Lemon Pepper Grilled Chicken – your new favorite Grilled Lemon Chicken recipe!
One of the BEST recipes for grilled chicken breasts! This savory, delicious Lemon Pepper Grilled Chicken comes together quickly and easily, making it the perfect healthy dinner solution. Great with chicken breasts, legs or thighs!
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During the spring and summer, our grill is being used multiple times a week. Burgers, pork chops, steak and especially grilled chicken! My family loves grilled chicken. Not only does it taste fantastic, it’s super versatile and really easy to make. This Lemon Pepper Grilled Chicken is an amazing grilled chicken recipe and the ultimate week-night dinner solution.
Here’s the simple steps to making this delicious Grilled Lemon Chicken:
Step 1: Mix the lemon pepper marinade
Don’t be intimidated by making your own marinade. You need just a few simple ingredients, and it comes together in minutes. Here’s your ingredient checklist:
- Olive Oil
- 2 lemons (for zest and juice)
- Lemon Pepper seasoning
- Minced Garlic
Yep – that’s it! Just 4 simple ingredients. Be sure to note that you will want to zest one of the lemons before juicing them both. It’s easier to get the zest off a whole, un-juiced lemon.
Whisk together the oil, zest, juice, seasoning and garlic until well combined. (For exact ingredient amounts be sure to reference the recipe below.)
Is it okay to marinate chicken in lemon juice?
Yes, however don’t over-marinate. Marinade time can be anywhere from 30 minutes, but no longer than 24 hours.
Step 2: Add chicken & marinade to a resealable bag
To marinate the chicken, simply place the chicken in the bag and pour the marinade over the top of the chicken. I prefer using resealable bags versus containers or pans – mostly because the marinade can reach all sides of the meat, versus just one side. Often times while marinating in a pan or container you’ll need to rotate the meat. With a plastic bag, you can squish the marinade and meat around, and the liquid coats the meat well.
Refrigerate the marinated chicken for at least 30 minutes or up to 12 hours.
Step 3: Grill the Chicken
Once dinner time rolls around, go ahead a preheat your grill. I have a gas grill, and it heats quite quickly. If you have a charcoal grill, light the coals and get the heat to a medium-high temperature.
Place the chicken breasts over indirect heat, and grill for 6-8 minutes per side. The thicker the cut of meat, the longer it will need to cook. For boneless thighs, cook time will be a little less, approximately 5-6 minutes per side. For chicken legs and thighs (bone-in) cook time will be longer, approximately 10-15 minutes per side. If unsure the meat is done, use a meat thermometer – internal temperature for chicken is 165 degrees.
How do you grill chicken without drying it out?
The best way to dry out chicken is to overcook it. Because chicken breast meat has little to no fat, it retains very little moisture. Keep the cook times to 5-6 minutes per side on medium-high heat. Use a meat thermometer to test doneness.
Step 4: Serve and Enjoy!
Once the chicken is done cooking, let it rest for just a few minutes. This will help keep the chicken juicy.
I’ll often double this batch, and grill up extra chicken for leftovers for salad in the days to follow. It makes a fantastic, healthy lunch and is a big time-saver.
What should I serve with lemon chicken?
Pasta salads are a great side dish to go with lemon chicken. I’ve listed a few below that go wonderfully with this lemon grilled chicken.
This Grilled Lemon Chicken is fantastic served with some of my summer salads:
If you loved this lemon pepper grilled chicken, check out some of my other recipes for the grill:
Here’s the recipe for this simple, delicious Lemon Pepper Grilled Chicken:
- 1 1/2 lbs. chicken breasts (can also use legs or thighs)
- 1/4 c. olive oil
- 1/2 c. lemon juice (juice of 2 lemons)
- 2 Tbsp. lemon zest (zest of about 1 lemon)
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tsp. lemon pepper seasoning
- In a bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, and lemon pepper seasoning.
- Place chicken into a resealable plastic bag. Pour marinade over chicken. Seal bag, and refrigerate chicken and marinade for at least 30 minutes or up to 12 hours.
- Preheat grill to medium high heat. Brush grill grates with olive oil, or spray with non-stick grilling spray. Place chicken over indirect heat. Grill chicken breasts for approximately 6-8 minutes per side.
- If unsure about doneness, use a meat thermometer to make sure internal temperature reads 165 degrees.
- Serve right away while warm.
For chicken legs, grilling time will vary slightly. Bone-in chicken will take longer to cook. On average, chicken legs need approximately 10-15 minutes per side. Always use a meat thermometer to gauge the internal temperature of chicken. Temp should read 165 degrees.