This Lemon Herb Grilled Chicken is juicy and beautifully charred. The easy marinade is perfect for not only chicken, but pork and seafood too. It’s a great versatile chicken recipe!
This is one of my Grilling recipes I know you’ll want to keep on hand!
We may be closing in on the first official day of Fall, but here in the Midwest, the weather is still definitely nice enough to grill for another month or so.
Plus, this recipe is easily made right on the stovetop, so I figured this is a year-round kind of recipe!
The chicken breasts are pounded until even in thickness, marinated in an amazingly delicious lemon and herb marinade, then grilled until a little charred.
We make this recipe all the time, and it’s a favorite for both the adults and the kids.
And it’s very versatile; great as is for dinner, or sliced up in a salad, a wrap, sandwich, and more!
How to make lemon herb grilled chicken?
This is just an overview; the full ingredients and directions are in the recipe card toward the bottom of this post.
- Prepare chicken. Pound chicken if needed. Chicken breasts come in all shapes and sizes, so it’s up to you if you think you need to pound it to an even thickness.
- Make marinade. Whisk the marinade in a plastic bag.
- Add chicken and marinate. For at least 1 hour, or up to 8 hours.
- Grill. Grill chicken for 5-6 minutes per side, until cooked through and lightly charred.
To ensure even, and quicker, cooking, I like to pound the chicken to about 1 inch thick. Some chicken breasts may not be as thick, and won’t need pounding, so you may or may not need to do this.
Variations of this recipe
- Type of chicken – normally we prefer to use boneless skinless chicken breasts, but if you like chicken thighs, feel free to use those instead.
- Other protein – the flavors in this marinade are great with not only chicken, but pork, seafood, and tofu!
- Dried herbs – this marinade recipe uses a lot of fresh herbs, but if you don’t have fresh herbs on hand, you can substitute with dried. I would use about 1 tsp EACH of dried basil, dried mint, and dried parsley.
- Stovetop – if you don’t have a grill, or the weather just isn’t cooperating, these can be cooked on the stovetop as well. Check out all the details in the “Chef Tips” section right below the recipe.
The safest, and most accurate way is to use an internal meat thermometer. Chicken breasts are done cooking when cooked to an internal temperature of 165°F. I’ve linked to my favorite, and inexpensive, thermometer down below.
The first way to keep it juicy goes with the answer above, use an internal thermometer so you can monitor that it doesn’t get overcooked. The second way is to let the chicken rest after it’s grilled. Just let it sit on a platter for 5-10 minutes and all the juices will redistribute throughout the meat.
Absolutely! Slice chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces, then marinate as directed. Thread onto skewers and grill over medium high heat for about 8-10 minutes, flipping once or twice during cooking.
Making grilled chicken ahead of time
I don’t recommend grilling them entirely ahead of time, as I think grilled food tastes best when it’s fresh off the grill.
Since the chicken has to marinate for at least 1 hour, this is sort of a slight make-ahead recipe, but you can have the chicken marinating for up to 8 hours if you want to make it more in advance.
This marinade also freezes well! Feel free to make the marinade in a freezer-safe bag, add the chicken and combine, then seal and freeze for up to 3 months.
Thaw in the refrigerator, then grill as directed.
Leftover chicken should be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container and eaten within 4-5 days.
My Favorite Thermometer!
The key to great grilling is to use a meat thermometer. This one is inexpensive, accurate, and so quick! If you prefer a thermometer that stays in the meat and can alert you when the meat has reached a set temperature, try this ThermoPro!
Did you make this? Be sure to leave a review below and tag me @the_chunky_chef on Facebook and Instagram!
- 1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts about 4 breasts, trimmed of excess fat
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/4 cup white wine vinegar red wine vinegar can also be used
- 5 cloves garlic minced
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh mint
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 – 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 lemons one sliced, one cut into wedges (optional)
- additional fresh parsley for garnish (optional)
- Top cutting board with wax paper, and top with a chicken breast. Top with another piece of wax paper and use the flat side of a meat mallet to pound chicken to about 1 inch thick. If chicken breasts are on the thinner side, you may not need to do this.
- Repeat with remaining chicken breasts.
Marinate the chicken
- Fold the top down on a large resealable plastic bag, and add bag to a mixing bowl (for stability). Add lemon juice, vinegar, garlic, basil, mint, parsley, oregano, salt and pepper. Whisk to combine.
- Pour in olive oil, whisking as you pour.
- Add chicken breasts to remaining marinade, seal bag, and massage marinade into the chicken.
- Place bag with chicken on a plate or small rimmed baking sheet and add to the refrigerator. This keeps any potential leaks from getting all over the refrigerator.
- Chill and marinate for at least 1 hour, or up to 8 hours.
Grill the chicken
- Preheat grill over MED/MED HIGH heat. Brush grill with a little vegetable oil, then grill chicken for about 5-6 minutes per side, until beautifully charred and cooked to an internal temperature of 165°F.
- If using sliced lemons, while chicken is grilling, add some lemon slices to the grill and char.
- Let chicken rest for about 5 minutes to allow juices to redistribute.
- Top chicken with a squeeze of lemon juice and some minced fresh parsley if desired.
Want to save this recipe for later? Click the heart in the bottom right corner to save to your own recipe box!
- Calorie count listed is for one serving (one chicken breast) however the calories are higher than they really are since the program assumes the entire 1/2 cup of olive oil in the marinade is being consumed. When in reality, it’s not.
Cooking chicken inside on the stovetop
- Prepare and marinate chicken as directed.
- Preheat a grill pan or heavy bottomed skillet over MED HIGH heat. Add a drizzle of vegetable oil, then add chicken, 2 breasts at a time (unless you have a huge skillet or pan).
- Cook for 5-6 minutes per side, until beautifully charred and cooked to an internal temperature of 165°F.
- If using lemon slices, add some to the pan to char while the chicken is cooking.
- Set chicken aside on a plate and let rest for 5 minutes.
- Serve with a squeeze of lemon and sprinkled with additional parsley if desired.
The Chunky Chef is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.
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