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Basil-Lemon Grilled Chicken

Held together by a delicious marinade, this Basil-Lemon Grilled Chicken is bursting with flavor, making it the perfect BBQ dish for outdoor dining!

Basil-Lemon Grilled Chicken

I’m about to make you the hero of your next barbecue. This recipe for Basil-Lemon Grilled Chicken is especially great for parties where there are lots of mouths to feed.

What’s not to love about the taste of basil and lemon together? The two flavors are a match made in heaven, and they taste amazing when grilled. Best of all, this Basil-Lemon Grilled Chicken recipe is easy to follow and only takes minutes to prepare.

Why do I love it? Well, it cooks up fast (bonus), but more importantly — it’s extra flavorful thanks to an easy trick I like to call flavor infusion. Here’s how it works — you mix some basil and lemon juice, then smear that all over your raw chicken before cooking it. You let it marinade for about an hour, which gives you time to prepare other things for your barbecue. It doesn’t get simpler than that! The result is super moist meat with tons of herbaceous flavor in every bite. Just a little warning on chicken and citrus though: an hour is good. More isn’t better with citrus, if you try to marinate it overnight the chicken will get rubbery.

The combination of fresh basil and lemon gives the chicken a wonderfully zesty flavor and grilling it results in a beautifully crispy outside. Specifically, the sweetness of the basil balances out the tartness of the lemon, creating a mouth-watering flavor profile. The flavors complement each other perfectly and create a dish that is both flavorful and healthy.

This Basil-Lemon Grilled Chicken recipe is perfect for gatherings, and it’s sure to be a crowd-pleaser. With just a few simple ingredients, you can create a delicious and flavorful dish that everyone will love. Serve it over rice or pasta, or enjoy it on its own. Either way, you’ll love the delicious flavor of this grilled masterpiece. Fire up the grill and get ready to enjoy some delicious grilled basil-lemon flavor!

Basil-Lemon Grilled Chicken

Basil-Lemon Grilled Chicken

Held together by a delicious marinade, this Basil-Lemon Grilled Chicken is bursting with flavor, making it the perfect BBQ dish for outdoor dining!

  • Author: Norann Oleson
  • Prep Time: 18 minutes
  • Marination Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6
  • Category: Entrées


  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (4 ounces/each) or a spatchcocked chicken (as pictured)
  • 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 (as pictured).
  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.
  8. Transfer to serving platter and garnish with additional fresh basil leaves.


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

Basil is one of the most essential herbs and can be found in just about every kitchen. With The Basil Grower’s Gardening Guide, you’ll have everything you need to know about growing and enjoying this versatile herb. Check it out.

Have you tried this recipe? It’s so easy and flavorful—please tell us how it turned out for you.


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