#1 Best Grilled Chicken

By Christina Collins

Grilled chicken on a platter

This grilled chicken recipe is foolproof!

I really enjoy a good piece of grilled chicken, but I’m always so disappointed in the results! So often they come out bland and dry. And then I stumbled on a really great recipe by “Once Upon A Chef.” After making it more time than I can count, I am declaring it the best Grilled Chicken recipe! It’s simple, delicious, and reliable- exactly what grilled chicken should be.

The chicken is marinated in a ziplock bag with ingredients most of us usually have on hand. These ingredients are:

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Avocado Oil would work well here too)
  • Dried Oregano
  • Dried Thyme
  • Lemon Zest
  • Minced Garlic
  • Kosher Salt & Pepper (Kosher salt is the preferred cooking salt of professional chefs.)
Grilled Chicken

This recipe works because the lemon zest brings a complexity and brightness that balances out the savory herbs. We use lemon zest in place of lemon juice here because lemon juice in a marinade makes it tough, and begins to cure it, turning it white. By using lemon zest, we get the citrus notes, but not the curing.

The Best Grilled Chicken Recipe is versatile, flavorful and easy to make.

This grilled chicken can be served hot, room temperature or cold. This makes it an excellent option for meal prep for sandwiches, salads or by itself simply reheated. It can be prepared in bulk and once cooked, can be reheated with sides of vegetables or topped with a slice of prosciutto or ham and melted cheese, or a dollop of pesto or your favorite sauce. It really is the most versatile protein and a great way to get started if you are new to meal prepping.

Pro Tips!

  • 4 hours of marinating will do the trick, but overnight is even better.
  • The grill needs to be HOT and clean!
  • Take out the chicken about 20 minutes before grilling. The oil will harden in the fridge and needs to relax before grilling. Remove the chicken from the marinade and discard the excess oil and marinade left in the bag.

The recipe below features the exact ingredients as the original recipe, but I broke the steps down so they are easier to follow.

Grilled chicken on a platter

Grilled Chicken

To make the best grilled chicken, simply toss the chicken cutlets with Extra Virgin Olive Oil & Herbs. Marinate for a few hours and grill.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people


  • Grill


  • 1-3/4 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts


  • 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 large garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1-1/4 tsp kosher salt (Diamond brand recommended)
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lemon, zested


Prepare the Chicken

  • Working one at a time, remove the tenderloin from each breast. Then, work to get each chicken piece to 1/2 inch thick by slicing and/or pounding by placing the chicken in a 1-gallon zip-lock bag or between two sheets of plastic wrap.

Make the Marinade

  • Mix all of the ingredients except for the chicken together in a 1-gallon zip-lock bag. Add the chicken breasts to the bag and gently massage the marinade into the meat, ensuring all the chicken is coated. Once coated, make sure as much air as possible is out of the bag. Seal the bag and place on a plate in the fridge. Marinate for at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight.

Cook the Chicken

  • Remove the chicken from the fridge about 30 minutes prior to cooking to relax the marinade. Preheat the grill to high heat (about 600 degrees F.) Make sure grates are clean. (Optional – oil grates. I don’t find this necessary, but some people like to.)
  • Remove chicken from bag and place on a plate for easier transfer to grill. Place the chicken breasts on the grill and cook, covered, for about 3 minutes on one side and about 2 minutes on the other side. Do not touch the chicken until ready to flip. Do not overcook. Remove the chicken from the grill and let rest for about 2 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a platter and serve.


Recommended serving with Tzatziki sauce
tzatziki sauce in a bowl with pita chips
Keyword chicken, grilled

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