Kalyn's Kitchen

Completely Foolproof 100% Delicious Grilled Chicken

Completely Foolproof 100% Delicious Grilled Chicken is as easy as it gets for tasty grilled chicken when you need a no-fuss dinner idea! 

PIN this Foolproof Delicious Grilled Chicken to try it later!

Completely Foolproof 100% Delicious Grilled Chicken finished chicken on plate with Cucumbers Caesar

There are a lot of different kinds of cooks in the world. And if you’re a busy parent who wants something easy that kids will eat or a low-carb eater who doesn’t like to fuss too much with cooking, this Completely Foolproof 100% Delicious Grilled Chicken just might become one of your favorites. There aren’t a lot of recipes using packaged ingredients on my blog, but this favorite  grilled chicken with only five ingredients is something I’ve been making for years. The recipe has been a hit with everyone who’s tried it, and I’m excited to feature it for this week’s Friday Favorites post!

This recipe uses all my tricks for juicy grilled chicken, but instead of a homemade marinade, this one just mixes a few packaged ingredients and you’re ready to marinate! You can also use the same marinade for kabobs or tin-foil dinners, so check for links below for those variations. And I’m sure this marinade would also be great for grilled chicken thighs or legs, either with or without the skin if that’s what your family would prefer.

How the recipe got so popular:

Completely Foolproof 100% Delicious grilled Chicken was featured in a round-up of 10 Easy Marinated Grilled Chicken Recipes at Parade.com, and this recipe has had a lot of fans through the years!

What ingredients do you need for this recipe?

Tips for Making Juicy Grilled Chicken Breasts:

Even though this recipe is ridiculously easy, if you’re not experienced grilling chicken you might want to read my post on how to make juicy grilled chicken breasts before you make this.

What if you don’t have an outdoor grill?

Of course I love cooking on the outdoor grill. But if you don’t have an outdoor grill or it’s not grilling weather, you can cook this chicken on a stove-top grill pan with ridges or it would be great cooked on a George Foreman Grill as well. (affiliate links) Remember the George Foreman Grill cooks both sides at once, so adjust the grilling time.

Completely Foolproof 100% Delicious Grilled Chicken process shots collage

How to make this recipe:

(Scroll down for complete easy recipe including nutritional information.)

  1. The simple recipe for this grilled chicken recipe I got from an old boyfriend uses Newman’s Own Olive Oil and Vinegar Dressing (affiliate link) mixed with a package of Zesty Italian Salad Dressing Mix (affiliate link), a bit of Spike Seasoning (affiliate link) or your favorite all-purpose seasoning blend, and some black pepper.
  2. I only made half the recipe to take new photos, so I wrote MARINADE on the bottle and saved the extra marinade in the fridge.
  3. I get ready to marinate by trimming the chicken and then making small slits the length of each chicken breast to help the chicken cook evenly and provide more surface for the marinade to coat with flavor.
  4. Then put the chicken in a Ziploc bag or plastic container, add enough marinade to cover, and let it marinate all day.
  5. When you’re ready to cook drain chicken into a colander placed in the sink, and let it come to room temperature.
  6. Spray the grill with non-stick spray or brush with oil and preheat to medium-high. 
  7. Lay chicken at an angle to grill grates, top side down, and cook 3-4 minutes, or until you see grill marks.
  8. Then rotate going the other direction and cook 3-4 minutes, until you see criss-cross marks.
  9. Turn chicken over and cook until it’s firm but not hard to the touch), about 2-3 minutes more.
  10. For best results, use an Instant-Read Meat Thermometer (affiliate link) and cook chicken until it reaches 165F/75C. Serve hot.

Variations for this Recipe:

You could also use this easy chicken marinade for Grilled Chicken and Veggie Kabobs or Low-Carb Tin Foil Dinners.

close-up shot of Completely Foolproof 100% Delicious Grilled Chicken finished chicken on plate with Cucumbers Caesar

Make it a Low-Carb Meal:

Completely Foolproof 100% Delicious Grilled Chicken is shown in the photo with Easy Low-Carb Cucumbers Caesar, which would be great for a low-carb summer meal.

More Recipes for Easy Chicken Dinners:

Very Greek Grilled Chicken
Easy Baked Pesto Chicken
Ultra Easy Pesto-Lemon Chicken Kabobs
Easy Spicy Asian Chicken
Janet’s Easy Mustard Chicken

Completely Foolproof 100% Delicious Grilled Chicken

Completely Foolproof 100% Delicious Grilled Chicken

Yield 8 servings
Prep Time 6 hours 25 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 6 hours 37 minutes

Completely Foolproof 100% Delicious Grilled Chicken is as easy as it gets for tasty grilled chicken, and the marinade has only 4 ingredients!


  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 16 oz. bottle Newman’s Own Classic Oil and Vinegar Dressing (see notes)
  • 1 pkg. Zesty Italian dressing mix (powdered mix)
  • 1 T Spike Seasoning (see notes)
  • Coarse ground black pepper to taste


  1. Trim all visible fat and membranes from chicken breasts, then cut small crosswise slits about 1/2 inch apart down the length of each chicken breast. (This gives more surface area for the marinade to cover and makes chicken cook more quickly and evenly. It also gives a nice look to the cooked chicken breasts.)
  2. Combine marinade ingredients and mix together. (You can pour out a bit of the dressing and combine ingredients in the bottle, then shake well.)
  3. Put chicken in single layer in a ziploc bag.
  4. Pour marinade over chicken. (If you’re not using all the marinade, just label it and store in refrigerator for next time.)
  5. Marinate chicken in the refrigerator 6 hours or longer. This is great to put in the refrigerator in the morning when you go to work and cook after work that night.
  6. To cook, remove chicken from the refrigerator, drain into a colander, and let it come to room temperature.
  7. Spray grill with non-stick spray or olive oil, and preheat to medium high. (You can only hold your hand there for 2-3 seconds at that heat.)
  8. Have a spray bottle ready to spray flames which may shoot up when chicken is first put on the grill.
  9. Drain chicken, then put it on the grill at an angle to grill grates with top side of chicken down.
  10. After 3-4 minutes (when you see grill marks), rotate so it’s going the opposite angle to get criss-cross marks.
  11. Cook 3-4 minutes more, then when you have good grill marks turn and cook  until chicken is well browned and firm but not hard to the touch.
  12. Actual cooking time will depend on how hot your grill is, temperature of the chicken, and even air temperature if you’re cooking outside, but I cooked the chicken in the photos about 12 minutes. For best results, use an Instant-Read Meat Thermometer (affiliate link) and cook chicken until it reaches 165F/75C.
  13. Don’t baste chicken with reserved marinade which contains bacteria from the raw chicken.
  14. Serve hot.


This chicken could also be cooked in a stove-top grill pan with ridges or a George Foreman Grill with good results (affiliate links).

I used Newman’s Own Classic Oil and Vinegar Dressing (affiliate link), but you can use any type of Italian dressing made with olive oil that's low in sugar.

If you don't want to buy Spike Seasoning (affiliate link), you can use any all-purpose seasoning blend.

I got this recipe from a man named George Bauer who I lost track of years ago.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 204Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 102mgSodium: 677mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 37g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.

If you make this recipe I'd love to hear how it turns out. Leave a star rating or share on social media with the hashtag #KALYNSKITCHEN, thanks!

Completely Foolproof 100% Delicious Grilled Chicken thumbnail image

Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
The dressing I used in this marinade has only 1 gram of sugar per serving, making it perfect for the original South Beach Diet or any type of low-carb eating plan. (It’s probably gluten-free but check your label ingredients to make sure.)

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Grilling Recipes for more ideas like this one. Use the Diet Type Index to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

Historical Notes for this Recipe:
This recipe was first posted in 2009. It was last updated in 2021.

Pinterest image of Completely Foolproof 100% Delicious Grilled Chicken

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    34 Comments on “Completely Foolproof 100% Delicious Grilled Chicken”

  1. Pingback: Cookout Menu: 6 Simple and Easy Recipes for a Last-Minute Gathering | construction2style

  2. Kalyn-thanks so much for this delicious recipe and everything on your site. What a resource for healthy, flavorful eating! We LOVED this juicy chicken. Marinated overnight as directed and grilled. Super juicy as promised and cooked evenly/completely through even though the meat  was plump. The scoring is genius. Only adjustment: I didn’t have Spike so used Morton’s Nature’s Seasoning (which I think is similar). I expect we’ll make this A LOT. Many thanks. 🙂

  3. Can't think of any reason you couldn't freeze the cooked chicken, although I think the flavor and texture will obviously not be quite as good as when it's freshly cooked.

  4. Kalyn: I have made this grilled chicken 5-6 times now and it is delicious every time and such a life saver since I am always short on time. What I am wondering is : can this be frozen after grilling? I'd like to make it in bulk and use it in different things when I am on the go. Thanks!

  5. Jenn, so glad it was a hit!

  6. This was *the* best grilled chicken I have ever tasted. Quick and easy, and my husband loved it too!

  7. Anonymous, so glad you liked it. I agree, chicken breasts are often dry but this marinade with the oil in the dressing really keeps them moist and flavorful.

  8. I loathe boneless skinless chicken breasts as they are always dry and not all that tasty. I made some today with the marinade and they are without doubt DELICIOUS. Thank you!

  9. hah! perfect for firefighters to make at the firehouse, simple yet amazing. thanks so much!

  10. Coach Kai, yes, then after the chicken marinates just grill as usual.

  11. so you mix one bottle with the zesty itlian and just put enough mrinade to cover the chicken?

  12. I posted a recipe in my link for a chicken recipe
    this is a new recipe I recently found
    I made it for a family dinner
    the entire family enjoyed it very much

    very nice blog I appreciate good blog content

  13. I will be trying this very soon! I really like your blog!