This easy grilled chicken breast is ready in less than 30 minutes, making it ideal for a weeknight dinner.
When making it, I use a simple marinade of olive oil and soy sauce that keeps the chicken nice and juicy.
I make chicken recipes quite often for my family, so I'm 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 dish.
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 ghee.
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.
This is such an easy recipe! Scroll down to the recipe card for detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
Your first step is to cut three shallow slits across the top of each chicken breast, to help the marinade better penetrate the meat.
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.
Heat your grill on medium-high heat and lightly grease it.
Grill the chicken breasts until they are 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.
Note that there's no salt in this recipe - the soy sauce takes care of that. In fact, in many recipes that use high-sodium ingredients such as soy sauce, canned anchovies, or dry-grated parmesan cheese, there's no need for added salt, or you can use just a pinch.
Frequently asked questions
I use a simple marinade of olive oil and soy sauce to flavor the chicken. I simply brush the marinade on the chicken and then immediately cook it. But you can marinate it 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, then grill it for 5-6 minutes on each side (5-6 minutes total in a dual-contact grill), and 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 oz chicken breasts. If yours are much larger, they will need more time on the grill, in which case you'll need to lower the grill's temperature to prevent them from burning.
I love this recipe as is and almost always make it as written. But in case you'd like to vary the basic recipe, here are a few ideas for you:
- You can use avocado oil or melted ghee instead of olive oil.
- Add more spices. Good options include onion powder, smoked paprika, and dried cumin. I don't recommend using dried herbs, as they can burn on the grill.
- Add a tablespoon of hot sauce to the marinade (but be aware that this can create chili fumes).
This is easy. Grilled chicken breast 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:
It's also very good with salads:
You can keep the leftovers for 3-4 days in the fridge, in an airtight container. You can also freeze them in freezer bags for up to three months.
How to use the leftovers? They are wonderful in salads (such as this chicken cobb salad), in wraps (such as this lettuce wrap), in stir-fry recipes, and in casseroles (such as this enchilada casserole).
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Juicy 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
- ¼ 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 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. For medium (8 oz) chicken breasts, this should take a total of 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 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.