavor the oil and the oil itself will flavor the chicken.
  • Dried Herbs: Dried herbs will hold up better to grilling than fresh herbs and also work well to add flavor. We like adding mixes like Cajun seasoning or Jerk Seasoning.
  • Chicken thighs: Instead of chicken breasts, you can use boneless skinless chicken thighs with this recipe. Simply increase the cooking time to 7-8 minutes per side.

Easy Grilled Chicken on plate with quinoa salad



    • Serve: Don’t leave the grilled chicken at room temperature for more than 2 hours.
    • Store: Easy Grilled Chicken can be kept in the fridge for 3-4 days. Make sure it’s cooled completely then store it in an airtight container.
    • Freezer: You could also store it in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Easy Grilled Chicken on plate with quinoa salad

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Easy Grilled Chicken Breasts

Easy Grilled Chicken Breasts is a recipe you'll use all summer, with a lemon marinade perfect for lunches, dinner, salads, soups and more!
Yield 5 servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts , about 5 pieces
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper


  • Place the chicken between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound the thicker parts with a rolling pin or meat tenderizer until the thickness is about even, then place all the ingredients into a bowl or large ziplock bag together and let marinate for 60 minutes.
  • Heat your grill to medium high (you can use a grill pan inside if you prefer) and oil the grate with a paper towel.
  • Grill the chicken for 4-5 minutes on each side then let rest for 5 minutes before serving.



Calories: 304kcal | Protein: 38g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 116mg | Sodium: 443mg | Potassium: 680mg | Vitamin A: 55IU | Vitamin C: 5.7mg | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 0.7mg

Easy Grilled Chicken Recipe Collage

Photos from a previous version of this post.

Grilled Chicken with Cucumber Tomato Salad and Quinoa in bowlEasy Grilled Chicken

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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