36 Creative Grilled Chicken Recipes That’ll Shake Up Mealtime
Love easy weeknight chicken dinners? Make them on your grill this summer!
We’re no strangers to heavily leaning on chicken for our weeknight dinners, and having to get creative with how we cook it to avoid falling into a rut. Couple that with our summertime desire to be cooking outside as much as possible while it’s nice out, and it was a no-brainer to figure out ALL the best ways to grill our favorite lean protein. With a few easy marinades, fruit, and spices, you'll happily be eating grilled chicken all summer long too. Check out our list of 36 grilled chicken recipes for ideas.
Let’s start with our top tips for how best to grill chicken. We bet you’ve got a favorite cut of chicken, like thighs, breasts, or wings, and luckily, you can put them all on the grill. Simple marinades made of ingredients like balsamic vinegar, pineapple, or soy sauce make chicken extra flavorful, and only really need 20 minutes or so to soak in (though overnight is best!). If you do marinate overnight, bring your chicken to room temperature before putting it on your grill to avoid the cold meat seizing and becoming tough. Make sure your grill is super hot too, and once your chicken is on there, resist the urge to flip it around a bunch—once midway through should be enough.
While tasty, the simple act of cooking chicken on your grill does not necessarily make a full meal, so we’ve also included all our favorite ways to serve them, from summer salads, to pizzas, to tacos. Check out our grilled chicken Cajun pasta salad, our
elote (Mexican street corn) tacos, or our Mediterranean grilled chicken salad for ideas. Not looking for a full sit-down meal? Try one of our skewered chicken recipes, like our chicken souvlaki, our hoisin chicken kebabs, or our chicken satay. They make a great healthy summer appetizer or side, or can be easily turned into something more substantial if served over rice or in a pita.
Want even more summertime inspiration? Check out our top 100 grilling recipes, our best summer BBQ salads, and our favorite summer side dishes too.
There's a special place in our heart for these super easy grilled chicken wings. What they might lack in the super crisp nature of fried chicken wings, they make up for in smokiness, beautiful grill marks and convenience! They cook up fast (like, 15 to 20 minutes fast), they're coated in a seriously delicious spice rub, and they've got a zingy dipping sauce you'll want to eat with everything.
Get the Grilled Chicken Wings recipe.
Cucumbers, tomato, feta, olives, and avocado combine to create a salad that may just be your go to office lunch from here on out. Hot tip for taking this salad to go: Ditch the whisking and throw all the dressing ingredients into a jar or small tupperware. Right before you eat, give the jar a good shake and you will have a perfectly emulsified vinaigrette.
Get the Grilled Chicken Salad recipe.
Many cookouts are plagued by folks using breasts and not knowing how to grill them. Chicken thighs like we've used here, however, are a lot more forgiving due to their natural tenderness and flavor. They taste even better when slid on skewers alongside bok choy and scallions, then glazed with a hoisin barbecue sauce.
Get the Grilled Chicken Kebabs recipe.
This bruschetta-inspired chicken is incredible when tomatoes are at their peak mid-summer. We like to use use any big tomato that looks juicy at the farmers market—a colorful mix is always fun!
Get the Grilled Bruschetta Chicken recipe.
Satay, considered to be a national dish of Indonesia, is a popular Southeast Asian street food that usually involves a marinated meat being skewered and grilled, then served with a simple saucy dip. Our peanut sauce is the ultimate wingman to satay, containing all the fragrant notes of lemongrass, coconut, fish sauce, and fresh lime zest.
Get the Chicken Satay recipe.
Grilled chicken breasts can be the epitome of boring—too often they're dried out or rubbery. But when soaked in a super-quick marinade with balsamic, brown sugar, and dried thyme, you're guaranteed deliciousness.
Get the Best Grilled Chicken Breast recipe.
Move over Hawaiian pizza! This tropical chicken has become our new favorite savory pineapple dish. The acidity from the pineapple marinade will help to tenderize the chicken breast and the sugar works to caramelize the meat while grilling.
Get the Grilled Pineapple Chicken recipe.
No time to make it to the Caribbean? We've got you covered. This recipe gets its sweetness from cinnamon and allspice and its spiciness from jalapeño and a whole bunch of green onions. Two hours of marinating in this special blend makes for a perfect bite of tender grilled chicken.
Get the Jerk Chicken recipe.
Warning: If you make this Cajun-seasoned, spicy pasta salad at your next summer cookout, be prepared to have everyone asking for the recipe.
When using a sweet and tangy sauce like this, we want to see all those sugars caramelize nicely without ending up with meat that is too charred. Turning your chicken pieces every so often will ensure that no side cooks too quickly and none of it will be burned.
Get the Sticky Grilled Chicken recipe.
♫ California looove ...♫ Balsamic vinegar, garlic powder, honey, oil, and Italian seasoning come together here for a lovely marinade that goes perfectly with in-season tomatoes and creamy avocado.
Get the California Grilled Chicken recipe.
Piri piri chicken is marinated in a spicy and citrusy sauce. Piri piri means “chile” in Swahili, specifically the African bird’s-eye chile that is traditionally used, but is hard to find in the U.S. Fresno chiles work well as a replacement—they are vibrant, fruity, and not too spicy.
Get the Piri Piri Chicken recipe.
Grilling the red onions and buns is totally optional, but will take this chicken sandwich over the top. Serve it with some homemade french fries and you have a restaurant worthy meal right at home.
Get the Grilled Chicken Sandwich recipe.
Wondering what you’re going to make tonight? These grilled chicken tacos are the answer. All the deliciousness of elote or esquites in taco form, and you don’t even have to fire up the grill. Oh, and did we mention you can get them on the table in 30 minutes?
Souvlaki is a classic Greek street food consisting of tender pieces of marinated meat that have been skewered (in Greece “souvla” means skewer) and cooked on a grill. We love it whether we’re serving it on skewers at a BBQ (no picnic tables? no problem!), or tucked into a pita with veggies for a yummy weekday lunch.
Get the Greek Chicken Souvlaki recipe.
To grill skin-on chicken thighs, we recommend salting the thighs at least an hour ahead of cooking. This step is almost like a dry brine that enhances the flavor of your meat and ensures the crispiest results possible.
In 1955, Ernest Morgado, a businessman from Hawaii grilled some chicken and brushed it with a sauce inspired by his mother's version of teriyaki sauce. This sauce included pineapple juice, soy sauce, brown sugar, and (stay with us!) ketchup. Paired with delicious grilled pineapple, this recipe is bursting with flavor.
Get the Huli Huli Chicken recipe.
Everything you love about chicken fajitas, stuffed inside chicken breasts. We especially love how pretty these turn out if you use a rainbow of peppers and onions (a lá our primavera stuffed chicken).
Grilled chicken breast gets a punch of flavor from an easy sauce made from soy, lime juice, and sweet chili sauce. It's got just enough of a kick fort those who want one, but is mild and sweet enough for those who don't!
Come summer, we’ll take any excuse to fire up the grill. And what better excuse is there than a pizza loaded with garlicky chicken? This recipe uses the grill both for the chicken and the pizza dough, resulting in super crispy, deluxe slices that will rival any you can get from your local pizzaiolo.
Why not skip the burgers at your next barbecue and try this super-easy recipe instead? You won’t want to sleep on the sauce, which is a classic BBQ jazzed up with honey and lime. It's so flavorful, the chicken really doesn't need a marinade—which means you get to eat it way sooner.
Get the BBQ Grilled Chicken recipe.
No matter where you stand on a Chipotle burrito, there's one thing we can all agree on: the chicken is darn good. We love a good copycat recipe and this one is spot on. The chipotle pepper and adobo sauce lends that authentic Chipotle taste we long for, and bonus? Guac isn't extra at home!
Get the Copycat Chipotle Chicken recipe.
Alright alright, so these chicken breasts won't get those perfect char marks on the grill, but these are SO easy, we barely miss them. Simple wrap your chicken up in a foil pack with some summer veggies for a fast and super-fresh weeknight summer dinner.
We like topping this grilled chicken with avocado and pineapple salsa , but try our mango salsa or blueberry salsa to change things up if you like!
Get the Grilled Honey-Lime Chicken with Pineapple Salsa recipe.
Marinate the chicken in a quick savory mixture of tomato paste, olive oil, lots of garlic, and fresh parsley for the perfect accompaniment to grilled bread.
Get the Italian Chicken Skewers recipe.
This BBQ chicken gets a zesty kick from Cajun seasoning and a secret ingredient—beer!
Get the Cajun BBQ Chicken recipe.
Grilling ALL the ingredients makes for a much more flavorful chicken quesadilla. Try it, and you won't want to make them any other way!
Get the Grilled Chicken Quesadillas recipe.
Say aloha to your new favorite BBQ kebabs—barbecue sauce (homemade if you like!), soy sauce, vinegar, oil, garlic, ginger and honey combine to make a delicious glaze you might just want to put on everything. Serve these over white rice for a full summertime meal.
Get the Hawaiian Chicken Skewers recipe.
A simple jar of salsa verde (or homemade!) takes chicken to new heights. Want even MORE salsa verde in your life? Try our salsa verde queso or salsa verde ranch taquitos too!
Get the Grilled Salsa Verde Chicken recipe.
Load up these tacos with fancy fixings like pickled jalapeño peppers and pico de gallo to make your kitchen feel like a taqueria.