Grilled Garlic Lemon Chicken Breasts

Juicy chicken, full of marinated flavor, and cooked on the grill to perfection. A great way to usher in spring, welcoming the warm weather by heading out to dust off your grill. This recipe is excellent in cold weather too, especially if you are a winter griller like me. The marinade is simple, and actually very similar to this lemon juice and herb marinade that I use for pork chops all the time. Both marinades will work on either meat.

This recipe uses a disposable aluminum roasting pan, but you can grill however you choose. I found this method to produce juicy, tender results. Two more of my favorite grilled chicken recipes are these Garlic-Marinated Chicken Cutlets and this Chipotle chicken recipe.

Grilled Garlic Lemon Chicken Breasts
printable version

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons water
3 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
disposable aluminum roasting pan

ANOTHER DELICIOUS IDEA >>  Chipotle Chicken Soup

Whisk all marinade ingredients together and pour into a glass dish or plastic gallon zipper storage bag.

Cut 3 diagonal slits in the top of each breast, about 1/4″ deep, to help soak up the marinade. Place the chicken into the marinade, turn to coat. Refrigerate and marinate for a minimum of 1 hour, up to 24 hours.

Remove the chicken from the marinade, and let the excess drip off. Dab gently with paper towels.

Preheat the grill on high, covered, for about 15 minutes. Open lid and clean grate with grill brush.


Turn the grill temperature down to medium-low. Wad up a couple pieces of paper towel and grab the wad with a pair of tongs. Dip the wadded paper towel into some vegetable oil, then using the tongs, brush the grates with the oiled paper towel.

Place the chicken onto the grill and cover with a disposable aluminum pan. Allow to cook for 6-8 minutes, long enough to create nice grill marks. Turn the breasts over and cover with aluminum pan for 6-8 minutes more.

Turn grill temperature back up to high. Grill chicken a few minutes more on each side. Internal temperature should be 165.


  1. Grumpy & HoneyB says

    I'm always looking for more flavorful ways to grill just chicken breasts! Most of the time I grill bone in/skin on because that is the only way I don't dry them out! I'm going to definitely try the chipotle recipe!

  2. Barbara @moderncomfortfood says

    Are you grilling in Wisconsin already? How happy you must be to leave winter behind. This recipe looks wonderful. To me, chicken, lemon, and garlic are a magic combination. Many thanks for sharing your recipe!

  3. Bob says

    Gorgeous grill marks! Sounds tasty too. I've never seen a disposable pan used like that, I'll have to remember it.

  4. Amanda says

    Shelby – that chipotle is really good, you'll love it!

    Thanks Lana :)

    Barbara – yes the weather's been improving, but I grill year round! :)

    Thanks Bob, Tami and megan :)

  5. Lynnylu says

    I love the combination of garlic and lemon for my grilled chicken. Nice sear marks and the chicken looks really juicy and tender.

  6. Cathy says

    These looks fabulous, Amanda! I've got some plain old chicken breasts with oil, salt & pepper on the grill right now, and I was just thinking I need to find a better grilled chicken. Doesn't get better than garlic and lemon! Can't wait to try this!

  7. teresacooks says

    Hi Amanda, we tried this tonight. It was great, this will be my go-to chicken marinade from now on. I'm a novice chicken cook so it's nice to find a good recipe. Cutting the slits in the breasts really made a difference in terms of the flavor going through all the meat.

  8. Barbara Bakes says

    I made this for dinner tonight and everyone loved it! This is definitely going in my permanent file.

  9. Amanda says

    Barbara, Teresa and Blondemule – Isn't it yummy?? So glad you enjoyed it! It's definitely a favorite here :) Thanks!

  10. shouldhavezagged says

    Tried this tonight with some chicken breast tenderloins. Cooked them a little too long — grill noob! — but the flavor was spectacular. Thanks for sharing a great recipe!

  11. Lori says

    I can’t wait to try! I’m so tired of boring chicken breasts. I bet this would be great in the oven during winter months, too!


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