Italian Grilled Chicken
This Italian grilled chicken is such an easy recipe to make. Trust me. I used to be skeptical about using the grill (my husband usually would), but this recipe makes it so simple! I’ll walk you through it so you can get that juicy, flavorful grilled chicken you’ve been dying to achieve.
Everyone loves an easy one-pot soup — such as my sweet and spicy chili recipe or my easy lasagna soup — but it’s also very refreshing to have a good serving of lean meat and a side of vegetables. My favorite side dishes to serve with this Italian chicken include oven roasted broccoli, brown sugar roasted carrots, and parsley potatoes.
There’s something about a tender grilled chicken breast and some freshly steamed vegetables that hits that healthy dinner spot.
If you meal prep, be sure to add this grilled Italian chicken to your meal prep menu!
Tool for success
Grilling chicken has been a struggle for me. If I’m going to go through the “hassle” (thankful this recipe is hassle-free) of grilling, then I want a nice, juicy piece of chicken. Don’t you?
So, if you’ve also been feeling a bit shy of the grill, let me give you the secret to success: An instant read thermometer.
You NEED an instant read thermometer if you want a juicy cut of grilled chicken. This is the one I use, and it’s hands down THE BEST!
This Italian chicken recipes uses just 6 ingredients, most of which are common amongst most peoples pantry and freezer.
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- Italian salad dressing
- Dried thyme
- Dried Italian seasoning
- Lemon juice
How to make Italian Chicken
- Prep the marinade. In a medium sized bowl combine the salad dressing, seasonings, lemon juice, and garlic. Mix to combine. Transfer 1/3 cup of the marinade to a separate bowl (this will be used for basting when you grill the chicken).
- Marinate the chicken. Place the marinade and the chicken in a ziplock bag, set this in a bowl in the fridge (just in case your bag has a hole) and let it sit for 4-6 hours or overnight.
- Remove from the fridge. Let the chicken sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before placing on the grill.
- Grill the chicken, more on how to do so below.
How to grill chicken
- Heat your grill to 350°-400°.
- Place chicken breasts on the grill. Close the lid and let them cook for 5 minutes.
- Turn the chicken breasts and baste each one with a generous amount of the marinade you reserved.
- Close the lid, and cook for an additional 5-6 minutes. Using an instant read thermometer, check the thickest part of the breast. You want it to be 155°F. Once it reaches this temperature, remove the chicken breasts from the grill.
- Place the chicken breasts on a plate, and cover with foil to keep warm. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Pro tip: If your grill stays around 400°F a majority of the time you’re grilling, your cooking times may be less. I would estimate grilling both sides for 4-4.5 minutes, rather than 5-6 minutes.
Now, the only way you can ensure you have a perfectly grilled chicken breast is by using an instant read thermometer. Chicken is fully cooked once it reaches 165°F. So why did I tell you to remove the chicken once it reaches 155°F? Chicken continues to cook for several minutes after being removed from the heat source. Who knew, right?
When you remove the chicken breast from the grill, the internal temperature will continue to rise. This is because the outside of the chicken is much hotter than the inside. As the chicken is resting, the outside temperature transfers to the center and thus equalizes the chicken’s temperature.
Doing this results in a juicy and perfectly grilled chicken. Those who remove chicken from the grill when the internal temperature is 165-170°F will find themselves eating a dry, overcooked piece of meat.
This easy Italian Grilled Chicken recipe is the perfect, flavorful lean meat to incorporate in your meal planning or meal prep rotation.
FAQ and Tips
Do I have to marinate the chicken overnight? No. However, marinating overnight greatly enhances the flavor of the chicken.
How do you get the nice grill marks on the chicken breasts? If you want to take your grilling skills to the next level, you can use this tip to get those perfect grill marks on your chicken. The trick is to not move your chicken breasts once you place them on the grill. Lay the chicken on the hot grill and don’t move it! Let it cook on that side for the 5 minutes suggested and then turn the chicken breast over. You want to make sure you cook the first side well enough that you don’t have to turn it back over once it’s already been turned. Try as you might, it’s hard to get the chicken breast in the exact same spot so as to not ruin those beautiful grill marks!
How do I make sure the chicken is tender? Remember, the chicken will still cook a bit after it’s removed from the grill (as I mentioned above). However, there are some tips you can do to tenderize the chicken breasts prior to it even going on the grill. When I want a really tender chicken breast, I’ll use a meat tenderizer (or my rolling pin) and pound the chicken breast a bit in the really thick portions of the breast. This helps even out the thickness of the breast so you get an even grill and aren’t stuck with parts of the chicken being too dry. Then you can add the chicken breasts to the marinade.
More delicious chicken recipes
- Chicken Massaman Curry
- Buffalo Chicken Bites
- Crispy Baked Chicken Drumsticks
- Curry Chicken and Rice
- Creamy Tuscan Chicken
If you make a recipe from Salt & Baker, come back to leave a comment letting me know how it went! I appreciate it so much! ❤️
Italian Grilled Chicken
- 4 chicken breasts, or the equivalent of 1.5 lbs
- 1 bottle of Italian salad dressing
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- In a medium sized bowl, combine the Italian salad dressing, dried thyme, Italian seasoning, lemon juice, and garlic cloves. Stir to combine.
- Reserve 1/3 cup of the marinade (to be used for basting later).
- Transfer the mixture to a large Ziploc bag. Add the chicken. Close the bag, and place in the fridge to marinate for 3-5 hours, or overnight.
- Pull the chicken out of the fridge. Let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes. Remove the chicken from the marinade and discard the marinade.
- Heat a grill to 350°F-400°F. Place the chicken breasts on the grill. **Cook the first side for 5 minutes. Flip and immediately thoroughly baste each chicken breast with the 1/3 cup of reserved marinade.
- Close the grill lid and cook for an additional 5-6 minutes or until inside temperature reaches 155°F. *
- Remove from the grill and place the meat on a plate, tent with foil to keep the meat warm. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
This post was first published February 23, 2018 and last updated April 3, 2020.