These Juicy Grilled Chicken Thighs are the perfect easy keto dinner! This recipe is healthy, absolutely delicious, and great for meal prep.
Chicken Thighs on the Grill
These easy grilled chicken thighs will be your new favorite dinner! The marinade (made up of simple seasonings, lime juice, sugar-free maple, and olive oil) is inexpensive and comes together quickly. Allow it to marinate while you’re at work or sleeping for super flavorful chicken that stays tender and juicy! Stock up on chicken thighs when they’re on sale, then freeze several batches in the marinade for simple dinners that everyone will love.
This chicken comes out so perfectly tender and juicy. It’s perfect for topping salads and pasta or stuffing in quesadillas and tacos. The marinade is well-balanced and can work with tons of different cuisines and taste preferences. This is a convenient recipe you’ll want to bookmark for meal prep days and busy weeks!
Why you’ll LOVE this recipe:
- EASY – This is a great recipe for beginners because the marinade is easy and chicken thighs are so forgiving on the grill. Even if you’re new to the grill, you’ll still have bragging-worthy, juicy chicken to show off. There’s no butterflying, tenderizing, or other prep work needed.
- HEALTHY – While chicken thighs do have a high amount of fat, fat is a great source of energy! This recipe is low-carb and keto-friendly with a sugar-free sweetener. If you use maple syrup or honey instead, it’s paleo approved. It’s naturally gluten-free and easy to pair with tons of healthy sides.
- MEAL PREP FRIENDLY – You can prep dinner the night before with this marinade, or you could even allow the chicken to freeze in the marinade for long-term meal planning. It’s a great freezer option for new parents, grieving friends, or overwhelmed family members. Once cooked, the chicken can be frozen to reduce waste, too!
Ingredients for Grilled Chicken Thighs
Here’s a quick overview of what you’ll need for this recipe. For exact measurements, keep scrolling down to the printable recipe card.
- Chicken thighs – boneless & skinless. These stay juicy and are more difficult to overcook than chicken breasts. You can easily use this same method with other cuts of meat (including bone-in cuts) although the cooking time may need to be adjusted.
- Marinade made with chopped cilantro, avocado oil, sugar free maple syrup, lime juice and zest, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper – This can be mixed up to 1 week ahead of time, then it can be left on the chicken up to 24 hours. You can freeze chicken in this marinade up to 3 months without sacrificing taste or texture. Honey can be used instead of sugar free maple syrup if you’re not keto.
How to Grill Chicken Thighs
This is an easy recipe, perfect for a meal prep day or stocking the freezer! Here’s a step-by-step guide to making the juiciest grilled chicken you’ve ever had.
In a shallow bowl or Ziplock bag, mix together your oil, sweetener, lime juice, zest, cilantro, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Once well mixed, add chicken and allow to marinate for at least 8 hours in the fridge. If you’re meal prepping, you can go ahead and put it in the freezer, then you’re defrosting time will be your marinating time.
Grill chicken thighs
Heat your grill to medium-high heat. Remove the chicken from the bag, allowing the excess marinade to drip off. Place it on the grill and cook for 10 minutes, then flip and grill another 5 minutes. Once the chicken is cooked through (to 165 degrees F as measured by a meat thermometer), remove from the grill.
Allow the chicken to rest on a plate or cutting board for a minimum of 5 minutes before slicing and serving. This is key to super juicy chicken! If you slice it before it’s rested, all that juice will pour right out onto the plate instead of distributing evenly throughout the whole piece of chicken. Your patience will pay off, promise!
What to Serve with Grilled Chicken
We love serving grilled chicken with easy no-cook recipes like Caprese Salad or Cucumber Salad! Of course, it always works great with classic sides like Mashed Potatoes or Roasted Cauliflower, too. For healthy recipes that won’t heat up the kitchen, consider Air Fryer Zucchini Fries or Sweet Potatoes. Follow it all up with Ginger Grilled Oranges and a Kiwi Cucumber Gin Cocktail for the perfect summer meal.
More good grilled side dishes:
- Grilled Zucchini Salad
- Bacon Wrapped Green Beans
- Grilled Portobello Mushrooms
- Bacon Wrapped Cabbage
- Smoked Queso Dip
How long does grilled chicken last in the fridge or freezer?
Cooked chicken should last 3-4 days in the fridge. To keep it from spoiling quickly, remember to never leave it at room temperature for more than 2 hours, store it in the coldest part of your fridge, and keep it in an airtight container. Cooked chicken is best if eaten within 3 months of freezing–The quicker you eat it, the better the flavor and texture will be.
How to reheat chicken without drying it out
Thighs are the juiciest cut of chicken, so we love being able to reheat them without drying them out. Here are some tips for not drying out the chicken as it warms up:
- Oven – Place chicken in a baking dish and add about 1 teaspoon of water per thigh. Cover with foil or a tight lid, then reheat at 350 degrees. Time needed will depend on the number of thighs you’re reheating at once. If you don’t have a baking dish, you could simply wrap your chicken thighs in foil and reheat that way as well.
- Stove – Add just enough water to a skillet that it barely covers the bottom. Add in chicken thighs (preferably sliced into 1-inch-thick slices to speed up the process). Simmer on low, gently and occasionally stirring/flipping to evenly reheat all pieces.
- Microwave – Only blast at 50% power in 45- or 60-second increments. Using full power will likely overcook some spots while leaving other spots cold. Flip chicken and rotate it 90 degrees between blasts for even reheating. Adding a teaspoon of water per thigh to the plate will help further ensure the chicken is moist.
- Air Fryer – If you crispy edges, this is the best reheating method for you! Preheat air fryer to 350 degrees F for 3 minutes, then add chicken thighs. Make sure they are not touching, then spray with oil. Allow to reheat about 2 minutes, then squeeze with lime juice and check temperature. Continue cooking until warmed through.
If you love this grilled chicken, you’ll love these easy recipes:
- Teriyaki Chicken Thighs – A little sticky with a whole lot of flavor! These juicy bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs are so easy to make in the Instant Pot and work perfectly after a busy day.
- Instant Pot Chicken Breasts – These are the juiciest chicken breasts we’ve ever had! The Instant Pot quickly gets them perfectly tender, and the simple sauce pairs well with everything.
- Crack Chicken Foil Pack – Great with breasts, thighs, or tenderloins. This is a great meal with very little cleanup, perfect for summer! Easy to make ahead of time, too.
- Chicken Bacon Ranch Chaffle Sandwich – The BEST grilled chicken sandwich! Keto chaffles keep this low carb, but you could easily replace it with your favorite bun or sandwich bread.
- Honey Mustard Chicken Sheet Pan – Another great, easy recipe for boneless, skinless chicken thighs! This takes almost no effort at all and is great on a busy weeknight.
FAQs for Grilled Chicken Thighs
Boneless, skinless chicken thighs should cook for about 20 minutes on medium-high or high heat. I cooked these at 450 degrees for 15 minutes, then flipped and cooked another 5 minutes until they were cooked through. To make sure the chicken is finished, use a meat thermometer to measure the internal temperature of the thickest chicken thigh. It should reach 165 degrees for safety.
Yes! Freezing chicken in marinade is a great meal prep tip. The chicken does not actually marinate WHILE it’s freezing–The cells constrict and cannot absorb the flavors. Because of this, you don’t have to worry about the chicken getting mushy from being in the marinade too long. Instead, the marinating process actually happens when you remove the chicken from the freezer and allow it to defrost overnight in the fridge. It’s best to cook marinated, frozen chicken within 3 months for the best taste and texture.
Yes, grilled chicken can easily be frozen and reheated for a simple, easy meal prep dish! Place grilled chicken thighs on a plate or baking sheet (not touching) and freeze for 2 hours, then transfer to a freezer bag for up to 3 months. This method allows you to pull out only the number of thighs you need and prevents the chicken from sticking together.
Yes, chicken thighs work great in the air fryer! They only need to cook for about 15 minutes, flipping halfway through for even cooking. This is a great way to enjoy this chicken even if there’s a surprise storm or an empty propane tank preventing you from grilling.
Juicy Grilled Chicken Thighs
- 1 ½ lbs chicken thighs boneless, skinless
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- 3 tbsp avocado oil
- 1 tbsp sugar free maple syrup or honey if not keto
- 2 limes juiced and zested
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- Mix together the cilantro, oil, sweetener, lime juice, lime zest, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and black pepper in a shallow bowl or Ziplock bag. Add the chicken and marinade for at least 8 hours.
- Preheat your grill to medium-high heat. Remove the chicken from the marinade and place it on the grill. Cook chicken for 10 minutes, then flip and grill another 5 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through to 165 degrees.
- Remove the chicken from the grill and allow to rest for about 5 minutes. Serve!
- This chicken makes for really good tacos, wraps, burritos, and salads! It’s also great on its own!
- You can just plop the chicken in the marinade and freeze it in a zip-lock bag for up to 3 months for a nice freezer meal, too!
- This can also be done with chicken breasts!
- I cooked this chicken at 450 degrees on my Traeger grill.
- Nutrition values calculated using Lakanto Sugar-Free Maple Syrup
- This recipe makes 4 servings (about 1/4 pound of cooked meat each). Each serving has 2 net carbs.