Easy Grilled Chicken Thighs
Easy Grilled Chicken Thighs – juicy marinated boneless skinless chicken thighs, grilled to perfection and served with a salad, slaw or vegetables. Perfect to add to grain or grain-free bowls and salads.
Grilling chicken thighs is one of my favorite ways to cook them. Unlike grilled chicken breast, these Grilled Chicken Thighs are less likely to end up dry and overcooked on the grill, even if you cook them slightly longer.
Chicken thighs, also known as dark chicken meat are perfect for grilling, they take on marinade well, have a rich flavor and are a lot more juicier, but also more though (since this is muscle meat) than chicken breast.
Higher on fat, chicken thigh meat is perfect for low-carb diets like Keto. They do require longer cooking time, no matter what cooking method you choose.
This Easy Grilled Chicken Thighs Recipe includes a simple acidic marinade, made with pantry staples. Slightly sweet and flavorful, this marinade is just what you need for your chicken thighs.
It uses brown sugar, but low-carb brown sugar sweetener could be substitutes.
Serve these grilled boneless skinless chicken thighs as a part of a party platter, on their own with a side dish or a salad, or chop leftovers up and serve over a salad or grain bowl.
What ingredients do you need to make chicken thighs marinade?
List of ingredients (full amounts in the printable recipe card below)
- boneless skinless chicken thighs (or bone-in skin on chicken thighs, see recipe notes)
- olive oil
- brown sugar (or sugar-free substitute)
- soy sauce
- lemon juice
- black pepper
- hot sauce (optional) or cayenne pepper
- Dijon mustard
How long do you need to marinate chicken (thighs) for the perfect flavor?
Marinating time for chicken thighs differs, depending on the use of skinless or skin on chicken thighs.
There is also a difference in marinades :(You can use acidic or enzymatic marinade)
I used acidic marinade made with lemon juice, but enzymatic marinades made with pineapple for example are often used for chicken and pork.
For boneless skinless chicken thighs and marinade made with acid (lemon juice), 30 minutes could be enough for marinating, but the ideal time is 2 hours.
Don’t marinate for more than 6 hours, because the meat could become tough.
On the other hand, chicken meat could be safely left in an acidic marinade in the fridge for up to 48 hours.
How long to grill boneless skinless chicken thighs for?
Grill boneless skinless chicken thighs for 5-6 minutes at medium-high temperature (450F) on a gas grill, until the internal temperature of the meat is 165 F. Grilling time may be more or less, depending on the size of the thighs.
One medium boneless skinless chicken thigh is usually around 3-4 oz.
How to make grilled chicken thighs marinade and how to grill chicken thighs
- Clean chicken from any extra skin and fat that may have left. Often times skinless chicken thighs from the store still have some skin and fat left on them.
- In a bowl combine all ingredients for the marinade.
- Add chicken thighs and cover. Marinate for 30 minutes at room temperature or for up to 6 hours in the fridge. I don’t recommend marinating for more than 6-8 hours, because the chicken may become too tender. If refrigerating, take out 30 minutes before grilling.
- Preheat a gas grill to medium-high (450 F). Clean the grates.
- Place chicken on the grill and grill for 5-6 minutes per side, turning once, until the internal temperature is 165 F. You can grill to slightly higher temperature – 170-175 F and the chicken meat will still remain juicy.
Grilled Chicken Thighs Internal Temperature
Grill chicken thighs until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 165 F.
Cut the chicken, the meat should be white (not pink) on the inside and juices should run clear in order for it to b safe to eat. If the meat appears undercooked, you can finish cooking it on the grill for 1-2 more minutes.
Can you substitute bone-in skin on chicken thighs for boneless skinless thighs in this recipe?
Yes, you can, but you need to grill the chicken for a longer time. Make sure you start grilling with the skin side down, the grill grates are perfectly clean and oiled and the grill temperature is around 450 F or medium-high.
Grill for around 10 minutes per side, until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 F. Cooking time will vary depending on the size of the thighs, so keep a close eye on them.
More Chicken Recipes:
Some of my readers may have noticed, but if you have not – we love cooking with chicken thighs in my family and I often use boneless skinless chicken thighs, because I can easily get them at any store (usually at Costco).
Even though these chicken thighs lack the crispy skin, they still taste juicy and delicious and cook faster than bone-in chicken thighs.
- Top 10 Boneless Skinless Chicken Thigh Recipes
- Honey Mustard Chicken Thighs
- Bacon Wrapped Chicken Thighs
- Easy Instant Pot Chicken Thighs
What to serve these Marinated Chicken Thighs with?
Even though these grilled marinated chicken thighs have an amazing flavor, you can still serve them smothered in bbq or teriyaki sauce if you’d like.
The perfect side dishes for grilled chicken thighs seem to be a light salad, like cabbage salad, slaw, spinach salad, grilled vegetables or even potato salad. Below you can find links to some of my favorite sides for chicken thighs.
- Green and Purple Cabbage Salad
- Vegan Potato Salad
- Grilled Vegetables
- Oven Baked Okra
- Perfectly Grilled Zucchini
Easy Grilled Chicken Thighs
- 2 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tbsp brown sugar or low-carb brown sweetener
- 3 tbsp soy sauce — low sodium
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger
- 2 garlic cloves — minced or pressed
- 1 tsp paprika or smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper or a splash of your favorite hot sauce
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- Clean chicken from any extra skin and fat that may have left.
In a bowl combine: 1/4 cup olive oil, 2 tbsp brown sugar or low-carb brown sweetener, 3 tbsp soy sauce — (low sodium), 2 tbsp lemon juice, 1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger, 2 garlic cloves — minced or pressed, 1 tsp paprika or smoked paprika, 1/2 tsp dried oregano, 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper or a splash of your favorite hot sauce, 1 tsp Dijon mustard and 1/4 tsp black pepper for the marinade. Whisk to combine.
- Add chicken and cover. Marinate for 30 minutes at room temperature or for up to 6 hours in the fridge. If refrigerating, take out 30 minutes before grilling.
- Preheat a gas grill to medium-high (450 F).
- Clean the grates.
Place chicken on the grill and grill for 5-6 minutes per side, turning once, until the internal temperature is 165 You can grill to slightly higher temperature 170-175F.