How to Grill Chicken Breasts

A perfectly grilled chicken breast punctuates our summer meals with dependable regularity.  But the most important thing to say about grilling chicken breasts has less to do with the meal you are preparing at the moment, but rather these simple words: Make Extra.

Grilled Chicken Breasts

Leftover grilled chicken breasts will become lunches all week long, and this simple flavorful marinade is very cooperative, enhancing the flavor of the chicken without overpowering it, and allowing it to seamlessly become part of so many other recipes.

How To Tell When Chicken is Done on the Grill

There should be no traces (or only the barest faint traces) of pink inside when the chicken is done and an internal thermometer should read 165°F when inserted at the thickest part.  If you are cooking chicken thighs instead (and those would also be delightful with this marinade) let the internal temperature come up to 170°F.

Grilled Chicken Breasts

Once you’ve cooked up your share of chicken breasts you’ll start to get a sense of when it is just cooked through by feel.  Start to give the chicken breast a poke in the thickest part as you finish cooking it, and you’ll see that it’s firm but not hard – if you poke it often as you cook it, you’ll start to have a good gauge.  Having said that – we all definitely need an internal meat thermometer in our lives!

Make sure to let the chicken breasts sit for at least 5 minutes beiofre slicing them, so they can reabsorb their juices and stay moist. When the meat is sliced, the juices should run clear, not pink, if you’ve cooked it through to the proper doneness.

Grilled Chicken Breasts: A simple marinade ensures juicy, moist, tender, and flavorful chicken breasts every time. Leftovers can and should be used in different ways all week long!

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Grilled Chicken Breasts

What to Serve with Perfect Grilled Marinated Chicken Breasts:

Grilled Chicken Breasts

Recipes Using Leftover Grilled Chicken Breasts:

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Grilled Chicken Breasts

A simple marinade ensures juicy, moist, tender, and flavorful chicken breasts every time. Leftovers can and should be used in different ways all week long!
Yield: 8 People
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Marinating Time 12 hours
Total Time: 12 hours 25 minutes
Diet: Gluten Free



Fresh Tomato Salsa to Serve (optional)

  • 1 cup red cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup yellow cherry (or teardrop) tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 shallot , minced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
  • ½ teaspoon Kosher salt , or to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste


  • Make the marinade and pour into in a large shallow container. Add the chicken breasts, turning to coat them well with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate from 12 to 24 hours.
  • Just before grilling, if making the salsa, roughly chop the red and yellow cherry tomatoes and place them in a medium sized bowl. Add the olive oil, shallot, basil, thyme if and salt and pepper. Toss gently to combine.
  • Remove the chicken breasts from the marinade and pat them dry with pepper towels. Discard the remaining marinade.
  • Heat the grill to medium high. Carefully oil the grill rack.
  • Grill the chicken, turning once about halfway through the cooking time for simple grill marks on each side. Or, turn the chicken every two minutes or so a total of three times, so that you achieve cross-hatch grill marks (turn the chicken breasts a quarter turn as you flip them), until the chicken is cooked through, an internal temperature of 165°F.
  • Remove the chicken from the grill to a cutting board and let sit for at least 5 minutes before serving, sliced or whole. Serve with the tomato salsa if desired.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 3387kcal | Carbohydrates: 57g | Protein: 399g | Fat: 172g | Saturated Fat: 32g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 19g | Monounsaturated Fat: 104g | Trans Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 1161mg | Sodium: 3825mg | Potassium: 8199mg | Fiber: 14g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 2931IU | Vitamin C: 262mg | Calcium: 287mg | Iron: 19mg

The nutrition values are provided as an estimate. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a qualified healthcare professional.

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