Grilled Lemon Chicken — EASY, ready in 10 minutes, and the chicken is so TENDER, juicy, and full of LEMON flavor!! With grilled broccoli on the side, this is a HEALTHY recipe perfect for swimsuit season that tastes AMAZING!!
Healthy Grilled Lemon Chicken Recipe
Spring and summer means grilling season and I am always looking for flavorful marinades and recipes to keep in my repertoire that are are super easy to whisk together with ingredients we all have on hand.
And this is exactly that type of marinade and recipe. As a bonus, this grilled lemon chicken breast recipe is accidentally gluten-free and healthy, which is nice for swimsuit season.
You probably have everything in your fridge and pantry to make this lemon chicken marinade because it’s as simple as lemon juice, lemon zest, olive oil, ginger, salt and pepper.
I do love barbecue chicken, spicy-sweet chicken, and honey mustard chicken. But I wanted to keep this lemon chicken marinade lighter, clean and fresh-tasting, and with lower sodium than barbecue sauce and other marinades have.
But of course still deliver flavorful, tender, juicy chicken. And it delivers.
What’s in Grilled Lemon Chicken?
To make the grilled lemon chicken marinade and the broccoli side dish, you’ll need:
- Chicken breasts
- Lemon juice and zest
- Olive oil
- Ground ginger
- Kosher salt and pepper
- Fresh basil or parsley (optional)
- Fresh broccoli
How to Make Grilled Lemon Chicken
Add the chicken breasts and the easy lemon chicken marinade ingredients into a zip-top bag and set aside to marinate. Then, remove the chicken from the marinade and grill until cooked through.
As long as you’ve got your grill fired up, why not grill some vegetables in the same amount of time that it takes to grill the lemon chicken, which is just about 10 minutes?
Place the vegetables in a grill basket over high heat on one side of your grill and place the chicken on the other side over medium heat. I used broccoli because it’s hands down my favorite grilled vegetable, but mushrooms, zucchini, and bell peppers are all excellent choices.
Simply drizzle the veggies with a bit of olive oil (many times I use olive oil cooking spray because just a misting is all you need), sprinkle with salt and pepper, and get grilling.
How Long to Marinate Chicken
I like to marinate my chicken overnight for the full and tenderizing effects, but if you’re running short on time, even 30 to 60 minutes will do.
Can I Use Chicken Thighs?
Of course! Just keep in mind that chicken thighs may require more or less time on the grill (it just depends on whether they’re boneless or bone-in, how thick they are, etc.).
Can I Prep Grilled Lemon Chicken in Advance?
Yes, the chicken can be placed in the lemon chicken marinade for an hour or up to overnight. Then, it’s just a matter of firing up the grill and cooking the chicken.
Tips for Making Grilled Lemon Chicken
As a shortcut, I used thin-sliced boneless skinless chicken breasts. Their thinner size makes for faster grilling times and much more even cooking. This recipe would be even faster with chicken breast tenders or sometimes called breast cutlets or medallions, but as it is with the thin-sliced breasts I only needed to grill them 5 minutes per side and they were done.
Many times with large chicken breasts on the grill, I struggle to keep the outside from becoming overly dark before the interior is fully cooked through but with either thin-sliced or breast tenders, you don’t have to worry about that.
Because of the lemon vibe going on in the chicken, feel free to add a bit of lemon zest to the broccoli before serving it. So much smoky, wonderful grilled flavor in every bite. My daughter and I fight over the last bits of broccoli, for real.
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- 1 1/2 pounds thin-sliced boneless skinless chicken breasts (I had 5 breasts)
- 1 to 2 teaspoons lemon zest, optional
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 to 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- fresh basil or parsley, optional for garnishing
- lemon slices, optional for garnishing
Broccoli (Or Another Vegetable)
- 2 large heads broccoli, trimmed into florets
- 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest, optional
- Chicken – To a large ziptop plastic bag, add all ingredients except basil or parsley, seal, and smoosh around to evenly coat chicken. Place bag in fridge for at least 1 hour, or overnight, to marinate.
- Lightly oil grill grates and preheat grill to high heat on one side, medium heat on another side.
- Broccoli – Place florets in a grill basket, evenly drizzle with olive oil (Tip – many times I use olive oil cooking spray because just a misting is all you need), and evenly sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss with your hands to coat evenly.
- Place grill basket over the high/hotter side of the grill and place chicken on the medium heat side; discard bag with marinade.
- Close grill lid and cook for about 5 minutes. Flip chicken, stir broccoli, close grill lid, and cook for another 5 minutes, or until chicken is done and cooked through and the broccoli is as charred as desired.
- Optionally add lemon zest to broccoli, optional fresh basil or parsley for the chicken, optional lemon slices for garnishing, and serve immediately.
- Recipe is best fresh but extra will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 417Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 116mgSodium: 1423mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 4gSugar: 2gProtein: 45g
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