Grilled Lemon Basil Chicken

Grilled lemon basil chicken is flavorful and delicious. The marinade is a blend of fresh basil, lemon zest and garlic. Lemon and basil, your chickens bff’s.

I’ve been a grilling machine lately. From fresh green beans to asparagus, steak kebabs to potato salad. I just can’t seem to stop. I’m trying to soak in as much grilling time I possibly can before summer is over. I should just shut my mouth right now, but I just looked at the calendar and YOU GUYS it’s almost the end of July!

Grilled Lemon Basil Chicken plated ll www.

Our schedule has been jammed packed with the girl’s softball, work and well…. grilling. Someone pull back the reigns of summer because I haven’t even taken my girls to the wave pool yet! It’s craziness!

If your life is as hectic as ours then this is the chicken is a breath of fresh air. I made this recipe to go with the caprese pasta salad but it can work with any side dish you wish or on top of your favorite salad.

Thin chicken breasts are marinated in an easy marinade made up of fresh lemon juice, zest, fresh basil and the usual-ness: olive oil and garlic and then they’re grilled. I love this marinade because it takes little to no time to whip up and lemon and basil are pretty much bff’s.

I can’t think of a better smell coming off of the grill.


Collect all your summertime marinade ingredients.


Zest an entire lemon…

zest, juice, vinegar

Add it to the bowl with the juice {minus the seeds} and the white wine vinegar.

garlic press!

Next, finely grate or press a couple good sized peeled cloves of garlic through a garlic press.

Basil Collage

Chiffonade the basil by stacking, rolling and slicing it into thin ribbon like strips.


Add the fresh basil strips to the bowl with the lemon zest and juice.

olive oil

Whisk while drizzling in the olive oil.


Mix until combined…


Reserve a quarter cup for brushing on the chicken once grilled. 

pour marinade

Next, pour the rest of the marinade over top of the chicken breast halves.


Then give it the good-ol-toss. Let it marinate in the fridge for 30 minutes to an hour… nothing more.


Next, preheat your grill to medium-high. Once preheated, use tongs to transfer the chicken breasts on to the grill and cook, with the lid closed, for 4-5 minutes a side or until fully cooked.

grill and baste

Lastly, flip and brush with the reserved lemon-basil marinade.

Grilled Lemon Basil Chicken ~

Once fully cooked remove to a plate to rest for about 5 minutes.

Grilled Lemon Basil Chicken ll

It might not be the prettiest piece of grilled meat but I loooove this grilled lemon basil chicken, with all of its subtle lemony-basil-ness, it’s superb. It’s just the thing to go along with a light side (ahem, caprese pasta salad) and a glass of chilled white wine. Just sayin’.

Enjoy! And if you give this Grilled Lemon Basil Chicken recipe a try, let me know! Snap a photo and tag me on twitter or instagram!

Grilled Lemon Basil Chicken plated ll www.

My cookbook Simply Scratch : 120 Wholesome Homemade Recipes Made Easy is now available! CLICK HERE for details and THANK YOU in advance! 

Yield: 4 servings

Grilled Lemon Basil Chicken

Grilled Lemon Basil Chicken
Lemon and basil... your chickens bff's.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 42 minutes
Total Time 47 minutes


  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • 1 large lemon (zest and juice)
  • 1 cup fresh basil
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, finely grated or squeezed through a garlic press
  • 1 tablespoons extra light olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper


  1. In a bowl combine the entire zest and juice of one large lemon.
  2. Add in the white wine vinegar and squeeze in two good sized cloves of garlic. Stack, roll and slice thin ribbons of basil and add that to the bowl. Season with kosher salt and black pepper. I eyeball it, but I'd say about a ½ teaspoon of kosher salt and a ¼ teaspoon black pepper.
  3. Whisk while drizzling in the olive oil. Reserve a quarter cup of the marinade before tossing the chicken breasts in and turning to coat. Pop it into the fridge to marinate for 30-60 minutes.
  4. Remove the chicken from the fridge while your grill heats up to medium-medium/high heat. Grill the chicken for 4-6 minutes before turning and basting {the grilled side} with the reserved marinade. Continue to cook for 4-6 more minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked.
  5. Remove the chicken to a platter and let it rest for 5 minutes before serving.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 441 Total Fat: 12g Saturated Fat: 3g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 8g Cholesterol: 204mg Sodium: 327mg Carbohydrates: 4g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 1g Protein: 75g
Nutrition information my not always be accurate.
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20 Responses to “Grilled Lemon Basil Chicken”

  1. #
    Angie — July 26, 2013 at 10:01 am

    Love this recipe! I’ve made basil lime beef before too, it’s also really good.

  2. #
    Sheila — July 26, 2013 at 11:54 am

    Oh this is my kind of meal!! looks luverlarry 😉

  3. #
    Diana — July 26, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    Just curious, what garlic press do you use?

  4. #
    Cassie | Bake Your Day — July 26, 2013 at 5:32 pm

    Love these flavors! Perfect for summer.

  5. #
    Christina @ The Beautiful Balance — July 26, 2013 at 10:04 pm

    The fact that it’s almost the end of July blows my mind. Regardless, I have been grilled pretty often here in 110 degree heat! So worth it.

  6. #
    Tieghan Gerard — July 26, 2013 at 11:07 pm

    This is perfect! Simple, easy and so flavorful!

  7. #
    April Jacobs — July 28, 2013 at 10:26 am

    Wow! I love this recipe. It looks so delicious. I can’t wait to try it. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  8. #
    Grubarazzi — July 29, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    I’m addicted to grilling this summer myself. I love the classic flavors in this dish. Will definitely try. Perfect over an arugula salad!

  9. #
    Julie @ Table for Two — July 29, 2013 at 6:59 pm

    Amazing summer dinner! I love the citrus-basil combination, so good!!

  10. #
    Mrs G — August 2, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    I made it yesterday for dinner and served with oven roasted cherry tomatoes: it was delicious! Thank you for the recipe.
    I do not have a grill, so I baked this in my oven (using the ventilated grill function) at 190 C for 10 minutes, then flipped and baked for 5 more minutes.

  11. #
    Renee @ Awesome on $20 — August 3, 2013 at 9:09 pm

    I’m new to your blog, and I love all the great, fresh grilling ideas. I live in Honolulu, so we grill year ’round. I need as many new recipes as I can get my hands on. This chicken is beautiful.

    • simplyscratch replied: — August 4th, 2013 @ 8:54 pm

      Thanks Renee! 🙂 PS.. I wish I lived in Honolulu!

  12. #
    Ashley — August 5, 2013 at 10:55 am

    I made this chicken last night and it was great! It had good flavor without the lemon being too overpowering. I definitely loved the addition of the fresh basil as well. This is a great quick summer marinade for your chicken. Thanks for sharing!

  13. #
    lynn — September 11, 2013 at 6:37 pm

    This sounds delicious but I don’t have a grill. How long and at what temp would I cook it in a non-convection oven?

    • simplyscratch replied: — September 11th, 2013 @ 8:39 pm

      Hi Lynn, since the recipe calls for chicken breast halves I would pan-fry them. Heat a 10-12 inch skillet over medium-high heat. Once it’s nice and hot add a little olive oil and butter. Cook on both sides for 4-6 minutes or until fully cooked. Hope this helps! 🙂

  14. #
    Mary Ann — July 9, 2014 at 9:02 am

    We made this last night and loved it. The marinade was wonderful. I used an immersion blender to mix the basil leaves with the rest of the ingredients. Not really necessary, but worked well – probably added more “basilness” to the chicken. Thanks!

  15. #
    Linda — August 6, 2016 at 10:18 am

    Can you tell me the recipe for the side dish of tomato and is that Orecchiette pasta?


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