You'll be making perfect grilled boneless chicken thighs all year round with this simple but delicious lemon and garlic marinade. Flavor packed juicy chicken will be yours EVERY SINGLE TIME with this recipe, which is sure to become a family favorite! Includes instructions for oven cooking too.
I love grilling chicken thighs on the gas grill. Prep time is short and the cooking time is so fast they're a perfect weeknight dinner dish. There are instructions for oven baking these chicken thighs too.
The chicken thigh marinade comes together in minutes. Then its a simple case of setting everything aside in the fridge, ideally overnight, to allow the marinade to really work it's way into the chicken.
Next day all you have to do is grill the chicken and prepare some sides for a delicious meal in minutes.
- Why You'll Love This BBQ Boneless Chicken Thighs
- Grilled Boneless Chicken Thighs Ingredients
- How to Make Grilled Boneless Chicken Thighs - Step-By-Step
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Variations & Substitutions for Grilled Chicken Thighs
- Tips & Tricks For Making Grilled Chicken Thighs
- Tips and tricks for grilling chicken
- Pin This Grilled Boneless Chicken Thighs with Lemon & Garlic Recipe For Later
- What Do You Think?!
- More Easy Recipe Ideas
- Printable Recipe
- Grilled Boneless Chicken Thighs with Lemon & Garlic
- Reader Comments & Ratings
Why You'll Love This BBQ Boneless Chicken Thighs
- Once marinated, these bbq boneless chicken thighs can be cooked in less than half an hour.
- The marinade uses simple ingredients and as well as flavoring the chicken, it also tenderizes the meat and makes it really juicy.
- Leftover chicken can be used in salads, tacos or sandwiches the next day.
- I grill chicken on my gas grill at least once a week as it's so quick. Here are my other favorite recipes; Asian Bone-in Chicken Thighs, Honey Lime Chicken Thighs or my Rainbow Chicken Kabobs.
Grilled Boneless Chicken Thighs Ingredients
Find the full list and quantities in the recipe below.
Chicken - I always use chicken thighs when it comes to grilling or barbecuing as they are a juicer cut and less likely to dry out. I have used boneless thighs here but you could also use bone-in thighs too. Similarly chicken legs work but you may need to slightly adjust the cooking time.
Garlic - I use whole cloves of garlic cut in half as they add great flavor to the chicken. Cut the cloves in half, but don't mince the garlic otherwise it becomes too small and can burn on the grill.
Rosemary - a sprig of fresh rosemary adds great flavor and it better than using dried herbs which also often burn on the grill.
Honey - runny honey works best in a marinade. Honey not only sweetens the marinade but also helps to break down the enzymes in the meat and further tenderizes the chicken.
How to Make Grilled Boneless Chicken Thighs - Step-By-Step
Find the full printable recipe below.
Make the simple marinade by whisking together the extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, honey and salt.
Pour the marinade over the chicken thighs, add the garlic cloves and rosemary springs and mix until well coated.
Cover and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 4 hours but ideally overnight. Use a zip lock bag to put everything into if you're short of space.
When ready to cook, preheat the grill temperature to medium.
Shake any excess marinade off the chicken then season again with sea salt.
Grill on each side on a medium hot grill for around 10 to 12 minutes until the juices run clear. You can also use a digital thermometer to check the internal temperature of the chicken has reached 165ºF/75ºC when inserted into the thickest part of the thigh.
Cover the chicken with foil and allow it to rest for 10 minutes before serving.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you use chicken breasts instead of boneless chicken thighs?
You can use chicken breast and marinade it in exactly the same way. You will just need to adjust cooking times depending on the thickness of the breast. Also take care not to overcook the chicken as chicken breast dries out quicker than chicken thigh meat.
What Kind of Chicken Thigh is Best?
Bone in or boneless chicken thigh? Both work great on the grill and boneless thighs will cook quicker. However, bone-in thighs have a richer, meatier flavor than boneless as the flavor from the bone works into the meat.
Skin on or skinless chicken thigh? Again both work great on the grill. However, if you are looking for that crispy skin, then cook skin-on chicken thighs.
What internal temperature should Chicken thigh be cooked to?
You know that the chicken is cooked when the juices run clear and/or the internal temperature reads 165ºF/75ºC when a meat thermometer is inserted into the thickest part of the chicken.
The cooking times will vary depending on the thickness of the thighs and power of your grill as every grill is different.
How long is too long to marinate chicken?
You can marinate chicken in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours, the longer the marinate the better the flavor.
After 24 hours you risk the marinade breaking down the fibers in the meat which will affect the texture and the chicken will become soft and mushy.
Variations & Substitutions for Grilled Chicken Thighs
This simple marinade is easily adaptable and here are some of my favorite variations:
- Swap the fresh rosemary for other fresh herbs - thyme would work nicely with the other flavors in the marinade.
- Citrus flavors really work with chicken. Swap the lemon for some lime juice and pair it with cilantro.
- Honey can be substituted for maple syrup.
- Add some freshly chopped chilies to the marinade for extra heat.
- If you've run out of lemon a splash of balsamic vinegar works as an acidic substitute.
Tips & Tricks For Making Grilled Chicken Thighs
The longer you can marinate the chicken the better the taste. I suggest a minimum of 4 hours, but you can marinate chicken for up to 24 hours and it will really intensify the flavor.
If you don't have a grill, these chicken thighs roast perfectly in a hot oven. Instructions are included in the recipe below.
Bringing the chicken thighs to room temperature before cooking will help shorten the cooking time on the grill and help ensure they cook evenly.
If you're short of fridge space, pour the marinade into a large freezer bag and add the chicken, garlic and rosemary.
Always let the chicken rest before eating. This allows the meat fibers to relax and seal in the juices.
Tips and tricks for grilling chicken
Get to know your grill! Every grill is different and will have hot spots which can cook the chicken faster.
If some pieces of chicken are cooking faster, its fine to move them to the side of the grill where the temperature is usually lower.
If you like nice neat grill marks, try not to move the chicken around too much on the grill once you set it down. Once the meat is seared it will release naturally.
What to serve with Grilled Chicken Thighs
Chicken thighs are always great with Potato Salad. Or try some zucchini/courgette noodles if you're keeping things lower carb.
For other great tasting sides to serve alongside try my Easy Corn Ribs or my Roasted Summer Squash & Zucchini.
You can also keep it really simple by serving a green salad and crusty bread to mop up those juices. Yum.
How To Reheat Barbecued Chicken Thighs?
These grilled boneless chicken thighs are definitely best eaten fresh off the grill, when the chicken is still soft and just a little charred.
Any leftovers can be stored in the fridge and either eaten cold or heated up under the broiler the next day. Just take care to heat through until hot but no longer, otherwise the chicken could overcook and become dry.
Pin This Grilled Boneless Chicken Thighs with Lemon & Garlic Recipe For Later
What Do You Think?!
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More Easy Recipe Ideas
Grilled Boneless Chicken Thighs with Lemon & Garlic
- 2 lbs Chicken Thighs - boneless
FOR THE MARINADE
- 2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 large Lemon - juiced
- 1 tbsp Honey
- 4 large cloves Garlic - peeled & halved
- 8 sprigs Rosemary
- 1 tsp Sea Salt
Marinate the Chicken
- Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, honey and salt with a fork.
- Place the chicken thighs along with the rosemary springs and pieces of garlic in a wide flat bowl or lasagne pan.
- Pour the marinade over and gently mix it around until the chicken is evenly coated.
- Cover and marinade in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours but ideally overnight so the marinade really gets into the chicken. Stir and turn the meat occasionally.
Grill the Marinated Chicken
- Pre-heat the grill to medium heat.
- Shake the marinade off the chicken, being careful to take away pieces of garlic or rosemary that might burn on the grill.
- Season the chicken again with sea salt then grill over a medium heat for around 10-12 minutes on each side or until they are cooked through.
- The juices should run clear and/or the internal temperature should read 165ºF/75ºC when inserted into the thickest part of the thigh. The cooking time will vary depending on the size of the thighs and power of your grill.
- Let the chicken rest, covered in foil, for around 10 minutes before serving.
or Oven Cook The Marinated Chicken
- If you don't have an outside gas grill or BBQ you can oven roast this chicken on a baking sheet in a hot 425ºF/220ºC oven for around 25 minutes - until the juices run clear or an instant read thermometer registers165ºF/75ºC.
This post was shared with the #cookblogshare community, which this week was kindly hosted by Sewwhite.com
Chloe Edges says
I'm going to be getting my griddle pan out and give this a go indoors - it isn't quite grilling weather for me just yet!
Jo Keohane says
It isn't here yet either!! But just as good indoors. Thanks for your comment Chloe!
Sisley White says
I love a quick, simple but tasty marinade and this was certainly that!
Jo Keohane says
Thanks for your comment Sisley - and so glad you liked it.
Cat | Curly's Cooking says
These flavours scream summer to me! I can't wait to try them on the BBQ, but until then my griddle pan will be getting some use!
Jo Keohane says
Thanks so much Cat - it's a great easy standby recipe for summer or winter.
This looks so good trying it this Bank Holiday weekend. BBQ her I come!!
Jo Keohane says
Yay - hope you enjoy!