Proof that going back to basics doesn’t have to taste basic: Grilled Chicken Thighs. Lightly charred outside and spectacularly juicy within, this is a speedy, lip-smacking dinner you’ll pull out all summer long.

The best grilled chicken thighs on a plate

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Historically, I’ve been a Grilled Chicken Breast kind of girl, but in the last few years, I’ve seen the light that is chicken thighs.

  • Chicken thighs are inherently juicier than chicken breast, making them much more difficult to dry out.
  • Dark meat has a richer flavor than white meat. It’s one of the reasons Ben will pick Air Fryer Chicken Thighs over Air Fryer Chicken Breast every single time.
  • Chicken thighs are healthy! While they do have more fat than chicken breast (why they are juicier and more flavorful), they are still an excellent, lean source of protein that deserves to be in your diet.
  • Extra vitamins and minerals. Overall, chicken thighs contain more vitamins and minerals than chicken breasts.
A plate of healthy grilled chicken thighs

In the cooler months, Baked Chicken Thighs are one of my most frequent solutions to “HELP! We need dinner!”

As soon as the weather warms, however, I most look forward to grilled chicken thighs (and also, the perfect Grilled Chicken Sandwich).

They’re fast, easy-breezy, and their flame-kissed flavor is one of life’s culinary joys.

  • It only takes 8 to 10 minutes to grill boneless chicken thighs on a gas grill or charcoal grill (flip chicken thighs once halfway through grilling).
  • You can use any marinade you like. This Chicken Thigh Marinade or my classic Chicken Marinade are two excellent options, but feel free to use your favorite (even store-bought salad teriyaki sauce or salad dressing).
A plate with grilled chicken thighs

How to Make Grilled Chicken Thighs

Grilled chicken thighs are easy, versatile, nutritious, and delicious.

We eat them at least once a week!

  • Grilled chicken thighs are scrumptious on their own, and you can also use the leftovers in a variety of new ways, from salads, to wraps, to quesadillas and more.
  • Feel free to scale this recipe for a crowd or make extra for meal prep.

Tip!

For those who don’t have a grill, I’ve included a recipe adaptation for oven grilled chicken thighs in the FAQs and recipe notes below.


The Ingredients

  • Chicken Thighs. Boneless, skinless chicken thighs are a healthy, flavorful, and quick protein option. Using skinless thighs helps to keep the chicken thigh calories low.

Substitution Tip

If you’d like to use bone-in chicken thighs, see the FAQ section below for tips.

  • Marinade. Essential for the most tender, juicy, and flavorful grilled chicken thighs. Whether you choose to use one of my delicious homemade marinades or another you enjoy is up to you.
  • Oil. Oiling your grill grates helps ensure that the chicken does not stick.

The Directions

Raw meat in a plastic bag
  1. Combine the marinade ingredients and chicken in a ziptop bag. Marinate chicken for at least 30 minutes or up to 12 hours.
  2. Clean and oil your grill grates.
Raw meat being cooked
  1. Grill chicken for 8 to 10 minutes at medium-high heat.
Grilled chicken thighs on a grill
  1. Flip chicken thighs once halfway through grilling.
Lemon slices and grilled chicken thighs on a plate
  1. Let rest for at least 5 minutes. Finish with herbs and lemon or lime juice. ENJOY!

Storage Tips

  • To Store. Refrigerate leftover chicken in an airtight storage container for up to 4 days. 
  • To Reheat. Rewarm chicken in a baking dish in the oven at 350 degrees F or in the microwave. 
  • To Freeze. Freeze leftovers in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

Meal Prep Tip

Up to 12 hours in advance, add the chicken thighs to the marinade. Refrigerate until you’re ready to grill.

What to Serve with Grilled Chicken Thighs

Juicy grilled chicken thighs on a plate

Leftover Ideas

Dice up leftover grilled chicken thighs and add them to Spinach Strawberry Salad with Balsamic Poppy Seed Dressing or Pasta al Limone. You could also swap them for the chicken in this Chicken Caesar Wrap.

Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe

Instant Read Thermometer

Whether you’re making salmon, chicken, beef, or even a quick bread recipe, an instant read thermometer is a must-have tool. It’s fast and easy!

The best grilled chicken thighs on a plate

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Let me know what you thought!

Leave a rating below in the comments and let me know how you liked the recipe.

Grilled chicken thighs have the power to make any night (even crazy busy ones!) more special and scrumptious.

I know you’re going to love them, and I hope they are a steadfast answer to your own What’s for dinner???? question too.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Often Do You Flip Chicken Thighs on the Grill?

You only need to flip them once, but if the chicken isn’t done yet and you want to even out how cooked they are on each side, you can feel free to flip them once or twice more.

How Long Should I Marinate Chicken?

I recommend marinating chicken for at least 30 minutes, but even 15 minutes will work. If you’re able to refrigerate your chicken and let it marinate longer, I think 5 to 6 hours is the perfect amount of time.

How Long Does It Take to Grill Bone-in Chicken Thighs on a Gas Grill?

It will take about 10 to 15 minutes to grill bone-in chicken thighs on a gas grill. Check them with an instant read thermometer before serving to ensure they’re cooked through.

Can I Make This Recipe in the Oven?

Yes, you can make oven grilled chicken thighs using an oven safe grill pan. Place the chicken in a single layer in an oiled oven safe grill pan (don’t let the chicken touch). Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Bake the chicken for about 13 to 15 minutes, flipping halfway through. Broil for 2 to 3 minutes, until lightly charred. Cover and let rest 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

The best grilled chicken thighs on a plate

Grilled Chicken Thighs

5 from 1 vote
Grilled chicken thighs are a healthy, versatile dinner that's ready fast! Charred outside and juicy inside, they grill in just 10 minutes.

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 50 mins

Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 batch marinade Chicken Thigh Marinade or Chicken Marinade (see notes)
  • Chopped fresh herbs a squeeze of lemon or lime juice, optional for serving
  • Oil for grilling

Instructions
 

  • In large ziptop bag, combine all of the marinade ingredients, then add the chicken.
  • Seal the bag to evenly coat the chicken with the marinade. Place in a pan or bowl to catch any drips. Let the chicken marinate at room temperature for at least 30 minutes, or refrigerate to marinate for up to 12 hours (5 to 6 hours is ideal). Even 15 minutes is better than nothing!
  • When ready to grill, preheat the grill to medium-high (375 to 400 degrees F). If your chicken has been in the refrigerator, remove it and allow it to come to room temperature for at least 10 minutes. Clean and oil the grates.
  • Place the chicken thighs on the grill presentation (smooth) side down, shaking off any excess marinade. Cover the grill and let cook 4 to 5 minutes on the first side, then flip. The chicken should lift off the grill relatively easily; if it is sticking, allow it to cook another minute or two, then try again.
  • Continue cooking on the other side for 4 to 6 minutes more, or until the chicken is cooked through (chicken is considered cooked at 165 degrees F. I remove mine around the 155/160 degree F mark and allow the carryover cooking to finish the rest). DO NOT OVERCOOK or your chicken will be dry.
  • Remove the chicken to a plate, cover, and let rest for at least 5 minutes. Sprinkle with herbs and a squeeze of lemon or lime juice as desired.

Notes

  • TO MAKE OVEN GRILLED CHICKEN THIGHS: Place the chicken in a single layer in an oven-safe grill pan (don’t let the chicken touch). Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Bake the chicken for about 13 to 15 minutes, flipping halfway through. Broil for 2 to 3 minutes. Cover and let rest 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
  • TO STORE: Refrigerate leftover thighs in an airtight storage container for up to 4 days. 
  • TO REHEAT: Rewarm chicken in a baking dish in the oven at 350 degrees F or in the microwave. 
  • TO FREEZE: Freeze leftovers in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

Nutrition

Serving: 1(of 4)Calories: 341kcalCarbohydrates: 9gProtein: 45gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 215mgPotassium: 678mgFiber: 1gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 131IUVitamin C: 6mgCalcium: 49mgIron: 3mg

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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  1. Because my spouse inaccurately believes that thighs aren’t good chicken pieces, and she wanted the recipe made with chicken breasts, we compromised on tenders. Marinated according to recipe, gas grilled at 400 for 3 minutes on first side and 1-1/2 on second, and it was fabulous. Juicy, yet grilling flavors abounded. Spices and lemon juice melded into wonderful flavors. Had with risotto broccolini and green salad with homemade dressing. Whole shebang only took about a half hour, minus marinating. We’ll have this again and again.5 stars

    1. Hi Steve! So glad you enjoyed the recipe! Thank you for this kind review and feedback on using the tenders.