A quick, easy, and flavorful protein, this grilled lemon pepper chicken is just 5 ingredients and perfect for summer grilling! Paleo, Whole30, gluten-free, and dairy-free.
There is nothing easier in the summertime than grilling! Marinate some meat and veggies, light up the grill, and in 30 minutes or so, you have dinner! Today I’m sharing this super easy grilled lemon pepper chicken.
In the past, Michael usually mans the grill, but as of lately, I’ve been doing some myself too! Either on our Traeger or with our charcoal grill, it really is so easy!
And let’s talk about the whole clean up process. One of the best things about the grill is the minimal dishes used. You usually don’t need too many while prepping and none when you are grilling. I am all about the less dishes life.
Since summer is busy for us all and we don’t want to be wasting time inside in the kitchen, this recipe is short and sweet. Minimal ingredients and prep. You can either use your grill or a grill pan. If you don’t have either, you can pan fry or bake in the oven.
I try to avoid using my oven at all costs this time of year though!
True story – I didn’t have air conditioning growing up (my parents still don’t!) and turning on the oven was not okay. Sweating inside your own house is not fun.
Either way, this grilled lemon pepper chicken is a great protein for BBQs, picnics, or get-togethers. Serve it with some veggies and carbs for nice balanced meal, top it on a salad, or just eat it plain if you like. It works great for meal prep too!
Grilled Lemon Pepper Chicken
All you need is 5 basic kitchen ingredients to make a super easy and flavorful grilled chicken. I love this recipe so much because it’s got some spice from the pepper and tartness from the lemon. Then it gets all charred with crispy bits from the grill and is so good.
Here is what you need:
- chicken breasts – you can also use thighs
- lemon juice and lemon zest
- avocado oil
- course black pepper
First start out by adding all your ingredients to a large bag or glass container and marinade in the fridge for up to 2 hours. When the chicken is almost done marinading, light the grill.
I used a charcoal grill to make this as I love the char and flavor it gets from it, but a gas or wood pellet grill would work too!
Once the grill is up to temperature, place the chicken over direct heat and cook for about 8 minutes. Flip and move to indirect heat (not over the direct flame) and cook for another 7 minutes or so until crispy on the outside and the internal temperate as reached 165 degrees.
Let rest for a few minutes and enjoy!
This lemon pepper chicken does have some spice to it due to the pepper. It calls for a lot of pepper and since we are using coarse black pepper, it’s even spicer. Course black pepper is not the kind you get from your pepper grinder – I found this in the bulk section at my local grocery store.
Actually Michael found it and brought it home and I was like “what the heck am I supposed to do with this”. Make this chicken obviously. You can also use regular pepper from your grinder too, the flavor might just be a little more mild.
How long can you marinate chicken in lemon juice?
Marinating chicken can be pretty basic – just throw everything into a bag or container and let it do its thing. When marinating with a lot of citrus, like we are doing here, you do need to be careful.
You can marinate chicken in lemon juice for up to 2 hours. After 2 hours, the acid can break down the chicken and ruin the texture of the chicken.
Since we are using 1/2 a cup of lemon juice, this isn’t a marinade where we can just “set it and forget it”. Prep this a little in advance before you want to start grilling. You can double the recipe though!
What goes with Lemon Pepper Chicken?
In my opinion, you really can’t go wrong with whatever you serve with this grilled chicken. Here are some of my favorites:
Healthy Broccoli Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing
Summer Corn Salad with Tomato & Avocado
Air Fryer Crispy Garlic Rosemary Potatoes
More Healthy Chicken Recipes
30+ Best Whole30 Chicken Recipes
Whole30 Chicken Marinade 5 Ways
Meal Prep Paleo Chicken Burrito Bowls
Grilled Lemon Pepper Chicken
- 2 1/5 pounds chicken breast (about 4-6 breasts)
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil
- 1/2 cup lemon juice (about 4-6 lemons)
- 2 tablespoons coarse black pepper
- lemon zest from lemons
- salt, to taste
- All all ingredients to a large ziplock bag or glass container. Mix well to coat the chicken, making sure all sides get covered (I like to shake the bag). Marinate for a maximum of 2 hours, shaking/stirring once. Marinade can be thrown away once used.
- Heat grill to medium-high heat. Once hot, place chickenover direct heat and grill for 8 minutes. Flip and move to indirect heat (not directly over fire/coals) and cook for another 7-12 minutes depending on how thick your breasts are, or until internal temperature reaches 165 degress.
- Let cool for 3-5 minute. Serve with some veggies and carbs and enjoy!
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