This Grilled Chicken has become a staple in our house that I make every week. It is one of my favorite ways to prepare chicken because it requires zero marinating, takes less than 15 minutes to make start to finish and uses only a handful of simple ingredients you likely already have in your kitchen. The Best Grilled Chicken

Why You Will Love This Grilled Chicken


  • There is absolutely no marinating required! Simply toss chicken thighs in a mix of spices and olive oil and then cook them on the barbecue for 10 minutes. The chicken is already so flavorful that there is no benefit to leaving it in the spice marinade for a long time. 
  • This is the perfect weeknight meal to make when you are short on time, it takes less than 15 min to make start to finish. 
  • If you are looking for an easy chicken recipe to meal prep for the week, this is it. Cook a double batch of chicken on your outdoor grill, store it in the fridge, and you can toss chopped up chicken into salads, into rice bowls, in a wrap, sandwich or serve it with roasted or grilled veggies. The flavorful chicken is incredibly versatile so you can really serve it in an endless number of ways for a delicious dinner or quick meal. 
  •  Absolutely no fancy ingredients required. A lot of grilled chicken recipes require lots of fresh herbs, lemon juice, brown sugar or barbecue sauce which is often packed with sugar. This easy recipe requires nothing but spices that you likely already have in your kitchen cupboard, it couldn’t be any simpler to make yet has so much flavor. 
  • This really is the best grilled chicken recipe and it’s Paleo, Keto, Whole30, Grain Free, Gluten Free, Dairy Free and Specific Carbohydrate Diet Legal. 

 

The Best Grilled Chicken

Ingredients For This Grilled Chicken


This simple marinade for the chicken contains a handful of ingredients that you likely already have in your spice cupboard. All you need is:

  1. Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs
  2. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  3. Paprika: Smoked paprika (which will give the chicken a slight smokey flavor), hot paprika or sweet paprika all work.
  4. Oregano: only dried oregano will work, don’t try using fresh.
  5. Garlic Powder
  6. Onion Powder
  7. Kosher Salt
  8. Black Pepper

 

 

Is This Grilled Chicken Spicy? 


Nope! I would rate this easy grilled chicken a 2/10 on the spiciness scale and is therefore a great recipe to serve to kids or anyone spice adverse. If you want to give this chicken a kick, I would recommend adding 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon of chili powder to the spice mix or a pinch of red pepper flakes. 

 

 

Tips For Making This Grilled Chicken 


  • After placing the spices and olive oil in the bowl with the chicken thighs, use your hands to toss the chicken pieces in the spice marinade and ensure that every piece is well coated all over. Alternatively you can use a whisk to stir together the spices and olive oil and then pour that mixture over the chicken. 
  • When placing the chicken thighs on the grill, make sure that you lay them out flat on the grill grates and they aren’t folded under. Ensuring that the chicken thighs lay flat and are of even thickness will reduce the chances of some of the chicken being undercooked. 
  • Baste the chicken while it cooks in any of the excess reserved marinade leftover in the bowl so nothing goes to waste
  • Cook the chicken thighs on medium high heat to seal in juices and give the chicken a nice sear
  • If you are cooking a few different cuts of chicken, ie breasts and thighs, move the thinner pieces to indirect heat so that they do not overcook and become dry. 
  • I like to grill the chicken until it gets slightly charred on the corners and has dark brown grill marks. 
  • Let the grilled chicken rest for a few minutes before slicing, this allow the juices to redistribute throughout the meat and ensure they don’t run out over the cutting board. 

 

 

Can I Use Chicken Breasts Instead Of Thighs For This Grilled Chicken Recipe? 


Using boneless chicken breasts in place of thighs is an easy swap to make. I prefer using chicken thighs because I find them to be more tender, flavorful and moist then chicken breasts, but chicken breasts are a great healthy option. To ensure you have juicy chicken breasts that don’t dry out, I recommend using boneless chicken breasts that are relatively even in thickness (if some breasts are a lot thicker, wrap them in plastic wrap and use a meat mallet to thin them out). For the best grilled chicken breasts, cook them for 9 to 10 minutes on direct heat on medium high heat until the juices run clear or a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the grilled chicken breast reads 165 degrees f.

Can I Use A Different Cut Of Chicken? 


I like using boneless skinless chicken thighs because they cook quickly, are more flavourful than breasts and stay moist when grilled. Alternatively you can use boneless skinless chicken breasts, drumsticks, chicken legs, or bone in skin on chicken thighs for this recipe, you will just need to adjust the cooking time accordingly. For guidance I would recommend the following cooking times on medium-high heat for the below cuts of chicken:

Chicken Drumsticks: 20-25 minutes

Bone-in Skin on Thighs: 20-25 minutes

If you are uncertain if the chicken is cooked through I recommend inserting a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the chicken, it is done when it has an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. 

 

How To Serve This Grilled Chicken


This grilled chicken can be served in so many different ways! One of my favourite ways (which I make for dinner at least once a week) is chopping it up into pieces and adding it to a caesar salad, the flavors work incredibly well together. I also love eating it with big dollops of tzatziki on top, the cool flavour of the tzatziki pairs wonderfully with the bold spices of the chicken.  Other side dishes to serve alongside this grilled chicken for an easy summer barbecue include sauteed corn and zucchinicreamy classic coleslawcharred asparagushoney mustard carrot saladgreek salad with cauliflower couscous or grilled eggplant

 

 

 

Is This Grilled Chicken Specific Carbohydrate Diet Legal? 


This Grilled Chicken is Specific Carbohydrate Diet Legal as long as use the correct garlic powder and onion powder which are two spices which often contain an anti-caking agent to prevent the powder from clumping in the jar. Brands such as Frontier Spices and Simply Organic make both onion powder and garlic powder that does not contain any anti caking agents and are therefore Specific Carbohydrate Diet Legal. 

 

The Best Grilled Chicken

Can I Make This Chicken In The Oven?


You can! Lay the chicken thighs out on a large sheet pan making sure that they are spaced out evenly and do not touch or overlap. Cook the chicken at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes and then flip over and cook for another 5 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. Alternatively you can use a grill pan which will create nice grill marks on the chicken. 

 

 

Can I Make This Grilled Chicken In Advance? 


Absolutely. You can toss the chicken in spices and cook it on the gas grill or charcoal grill up to 2 days in advance. Before serving quickly reheat the chicken on the grill for a few minutes until warmed through, on a sheet pan in the oven for 5 min at 350º Fahrenheit or in the microwave for 45 seconds.  I find that this chicken tastes just as good reheated as it does coming right off the grill.

 

 

What About Leftovers?   


Any leftover grilled chicken will last for up to four days in the fridge stored in an airtight container. Alternatively, you can also freeze the chicken for up to four months in a ziplock bag or container. The frozen chicken can be thawed in the fridge overnight, or placed in a water bath if you are short on time until it reaches room temperature before warming up and eating. Leftover chicken is delicious both warm and cold and is great added into salads (especially a Caesar Salad), rice bowls, or just enjoyed on its own dipped into tzatziki. 

 

The Best Grilled Chicken

Here are a few more grilled chicken recipes that you will enjoy…


 

If you make this recipe let me know in the comment section below, I would love to hear what you think or take a photo and tag me (@everylastbite_) on Instagram, I love seeing your photos!

Grilled Chicken Recipe

Every Last Bite
This Grilled Chicken has become a staple in our house that I make every week. It requires zero marinating, takes less than 20 minutes using only a handful of ingredients you likely already have in your kitchen. During the winter months I use this spice blend to make shredded chicken in the oven and have included instructions for that in the notes.
5 from 20 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Diets Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Keto, Paleo, Whole30
Servings 4
Calories 532 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 8 boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp paprika
  • 1 ½ tbsp oregano
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper

Instructions
 

  • Place the chicken thighs in a bowl. Add in the oil and spices and stir with a fork to ensure all sides of the chicken are well coated.
  • Heat a barbecue to high heat. Cook the chicken for 4-5 minutes before flipping and cooking for another 5 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and dark grill marks form.

Notes

To Make Shredded Chicken
  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit
  • You can use 8 chicken thighs or 4 chicken breasts (I usually use breasts) cut them into pieces approximately 2 inches in size. Place all of the cubed chicken in a aluminium or parchment paper lined baking dish approximately 8 x 8inches in size.
  • Add the olive oil plus all of the spices and stir so that all of the chicken is coated and then bake it in the oven for 25 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven, allow to cool slightly and then using two forks shred the chicken in the baking dish. Stir the shredded chicken around in the baking dish to ensure that it absorbs all of the oil and spices. 
Nutrition
Calories: 532kcalCarbohydrates: 5gProtein: 45gFat: 37gSaturated Fat: 6gSodium: 788mgPotassium: 692mgFiber: 2gSugar: 1gCalcium: 66mgIron: 4mg
Tried this recipe?Leave a comment below and let us know how it was!

This post was originally published on August 30, 2023 and the copy was updated on March 31, 2024.

The Best Grilled Chicken