THE BEST Grilled Chicken Thighs are juicy, flavorful and easy. Sweet with heat simple marinade makes these chicken thighs a true crowd pleaser.
Kids loved these! 🙂 Just like they love simple grilled chicken breast.
Grilled Chicken Thighs
These grilled chicken thighs come with easy marinade whipped in a food processor or blender, flavorful meat and crispy skin. Just look at them!
So easy, you can marinate chicken the night before and grill it on a weeknight after work. I personally got it done on Sunday at 10 PM after a day of biking, cooking and more real life.
If you are tired of dried spices marinades but still looking for simple grilled chicken with a twist, these chicken thighs are IT. Everyone will ask for the recipe and you know where to send them. 🙂
What Is the Marinade?
Meaty chicken thighs marinated in sweet zesty marinade of coconut milk, lime juice and fresh cilantro. With substitutions, of course. 🙂
- Canned coconut milk: Fat makes meat more moist. Substitute with yogurt or buttermilk.
- Lime juice: An acid that is a must for any marinade. Use lemon or apple cider vinegar.
- Cilantro: Pulverized cilantro flavour is intense and perfect for flavoring the meat.
- Jalapeno: Adds a tiny spicy kick that is still kid friendly. Feel free to add more jalapenos for a spicier version.
- Onions are great for meat marinades: They tenderize and start “cooking” meat. You won’t taste the onion much and your chicken will cook faster and will be softer.
How to Grill Chicken Thighs
- Marinate chicken from 4 to 24 hours. I tried both and both were flavorful.
- Grill on hot grill for about 15 minutes per side while covered. Reduce heat to low if fat is burning and flip when meat is somewhat opaque on top.
- Chicken is ready when meat thermometer inserted in the center reads 165 degrees F.
- Rest chicken under any cover for about 5-10 minutes to allow juices to settle.
Tips for Best Grilled Chicken Thighs
- Leave skin on during cooking to prevent chicken from burning and drying. Remove before serving.
- Bone in chicken cooks longer.
- Boneless skinless chicken thighs are great – cook on lower heat and less.
- Do not marinate chicken past 24 hours – it starts to break down.
- Longer marinated meat will cook faster.
- Discard marinade – always.
How to Serve and Store Grilled Chicken Thighs
- Green leafy salad: Arugula salad or kale salad.
- Chock full veggie salad: Creamy cucumber salad (pictured) or Greek salad.
- Whole grain from Instant Pot: Enjoy with any healthy whole grain side like quinoa or brown rice.
- Low carb grilled side: Grill zucchini right after grilling chicken.
- Classic potato salad: Regular healthier potato salad or low carb cauliflower potato salad.
More Grilled Chicken Recipes
- Chili lime chicken
- Cilantro lime chicken
- Greek chicken
- Greek chicken kabobs
- Chimichurri chicken
- 5 easy chicken marinades
Coconut Lime Grilled Chicken Thighs
- 3 lbs chicken thighs bone in or boneless
- 1/2 cup coconut milk from a can
- 1 lime juice of
- 1/2 medium onion
- Cilantro large handful
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/3 Jalapeño pepper with seeds for mild; more for hot
- To make marinade: In a food processor/blender, combine coconut milk, lime juice, onion, cilantro, salt and jalapeno pepper until smooth mixture is formed.
- Place chicken in a large bowl or any container that can be covered.
- Pour marinade over chicken, stir with tongs, cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight (but no more than 24 hours).
- To grill chicken thighs: Preheat the grill on high, then reduce to low-medium. Rub the grill with an oiled paper towel.
- Place chicken skin side down on the grill, close the lid and cook for 15 minutes. If the fat is burning too much, reduce the heat to low.
- Turn the chicken over, close the lid and cook for another 10-15 minutes or until internal read thermometer inserted in the thickest part has reached 165 degrees F.
- Store: Refrigerate covered for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
- Make ahead: Chicken can be marinated for a maximum of 24 hours.
- For Reheating: In a skillet, add a splash of water or broth and chicken thighs. Cook chicken covered on low for ~5 minutes.
- Grills vary so check your chicken often. I have a powerful new Coleman grill.
- Bone in chicken cooks longer and boneless faster.
- Longer marinated chicken cooks faster as well.
- Always discard chicken marinade.
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