This easy grilled chicken breast recipe is ready in less than 30 minutes, making it ideal for a weeknight dinner.
When making it, I use a simple olive oil and soy sauce marinade that keeps the chicken juicy.
Grilled chicken breast is always an excellent choice. It's substantial and filling, and my entire family enjoys it. This easy recipe's simple marinade of olive oil, soy sauce, and garlic greatly enhances the chicken's flavor.
Here's an overview of the ingredients needed for this grilled chicken breast recipe. The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below.
- Chicken breasts: I use boneless skinless chicken breasts, just like in this baked chicken breast recipe.
- Olive oil: I love cooking with this delicious oil. However, you can use avocado oil instead if you prefer an oil with a higher smoke point.
- Soy sauce: I use reduced-sodium soy sauce in most of my recipes. You can use a gluten-free alternative.
- Seasonings: Black pepper and garlic powder. I prefer garlic powder to fresh minced garlic. It coats the chicken better and doesn't burn as quickly.
- You can substitute avocado oil or melted ghee for olive oil. I especially like the nutty richness of ghee.
- Add more spices. Good options that I tried and liked include onion powder, smoked paprika, and dried cumin. You can use ½ teaspoon of each. I don't recommend using dried herbs, which can quickly burn on the hot grill.
- I like to add a tablespoon of hot sauce to the marinade. If you go this route, be aware that this can create chili fumes and air out the kitchen if you're grilling indoors.
Grilled Chicken Breast Instructions
Scroll down to the recipe card for detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps for making this recipe:
Cut three shallow slits across the top of each chicken breast to help the marinade better penetrate the meat.
Whisk the olive oil, soy sauce, black pepper, and garlic powder in a small bowl. Brush the chicken pieces on both sides with half the marinade.
Heat your grill on medium-high heat and lightly grease it. Grill the chicken until it is cooked through and no longer pink, flipping it midway through cooking.
Coat the chicken with the unused portion of the marinade using a clean pastry brush. Let it rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving.
Note that this recipe does not include salt. This is not an omission. Salt is unnecessary because the soy sauce adds plenty of saltiness, even when using reduced-sodium soy sauce.
In many recipes that call for high-sodium ingredients such as soy sauce, canned anchovies, cooked ham, or dry-grated parmesan cheese, there's no need for added salt, or you can use just a pinch.
I flavor the chicken with a simple olive oil and soy sauce marinade. I simply brush the marinade on the chicken and immediately cook it.
But you can marinate the chicken in the fridge for a few hours in a resealable bag placed on a rimmed plate.
The secret to juicy chicken is to get your grill hot and grill the chicken just until cooked through, for 5-6 minutes on each side (5-6 minutes total in a dual-contact grill). It's also important to allow the chicken to rest for 5-10 minutes before digging in.
It's best to use an instant-read thermometer to ensure the chicken is fully cooked and reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.
I wrote this recipe for 8-ounce chicken breasts. If yours are much larger, they will need more time on the grill, and you'll need to lower the grill's temperature to prevent them from burning.
This is such a versatile dish. It goes with anything. If your grill is large enough, it's easiest to serve the chicken with grilled vegetables such as:
Salads are another excellent option:
In the photo below, originally taken in 2011 (I've been making this recipe for many years now), I served the chicken with the simplest side of mixed greens dressed with olive oil and lemon juice:
You can keep the leftovers in the fridge, in an airtight container, for 3-4 days. Reheat them in the microwave, covered, at 50% power, or enjoy them cold with sriracha mayo.
You can also freeze the leftovers in freezer bags for up to three months. Thaw them overnight in the fridge.
Using The Leftovers
More Chicken Breast Recipes
Juicy Grilled Chicken Breast
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (8 ounces each)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce (or a gluten-free alternative)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Cut three shallow slits across the top of each chicken breast to help the marinade better penetrate the meat.
- Combine the olive oil, soy sauce, garlic powder, and black pepper in a small bowl. Divide the mixture between two small bowls. Use one of them and a pastry brush to brush the chicken breasts on both sides with the marinade.
- Heat a dual-contact electric grill or a grill pan on medium-high heat and lightly grease the grill.
- Grill the chicken breasts until cooked through and no longer pink, flipping them midway through cooking. Medium (8-ounce) chicken breasts should take about 6 minutes on a dual-contact grill or 6 minutes per side in a grill pan.
- Transfer the chicken pieces to a sheet of foil and use a clean pastry brush to coat them with the unused portion of the marinade.
- Loosely cover the chicken breasts with foil and let them rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving.
- If the pan gets too hot, lower the heat to medium. The best way to ensure that the chicken is fully cooked is to use an instant-read thermometer. It should read 165 degrees F.
- If your chicken breasts are larger than 8 ounces, they will need more time on the grill. Add one extra minute per side (on a dual-contact electric grill, flip them and cook for 2 more minutes), then check their temperature to see if they're fully cooked. Lower the grill temperature to medium to prevent the chicken from burning.
- You can keep the leftovers in the fridge, in an airtight container, for 3-4 days. Reheat them in the microwave, covered, at 50% power, or enjoy them cold. You can also freeze the leftovers in freezer bags for up to three months. Thaw them overnight in the fridge.
Add Your Own Notes
Nutrition per Serving
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