Easy Marinated Grilled Chicken (30 Minutes!)

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Bowl of tahini sauce beside a plate of Marinated Grilled Chicken Breasts served over quinoa

This chicken recipe has quickly become a go-to for weeknight grilling. Why? Because:

  • It’s easy.
  • It’s fast (start to finish in 30 minutes!).
  • You likely have the ingredients on hand right now (~10 ingredients give or take a spice).
  • You don’t need a grill! (It’s just as delicious baked or cooked on the stovetop on a grill pan or in a cast iron skillet.)
  • The seasoning technique can be applied to fish, other meats, cauliflower steaks, and even tofu and tempeh.

Let’s do this!

Cutting board with spices showing how to season grilled chicken

How to Make Grilled Chicken

Grilled chicken is just about as easy as it gets. Start with your chicken: We always try to go for boneless, skinless, organic, free-range chicken breasts). Brush a little oil, add your seasonings of choice (we’ll get to that next), and grill — flipping regularly to ensure even cooking — until you’ve reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees F (74 C). That’s it!

How to Season Grilled Chicken

Grilled chicken can be seasoned SO many ways. But this version has become our go-to. It’s adapted from Eating Bird Food’s amazing Apple Cider Vinegar Chicken recipe.

Originally I thought, “Apple cider vinegar? Doesn’t it just make it taste like vinegar?”

The answer is no. The vinegar tenderizes the chicken, which makes it super juicy. And it also enhances the other seasonings by adding a big of acidity to the overall flavor.

Our Go-To Spice Blend

  • Smoked paprika (which gives the chicken a smoky flavor and bright-red hue)
  • Dried oregano & basil
  • Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • Fresh chopped rosemary (or thyme)
  • Red pepper flake
  • & Cayenne (optional for more heat!)

Bowl of Marinated Grilled Chicken Breasts for our simple and flavorful recipe

The Secret to Perfect Grilled Chicken

To keep the meat tender and not dried out, cook over a low flame vs. a high flame on the grill (or over medium-low to medium heat on the stovetop) for about 10-15 minutes, flipping occasionally until it just barely reaches 165 F (74 C). Perfect chicken every time.

Another tip? You can poke your chicken with a knife to allow the marinade and spices to more thoroughly infuse the meat with flavor. Also, marinating up to 24 hours in advance helps tenderize and enhance the flavor even more!

What to Serve with Grilled Chicken

Grilled chicken can be served alongside or on top of so many things!

Our favorite pairings:

Our favorite sauces:

Using a grill pan to cook Marinated Grilled Chicken Breasts

We hope you LOVE this recipe! It’s:

Quick & easy to make
BIG on flavor
Customizable (spices + protein)
& Delicious

How long does grilled chicken keep? We find it keeps for 2-3 days in the refrigerator, making it perfect for preparing ahead of time and enjoying throughout the week.

More Grilling Recipes

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment and rating, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Marinated Grilled Chicken Breasts on a plate with chicken and tahini sauce for serving

Easy Marinated Grilled Chicken (30 Minutes!)

Incredibly easy, fast marinated grilled chicken. Ready in just 30 minutes with 10 ingredients (give or take a spice). Serve with grains, vegetables, or pasta of choice!
Author Minimalist Baker
Partially sliced Marinated Grilled Chicken Breast for an easy and flavorful chicken recipe
4.96 from 42 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 (Servings)
Course Entrée
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Grain-Free
Freezer Friendly No
Does it keep? 2-3 Days



  • 2 (~8-ounce) chicken breasts* (pasture raised, organic when possible, boneless and skinless)
  • 1 ½ tsp avocado oil (or other neutral oil with high smoke point)
  • 1 ½ Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp dried oregano (or sub 2 tsp fresh)
  • 1 tsp dried basil (or sub 2 tsp fresh)
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/8 tsp red pepper flake (reduce or omit for less heat)
  • 1 Tbsp fresh chopped rosemary
  • 1 dash cayenne pepper (optional // reduce or omit for less heat)


  • If using grill, start by heating grill. If using a grill pan, set on the stovetop and lightly oil.
  • Optional: For quicker cooking, place chicken breasts between two pieces of parchment paper and use the underside of a saucepan to gently pound the meat into thinner pieces. This can cut cook time in half.
  • Add chicken to a shallow bowl or dish and top with oil and vinegar, then flip 1-2 times to coat.
  • Add half of the spices to one side of the breasts and half of the spices to the other side. Mixture will include sea salt, pepper, oregano, basil, paprika, pepper flake, rosemary, and cayenne (optional). Flip a few times to coat.
  • Let marinate for at least 15 minutes or overnight (covered in the refrigerator // can marinate up to 24 hours).
    : You can also poke your chicken with a knife to allow the marinade and spices to more thoroughly infuse the meat with flavor. 
  • Grill chicken on a hot grill or hot grill pan over medium heat until cooked through (to an internal temperature of 165 F — 74 C).
  • Enjoy as is, or — our preferred method — with tahini dressing, grains, and fresh herbs.
  • Best when fresh. Store leftover cooked chicken in the refrigerator up to 2-3 days (depending on freshness of chicken). Reheat on the stovetop in a hot skillet until warmed through.



*Feel free to sub chicken breasts with another similar cut of meat — we suspect this spice rub would work well on other types of meat and fish as well.
*Though we haven’t tested it, we suspect a good vegan option would be to sub a block of extra firm tofu cut in half to yield two “steaks” — then proceed with recipe as instructed. This marinade would also work well with cauliflower steaks!
*Inspired by the lovely Eating Bird Food.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated without optional ingredients.

Nutrition (1 of 4 servings)

Serving: 1 half chicken breast servings Calories: 157 Carbohydrates: 0.4 g Protein: 26.1 g Fat: 4.8 g Saturated Fat: 0.7 g Sodium: 432 mg Potassium: 13 mg Fiber: 0.3 g Sugar: 0 g

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My Rating:

  1. Johnny says

    Really good! I substituted the avocado oil with olive oil and added thyme and sage. Also I stabbed the chicken with a fork and cut slits into it. Will make again!!

  2. JEANNE says

    So good! My grocery store was out of fresh rosemary so had to sub dried and it worked just fine. Thank you for sharing your craft! Love the variety and everything I‘ve ever tried has been delicious.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Aw, yay! We’re so glad you are enjoying our recipes! Thank you for sharing, Jeanne! xo

  3. lily says

    thank you, this worked perfectly! i forgot to follow the recipe to a T and just put everything in a bowl and tossed the chicken around so that it was evenly coated, and i didnt have any basil, but still worked great. thank you! 🙏🏼

  4. Emma says

    I made this recipe today using the cooking instructions from the one pan Mexican style chicken. It came out awesome, very juicy and tender with great flavor. Definitely an easy staple from now on. Next time I will marinate extra in a ziploc and freeze it for later.

  5. Michelle says

    This is great! I made some adjustments for a lower fat recipe, though I know much oil is not used here. :) I placed the raw chicken breasts in a 1 gallon ziploc bag then pounded out the breasts to equal height with my rolling pin (my personal favorite method to get tender chicken); then placed all of the marinade ingredients into the bag (minus the oil but added a little mushroom broth) and manipulated the chicken until well coated; then I let marinate overnight. I did not grill (due to no oil) but placed the breasts on a parchment lined pyrex pan and baked at 425 to a perfect 165 internal temp. They are so tender and juicy. For easy meals I use the chicken in cassava tortillas with avocado, shredded carrot, and pickled cabbage; in quick glass noodle bowls with broth, veggies, chili garlic and soy sauce; with Punjabi chana (in my freezer ALWAYS) and rice, or; with plain old garlicky spaghetti and lemon asparagus. Thank you for this marinade recipe! It really works great for SE Asian (minus paprika), Mexican, Indian, and Italian inspired meals!

  6. Vish says

    The chicken was great! I used all ingredients except I substituted the avocado oil for a red pepper olive oil, and the apple cider vinegar for white wine vinegar.

    I did a slight variation by mixing all ingredients in a bowl, and putting the chicken into a ziplock bag with the mixture, and I let it marinate for a few hours. I also cooked the chicken in the oven at 400 degrees for 23 minutes. It turned out great! Thanks for the easy recipe :)

  7. Aleeza N. says

    hey, is it okay if we substitute apple cider vinegar with lemon? wouldn’t it still have the same amount of acidity, flavoring the chicken?

  8. Sue says

    Yum!! This was very flavorful, and I love that it did not require much oil. My husband is a total meat eater and does a lot of cooking. He is usually skeptical of my recipe choices, because they are too healthy for his taste (he prefers heavier fats and lots of meat :/ ). Whereas I like cleaner, leaner recipes. THIS is something we both agreed on – delicious! Thank you, Dana for another simple, healthy, tasty go to recipe Will def. make again – followed the recipe exactly as stated.

  9. Erin says

    Wish you had more chicken recipes on here for my chicken loving boyfriend.

    I LOVE how easy this recipe is, chicken comes out so soft and spices make it even better!!

  10. Marthe says

    Hi Dana, I have several kinds of vinegar in my pantry, but not apple cider vinegar. Can I substitute another vinegar?
    I love your recipes, thank you.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Marthe, we haven’t tried other vinegars, but maybe! Let us know if you try it!

  11. Ashley S says

    This chicken was so tender, juicy and moist! Yum. Wasn’t too spicy for my teenager either and I added a pinch of cayenne. Will definitely make it again. Thanks Dana!

  12. Kerri says

    This is a fantastic recipe. Shared with many already. I was an early follower to your website, but left after many of your vegan recipes became too involved with ingredients I couldn’t find and did not keep in my house. I am happy to be back and see more diverse choices for me to serve my family and guests.

    Sad to hear that you are getting criticized for your lifestyle choice made due to your health. I find the horrible comments made by some of your vegan followers completely uncalled for. Every person has right to eat what makes them feel good. I would also challenge every vegan who was screaming about concern for the earth and animals “walk the walk.”.
    Do they not drive a car?
    Do they not fly in a plane?
    Do they live on a farm and grow all their own vegetables only using natural fertilizer made by their own animals that they feed only organic grains and grasses to? I’m guessing not.

    Caring for the world and how we treat animals (I own many and they are treated like kings) is important. However I feel it’s just as important that we as human beings respect each other first.

    • Brian says

      Thank you for providing meat ‘options’!! Love the site, love the recipe, and love that you are providing options for all kinds of different tastes and lifestyles. Keep doing what you are doing!

  13. Brooklyn says

    Really great seasoning! I’ve used this blend on tofu, and I’ve made the chicken for my partner. We both really enjoyed it.

  14. Kelly Anargyros says

    I came here religiously for delicious minimalist vegan recipes but this will be my last visit now that you are shifting your focus to meat and cruelty. Sorry if that seems harsh, but I don’t want to see pictures of cruelty when I’m looking for something to eat. I totally understand the change to your comments section too, not all vegans are kind to carnists. If cruelty and suffering feels nourishing to you then all I can say is I am disappointed and sad. Were you “sponsored”?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      We don’t do sponsored work or accept any free products. The shift back toward meat and egg recipes was solely for my health. Thanks for your support thus far! We understand this new direction isn’t for everybody.

      • Ex-V says

        Fwiw, I’m a person who also switched back to meat and dairy products for health reasons and I was pleasantly surprised to see the new direction. I had stopped visiting the website, but have started again after seeing you’re incorporating recipes that contain meat and dairy.

  15. Becca says

    Thanks Dana, I made this last night and paired it with some roasted vegetables and wholemeal rice and quinoa :) delicious every time unfortuantly I dont have a Grill pan so I just used a frying pan, it works just as well but doesnt get that lovely grilled look, I might invest in a Grill pan soon :)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Becca. We are so glad you enjoyed this recipe! We definitely recommend the grill pan, but it’s not essential =) Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  16. Eftihia says

    I made this two weeks ago using a frying pan and my boys LOVED it. They asked for it again but I am hoping to avoid frying.
    Has anyone tried to bake the chicken and if so does it dry it out? Would an indoor electric grill work as well? I am no cook so any suggestions would be very much appreciated!!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      I think baking at 375 for 15ish minutes would work! And yes an indoor electric grill would work as well. It also cooks just fine on the stovetop (we prefer cast iron or a grill pan) over medium/low heat until 165 F in the center.

  17. Chioma says

    I’m saddened to see meat dishes on your site. I’ve followed you for years and I’m honestly disappointed that you turned your back on the animals, our plant and vegans – who you earned your fame from.

    • Eatcetera says

      No – Dana and her husband made her fortune from regular omnivores. I’m not vegan nor vegetarian, and I’ve been following minimalist baker for years. She still has 1.8 million followers on Instagram *after* the vegan mob spewed vitriol and left. Everyone I know who follows her is not vegan. But you know something?

      Dana has developed recipe after recipe that’s convinced my husband and I to eat vegan food a couple times a week. She’s shown us just how delicious it can be. We are not vegan, nor will we ever be, but Dana has taught tens of thousands of meat eaters how to eat delicious food with a lower carbon footprint. Would you prefer most omnivores just continue onward eating the way they’re used to? This blog has contributed so much more to the vegan cause than any one of those individuals spewing hatred at her.

      Your disappointment misses the forest for the trees. Sometimes ideological purity holds back others from being able to make a difference in the way that works for them. Sorry to break it to you, but most of us aren’t going to become vegan – Dana is helping us make changes that works for us.

  18. Isabelle P. says

    So simple and so good, it takes a plain chicken breast and transforms it into WOW. Tahini dressing was a hit. We ate it with quinoa and veggies on the side. It’s a keeper for us on busy weeknights. Thank you Dana <3