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Here’s how to make grilled chicken breast! These tricks make it come out juicy and perfectly seasoned in minutes.

Grilled Chicken

If you’ve had grilled chicken breast that comes out dry and bland, have we got the recipe for you. Here’s how to make grilled chicken so it comes out juicy and perfectly seasoned every time! We’ve figured out the trick to an ultra-moist piece of chicken that melts in your mouth: and it takes just 2 minutes to do. Use this method and you’ll never have bland, boring chicken again! (For thighs, go to Grilled Chicken Thighs.)

Ingredients for grilled chicken

All you need are a handful of ingredients for grilled chicken. It’s possible to get major flavor with just a few common spices! Make sure to use smoked paprika (aka pimentón) if at all possible. It’s a type of paprika from Spain made of dried pimiento peppers that are smoked over a fire, then ground, which infuses it with smoky flavor. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Boneless skinless chicken breasts, organic if possible
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Smoked paprika (pimentón)
  • Salt and pepper

Note: Chicken thighs are also perfect for grilling; they have an even richer flavor than breasts when cooked with the bone and skin. Go to Grilled Chicken Thighs, cooked until juicy with a zingy marinade.

Grilled Chicken

The trick: butterfly the chicken breast

Chicken breasts are often very thick, making them easy to end up dry and tricky to cook evenly. The trick to juicy grilled chicken? Butterfly the chicken breast. Slicing the chicken breast in half horizontally makes thinner pieces that cook more evenly. Side bonus: they’re also easier to eat and better seasoned.

You can buy a chicken breast already butterflied, which may be marked on the package (or it may be labeled as “cutlets”). If you buy regular chicken breasts, you can easily butterfly it yourself in just 2 minutes! Here’s how to butterfly a chicken breast:

  • Place your hand over the top of the chicken breast.
  • Use a sharp knife to carefully slice the breast horizontally, leaving the edge intact so it can open up like a book (or butterfly!).
  • Unfold the chicken breast like a book, then for cutlets, cut along the fold to separate the two halves (each half is a cutlet).

For step by step photos and more details, go to How to Butterfly a Chicken Breast.

How to butterfly a chicken breast

How to grill chicken

Grilled chicken breasts are easy and cook very fast when they are butterflied. Here’s how to grill chicken:

  • Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel, then slice each breast in half horizontally (if not already butterflied). In a container, add olive oil, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, kosher salt, and a few grinds of black pepper and mix.
  • Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes (or up to 24 hours). 
  • Preheat a grill to high heat (450 to 550°F).
  • Grill the chicken breasts until grill marks appear and it releases from the grates, 2 to 4 minutes. Flip and cook until no longer pink in the center and the internal temperature is 165°F, another 2 to 4 minutes.
  • Remove to a platter and cover with foil. Allow to rest for 5 minutes for maximum juiciness.
Chicken Pesto Sandwich

Buy organic chicken if possible

When shopping for this grilled chicken recipe, keep in mind: the best chicken to buy is organic. Buying organic makes sure that it is the highest quality meat that was raised sustainably. It is also free of chemicals and additives so it’s the healthiest option for eating, and overall: it just tastes better!

Per the USDA, organic chicken must be raised in living conditions that accommodate their natural behaviors (like grazing on pasture), fed 100% organic feed and forage, and not given antibiotics or hormones.

Grilled Chicken Breast

How to serve grilled chicken

Grilled chicken is easy to make into a meal. Add a grain and a vegetable and you’ve got dinner! Or, you can slice it into strips for a salad or throw it onto bread for a grilled chicken sandwich. Here are a few easy side dishes for chicken:

More chicken recipes

Love cooking with chicken? Here are a few more tasty chicken recipes to make:

This grilled chicken recipe is…

Gluten-free.

Print
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Grilled Chicken

Grilled Chicken (Juicy & Easy!)


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Rest Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x

Description

Here’s how to make grilled chicken breast! These tricks make it come out juicy and perfectly seasoned in minutes.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 1 pound, organic if possible), butterflied or cutlets
  • ½ tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel. If not already butterflied, place your hand over the top of each chicken breast. Use a sharp knife to carefully slice the breast horizontally, leaving the edge intact so it can open up like a book (or butterfly!). Unfold the breast like a book, then cut along the fold to separate the two halves.
  2. Add the chicken to a container and add the olive oil, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, kosher salt, and a few grinds of black pepper. Mix with your hands until evenly coated.
  3. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes (or up to 24 hours). 
  4. Preheat a grill to high heat (450 to 550°F).
  5. Grill the chicken breasts until grill marks appear and it releases from the grates, 2 to 4 minutes. Flip and cook until no longer pink in the center and the internal temperature is 165°F, 2 to 4 minutes. Remove to a platter and cover with foil. Allow to rest for 5 minutes for maximum juiciness.
  • Category: Main dish
  • Method: Grilled
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Keywords: Grilled Chicken, How to Grill Chicken, Grilled Chicken Breast

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you’ll want to make again and again.

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