Zesty Basil-Lemon Grilled Chicken

Zesty Basil-Lemon Grilled Chicken

Zesty Basil-Lemon Grilled Chicken
Zesty Basil-Lemon Grilled Chicken
This image courtesy of foodgardening.mequoda.com

Win over the hearts and stomachs of everyone at your next barbecue with this Zesty Basil-Lemon Grilled Chicken! Exploding with flavor, this dish is the perfect summertime meal. With both lemon juice and lemon peel, as well as basil and garlic, the spiced and tangy flavor evokes the vibrant nature of the season. Quick and simple to prepare, this dish allows you to spend less time at the grill and more time by the pool with your loved ones. Enjoy this chicken outside and soak up the summer sun!

Yields6 Servings

Preparation Time33 min

Cooking Time12 min

Cooking MethodGrilling


  • 6 (4-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or a spatchcocked chicken)
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel (zest of 1 lemon)
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (juice of 3 lemons)
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves


  1. If using chicken breasts, pound chicken breasts to 3/4-inch thickness, evenly across all chicken breasts. Otherwise, spatchcock your chicken by cutting out the chicken’s backbone and then pressing the bird flat.

  2. Dry chicken of excess moisture with paper towels and place in a large resealable plastic bag.

  3. Combine lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, salt, oil, and basil in a food processor—pulse for 30 seconds until well blended.

  4. Pour liquid marinade over the chicken in the plastic bag, seal the bag, and shake and turn to coat the chicken. Marinate for about an hour.

  5. Preheat grill to medium-high heat (about 400 degrees F).

  6. Remove chicken pieces from plastic bag with tongs, and discard marinade.

  7. For breasts, grill chicken for 6-10 minutes per side or until cooked through to 165F, then let rest for 10 minutes. Spatchcocked chicken will take longer, cook 30 minutes or more until it reaches temperature, then let rest also for at least 10 minutes.

    Note: While grilling, toss some fresh vegetables on the grill and you’ll have a complete dinner! Delish!

  8. Transfer to serving platter and garnish with additional fresh basil leaves.

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