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!
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 Foolproof 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 this recipe for Completely Foolproof 100% Delicious Grilled Chicken got so popular:
Completely Foolproof 100% Delicious grilled Chicken has had a lot of fans on the blog through the years, but it got even more popular when it was featured in a round-up of 10 Easy Marinated Grilled Chicken Recipes at Parade.com,!
What ingredients do you need for this recipe?
- boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- Newman’s Own Classic Oil and Vinegar Dressing (affiliate link), or other low-sugar vinaigrette
- Zesty Italian dressing, powdered mix)
- Spike Seasoning (affiliate link), or other all-purpose seasoning blend
- Coarse ground black pepper to taste
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.
How to make Completely Foolproof 100% Delicious Grilled Chicken:
(Scroll down for complete easy recipe including nutritional information.)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Then put the chicken in a Ziploc bag or plastic container, add enough marinade to cover, and let it marinate all day.
- When you’re ready to cook drain chicken into a colander placed in the sink, and let it come to room temperature.
- Spray the grill with non-stick spray or brush with oil and preheat to medium-high.
- Lay chicken at an angle to grill grates, top side down, and cook 3-4 minutes, or until you see grill marks.
- Then rotate going the other direction and cook 3-4 minutes, until you see criss-cross marks.
- Turn chicken over and cook until it’s firm but not hard to the touch), about 2-3 minutes more.
- 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.
Make it a Low-Carb Meal:
Completely Foolproof 100% Delicious Grilled Chicken is shown in the photo with 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 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
- 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.)
- Combine marinade ingredients and mix together. (You can pour out a bit of the dressing and combine ingredients in the bottle, then shake well.)
- Put chicken in single layer in a ziploc bag.
- Pour marinade over chicken. (If you’re not using all the marinade, just label it and store in refrigerator for next time.)
- 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.
- To cook, remove chicken from the refrigerator, drain into a colander, and let it come to room temperature.
- 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.)
- Have a spray bottle ready to spray flames which may shoot up when chicken is first put on the grill.
- Drain chicken, then put it on the grill at an angle to grill grates with top side of chicken down.
- After 3-4 minutes (when you see grill marks), rotate so it’s going the opposite angle to get criss-cross marks.
- 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.
- 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.
- Don’t baste chicken with reserved marinade which contains bacteria from the raw chicken.
- 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.
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.
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, and I’ve been making it regularly since then. It was last updated with more information in 2022.
28 Comments on “Completely Foolproof 100% Delicious Grilled Chicken”
hah! perfect for firefighters to make at the firehouse, simple yet amazing. thanks so much!
so you mix one bottle with the zesty italian and just put enough marinade to cover the chicken?
Coach Kai, yes, then after the chicken marinates just grill as usual.
I will be trying this very soon! I really like your blog!
I love the grill chicken recipe with the Newman's Own marinade. I tried tonight because I was tired of eating the same things….what is even more amazing is that my kids ate it! Thanks!
"If you are going to get fit, go all the way." www.allthewayfit.com
OK, my mouth is watering. I try to avoid a lot of the pre-packaged stuff, but let's face it: it's engineered to taste great. And this looks so savory and moist. Might have to grill chicken this weekend…
KL, thanks so much and nice to know you are enjoying the blog. Not sure if I would ever write a book, and for sure only if I had an offer for money up front (as I hear lots of people work hard writing cookbooks and never make any money from them.) Right now doing the blog is keeping me pretty busy!
I love your site-I'm the Director of Women's Ministries at a mid-size church and tell all of our ladies about this site! Thanks for the great, healthy recipes. I'm still waiting for your book!!!
It's nice to hear from people who have used the recipe or their own variation of this same idea, thanks for weighing in. Like the idea of using the Italian mix with bread crumbs too (and I just went to my first Penzey's store!)
This is a great way to grill chicken. I also use the packaged Italian dressing mix (I buy mine from Penzeys in bulk) to combine with whole wheat Panko crumbs. Dip chicken breast slices in olive oil, then dip in the bread crumb/Italian mixture. Bake at 375 for about 10 minutes, and you have fabulous chicken tenders that you have made yourself–so you know what's in them!
I've been using this marinade recipe for several years now after finding it on your website. And yeah, it uses "packaged" salad dressing – but so what, its delicious and truly foolproof! Everyone loves this chicken when I make it.
Marvelous! thank u!
I'm always in for foolproof:D
There are absolutely no turned-up noses here. I am all for a recipe that gets dinner on the table quickly! I am emailing this to myself.
Elenka, you can get salt-free Spike, and actually the Newman's Own dressing is pretty low in salt. The one ingredient that does have a lot of salt is the Zesty Italian packets. Remember though, you're only eating the small amount of marinade that stick to the chicken when it's grilled. I'm not sure just olive oil and vinegar with Mrs. Dash would replace all the flavors in this, but I bet it would still be good.
Oy, I need to cut back salt, so pre packages stuff is usually out for me. Probably using olive oil and vinegar and some Mrs. Dash would yield good results, no?
Wow! This is the best chicken I have ever had. My husband and I will be adding this to our weekly favorites 🙂
Great work. Thank you Kalyn.
Just had to tell you I tried this marinade this weekend and it’s fabulous! Even my picky 14-year old stepson, who lives on chicken tenders and ravioli, pronounced it “tasty”. I did it with the veggie kabobs…I think we’ll be eating these fairly often this summer.