Grilled Lemon Pepper Chicken – Carmy


Made with kitchen staples, this grilled lemon pepper chicken recipe is perfect for a cookout. Marinaded in a combination of freshly squeezed lemon juice, lemon zest, Dijon mustard, oil, garlic powder, salt, and pepper, this lemon pepper chicken is so juicy and full of bright, tangy flavor.

This grilled lemon pepper chicken breasts recipe is going to be your new favorite dish. It only takes a few minutes to make the marinade and it grills up in less than 20 minutes! It’s the perfect summer meal.

Close up of a grilled lemon pepper chicken breast with grill marks surrounded by more chicken and lemon slices.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • It’s perfect for when you’re looking for an easy recipe, as most of these ingredients are kitchen staples. The only thing that I don’t always have on hand is lemon zest (I keep freshly squeezed lemon juice in the freezer!), which I can always skip in a pinch.
  • Thanks to the lemon juice, the chicken breasts are soooooo tender.
  • This lemon pepper chicken is perfect for meal prepping. Pack it up with some grilled vegetables or your carb of choice (or even just a salad), and you’ve got yourself lunch for the week!

Ingredients You’ll Need

Ingredients needed for grilled lemon pepper chicken.
  • lemon & lemon zest — you need freshly squeezed lemon juice for the best flavor. Plus, you need lemon zest, so you’ll need a fresh lemon regardless. Some bottled varieties have a slightly bitter aftertaste and does not taste as fresh and bright as freshly squeezed lemon juice.
  • salt & pepper — I always use kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper has the best flavor.
  • Dijon mustard — Dijon mustard has a tangy, sharp flavor that complements the tangy lemon flavor very well.
  • garlic powder — you can use freshly minced garlic if you prefer, but I’m using garlic powder for ease.
  • onion powder — I love adding onion powder whenever I use garlic powder.
  • oil — you can use any neutral oil of your choice, but I usually use olive oil or avocado oil.

How to Make Grilled Lemon Pepper Chicken

Set of two photos showing lemon zest, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, and dijon added to a small bowl.
Set of two photos showing marinade mixed and added to a bowl of chicken.
  • Combine the lemon juice, lemon zest, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, Dijon mustard, and oil. Mix until well combined.
  • To a bowl or ziptop bag, add the chicken breasts and marinade. Marinate for 30 minutes in the fridge.
Set of two photos showing before and after of chicken breasts grilling.
  • Heat the grill to 400F.
  • Place the chicken breasts onto the grill, smooth side down. Discard the marinade.
  • Grill the chicken breasts on direct heat for 12 to 16 minutes, depending on the size of the breasts, making sure to flip the chicken breasts at the halfway mark. The lid of the grill should be closed between flipping.
  • Remove the breasts from the grill and allow the chicken to rest for at least five minutes before serving.
Overhead view of a grilled lemon pepper chicken with grill marks with sliced lemons around it.

Recipe Tips and Notes

  • Avoid moving the chicken when you first place it on the grill. The chicken will come off the grill once it’s ready. If you move it too early, the chicken will stick to the grill and tear.
  • When you grill the chicken breasts, keep the lid on between flipping the chicken. The lid will trap the heat so the chicken will cook evenly.
  • If the chicken is getting too dark too quickly, you can move it to indirect heat. My grill has a second set of grates on the lid to pop the chicken onto, so it still cooks but not directly over the flames.
  • Always pat dry the chicken, especially if they were frozen beforehand. The oil in the marinade will have trouble clinging onto the chicken if there’s moisture on it.
  • Do NOT use the marinade the baste the chicken. If you want to brush the chicken with the lemon Dijon marinade, set some aside ahead of time.
  • The internal temperature of the chicken drumsticks should reach 165°F (74°C) before taking them off the grill.

My Recommendation

This is my go-to meat thermometer for making sure that the internal temperature of my meat is good to go. It’s also magnetic so I have it on my fridge door to save drawer space!

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The Meat Thermometer I Use!
A grilled lemon pepper chicken on a plate with sliced lemons.

Make Ahead Tips

  • Meal prep: once cooled, store the cooked chicken breasts in an airtight container for up to 4 days in the fridge.
  • Freezer: allow the grilled chicken breasts to cool before transferring them into an airtight container before storing them in the freezer. They can last for up to 3 months.
Overhead view of a grilled lemon pepper chicken with grill marks with sliced lemons around it.

Grilled Lemon Pepper Chicken

Made with kitchen staples, this grilled lemon pepper chicken recipe is perfect for a cookout. Marinaded in a combination of freshly squeezed lemon juice, lemon zest, Dijon mustard, oil, garlic powder, salt, and pepper, this lemon pepper chicken is so juicy and full of bright, tangy flavor.


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Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Marinating Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 52 minutes

Servings: 5 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 lemon zested
  • ½ cup lemon juice, (approx 2 lemons)
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • cup oil
  • 5 chicken breasts

Instructions

  • Combine the lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic powder, salt, pepper, Dijon mustard, and oil. Mix until well combined.

  • To a bowl or ziptop bag, add the chicken breasts and marinade. Marinate for 30 minutes in the fridge.

  • Heat the grill to 400F.

  • Place the chicken breasts onto the grill, smooth side down. Discard the marinade.

  • Grill the chicken breasts on direct heat for 12 to 16 minutes, depending on the size of the breasts, making sure to flip the chicken breasts at the halfway mark. The lid of the grill should be closed between flipping.

  • Remove the breasts from the grill and allow the chicken to rest for at least five minutes before serving.

Tried this recipe?Did you make this recipe? I’m always so happy to hear about it! I’d love to see how it turned out. Tag me at @CarmysHungry on Instagram so I can see it! If you enjoyed the recipe, I’d really appreciate a comment with a 5 star rating! ♥

Nutrition Per Serving

Calories: 401kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 48g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 145mg | Sodium: 761mg | Potassium: 880mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 74IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 1mg

Author: Carmy

Course: BBQ

Cuisine: Healthy

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