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!
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!)
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:
- Garlicky Kale Salad with Crispy Chickpeas (our go-to!)
- Brown Rice or Green Rice
- Cauliflower Rice
- Burrito Bowls
- Dairy-Free Alfredo Pasta
- Roasted Vegetables
Our favorite sauces:
We hope you LOVE this recipe! It’s:
Quick & easy to make
BIG on flavor
Customizable (spices + protein)
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
- Grilled Veggie Skewers + Chimichurri Sauce
- Lemongrass & Peanut Tempeh Satay
- Easy Grillable Veggie Burgers
- Grilled Corn with Sriracha Aioli
- Grilled Corn Salad with Vegan Chipotle Ranch
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!
Easy Marinated Grilled Chicken (30 Minutes!)
- 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).
NOTE: 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.
*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.