Tender and juicy Grilled Chicken Breast recipe with easy 30 minute marinade and simple ingredients. Learn how to grill chicken breast perfectly every time!
Table of Contents
- Ingredients for Grilled Chicken Breast Recipe
- How to Grill Chicken Breast
- How Long to Grill Chicken Breast?
- Tips for Juicy Grilled Chicken Breast
- What to Serve with Grilled Chicken Breast?
- More FAQs
- Storing and Reheating
- Freezer Friendly Tips
- More Grilled Chicken Recipes to Try
- Easy Juicy Grilled Chicken Breast Recipe
The best grilled chicken breast that is moist and flavorful without spending hours marinating your chicken first! If I don’t have time to marinate anything in a Ziploc bag overnight, it means neither do you.
You will be amazed how tender this perfectly grilled chicken breast turns out regardless of the length of marinating time.
During cooler months I get into a habit of making a batch of air fryer chicken breast. In summer, throwing the most expensive cut of chicken on a grill is the answer to the never ending question “What’s for dinner?”!
Ingredients for Grilled Chicken Breast Recipe
I’m Ukrainian and believe simple ingredients make food shine. With this easy grilled chicken breast recipe, you don’t have to marinate chicken long and you are well on your way to a fast grilled chicken dinner. That’s it!
- Boneless skinless chicken breasts
- Oil: I like extra virgin olive oil as it enhances the flavor when used in a chicken marinade.
- Lemon: You will need a fresh lemon as you will be using both the lemon zest and lemon juice. The acidic juice helps tenderize the meat.
- Garlic: Freshly grated garlic will bring out the best flavor!
- Seasonings: Dried oregano, salt and pepper for additional taste.
How to Grill Chicken Breast
Here is a quick overview how to grill chicken breast after light pounding and only 30 minute marinating time. Full recipe card is located below.
Lightly pound boneless skinless chicken breasts with a rolling pin or meat mallet. Concentrate mostly on the thickest part to make chicken breasts of even thickness like the opposite end.
I find it is convenient to pound chicken breasts in a Ziploc bag because after you can just add your chicken marinade ingredients to it.
Open the bag and add olive oil, grated garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest, dried oregano, salt and pepper to it. Lay flat, let out as much air as possible and seal. Swoosh chicken breasts gently around the bag to coat evenly.
How long to marinate chicken breasts? Marinate chicken breasts for grilling as little as 30 minutes to as long as 24 hours. This allows enough time for the marinade to flavor and tenderize your meat.
Preheat grill on medium-high heat (450-500 degrees F) and rub grill grates with oiled paper towel. Place chicken on the grill, close the lid and grill chicken breasts for 8-10 minutes turning once. Do not overcook.
Chicken is done when meat thermometer inserted in the thickest parts registers 165 degrees F. Or you can also make a cut with a paring knife and if juices are no longer pink, your grilled chicken breast is ready.
It is important to grill chicken breasts covered, so they cook through with nice grill marks.
Remove grilled chicken from the grill, cover with foil and let rest for 5 minutes. This allows juices to settle inside the meat and not outside on our plate. Resulting in juicy grilled chicken breast!
How Long to Grill Chicken Breast?
How long to grill chicken breast depends mostly on your grill and the thickness of your chicken breasts. Cook time will vary slightly whether you have propane grill, gas grill or charcoal grill and just your grill. Grills vary just like ovens vary from their age to the brand name.
Also if your grill is situated in a windy location, it will have lower temperature inside resulting in longer grilling chicken breast time.
Here is a grilling time chart for your quick reference.
|Chicken breast thickness||Weight||Grilling time|
|Under 2 inches||6-8 ounces each||6-8 minutes|
|2 inches||8-10 ounces each||8-10 minutes|
|Over 2 inches||10 ounces or more||10-12 minutes|
When using the methods outline in this post, your chicken breast cooked on the grill should not turn out dry!
Tips for Juicy Grilled Chicken Breast
Here are my top tips for the most perfect boneless grilled chicken breast recipe every time!
- For best results, preheat your grill for 10-15 minutes so that it reaches an optimal heat of 450-500 degrees F. At this temperature, it should only take 8-10 minutes to grill your meat.
- Be sure to grill chicken covered and flip your meat halfway through cooking, so that it cooks evenly.
- Do not grill chicken too long otherwise it will turn out dry. When chicken reaches internal temperature of 165 degrees F, it is done.
- Immediately after you take it off the grill, cover and let grilled chicken rest. This allows juices to sink back into the chicken.
- Instead of pouding the chicken, you can slice it in half lengthwise. But do not skip either because thinner ends will dry out by the time the center is cooked.
- Buy quality chicken. Sometimes chicken is chewy and tough just because it’s not a good brand of chicken. I like air chilled fresh chicken breasts. Sometimes organic are great and sometimes even they are chewy. It depends.
What to Serve with Grilled Chicken Breast?
This grilled chicken breast can be served in multiple ways for dinnertime. It’s one of the most basic and versatile healthy grill recipes.
- Traditional picnic sides: Serve with classics like healthy potato salad, healthy broccoli salad, or Instant Pot baked beans. We love serving it with Russian potato salad for a summertime feast!
- Low carb meal: Serve with a big side of air fryer broccoli. Have you ever tried grilled romaine?! Grill lettuce at same time for a complete protein and veggies meal.
- Grain and vegetable: We often pair grilled chicken breast with cooked quinoa and a side of grilled zucchini.
- On a salad: Make absolutely stunning colorful grilled chicken salad, BBQ chicken salad or we also love to serve it with grilled pita and chickpea avocado salad.
- Meal prep: It is perfect for meal prep paired with quick healthy Caesar salad and tastes amazing even cold.
I recommend to marinate chicken breast for grilling anywhere from 30 minutes to up to 24 hours. If you marinate chicken over 24 hours, acid in the lemon juice in the chicken marinade will continue fibers to break down resulting in mushy grilled chicken breast.
Do not overcook it, follow our recommended grilling time chart above and remove when a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part of chicken breasts registers internal temperature of 165 F. Also grill chicken breast with the lid closed.
Yes, you can use boneless skinless chicken thighs with this grilled chicken breast recipe. For bone-in chicken thighs or chicken drumsticks, check out this grilled chicken thighs recipe.
It is possible to grill frozen chicken breast but it is tricky. Thinner parts of chicken breast will be cooked sooner than thicker ones. Instead I recommend to quickly thaw chicken breasts in a bowl with ice cold water changing water every 30 minutes.
Yes you can make grilled chicken breast on the stove top by using this grill pan. Cook chicken breast on medium-high heat and make sure to preheat the grill pan well. Cook time remains the same but watch the heat and remember to check for internal temperature.
Storing and Reheating
Store: Refrigerate grilled chicken breast leftovers whole and unsliced in an airtight container. Chicken breast dries out fast, so tight container is key.
Reheat: I recommend to reheat previously cooked chicken breasts in a microwave. Or if you have an air fryer, here is a quick tutorial how to reheat chicken breast in air fryer.
If you place grilled chicken in the oven to reheat, it will dry out. Or try cold cooked chicken and it might be your new favorite!
Freezer Friendly Tips
Freeze whole, completely cooled grilled chicken breasts in an airtight container or freezer bag, let out as much air as possible and freeze for up to 3 months.
Freeze chicken flat in a bag to avoid stuck together chicken pieces.
When ready to eat, you don’t even have to thaw frozen cooked chicken breasts too long. Just place frozen grilled chicken breast in the lunchbox in the morning and by lunchtime it will be perfect room temperature chicken. As good as freshly grilled.
More Grilled Chicken Recipes to Try
- Greek chicken
- Chili lime chicken
- Cilantro lime chicken
- Grilled lemon rosemary chicken
- Greek chicken kabobs
- Grilled BBQ chicken breast
- Chicken street tacos
- Ground chicken burgers
- Grilled chicken burger
Easy Juicy Grilled Chicken Breast
- Place chicken breasts in a Ziploc bag, lay flat on a cutting board and pound lightly on the thickest part with a meat mallet or rolling pin until even thickness.
- Stand bag upright and add lemon zest and juice, olive oil, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper. Let out air, seal the bag and swoosh chicken breasts gently around to coat. Lay flat and marinate for 30 minutes to up to 24 hours.
- Preheat grill on medium-high (450-500 degrees F) and rub with oiled paper towel. Place chicken on the grill, close the lid and grill for 8-10 minutes turning once. Do not overcook.
- Remove chicken breasts from the grill, cover with foil and let rest for 5 minutes. Serve with a side of grain and salad, use in salads or perfect for a meal prep.
- Store: Refrigerate covered for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
- For reheating: I recommend only microwave or air fryer. If you place grilled chicken breast in the oven to reheat, it will dry out. Or try it cold!
- Citrus: Lime juice will work instead of lemon.
- Other herbs: Dried rosemary or dried basil would be good too.
- Leftover marinade: Always discard chicken marinade.