12 Best Grilled Chicken Recipes

Chicken is a staple in many people's diets, and while you could cook it in countless ways, grilling is one of the absolute best methods. Sure, grilling might require you to fire up that charcoal or gas grill that's been collecting dust in the backyard, but the results are well worth the extra effort — not to mention that grilled chicken typically cooks up nice and quick. Grilled chicken is incredibly juicy on the inside and crisp on the outside thanks to a light charring, with a subtly smoky flavor throughout that you just can't accomplish by way of baking, air frying, boiling, or sous vide cooking.

As for how you serve your grilled chicken, that's where the fun part comes in. You can grill up some chicken breasts and serve them as-is, perhaps paired alongside roasted vegetables and a side salad. Or, you can get creative and grill chicken skewers, char-grill barbecue chicken legs, or make customized chicken and vegetable kebabs. The good thing about grilling chicken is that just about any cut will work, and you can go as heavy or light as you'd like on the seasonings or marinades.

While cooking chicken on the stovetop or in the oven may offer convenience, grilling chicken takes the protein to a whole new level of deliciousness while simultaneously conjuring up images of backyard barbecues and warm summer days. Get inspired with our best grilled chicken recipes and stop settling for that same old roasted chicken recipe over and over again.

1. Mediterranean Grilled Chicken

This Mediterranean-inspired grilled chicken recipe puts juicy thighs to good use, coating them in a bright and zesty marinade that consists of lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, parsley, paprika, and oregano. You'll need to plan ahead a little bit to give the chicken enough time to marinate — at least 30 minutes — though if you're a real planner, you could even get the chicken marinating the night before and let it refrigerate for a full 24 hours. The longer your chicken sits in the marinade, the tastier it will be.

Regardless of how long you end up marinating the chicken, the cooking process remains the same. You'll fire up the grill (you could also use a grill pan on the stovetop), and cook the thighs for about 10 minutes total, possibly less depending on their thickness. Be sure to flip the thighs halfway through cooking so that both sides get a little bit of char, then your Mediterranean grilled chicken is ready to go, just like that.

When it comes to serving, the chicken is bursting with flavor, so more neutral side dishes are the way to go. You could keep it super simple and serve this chicken alongside white rice or couscous, or you could lean into the Mediterranean theme and serve it along with a pita platter or tomato- and olive-infused salad.

Recipe: Mediterranean Grilled Chicken

2. Grilled Greek Chicken Grain Bowl

Lunchtime just got a whole lot more exciting thanks to this grilled Greek chicken grain bowl recipe — ideal for those who want a recipe that yields a full, put-together meal, not just the grilled chicken. Of course, grilled chicken is a key component of this dish, so you'll kick things off by marinating chicken breasts in bright, garlicky, herb-infused marinade. You'll let that sit for about 30 minutes, then it's off to the grill the chicken goes.

There's much more going on in this recipe than just the chicken, however. The final product is a grain bowl, and the specific grain is ultimately up to you — an ancient grain like farro is a good choice. Other ingredients include chickpeas, pine nuts, kalamata olives, fresh cucumber, tomatoes, and feta cheese, so it's safe to say that this bowl is absolutely bursting with Greek-inspired goodness. In case all of those inclusions weren't enough, you'll also whip up a Greek yogurt-dill sauce to add a final layer of creaminess to the bowl. Because it's so hearty on its own, you don't need to pair anything alongside the grain bowl — enjoy it for lunch or dinner.

Recipe: Grilled Greek Chicken Grain Bowl

3. Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad

There aren't too many rules when it comes to making a Caesar salad (other than the fact that anchovies inarguably belong in the dressing), so if you want to add a summery flair to the ever-popular dish, the grilling route is the way to go. This recipe not only calls for grilling chicken breasts to juicy perfection, but it also calls for grilling the romaine lettuce — a move that you don't commonly see in Caesar salad recipes, but one that makes this recipe stand out in the best way possible.

Before you fire up the grill, you'll want to get that Caesar dressing going, which is an especially easy task if you do so in a blender. Once the anchovies, lemon juice, garlic, and egg yolk are all blended up, you'll slowly pour in the olive oil to emulsify the concoction of ingredients into a smooth, tangy, savory dressing.

Then it's time to grill the chicken and romaine, both of which will get a beautiful char thanks to the cooking method. Make sure that you're working with romaine hearts so the lettuce doesn't completely fall apart on the grill, and when it comes time to serve your grilled salad, don't be shy with the shaved Parmesan garnish.

Recipe: Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad

4. Vibrant Key West Chicken

Bright, zingy, and vibrant, Key West chicken relies on citrus to achieve its notable flavor profile. More specifically, orange juice and lime juice come together along with a medley of spices including cumin and paprika to create a surprisingly refreshing marinade. Other marinade ingredients include honey, soy sauce, and parsley, so you can count on an equal balance of citrus, sweetness, saltiness, and freshness throughout.

Now, if you follow this recipe as written, then you'll notice that it calls for searing and then oven-baking the chicken — a foolproof method that will deliver delicious results every time. To stay true to the grilling theme of this list, you could easily grill this chicken up, and instead of preheating the oven, you'd want to get that grill going instead. There'd be no need to sear the chicken if you go the grilling route, and you'd still marinate the breasts all the same and cook them for about the same time, or until they reach an internal temperature of 165 F. Considering how bright and summery the flavors of Key West chicken are, it only makes sense to bust out the grill and take that cooking route anyway.

Recipe: Vibrant Key West Chicken

5. Bourbon-Chile Barbecue Grilled Chicken

This bourbon-chile barbecue grilled chicken recipe is ideal for two types of people: those who like to plan ahead and those who have an entire chicken on their hands. If you check one or both of those boxes then you're not only in luck but also in for a treat with this recipe, which will make you feel like you're at a summer backyard barbecue, even if it's the dead of winter or spring.

The planning ahead portion of this recipe comes in the form of marinating the chicken, which is a process that takes all night. Luckily, with a little foresight, you can coat the chicken in barbecue sauce the night before you plan to cook it and pop it into the refrigerator without another thought. Once it does come time to cook, the process couldn't be easier. Simply light your grill, cook each piece of chicken for a few minutes, and voilà — you've got barbecue chicken that's absolutely bursting with flavor and somehow still manages to have a crispy skin, too.

While this recipe calls for using a premade bourbon-chile barbecue sauce, you can use whatever kind of sauce you like or whatever you have on hand. You could even whip up your own bourbon-infused sauce should you feel so bold.

Recipe: Bourbon-Chile Barbecue Grilled Chicken

6. Ancho-Grilled Chicken Breast With Charred Corn Relish

If you've never cooked with ancho chiles or ancho chili powder before, then you may be surprised to learn that an ancho chile is actually just a dried poblano pepper. They provide a subtly sweet and earthy flavor profile, and while anchos do have a kick of heat to them, they aren't known for being incredibly spicy. In this grilled chicken recipe, ancho chili powder provides its unmistakably earthy flavor profile alongside toasted peppercorns, coriander, cumin, and yellow mustard seeds. Brown sugar adds a touch of sweetness while cinnamon adds a hint of warmth, making for a seasoning blend that is much more complex than any storebought mix.

While the spiced grilled chicken is no doubt the star of this recipe, there is another component that deserves some recognition, and that's the bright charred corn relish. Zesty flavors from lime juice, apple cider vinegar, cucumber, avocado, cilantro, mint, and corn contrast beautifully alongside the chicken, making for a complete dish that packs in as much vibrancy as it does warmth.

Recipe: Ancho-Grilled Chicken Breast With Charred Corn Relish

7. Grilled Za'atar Chicken Skewers Recipe

Chicken skewers are a staple in Mediterranean cuisine, and now you can have a little taste of such cuisine right in your own home (err, backyard at least). This recipe not only yields juicy chicken skewers, but also incorporates za'atar seasoning for an optimal hit of flavors like sumac, thyme, oregano, and sesame. While this recipe calls for using a pre-mixed za'atar seasoning blend, you can easily make a homemade version if you have the separate seasonings on hand.

You'll start by marinating the chicken in olive oil and za'atar, then you'll give it a brief (or prolonged) stint in the fridge before cooking. There truly is no better way to cook a skewer than on the grill, so pop those chicken pieces on wooden or metal skewers and toss them on the grill plate (you could use a grill pan in a pinch). Since the chicken is broken down into such small pieces, it won't take long to cook, so keep an eye on it to make sure that it doesn't overcook. As a final step, mix together Greek yogurt, lemon juice, and garlic for a simple side sauce, then your grilled chicken entrée is ready to go.

Recipe: Grilled Za'atar Chicken Skewers

8. Tahini-Marinated Mediterranean Grilled Chicken

Tahini is a smooth, creamy condiment that looks like peanut butter but tastes like sesame, and as it turns out, it also makes for a good chicken marinade. This recipe pairs tahini with olive oil, lemon juice, sumac, paprika, coriander, oregano, mint, and garlic to create an earthy and herbaceous marinade that perfectly complements neutral chicken thighs. Once marinated, the thighs spend some quality time on the grill, giving the tahini a chance to caramelize and meld effortlessly into the chicken.

Before you go using up all the marinade on the chicken, you'll want to reserve a small amount of it to mix with Greek yogurt to create an effortless dipping sauce. The creamy, mellow yogurt-tahini sauce works well with the much bolder tahini flavor in the chicken itself, and together, they pair well with simple sides like rice, mashed potatoes, or perhaps a shepherd's salad. If you want to get extra creative, you could slice up the chicken and load it into a tortilla along with tomatoes, onion, feta cheese, and of course plenty of that yogurt sauce.

Recipe: Tahini-Marinated Mediterranean Chicken

9. Grilled Char Siu Chicken

Char siu often refers to pork, but in this case, chicken is the star of the show — and we mean the whole chicken, not just a single cut. Actually, who are we kidding, the chicken is nothing without the incredible sauce, which consists of ketchup, brown sugar, honey, soy sauce, Sriracha, Shaoxing rice wine, hoisin sauce, Chinese five-spice powder, and sesame oil. A chopped beet contributes mild earthiness while also giving the sauce (and therefore the chicken) that distinct red hue. The sauce is tangy, it's sweet, it's salty, it's earthy, and most importantly of all, it pairs well with just about any type of meat, especially mild chicken.

To ensure that the flavors of each and every sauce ingredient fully absorb into the chicken, you're going to want to marinate it overnight. When it comes time to cook, the grill is the only way to go, not only retaining all of the chicken's juiciness but also giving it the perfect charred exterior. Since this chicken is bursting with flavor, you're going to want to keep the pairing options simple — think white rice or grilled broccoli.

Recipe: Grilled Char Siu Chicken

10. Grilled Chicken And Vegetable Kebabs

Saffron is a notoriously expensive spice, so if you keep it stocked in your pantry, you don't want to use it on just any recipe. Fortunately, we think this grilled chicken and vegetable kebabs recipe is worthy of busting out the good stuff, mostly because you'll only use up a pinch of saffron and the finished kebabs will be well worth the expenditure. Aside from the saffron, you'll also use yogurt, butter, garlic, coriander, turmeric, and red pepper flakes to create a creamy marinade that packs in just enough flavor without going overboard — and, of course, one that allows that expensive spice to shine.

Chicken doesn't get a grilling treatment alone in this recipe, as you'll also load up your skewers with red onion and bell pepper for a little vegetable variety. Once grilled, these chicken and vegetable kebabs are best enjoyed with some fresh lavash, though any flatbread will do the trick. A final garnish of mint and parsley offers a fresh, herbaceous flair to this delicious Mediterranean dish.

Recipe: Grilled Chicken And Vegetable Kebabs

11. Beer-Can Chicken

Some roast chicken recipes call for stuffing the bird's cavity with an assortment of citrus, vegetables, and aromatics. Meanwhile, beer can chicken calls for stuffing it with, well, a beer can. Sure, it's not the most elegant of cooking methods, but it sure does result in a juicy bird. Best of all, you don't need to splurge on pricy craft beer to make the perfect beer can chicken — in fact, the cheap stuff works best, so grab your light lager and your whole chicken and fire up that grill.

You can use either a charcoal or gas grill for this recipe, and the only real challenge is making sure that the beer can stand upright as you slide it into the chicken's cavity (we don't want any of that beer spilling and going to waste). A unique aspect of this recipe is that it calls for seasoning the bird with za'atar, which gives it much more complexity than your simple salt and pepper combo. Despite cooking the chicken whole, it'll only take about an hour to grill before this poultry is ready to be the life of the party.

Recipe: Beer-Can Chicken

12. Flavor-Packed Jerk Chicken

If you're looking for a surefire way to pack plenty of flavor into chicken, then you can't go wrong with jerk seasoning. If you haven't found a store-bought or pre-mixed jerk seasoning blend that you like, then this jerk chicken recipe is just the solution, as it calls for whipping up a fresh batch of seasoning. To do so, you'll need staple ingredients like scotch bonnet chiles, ginger, garlic, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, dried thyme, apple cider vinegar, and a few other pantry staples to make the magic happen.

Though this recipe calls for oven-roasting the chicken, you can easily grill it and yield equally tasty results — in fact, grilling would pack in more flavor and help crisp up the skin of the chicken thighs, too. Whether you go the choose-your-own-adventure route and opt for grilling or stick to roasting, there's no doubt that your chicken will be perfectly juicy on the inside and bursting with subtly spicy, tangy, smoky flavors on the outside. Keep the sides simple and serve your jerk chicken alongside some rice and green peas.

Recipe: Flavor-Packed Jerk Chicken