An easy recipe for grilled chicken breast uses a simple olive oil and soy sauce marinade that keeps the chicken nice and juicy.
I make chicken recipes quite often for my family, so I am always looking for ways to make them more interesting. I enjoy experimenting with different cooking methods and seasonings. But sometimes simple is best!
Grilled chicken breast is always a great choice. It’s substantial and filling and keeps me full for hours. And in this recipe, a simple marinade of olive oil, soy sauce, and garlic adds lots of flavor to an otherwise basic recipe.
The ingredients you’ll need
You’ll only need five ingredients to make this tasty chicken recipe. The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below. Here’s an overview of what you’ll need:
Chicken breasts: I use boneless skinless chicken breasts in this recipe.
Olive oil: I love cooking with this delicious oil. But if you’d rather use an oil with a higher smoke point, you can use avocado oil instead. Another tasty option is to use melted butter.
Soy sauce: I use reduced-sodium soy sauce in most of my recipes. I find that traditional soy sauce is too salty. Obviously, you can also use a gluten-free alternative.
Seasonings: Black pepper and garlic powder. I actually prefer garlic powder to fresh minced garlic. I feel that it better coats the chicken, and it also doesn’t burn as easily. Note that there’s no salt in this recipe – the soy sauce takes care of that.
What marinade to use?
I use a simple marinade of olive oil and soy sauce to flavor the chicken. I simply brush the marinade on the chicken prior to grilling. But you can marinate it in the fridge for a few hours in a Ziploc bag, then grill.
How to grill a chicken breast
It’s easy! Scroll down to the recipe card for the detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
1. Your first step is to cut three shallow slits across the top of each chicken breast, to help the marinade better penetrate the meat.
2. Then, in a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, soy sauce, black pepper, and garlic powder. Brush the chicken breasts on both sides with the marinade.
3. Heat your grill on medium-high heat and lightly grease it.
4. Grill the chicken breasts until cooked through and no longer pink, flipping them midway through cooking. See the suggested timings in the recipe card below. Let them rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving.
Tips for making this recipe a success
I use my George Foreman grill in this recipe. But you can easily make it in any indoor or outdoor grill, or in a grill pan on the stovetop.
The secret to juicy chicken is to get your grill hot, then grill 5 minutes on each side (5 minutes total in a George Foreman type grill), and allow the chicken to rest for five minutes before digging in.
It’s best to use an instant-read thermometer to ensure the grilled chicken breast is fully cooked and reaches an internal temperature of 165°F. I wrote this recipe for 8 oz chicken breasts. If yours are much bigger, they will need more time on the grill.
Safe grilling tips
My main concern when making grill recipes is that charred food should be minimized.
My solution is to try and grill my food without charring it, or at the very least try to minimize charring. As you can see in the photos, the chicken is nicely grilled, but it is not burned.
To prevent the chicken from charring, keep a close eye on it. You can turn it frequently on the grill instead of just midway through cooking. Another option is to grill over medium heat instead of medium-high and grill for a little longer if needed.
What side dishes go with grilled chicken breast?
This is easy. It goes with anything! It’s such a versatile dish. Of course, if your grill is large enough, it’s easiest to serve this dish with grilled vegetables. Examples:
What about leftovers?
Grilled chicken breast is extremely versatile, so make sure to make several at a time.
You can keep the leftovers for 3-4 days in the fridge, in an airtight container.
More chicken recipes that you might like
If you’re looking for more awesome things to do with chicken breast, try this easy baked recipe for chicken Parmesan.
And for the grill, a good tasty variation on the basic recipe is this Moroccan chicken, where I use a tasty yogurt marinade prior to grilling the chicken.
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Grilled Chicken Breast
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (8 oz each)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons light soy sauce (or a gluten-free alternative)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Cut three shallow slits across the top of each chicken breast, to help the marinade better penetrate the meat.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, soy sauce, garlic powder, and black pepper. Divide the mixture into two small bowls. Use one of them and a pastry brush to brush the chicken breasts on both sides with the marinade.
- Heat a George Foreman 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. For medium (8 oz) chicken breasts, this should take a total of 5 minutes on the George Foreman grill, or 5 minutes on each side in a grill pan. The best way to ensure that they are fully cooked is to use an instant-read thermometer. It should read 160-165 degrees F.
- Transfer the grilled chicken breasts to a sheet of foil and use a clean pastry brush to coat them with the second unused portion of the marinade. Cover them with another sheet of foil and let them rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving.