My Mediterranean Grilled Chicken recipe takes the best of southern European cooking and throws it onto the grill for the perfect picnic dish! Tenderized and flavored with a quick 30 minute marinade, this grilled Mediterranean chicken was made for easy, breezy summertime grilling.
Anyone who knows me knows that I love to grill. Meat, vegetables, and even fruit – I spend most of my summer right in front of my BBQ! There are a few recipes that I consider to be my barbecue go-tos, and this Mediterranean grilled chicken recipe is one of them.
Grilling can be tricky and always begs the question: how do you grill chicken without drying it out? Well, the answer lies in my Mediterranean Marinade! Not only does it keep the meat tender and juicy, but it hosts a mouthwatering mix of herbs and garlic for a zesty, vibrant flavor that sinks right into the meat as it marinates.
Now if sparking up the grill isn't an option, use a grill pan as pictured here, and this is on the dinner table in no time! Even though it’s raining or cold outside, and I was too lazy to change the gas can for the grill, I opted for my trusty grill pan. These are so helpful in these types of situations when you want that slight char, those wonderful grill marks, and outside isn’t an option.
A simple salad would make a great side, but there’s nothing quite like a steaming bed of rice either. Or maybe go with both with a warm pita (khubz)! You really can’t go wrong with any of your favorite BBQ sides.
INGREDIENT NOTES AND SUBSTITUTIONS
- Chicken - I opt for boneless thighs or breasts when grilling.
- Mediterranean Marinade - It takes just 15 minutes to whip up this zesty marinade. It’s a tangy combination of:
- Olive Oil - As the base of the marinade, it keeps the meat nice and moist and helps to evenly distribute all of the other seasonings.
- Lemon Juice - Working as both a tenderizing and flavoring agent, it’s no wonder why lemon and grilled meat go hand in hand.
- Garlic - Minced garlic will flavor the olive oil, and in turn flavor the meat.
- Mint - This sweetly cooling herb pairs with the lemon and actually enhances the savory qualities of the meat as well.
- Oregano - A bold herb with a pungent aroma, its unique and earthy flavor melds well with the mint, garlic, and lemon. Basil, thyme, or pre-mixed Italian seasoning could be used instead.
- Parsley - This herb is bright and aromatic, with bitter notes that pair well with the oregano and mint. Cilantro is a similarly fresh herb that makes a good alternative.
- Red Pepper Flakes - For a heat that isn’t too overpowering, and a natural complement to oregano and parsley.
- Dill - A grassy herb with a vibrant flavor.
HOW TO MAKE MEDITERRANEAN GRILLED CHICKEN
1. Make the Marinade. Prepare the marinade, whisking all of the ingredients together in a small bowl.
2. Marinate. Baste the meat with ¼ cup of the marinade. Pour the rest of the marinade into a ziploc bag along with the meat. Squeeze any air out of the bag and seal closed. Continue to squeeze the bag, thoroughly coating and massaging the marinade into the meat. Leave to marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes.
3. Prep the Grill. Meanwhile, prepare your grill by preheating to 350°F and coating generously with cooking spray.
4. Grill. Lay the meat on the grill. Cook time depends on the cut: breasts and thighs take about 4 minutes per side. Rotate breasts halfway through the time per side to create crosshatch grill marks on the surface, then baste with reserved marinade before flipping. If using thicker breasts, halve them horizontally for thinner slices and grill for just 2 minutes on each side.
5. Let Rest and Serve. Allow the Mediterranean grilled chicken to rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing and serving.
What is Mediterranean chicken made of?
Grilled Mediterranean chicken is all about the marinade, which is a mix of garlic, herbs, lemon juice, and olive oil. These seasonings all seep into the meat while it marinates, filling it with flavor and moisture.
Is Mediterranean grilled chicken healthy?
Protein is all about moderation and the cooking method. That being said, grilling is one of the healthier ways to prepare meat, and southern European cuisine is infamously low in calories and high in nutrients.
My grilled Mediterranean chicken recipe, specifically, comes in at 399 calories.
What can I serve with grilled Mediterranean chicken?
I like to enjoy this recipe with a simple salad or over a bed of warm, fluffy rice. However, it goes well with almost anything! Roasted vegetables make a delicious side, as do Greek green beans and crispy Greek potatoes.
How long is leftover grilled chicken good in the fridge?
Cooked chicken keeps in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Mediterranean Grilled Chicken
- 2 lbs chicken breasts or boneless thighs
- 1 Mediterranean Chicken Marinade
- Greek Feta Salad (optional)
- In a small bowl whisk together the marinade ingredients and scoop out ¼ cup to baste chicken. Pour remaining marinade over chicken in a plastic resealable bag. Squeeze the air out of bag and seal. Massage chicken with your hands and allow to marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Heat your grill (350°F) or grill pan over medium high heat. Spray with cooking spray and add chicken to cook.
- For entire breasts, grill 2 minutes then move a quarter turn to create crosshatch grill marks and grill 2 more minutes. Baste with reserved marinade. Turn over repeat grilling to create grill marks and baste again before taking out of pan.
- For really thick breasts: if sliced horizontally, cuts grilling time on each side down 2 minutes total SO 2 minutes each side, 4 minutes total time. Thighs 4 minutes each side. Allow to rest 5 minutes before cutting. Serve with a salad or over rice.
*The information shown below is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.