This Grilled Chicken Breast recipe is made with boneless, skinless chicken breast and a homemade red wine vinaigrette marinade for the most tender, juicy, and flavorful grilled chicken you'll ever try.
Grilled chicken is a summertime staple. Whether you're at home or at a backyard barbecue, it's hard not to get excited when marinated grilled chicken is on the menu.
And today, I'm sharing my favorite grilled chicken breast recipe with you!
Marinated in a savory red wine vinaigrette dressing, these chicken breasts are tender, succulent, and oh-so flavorful. And best of all, grilled chicken breasts pair well with just about any side dish. So, it's easy to turn them into a quick and easy dinner recipe the whole family will love.
If you want to learn how to make perfectly grilled chicken breast using my go-to method, keep reading. With just a few simple steps, you'll have juicy and flavorful chicken that's sure to impress everybody at your next cookout.
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Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Perfectly Tender- By pounding the chicken breasts and marinating them in vinaigrette, the meat fibers are broken down and infused with flavor, resulting in tender, juicy, and moist chicken when grilled.
- Flavorful- Infused with tangy red wine vinegar, garlic, and herbs, this easy grilled chicken recipe is bursting with flavor.
- Easy to Make- Marinating chicken breast is a fuss-free way to add flavor, without the need for special skills, techniques, or equipment.
- Versatile- Grilled chicken breast pairs well with just about any side dish you can think of. It's also a fantastic ingredient to have on hand to create other dishes throughout the week.
- Grilling Season Staple- In my house, grilled chicken breast is a must-have during the summer season. It just wouldn't be complete without it!
Here are some notes on the key ingredients. For the full list of ingredients, check out the recipe card below.
- Chicken Breast- Pounding the chicken breast to an even thickness is crucial for this recipe. It ensures even cooking and tenderizes the meat for a more juicy and flavorful grilled chicken breast.
- Red Wine Vinegar- With its bold, tangy, and slightly fruity flavor, red wine vinegar is one of my favorite chicken marinades.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil- The rich, peppery flavor of extra virgin olive oil rounds out the sharpness of the vinegar.
- Dijon Mustard- Dijon mustard not only adds a delightful touch of tanginess to your chicken marinade, but it also serves as an emulsifier.
- Honey- Balances the acidity of the vinegar by adding a touch of sweetness to the chicken marinade.
- Garlic- Freshly sliced garlic packs a flavorful punch in homemade chicken marinades.
- Italian Seasoning- Adds a savory, herby flavor to the marinade.
- Kosher Salt- Kosher salt is a type of salt that doesn't usually contain any extra stuff like sugar or anti-clumping agents.
- Black Pepper- Use freshly ground black pepper for the best flavor.
Substitutions and Variations
Here are a few ways you can try customizing this easy grilled chicken breast recipe to fit your diet and taste preferences.
- Chicken Breast- Use chicken thighs or chicken drumsticks in place of boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Keep in mind that cooking times may vary depending on the substitute used, so be sure to adjust accordingly.
- Red Wine Vinegar- You can substitute red wine vinegar with white wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, white distilled vinegar, or balsamic vinegar in the chicken marinade.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil- Experiment with other neutral-flavored oils, such as avocado oil, grapeseed oil, sunflower oil, or canola oil.
- Dijon Mustard- Substitute dijon mustard with whole grain, honey, yellow or brown mustard, or 2 teaspoons of dry mustard powder.
- Honey- Swap honey for maple syrup, agave syrup, brown sugar, or granulated sugar, or omit the sweetener altogether.
- Garlic- Substitute fresh garlic with ½ teaspoon of garlic powder.
- Italian Seasoning- Replace Italian seasoning with dried oregano or create a custom seasoning blend using any dried herbs you have in your spice cabinet.
- Fresh Herbs- Chopped fresh herbs like thyme, rosemary, or basil can add a burst of fresh flavor to the marinade.
- Citrus- Mix the red wine vinegar with some lemon juice, lime juice, or orange juice for a bright, citrusy chicken marinade.
- Balsamic- Create a marinade with a sweet and complex taste by mixing some balsamic vinegar with red wine vinegar.
- Soy- Add a splash of soy sauce to the marinade for a savory, umami flavor.
- Spicy- Add some heat to your chicken marinade with red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper.
- Smoky- You can add smoked paprika, chipotle powder, or adobo sauce to the marinade for a smoky and spicy taste.
Here are some notes on any special equipment I used to make this recipe.
- Grill- I use a propane gas grill to grill my marinated chicken breasts.
- Meat Mallet- Using a meat mallet to pound the chicken is crucial to achieving evenly cooked and tender chicken breasts.
- Meat Thermometer- Using a meat thermometer to check the temperature of the chicken helps you know when it's fully cooked.
How to Make Grilled Chicken Breast
Here is how to make grilled chicken breast on a gas grill.
Step 1: Make the red wine vinaigrette marinade. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together all ingredients except the olive oil. Place the mixing bowl on top of a damp dish towel to keep it steady. While whisking continuously, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until smooth. Set aside.
Step 2: Prepare the chicken breast. Cut the chicken breast lengthwise into equal-sized pieces, trimming and discarding any excess fat. Lay a piece of plastic wrap over the chicken breasts and pound chicken into an even, ½-inch thickness.
Step 3: Marinate the chicken breast. Place chicken breast into the bowl of marinade and toss until evenly coated. Cover the bowl with beeswax wrap or plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 2 days. You can turn the chicken breast every few hours for more even marinade coverage.
Step 4: Preheat the grill. Remove the marinated chicken breasts from the refrigerator about 30 minutes prior to cooking to bring them closer to room temperature. Preheat grill on high heat for 15 minutes.
Step 5: Grill chicken breasts. Reduce the heat to medium-high. Remove the chicken breast from the marinade, allowing the excess marinade to drip back into the bowl. Place the chicken breasts on the grill and close the lid. Cook chicken for about 4-5 minutes per side. The chicken is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 165℉.
Step 6: Rest the chicken. Transfer the chicken breasts to a plate and allow them to rest for 10 minutes before serving.
Tips for Success
- Marinate for at least 2 hours. Thinly pounded chicken breasts can be marinated in as little as 30 minutes, but I recommend at least 2 hours. However, if you've planned ahead, overnight is even better.
- Take the chicken out before cooking. Take the chicken out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before grilling to allow it to come to room temperature.
- Preheat the grill. To sear the outside of the chicken while keeping the inside tender and juicy, it's important to get the grill grates really hot. This will also help you achieve those classic grill marks.
- Don't overcook the chicken. To avoid tough, dry chicken breasts, it's important to cook them to the correct temperature. Use a meat thermometer to ensure that the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F. This ensures that your chicken is safe to eat and helps it retain its juiciness.
- Let the chicken rest after cooking. Letting the chicken rest for a few minutes after grilling will help to keep them juicy and tender. Cover them loosely with foil to keep them warm while they rest.
What to Serve With Grilled Chicken Breast
Summer is the perfect time to grill up some juicy chicken breasts and enjoy them with a variety of delicious side dishes.
Grilled chicken breast naturally pairs well with a variety of leafy green salads and other cold salads. Some of my favorites include Herbed Potato Salad, Red Lentil Pasta Salad, Ancient Grain Salad, Pesto Orzo Salad, Spinach Caprese Salad, Soba Noodle Salad, and Caesar Salad.
If you want to serve pasta as a side dish, try this Pesto Rigatoni. The bright, fresh flavors of the pesto complement the grilled chicken perfectly. Alternatively, this Stovetop Mac and Cheese is a satisfying side dish for grilled chicken breast.
Finally, pairing your tender grilled chicken breast with grilled, roasted, or sautéed vegetables, such as asparagus, Brussels sprouts, green beans, or broccoli, creates a wonderful combination of textures and flavors.
How to Use Leftover Grilled Chicken Breast
Whenever I grill chicken, I always make enough to have leftovers. Grilled chicken breast is a great ingredient to have on hand for quick and easy meals throughout the week.
Here are a few of my favorite ways to use leftover grilled chicken breast:
- Quesadillas, burritos, tacos, enchiladas, and nachos
- Chicken salad sandwiches
- Grilled chicken sandwich
- Leafy green salads topped with grilled chicken
- Stir fries or fried rice
- Pasta dishes
- Chicken noodle soup, chicken tortilla soup, or chicken ramen
Storage and Reheating
How to Store
- Refrigerator- According to the USDA, grilled chicken breast can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 3-4 days.
- Freezer- Freeze leftover grilled chicken by wrapping them tightly in plastic wrap and storing them inside a freezer-safe plastic bag or container for up to 4 months.
How to Reheat
When reheating, let the leftover chicken sit out for 20-30 minutes to reach room temperature. This helps prevent it from overcooking and drying out.
- Stovetop- Add a small amount of water or chicken stock to a skillet and lay the leftover grilled chicken breast in a single layer in the liquid. Cover the skillet with a lid and heat the chicken for about 3-4 minutes per side or until fully warmed through.
- Oven- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the leftover grilled chicken in a baking dish and cover with foil. Drizzle with a small amount of water or chicken stock for added moisture. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until heated through.
- Microwave- Place the chicken breasts on a microwave-safe plate and cover with a damp paper towel. Microwave on HIGH for 30-60 seconds or until fully heated through.
- Grill- Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Brush the chicken with some oil or marinade and grill for 3-4 minutes on each side or until heated through.
- Air Fryer- Preheat your air fryer to 375°F. Place the leftover chicken in a single layer in the air fryer basket. Heat for 3-5 minutes, flipping halfway through.
Save yourself some time and effort by preparing the red wine vinaigrette marinade in advance and storing it in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. This is especially helpful if you're planning on meal prepping or hosting a barbecue, as you'll be able to focus on other tasks while the chicken is marinating.
Frequently Asked Questions
The amount of time it takes to grill chicken breast will depend on the thickness of the chicken breast. For this recipe, I recommend pounding the chicken breasts out into an even ½-inch thickness so that they cook in about 8-10 minutes total.
Use an instant read thermometer to know exactly when your grilled chicken breast is done cooking. It should reach an internal temperature of 165°F.
To achieve tender and juicy grilled chicken, follow these simple steps: Use a meat thermometer to avoid overcooking, marinate the chicken in an acidic mixture, and pound it to an even thickness.
When grilling chicken breast, flip it only once, about halfway through cooking.
Be sure to leave a comment below if you have any questions. You can also connect with me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, or via email at [email protected].
More Grilling Recipes
Grilled Chicken Breast
For the Red Wine Vinaigrette Marinade
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon honey
- ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
For the Grilled Chicken Breast
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together all ingredients except the olive oil. Place the mixing bowl on top of a damp dish towel to keep it steady. While whisking continuously, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until smooth. Set aside.¼ cup red wine vinegar, 2 cloves garlic, 1 tablespoon dijon mustard, ½ teaspoon honey, ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, ¼ teaspoon black pepper, ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- Cut the chicken breast lengthwise into equal-sized pieces, trimming and discarding any excess fat. Lay a piece of plastic wrap over the chicken breasts and pound them into an even, ½-inch thickness.2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast
- Add the chicken breast to the bowl of marinade and toss until evenly coated. Cover the bowl with beeswax wrap or plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 2 days. You can turn the chicken breast every few hours for more even marinade coverage.
- Remove the marinated chicken breasts from the refrigerator about 30 minutes prior to cooking to bring them closer to room temperature. Preheat your grill on high heat for 15 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to medium-high. Remove the chicken breast from the marinade, allowing the excess marinade to drip back into the bowl. Place the chicken breasts on the grill and close the lid. Cook chicken for about 4-5 minutes per side. The chicken is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 165℉.
- Transfer the chicken breasts to a plate and allow them to rest for 10 minutes before serving.
- Storage: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 4 months.
- Make Ahead: Prepare the red wine vinaigrette marinade up to 2 weeks in advance.
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