Marinated Grilled Chicken Thighs are perfect for summertime grilling! BBQ boneless chicken thighs made with simple ingredients like garlic, brown sugar & soy sauce for fantastic juicy flavor!
Making these marinated chicken thighs on the grill is so simple, the marinade prep time is 5 minutes and the end results are simply amazing. These grilled chicken thighs are packed with savory flavors, the brown sugar and seasonings pair so perfectly together to create a wonderful and appetizing lunch or dinner main course!
Marinated Grilled Chicken Thighs
We make this easy marinade for grilled chicken using ingredients like brown sugar and soy sauce, the results are a tasty sweet and savory taste in every bite. The brown sugar helps to caramelize the chicken skin while the soy sauce and other ingredients help to make the chicken tender and juicy. You do not have to use chicken thighs if those are not your preferred cut of meat.
This marinade would also taste delicious and work well with chicken breasts or chicken legs. My family is a huge fan of chicken thighs, they cook easily and are moist any way you cook them. If you do choose to use chicken breasts, you may want to use a meat tenderizer and thin the piece of meat out a little before marinating it.
Why we think you will enjoy this easy grilled chicken recipe!
We love these grilled boneless chicken thighs for so many reasons but here are three reasons why we think you are going to love it too!
- Simple ingredients. You do not need much to make the chicken thigh marinade and you may have most of the ingredients needed already on hand. I love recipes that do not require a bunch of extra items to be purchased at the store, this one falls in that category!
- Truly delicious. These grilled boneless skinless chicken thighs really do turn out so amazing. The marinade helps to achieve a great tasting and perfectly moist chicken dish.
- They are super juicy. Crispy and sweet on the outside and filled with tender juicy chicken on the inside, these chicken thighs are going to have you licking your fingers clean. You do not want to miss a single bite of this tasty meal!
Grilled Chicken Ingredients
Brown sugar: You will need ⅓ cup of packed light brown sugar. This will add a nice caramelization and crust to your chicken.
Garlic powder: Use 2 teaspoons of garlic powder for this marinade recipe. Or you can use garlic salt instead and omit the added salt in the recipe below.
Celery seeds: Adding in 1 teaspoon of celery seeds is optional but it does help to add a layer of freshness and flavor. This is not a typical pantry seasoning for many people, but if you do have them, add them in!
Salt: Use 1 teaspoon of salt to help tenderize and flavor the chicken. If you used garlic salt already, omit this added salt.
Black pepper: You will need ½ teaspoon of black pepper for a nice added kick to this marinade.
Oil: To help the seasonings properly coat the chicken use ¼ cup of olive oil, or any other vegetable oil that you may have on hand.
Soy sauce: Add a depth of flavor by using 4 tablespoons of soy sauce.
Dijon mustard: Use 2 teaspoons of dijon mustard for added sweetness and flavor. You can also swap it out for regular yellow mustard for a less sweet option.
Chicken: You will need 3 pounds of boneless skinless chicken thighs that have been trimmed.
How to Make Marinated Grilled Chicken Thighs
Start by adding the brown sugar, garlic powder, celery seeds, salt, and pepper to a reusable bag or a ziplocked bag.
Then, carefully knead the bag together until all of the spices are combined. You can do this without closing the bag by holding the top of the bag firmly and kneading the bottom of it with all the ingredients.
Next, add in the olive oil, soy sauce, and dijon mustard to the bag. Again, knead the bag until all the ingredients are well mixed. Close the bag and set it aside.
After that, trim your chicken thighs as needed and place them into your bag of marinade.
Proceed to remove the air from the bag, zip it closed, then knead the chicken and marinade together to coat the chicken well.
Continue to place the bag into the fridge to rest for at least 2 hours, or overnight. The longer the chicken sits in the marinade, the deeper the flavor will be.
Begin by preheating the grill to 400 degrees F and get it ready for indirect heating.
Once the grill is heated, remove the chicken from the marinade and place each piece directly on the grill.
Cook for 3 minutes on one side and then flip and cook on the other side for an additional 3 minutes.
After that, flip the chicken back over and close the lid.
Proceed to cook for another 2-5 minutes depending on the size and thickness of the thighs or until the internal temperature has reached 175 degrees F.
Take the thighs off of the grill and cover the plate or platter with foil. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Serve warm and enjoy!
What cuts of chicken are best to use for grilling?
My particular favorite to use are boneless, skinless chicken thighs. They are great for grilling as they are usually smaller and cook quickly. I also love that they are grill to plate ready, you can eat the entire piece of chicken without any extra work! If you choose to use a bone-in, skin on thighs, the cooking time will be longer, around 12-15 minutes.
You can also use chicken breasts for this recipe too, I highly suggest tenderizing the meat first to thin it out a bit, it will cook more evenly this way. Another summer BBQ favorite would be to use chicken drumsticks, they are small and are great for BBQing. No matter what cut of meat you use the marinade will taste delicious!
MARINATED GRILLED CHICKEN THIGHS
- ⅓ cup light brown sugar packed
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp celery seeds *optional
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- ¼ cup olive oil (or vegetable oil)
- 4 TBSP soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons Dijon Mustard (or regular yellow mustard)
- 3 pounds skinless boneless chicken thighs, trimmed
- MARINADE DIRECTIONS: Start by adding the brown sugar,garlic powder, celery seeds, salt, and pepper to a reusable bag or a ziplock bag.
- Knead the bag until spices are well blended. Add the olive oil, soy sauce, and Dijon mustard. Knead until all blended together.
- Unpack the chicken thighs and trim the extra fat pieces.
- Place each piece into your marinade. Knead again to coat the chicken with the marinade.
- Close the bag and place in the fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight.
- Prepare your BBQ for direct cooking: Heat up to 400°F. Once your BBQ has reached the temperature, place the chicken thighs directly on the grill.
- Cook for 3 minutes on one side, flip and cook for an additional 3 minutes
- Flip them back over, close the lid and cook for an additional 2-5 minutes depending on the thickness or until the internal temperature has reached 175°F.
- Take them off the grill, cover with foil and let rest 5 minutes. Serve and Enjoy!
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What do you serve with grilled chicken thighs?
There are so many great side dish ideas to consider but some of our favorites include cooked white rice or cheesy pasta. Side salads are always welcomed as well because they bring freshness and color to your plates.
How long is leftover grilled chicken good for?
You can keep your leftover chicken (assuming there is any) in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 or 4 days. Make sure that the chicken has cooled completely before storing.
How do you reheat grilled chicken?
You can reheat your chicken on a plate in the microwave for 1-2 minutes on high or you can reheat them in the air fryer if you want them to get crispy while they warm through. To do this simply heat the air fryer to 350 degrees F and place the thighs in the basket. Heat for 3 to 4 minutes and then enjoy.
Here are some more great BBQ recipes that you’re going to love!
- SWEET & SPICY GRILLED STICKY CHICKEN
- GRILLED LEMON CURRY ZUCCHINI
- OVEN BAKED COUNTRY STYLE PORK RIBS
- GRILLED ITALIAN CHICKEN & PASTA
- EASY SMOKED CHICKEN LEGS
- GRILLED SAUSAGE KABOBS & ZAYCON FOODS
- GRILLED STEAK KABOBS
- CHEESY GRILLED PINEAPPLE CHICKEN
- RANCH CHICKEN BACON KABOBS
- GRILLED HONEY MUSTARD CHICKEN
- STICK OF BUTTER SMOKED WHOLE CHICKEN
- GRILLED SPATCHCOCK CHICKEN
- GRILLED TERIYAKI CHICKEN
Marinated Grilled Chicken Thighs is a wonderful summer time lunch or dinner recipe, it is easy to make and so tasty. Get that BBQ cleaned up, grab a bag of charcoals and get ready to make these delicious grilled boneless chicken thighs!