Grilled Lemon Pepper Chicken Thighs are simple to make and perfect for summer grilling. Make ahead, freezer friendly and great for meal-prep!
The weather is beautiful and I am so happy to be out grilling. This Grilled Lemon Pepper Chicken Thighs recipe is simple and requires limited ingredients. The chicken thighs pack so much flavor and are very tender. The lemon pepper chicken marinade is versatile and can be used for chicken or even vegetables.
I am all about getting the most use out of a recipe, and this grilled chicken works great on its own, or can be added into salads or wraps. The recipe also works great for meal prep, camping, and can be made ahead of time or frozen. I hope you and your family have a great summer and enjoy this quick and easy chicken recipe.
Pepper and Lemon Chicken is perfect for summer grilling!
- Grill or Grill Pan: A gas or charcoal grill can be used for this recipe. A grill pan works great if you are making the lemon chicken on the stove top.
- Large Bowl with Lid: The chicken thighs will need to be marinated in the fridge for at least 30 minutes and I love using a large bowl with a lid. Another great option is using a basic prep bowl and covering the lemon and pepper chicken with foil or cling wrap.
- Measuring Cups and Spoons
- Chicken Thighs: Chicken thighs have a great flavor and are very tender when grilled. If you do not want to use chicken thighs chicken breasts can be used instead.
- Fresh Lemons and Their Juice
- Dried Spices: The main spices are course ground black pepper, sea salt, thyme, onion powder, and garlic powder. To save one time and spices you could also buy pre mixed lemon pepper chicken seasoning.
- Olive Oil
- White Wine (Optional): White wine adds a sweet flavor and a bit of acid that brightens up the chicken. This is not required and chicken broth could be subbed in with a bit of white wine vinegar.
- Brown Sugar (Optional): This gives the chicken so much flavor and a nice color when they cook.
How to make Grilled Lemon Pepper Chicken
Simple step by step instructions for prepping and grilling the best lemon chicken. You can make your own lemon pepper seasoning, or buy a pre-mixed one from your local grocery store.
- Chicken Prep and Marinade
Trim fat from chicken thighs and add to a large bowl. Sprinkle with dried spices, course ground black pepper, and sea salt. Then add in lemon juice, sliced lemons, white wine, and olive oil and brown sugar if using. Cover the bowl and marinade the chicken thighs for at least 30 minutes.
- Grilling the Lemon Chicken
Once the chicken has marinaded, spray then heat the grill to 400 degrees F. When the grill heated, add the chicken thighs to the grill and also the sliced lemons. Close the lid and let cook for 4-5 minutes until charred.
After 5 minutes, flip the chicken and lemon slices with metal tongs and cook an additional 4-5 minutes or until the lemon pepper chicken thighs are cooked through to 165 degrees F. If the chicken is getting to charred move to a cooler part of the grill to let them finished cooking.
- Completing the Chicken
When the chicken is cooked through (165 degrees F internally), remove from grill and serve warm with rice, veggies and grilled lemon slices. Enjoy!
Check out these other Great Grill Recipes
Spray the Grill: Be sure to spray your grill before heating it to prevent your juicy lemon chicken from sticking.
Trim the Fat: Chicken thighs are flavorful and juicy, but they do have more fat than chicken breasts. Be sure to trim some of the excess fat off with a chef's knife before marinating.
Yes, if you do not want to grill the pepper and lemon chicken it can be made on a stove top. Follow the recipe for marinating the chicken and spraying either a grill pan, or large skillet. Heat the skillet over medium heat and cook for 5-7 minutes per side or until cook through.
Add all the marinade ingredients to a large zip lock bag and store in the fridge up for up to 24 hours. The wine will develop more flavor the longer you leave it in the fridge, so you can swap it for chicken broth if that is more of your vibe.
Yes, the chicken can be frozen. Add the chicken and lemon and pepper marinade ingredients (minus the wine swap in some chicken broth) to a freezer bag and store flat in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let defrost in the fridge overnight then follow recipe instructions for grilling the chicken.
Store leftover lemon chicken in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Reheat in the microwave or oven until warm. Some great ways to utilize leftover chicken is in a salad, wrap, or over rice. Check out my grilled peach salad, kale caesar salad or mandarin chicken wraps for great recipes to incorporate leftover grilled chicken.
I hope you love this simple and tasty Grilled Pepper and Lemon Chicken. This chicken is great for meal prep, summer grilling and camping.
Grilled Lemon Pepper Chicken Thighs
- Trim excess fat from chicken thighs and add to a large bowl. Sprinkle with course ground black pepper, thyme, onion powder, garlic powder, brown sugar and sea salt.
- Slice two of the lemons and add slices to the bowl, then juice the other two and add in juices. Add white wine (or chicken broth) and olive oil then toss and make sure all the chicken has seasoning on it. Cover the bowl and marinade the chicken thighs for at least 30 minutes.
- Once the chicken has marinaded, spray then heat the grill to 400 degrees F. When the grill heated, add the chicken thighs to the grill and the sliced lemons. Close the lid and let cook for 4-5 minutes until charred.
- After 5 minutes, flip the chicken and lemon slices with metal tongs and cook an additional 4-5 minutes or until the lemon pepper chicken thighs are cooked through to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. If the chicken is getting to charred move to a cooler part of the grill to let them finished cooking.
- When the chicken thighs are cooked through, remove from grill and serve warm with rice veggies and grilled lemon slices, Enjoy!
Wine NoteWhite wine adds a great flavor to the lemon pepper chicken, but can be swapped out for chicken broth and a tsp of white wine vinegar. The wine cooks off while grilling so it is perfectly safe for kids to eat.
Leftover StorageStore leftover chicken in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Heat until warmed through in the microwave or oven before eating.
Spice NoteThis spices I use are a diy version of store bought lemon pepper chicken seasoning. If you have this on hand you can use it instead.
Marinade TimeThe chicken needs to be marinade for at least 30 minutes, but can be marinaded as long as overnight for more flavor to develop.
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