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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Combine the marinade ingredients and chicken in a ziptop bag. Marinate chicken for at least 30 minutes or up to 12 hours.
- Clean and oil your grill grates.
- Grill chicken for 8 to 10 minutes at medium-high heat.
- Flip chicken thighs once halfway through grilling.
- Let rest for at least 5 minutes. Finish with herbs and lemon or lime juice. ENJOY!
- 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
- Salad. Swap the chicken in this Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad for diced grilled chicken thighs. For a delicious grilled combo, pair these thighs with Grilled Corn Salad.
- Potatoes. Keep it classic cookout with Potato Salad or use the grill to make Grilled Potatoes.
- Rice. Serve your chicken with a side of Lemon Rice for a tasty meal.
- Pasta. Pasta Primavera or Sun Dried Tomato Pasta would be delicious with grilled chicken thighs.
- Veggies. Grilled chicken thighs would pair well with Oven Roasted Vegetables, Roasted Broccolini, or Grilled Corn (a cookout dream!).
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
- Grill Pan. An easy way to grill your chicken thighs inside.
- Tongs. Perfect for grilling recipes.
- Instant Read Thermometer. The best way to check your meat for doneness.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Grilled Chicken Thighs
- 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.
- 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.
Join today and start saving your favorite recipes
Create an account to easily save your favorite projects and tutorials.Register