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 with friends and family. 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- White Wine: 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: This gives the chicken so much flavor and a nice color when they cook.
Why You'll Love It
Versatile: Enjoy Alone or in a Salad, Wrap or Sandwich
Make Ahead, Meal Prep and Freezer Friendly
Only 10 Ingredients Required
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 or up to 2 hours.
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.
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.
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.
Stove Top Instructions
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 cooked through to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
Add all the marinade ingredients to a large zip lock bag and store in the fridge up for up to 2 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. Once cooked add to a large freezer bag and seal, removing the air. You can freeze the chicken for up to 3 months. When ready to serve let thaw then rewarm.
Lemon chicken goes great with grilled or roasted veggies like asparagus, peppers or green beans. Potato sides like mashed potatoes, roasted potatoes or sweet potatoes also work well. Other great sides during the summer time or for BBQs include potato salad, a fruit salad or chips.
I recommend only marinating the chicken for up to 2 hours since there is lemon juice in it. Marinades containing acid like lemon juice or alcohol will begin to chemically cook the chicken if left to marinade for too long.
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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 marinade as long as 2 hours for more flavor to develop.
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