This Easy Grilled Chicken Breast is a staple meal idea. Quick to make with juicy, flavorful chicken made in a marinade with minimal ingredients. Extra quick to whip up and perfect all on its own, inside pasta, or even as a topping to salads!
- Easy: This recipe takes less than 10 minutes to prep and only 12-15 minutes to cook!
- Make-Ahead: You can keep the chicken in the marinade for up to 4 hours! We prep ahead and have this ready to go whenever we are ready to eat.
- Meal-Prep: Double the recipe and save leftovers for easy meal prep.
Bookmark this recipe. A recipe for grilling chicken breasts, that actually comes out tender and juicy, is rare. Boneless skinless chicken meat is on the leaner side, and not having a bone or skin means it is more prone to overcooking leaving it dry and tough. The secret?
Using a marinade helps to tenderize and lock in those juices. It also adds so much flavor and reduces cooking time, which helps keep the chicken nice and moist from start to finish. Try serving this alongside my ranch dressing pasta salad!
Chicken Marinade Recipe
So what exactly do you need for bbq chicken breast? Turns out, not much! The ingredient list is short, only 5-ingredients, and packs a flavorful punch. Here is what you need:
- Chicken Breast: Skinless boneless chicken breast is what works best. Slice in half lengthwise, or pound to even thickness.
- Oil: I use avocado oil, because it is what we always have on hand. However, you can use olive oil, canola or vegetable oil.
- Garlic: Fresh garlic. I’ve tried pre-minced, powdered, and salt. The best flavor by far comes from a fresh minced garlic bulb.
- Italian Seasoning: Here is where you can get creative. I like Italian seasoning. It adds a great flavor that works with so many profiles. Use what you love or play around with different spice combinations.
- Salt and Pepper: Seasoned to taste
- Lemon: Juice or zest. Use juice for a more mild flavor or the zest if you’d like the citrus to shine through.
The Best Way To Grill Chicken Breast
So what is the best way to grill chicken? We make ours using a propane grill, but my true love is for Traeger smoked chicken. You can use these directions in either a regular propane grill OR a smoker.
- PREP: Slice the chicken in half lengthwise, keeping it as even thickness as possible, OR pound to even thickness.
- MARINADE: Whisk together the oil, garlic, seasonings, and lemon in a shallow dish or zip top bag. Add the chicken and cover. Place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes, or up to 4 hours. The longer it sits the more tender and juicy the chicken will be. However, don’t go over 4 hours or the chicken will break down and be a little more mushy.
- GRILL: Grill the chicken over medium/high heat for 6 minutes, per side, or until the internal temperature reaches 165 ºF.
- ENJOY: Let the chicken rest for a few minutes before cutting.
- Instant Read Meat Thermometer: Cooking to that perfect temp of 165 ºF is key to a moist and delicious breast. Using an instant read thermometer (affiliate) will ensure perfect chicken every time.
- Shallow Dish: This larger shallow container with a lid (affiliate) is one of the most used items in my kitchen. Perfect for marinades and so much more.
- Tongs: Keep your hands safe by using a quality pair of tongs (affiliate) to add and remove the chicken from the grill.
Traeger Smoked Chicken FAQs
A few quick tips to keep your chicken from drying out. First, take advantage of the marinade. It will tenderize the chicken and add moisture. Second, use a meat thermometer. Make sure you don’t cook the chicken over 165 ºF.
It is best to marinade the chicken a minimum of 30 minutes and maximum of 4 hours. Marinating more than 4 hours can still work, however you run the risk of the chicken texture changing, leaving it a little more soft.
Yes. Cook the chicken according to the recipe. Cool completely. Place whole breasts, do not slice prior to freezing, into freezer safe zip top bags.
When ready to enjoy, let thaw in the refrigerator before using.
MORE MUST-TRY CHICKEN RECIPES
- Crispy Baked Chicken Taquitos
- Sizzler Malibu Chicken
- Cheesy Asparagus Stuffed Chicken
- Chicken Stir Fry
- Chicken Cordon Bleu
- Baked Ranch Chicken
MORE MOUTHWATERING GRILL RECIPES
- Hawaiian Chicken Skewers
- Grilled Chicken Fajitas
- Cilantro Chicken Skewers
- Best Grilled Drumsticks
- Grilled Hawaiian Chicken
Grilled Chicken Breast
- 1 lb chicken breast
- 1/4 oil
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 1-1/2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- Zest of one lemon
- Slice the chicken breasts in half lengthwise, or pound to even thickness.
- Whisk together the oil, garlic, seasonings, and lemon zest.
- Place in a shallow dish or zip top bag with the chicken. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes, or up to 4 hours.
- Preheat the grill to medium high heat.
- Remove the chicken from the marinade and place on the grill grates.
- Cook 6 minutes, per side, or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
- Let the chicken rest for a few minutes then serve.