Easy Grilled Chicken Thighs

Easy Grilled Chicken Thighs are your simple summer dinner solution! With simple marinade made with just 3 ingredients it’s a delicious dinner that’s sure to please!

A close up of chicken thighs on a plate with lemon and parsley.

This recipe is part of my Dump it ’til it’s hot series of dump recipes. It’s all about making delicious food with minimal prep, no pre-cooking, the ability to freeze for a good make-ahead meal. And trust me when I say, easy never tasted so good!

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Other grilled chicken recipes include:

Easy Grilled Chicken Thighs

I’m personally a dark meat gal. Don’t get me wrong, I would also happily go to town on chicken breasts and light meat in general. But the dark meat always has the best flavor and rarely dries out. I also love that my favorite grocery store (hi Wegmans!) has crazy-low pricing on their club packs of chicken thighs.

So I decided to share this insanely simple chicken this marinade with you. It uses a grand total of three ingredients (well four if you count the cooking spray that you’ll want to use on your grill).The lemon juice brings a nice, fresh zing. Seasoned salt makes it nice and savory. And the olive oil brings it all together.

A chicken thigh on a plate with broccoli.

Tips for grilling these chicken thighs

  • Don’t marinate the meat in a metal bowl, the acid and the metal don’t play well together.
  • Remove the chicken thighs from the refrigerator before you heat the grill. This lets them come a little bit closer to room temperature.
  • Before heating the grill, spray it down with cooking spray.
  • For this, I like to sear the chicken thighs for a few minutes per side and then move them to the top rack and close the grill to finish cooking over indirect heat.
  • Be sure to rest the chicken thighs for a few minutes to help the juices redistribute and allow for crossover cooking.

An overhead image of grilled chicken thighs on a plate with lemons next to it.

How long should I marinate chicken thighs?

The optimal amount of time is anywhere from 1-6 hours but technically you can go for up to three days safely. Just know that after 24 hours, you may not have a good of texture.

Can I use boneless chicken thighs?

Definitely! Just keep an eye on the temperature as these will cook quicker.

Is it better to grill chicken with the skin on or off?

This totally comes down to personal preference, but I say skin on.  I love how the skin gets perfectly crispy, leaving the meat inside nice and tender.

Do you grill chicken skin side down first?

That’s how I prefer to start it.

How long does it take to grill a chicken thigh?

For this recipe it’s anywhere from 20-30 minutes depending on the size of the thighs and your grill.

How do you know when chicken thighs are cooked?

They are safe to eat when the thickest part registers at 165 degrees (be careful you don’t hit a bone!).

Can you freeze grilled chicken thighs?

Yes! Freeze them in their marinade or freeze them cooked.

What goes well with grilled chicken thighs?

A piece of grilled chicken on a plate with broccoli and chicken behind it.

Ingredients for grilled chicken thighs

  • Olive oil
  • Lemon juice
  • Seasoned salt
  • Chicken thighs
  • Cooking spray

How to cook chicken thighs on the grill

  1. Mix oil, lemon juice and seasoned salt until well combined.
  2. Submerge chicken thighs in the marinade and refrigerate until you’re ready to grill.
  3. When it’s time to grill, pull the chicken out of the fridge.
  4. Spray the grill with non-stick cooking spray and heat to medium heat.
  5. Sear each side for 3-4 minutes or until they’re slightly charred.
  6. Move the chicken thighs to the top rack (or a lower heat side if using a charcoal grill) and cook until the internal temperature is just below 165 degrees, around 20-25 minutes.
  7. Rest chicken thighs fora few minutes and serve.

Helpful tools:

  1. Instant Read Thermometer
  2. Grill tongs
  3. Mixing bowl
  4. Whisk
  5. Measuring spoons
  6. Chef’s knife
  7. Cutting board
  8. Citrus reamer

A close up overhead image of a chicken thigh on a plate with other rilled chicken thighs around it.

Easy Grilled Chicken Thighs
Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
30 mins
Resting time
10 mins
Total Time
1 hr 40 mins

Easy Grilled Chicken Thighs are your simple summer dinner solution! With simple marinade made with just 3 ingredients it's a delicious dinner that's sure to please!

Course: Main
Cuisine: American
Keyword: grilled chicken thighs
Servings: 6 chicken thighs
Author: Jessy Freimann, The Life Jolie
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large lemon, juiced
  • 2 teaspoons seasoned salt
  • 6 chicken thighs
  • cooking spray
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together oil, lemon juice and seasoned salt until well combined.

  2. Submerge chicken, mixing so the marinade is evenly distributed on the chicken pieces and refrigerate until you're ready to grill (or freeze).

  3. When you're ready to grill, remove chicken from the refrigerator.

  4. Spray grill with cooking spray and preheat grill to medium heat.

  5. Place chicken thighs onto the grill skin-side down. Dispose of marinade.

  6. Sear each piece for 3-4 minutes per side until the skin is nice and crispy.

  7. Transfer chicken thighs to top rack of the grill and cover.

  8. Cook for 20-25 more minutes or until the thickest part of the thighs reach an internal temperature of just below 165 degrees.

  9. Remove chicken thighs from heat and rest for a couple minutes. Serve immediately.

Now that you know how to make this Grilled Chicken Thighs Recipe, be sure to share it and tag @thelifejolie on Instagram and Facebook.  And be sure to pin it to save for later or bookmark it!

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