Balsamic Grilled Chicken Thighs: a super simple but tasty summer meal requiring only common pantry staples and chicken thighs. Great for summer cookouts and al fresco dinners.
This recipe was originally published May 8, 2021. It was updated with new recipe information on May 24, 2022.
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Table of contents
- This grilled boneless skinless chicken thigh recipe is...
- Balsamic grilled chicken ingredients:
- How to make the balsamic grilled chicken thighs:
- How to make this recipe with frozen chicken:
- Grilled boneless chicken thighs pro-tips:
- Recipe FAQs:
- How to make this grilled chicken on the stove-top:
- Grilled chicken thigh marinade mix-ins:
- Serving suggestions:
- Storage directions:
- Tools needed to make this recipe:
- More favorites from the grill:
- More chicken recipes:
Ask me to host a summer BBQ and 9 times out of ten I'll be grilling up a platter of nice and juicy chicken.
In particular, I often tend to go for grilled boneless chicken thighs. Chicken thighs are so simple to make, they're flavorful and juicy, most meat-eaters like it, and -- thanks to recipes like this one -- they are super easy to step-up with a delicious marinade.
Though I enjoy making Asian marinated grilled chicken thighs and my curried yogurt chicken is also a hit, this balsamic chicken marinade is one of my all-time favorites. The recipe is simple and quick (just 15 to whisk up the marinade!), the flavors are savory, and the balsamic grilled chicken goes with almost any summer barbecue side. It's a hard one to go wrong with.
Whether the chicken marinates while you're at work, sleeping, swimming at the pool, or working in the garden, all the rest that's required of you is 15 minutes at the grill.
Doctor up your balsamic marinade for chicken with a few recommended mix-ins if you wish, but the chicken is taste-tester approved without. Use this marinade on chicken breasts if you please, too!
This grilled boneless skinless chicken thigh recipe is...
Long gone are the days of dry and lifeless chicken! Treat your crew to a batch of this succulent balsamic grilled chicken at your next summer get together.
Balsamic grilled chicken ingredients:
- Boneless skinless chicken thighs - I order mine through Rastelli's!
- Balsamic vinegar
- Olive oil - extra virgin olive oil if you have it, but virgin olive oil also works
- Smooth Dijon mustard
- Dried rosemary, thyme, & oregano
- Garlic - fresh minced or garlic powder
- Chicken - bone-in chicken thighs, chicken pieces, or boneless skinless chicken breasts all work in place of the chicken thighs. Adjust the cooking time accordingly, however.
- Fresh herbs - fresh herbs can substitute for the dried. Just multiply the dried herb measurement by 3 to determine the amount of fresh herbs to use.
- Balsamic - this vinegar is an important part of this dish so I recommend keeping it in it if you can. To substitute it in a pinch, however, replace it with 1 tablespoon maple syrup and 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar.
How to make the balsamic grilled chicken thighs:
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the balsamic marinade ingredients until combined.
- Add the chicken to the mixing bowl and turn the chicken to cover. Cover the bowl and refrigerate the chicken for at least 30 minutes but up to 24 hours.
- Preheat the grill medium-high heat. While the grill preheats, let the chicken sit at room temperature.
- Add the chicken to the grill. Cook the chicken, turning every 2-3 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Remove the chicken from the grill. Cover it and let it rest for 5 minutes before serving hot.
How to make this recipe with frozen chicken:
To make this recipe with frozen chicken, just pour the marinade over the frozen chicken thighs and marinate in the refrigerator for about 24 hours, or until the chicken is defrosted.
For best results, marinate the chicken in a gallon size zip lock bag where the chicken can spread out as it thaws. Turn the chicken every few hours if possible to help the marinade distribute evenly throughout the chicken
Grilled boneless chicken thighs pro-tips:
- Trim excess fat from the chicken thighs - Rastelli's chicken thighs come nicely trimmed, but if your chicken thighs have excess fat on them you may want to trim it. This will help the chicken to cook evenly and for the chicken not to shrivel up (from the fat contracting) as it cooks.
- Marinate for as long as possible - the longer you let the chicken sit in the solution, the more flavor it will impart onto the meat. At a minimum, marinate the chicken for 30 minutes - 2 hours. For optimal flavor, marinate for 12 - 24 hours.
- Scrape the grill grates before heating up the grill - removing any old burnt food bits from the grill before preheating protects the flavor of the chicken and keeps any burnt food chunks from sticking to the chicken.
- Drain/discard the marinade - the solution imparts plenty of flavor into the chicken so we won't need to reuse it in the recipe. If you'd like, you can pour the marinade over the chicken as it cooks, but you can also just discard it after adding the chicken to the grill.
- Rest the chicken before serving - this allows the chicken juices to redistribute in the meat, making it more tender and succulent. Let the chicken rest at room temperature for at least 5 minutes. If you are concerned about keeping the chicken hot, you can tent the chicken with foil or cover it with a bowl or plate while it rests.
When cooking at a temperature of 375-400 degrees Fahrenheit, chicken thighs cook for 8-11 minutes, depending on the size and thickness of the chicken.
Grill chicken thighs until they reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Grill chicken thighs at 375 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
To grill chicken thighs without burning them, watch the temperature of your grill, move the chicken around to avoid any hot spots, and turn the chicken frequently. If you notice that any spots on the grill are hotter than others, rotate the chicken pieces evenly through the hot spot or avoid those spots all together. Finally, turn the chicken frequently on the grill, or about every 2-3 minutes.
Yes, you can freeze chicken thighs in this marinade. Add the chicken and the marinade to freezer-safe bags or containers and freeze for up to 3 months. For best results, defrost the chicken completely in the refrigerator for 24-36 hours before grilling.
How to make this grilled chicken on the stove-top:
Here's how make this chicken on the stove top:
- Make the chicken marinade as directed
- Preheat a stovetop grill pan over medium heat. Spray with non-stick spray.
- Add the chicken to the pan, discarding the marinade, and grill for 8-11 minutes, flipping the chicken every 2-3 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Grilled chicken thigh marinade mix-ins:
Change up your grilled chicken by mixing any of the following ingredients into the grilled chicken thigh marinade:
- Brown sugar (1.5 tablespoons)
- Maple syrup (1 tablespoon)
- Extra minced garlic (1-2 cloves)
- Dried basil (½ teaspoon)
- Red pepper flakes (⅛ - ½ teaspoon)
- Sriracha (½ - 1 ½ teaspoons)
Serve these grilled chicken thighs for an easy weeknight dinner, a weekend barbecue, Father's day, or Memorial Day, 4th of July , or Labor Day.
Serve it with any of your favorite barbecue side dish recipes. Here are some of my recommendations:
- 5 Bean Salad
- Potato Salad
- Greek Pasta Salad
- Air Fryer Zucchini
- Sweet Potato Quinoa Salad
- Grilled veggies
- Garlic Smashed Air Fryer Potatoes
Leftovers keep covered in the refrigerator for 4-5 days. For best results, reheat the chicken on medium heat in the microwave, as to prevent it from getting chewy.
Tools needed to make this recipe:
More favorites from the grill:
- Flat Iron Steak Marinade
- Mexican Chicken Marinade
- Spicy Honey Grilled Chicken Breasts
- Curried Yogurt Marinated Chicken
More chicken recipes:
- Walnut Chicken with Brown Butter Sage Sauce
- Air Fryer Chicken Bites
- Turmeric Rubbed Chicken
- Rotisserie Chicken Salad
- Crispy Herbed Panko Chicken
- Southwest Chicken with Black Bean Sauce
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- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ¼ teaspoon dried rosemary
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 garlic cloves, minced (or ½ teaspoon garlic powder)
- 1 ¼ lb. boneless skinless chicken thighs
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt Dijon mustard, rosemary, thyme, oregano, and garlic until combined.
- Add the chicken to the mixing bowl or pour the marinade into a large freezer bag and add the chicken. Turn the chicken to cover. Seal the bag or cover the bowl and refrigerate the chicken for at least 30 minutes but up to 24 hours. Please note: the longer the chicken marinates, the more flavor it will have.
- Preheat the grill to 375-400 degrees Fahrenheit. While the grill preheats, let the chicken sit at room temperature.
- Add the chicken to the grill, discarding the marinade or pouring it over the chicken. Cook the chicken for 8-11 minutes, turning every 2-3 minutes, or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Remove the chicken from the grill. Cover it and let it rest for 5 minutes before serving hot.
1. Leftover chicken lasts covered in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.
2. Boneless skinless chicken thighs, bone-in chicken, and chicken pieces can substitute for the boneless skinless chicken thighs. Adjust the cooking times as necessary and cook bone-in chicken on in-direct heat after searing on heat.
Serving Size⅕ of Recipe
Amount Per Serving Calories 224Total Fat 12gSaturated Fat 3gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 8gCholesterol 138mgSodium 443mgCarbohydrates 3gFiber 0gSugar 2gProtein 28g
This nutrition breakdown is just an estimate of the nutritional value of this recipe and cannot be taken as facts. The owners of Mae's Menu are not nutritionists or dietitians and therefore cannot be held accountable for this nutrition estimate. Please contact your nutritionist or medical professional for a nutritional breakdown of this food. Furthermore, this food is not intended to prevent, diagnose, cure, or treat any disease.