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 Salad, Easy Pasta Salad or the favorite, Easy Greek Pasta Salad.
EASY GRILLED CHICKEN
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.
You’ll love serving grilled chicken with classic summer side dishes like Coleslaw, Easy Macaroni Salad and Potato Salad or use it as a filling in recipes that called for cooked chicken like Buffalo Chicken Dip.
MORE EASY CHICKEN RECIPES
HOW TO MAKE THE PERFECT CHICKEN MARINADE
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.
SAFE TEMPERATURE FOR GRILLING CHICKEN
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.
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VARIATIONS ON EASY GRILLED CHICKEN
- 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.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH EASY GRILLED CHICKEN
HOW TO STORE EASY GRILLED CHICKEN
- 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.
- 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.
Photos from a previous version of this post.