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The Grilling Hero
Among the many grill selections of the summer, one humble hero emerges, sizzling and succulent: the grilled chicken breast. This lean poultry machine is both healthy and tasty, as it doesn’t compromise flavor for fitness (our favorite kind of meal). With its smoky char and tender juiciness, grilled chicken breast is a staple of backyard barbecues. Get ready to sink your teeth into this amazingly tender grilled chicken breast with garlic lime marinade – so good that’s sure to become a family favorite. Put some zesty life back into your grilled chicken!
Why This Recipe Stands Out
- This grilled chicken breast recipe uses the most succulent garlic-lime marinade.
- The citrus naturally tenderizes the chicken breast, gifting you with chicken that resists becoming tough.
- The marinade can be made a day or two ahead of time.
- Chicken can be marinated for several hours ahead of time, giving you the best flavor experience.
- It’s perfect for meal prep. Make a large batch and serve it in various delicious ways throughout the week.
- Boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs can be used. Thighs are much less likely to become dry or overcooked. That said, if you take care not to overcook chicken breasts, they’ll retain tenderness.
- Pure honey and brown sugar are our picks for sweetening the deal. The flavors merge superbly and allow a nice browning to occur on the grill.
- Plenty of garlic and freshly squeezed lime juice are in order.
- Regular soy sauce is recommended for best flavor; Tamari is a great gluten-free, lower sodium option.
- Sriracha is our choice for that bit of kick; adjust amount based on desired heat level.
- A bit of fresh ginger provides aromatic flavor; ground ginger can work in a pinch if you can’t find fresh.
Key Tips for Success
- For even cooking, slightly pound the chicken pieces into even thickness.
- For flavor infusion, we always pierce chicken pieces with a fork throughout, prior to marinading.
- Give your chicken the best flavor and tenderness profile by allowing at least 2-3 hours or marinade time, ensuring all pieces are fully immersed in the sauce.
- Always cook just until center is no longer pink, but do watch that chicken is not overcooked, as chicken breasts tend to become tough when overcooked.
What to serve with Grilled Chicken
- Perfect Instant Pot Brown Rice – this is our go to for brown rice for all the meals.
- Coconut Rice – the mild coconut aroma works beautifully with garlic and lime chicken.
- Watermelon Salad Recipe – because watermelon salad goes with every grilled dish, all summer long.
- Avocado Black Bean Corn Salad with Lime Dressing – this one’s a classic favorite, and all our friends agree. It works with everything.
- 21 Summer Salad Recipes – here’s a roundup of our favorite salads once the warmth hits; pair them with this grilled chicken recipe.
Commonly Asked Questions
We highly recommend marinating them for at least 2-3 hours, or up to overnight. They benefit from longer soak time, in order for flavors to fully absorb.
The grilling time for chicken breast depends on its thickness. On average, it takes about 4-5 minutes per side over medium-high heat until the internal temperature reaches 155-160. Keep in mind that all meats will continue to rise in temperature after removal from heat source.
To prevent grilled chicken breast from drying out, make sure not to overcook it. Cook the chicken until the internal temperature is 155-160, as chicken will continue to “cook” as it rests after removing from heat source. It’s also helpful to pound the chicken breasts to an even thickness, marinate them beforehand, and baste them while grilling.
Yes, both gas grills and charcoal grills can be used to grill chicken breast. Gas grills offer more control over temperature, while charcoal grills add a smoky flavor.
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Grilled Chicken Breast, Juicy and Tender
- 3 lb chicken breast, boneless and skinless
- ⅓ cup + 2 TB pure honey
- ¼ cup brown sugar, packed
- ¼ cup soy sauce, regular
- 8 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 TB Sriracha, adjust as needed
- Zest of 1 lime
- 3 TB freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 tsp ground or freshly grated ginger
- ¼ tsp table salt
- Other: Oil for cooking, freshly chopped cilantro for garnish
- Dry: thoroughly dry chicken with paper towel and pierce with fork throughout. Lightly pound pieces into even thickness. Sprinkle both sides of chicken pieces with light layer of kosher salt (kosher salt is much coarser than table salt.)
- Marinade: in a large pan or bowl, whisk together all remaining ingredients into a well-combined marinade. Reserve 1/4 cup of the marinade for later. Add chicken to the pan/bowl of marinade, turning to coat well. Marinade 2-3 hours, turning occasionally to re-coat.
- Grill: coat indoor or outdoor grill with oil, heating over medium-high heat until hot. Place chicken evenly on grill and cook until nice grill marks appear and center is no longer pink, approx. 4 min/side (time depends on thickness) and basting occasionally with your 1/4 cup of reserved marinade.
- Rest: let cooked chicken sit at room temp for 2-3 minutes before cutting into it. Serve immediately with freshly chopped cilantro for garnish, if desired.
- For extra tender grilled chicken, use boneless skinless chicken thighs, as thighs are much more forgiving if you accidentally overcook it.
- For indoor/stovetop grilling, our favorite pan is this cast iron one.
- For serving ideas, see original article.
- If you enjoyed this recipe, please come back and give it a rating ❤️