Easy grilled chicken recipe using a combination of dried spices such as paprika, cumin, garlic, onion, coriander, salt, and pepper. These bold seasonings give a quick flavor boost! Cook on a hot barbecue for a fast meal ready in under 30 minutes.
A quick and healthy meal can be made right on the barbecue. Spice rubbed chicken breasts are simple to prepare and don’t require extra time to marinate. I use my go-to mixture of bold and colorful spices like paprika, cumin, garlic, onion, coriander, salt, and black pepper to enhance the taste of poultry. This mixture creates a savory crust that will make your lips smack.
Any leftover seasoning mix can be stored and saved for later use. If you want to add variety, try it on chicken thighs, drumsticks, and wings too. It’s a versatile blend that can be used on different types of meat, seafood or vegetable protein sources to make them more interesting. Fire up the grill, tender and juicy barbecued chicken is just minutes away!
The best seasoning for grilled chicken
Creating different spice blends is something I truly enjoy experimenting within the kitchen. For this recipe, I designed a Latin-inspired seasoning base which features:
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Paprika (Sweet or smoked paprika)
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
The seasoning is a balance of savory, earthy, spicy, and pungent flavors. Since the spices are dried, the characters are more concentrated with each bite. You can use as little or as much of the mix as you like.
Feel free to add in other ingredients like brown sugar for a hint of sweetness, or chili powder for extra heat. This recipe is the ultimate lazy cooks (or time-crunched) mealtime solution!
Oil the chicken before grilling
Before adding the chicken to the grill, make sure to lightly oil and coat the surface of the meat with a high smoke point oil. Olive oil or grapeseed are my top choices. This process helps to prevent the chicken and spices from sticking to the grill plate.
It also dissolves and disperses the fat-soluble flavor molecules to bump up the taste when eaten. New to the grill? Learn how to barbecue chicken following these basic grilling guidelines.
Prepare the grill
- Preheat grill over medium-high heat (400 to 450ºF / 204 to 232ºC).
- Keep one burner off for indirect heat cooking.
- Clean and season a hot preheated grill with oil.
How long to cook chicken breast on the grill
Place the chicken on the direct heat side and close the lid. Cook each side for about 5 to 8 minutes, depending on the thickness and type of chicken. Finish on the indirect heat side until fully cooked (internal temperature of 160ºF/71ºC). Rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving to allow for carryover cooking.
These grilled chicken breasts are a satisfying protein option, especially if you’re following Whole30 or Paleo diets. If you do have a few extra minutes and want to absorb flavor deeper into the chicken, try this easy marinade, I know you’ll love it!
Ways to use grilled chicken
Whether you’re eating it hot off the grill, meal prepping or have leftovers, here are some alternative ways to use grilled chicken:
- Chicken enchiladas
- Salad: Asian or Greek
- Broccoli Slaw
- Pulled chicken sandwiches
- Grilled BBQ chicken pizza
Choosing spices for seasoning grilled meats
Spices with oil-soluble flavor compounds like coriander, cumin, and paprika are great for grilling. When in contact with olive oil, those flavor compounds dissolve and disperse better onto the surface of the meat. This results in more flavor release and delivery! Using a dry heat cooking technique like grilling allows the spices in the oil mixture to bloom, intensifying the taste of the ground seasoning. Too high of heat can scorch the spices, which is desirable on barbecued foods in small amounts.
Grilled Chicken Recipe
- 1 ½ teaspoon (8 g) kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon (2 g) ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon (2 g) paprika, sweet or smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon (2 g) garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon (1 g) onion powder
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- 2 pounds (908 g) boneless skinless chicken breasts
- olive oil , enough to coat chicken and grease the grill
- Preheat grill over medium-high heat to 400 to 450ºF (204 to 232ºC).
- Carefully grease the cooking grates with the oil.
- Keep one burner off for indirect heat cooking.
- In a small bowl combine salt, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, and coriander.
- Evenly season each side of the chicken with spice mixture, about ½ teaspoon per side.
- Drizzle olive oil on both sides of the chicken, about 1 teaspoon per side. Rub the oil onto the surface of the chicken to evenly coat.
- Sprinkle on more seasoning if desired.
- Place the chicken on the direct heat side of the grill and close the lid.
- Cook each side for about 5 to 8 minutes, depending on the thickness and type of chicken.
- Flip the chicken and move over to the indirect heat side of the grill. Cook covered, until the recommended internal temperature is reached and chicken is fully cooked (see notes section).
- Allow chicken to rest for 5 to 10 minutes before slicing or serving.
- Doneness Temperature: Cook chicken breast to an internal temperature of 160 to 165ºF (71 to 74ºC). Allow chicken to rest for 5 to 10 minutes to account for an increase in temperature due to carryover cooking.
- Grilling other chicken parts: Drumsticks (8-12 minutes per side), legs (10-15 minutes per side), thighs (10-15 minutes per side), wings (8-12 minutes per side).
- MAKE IT WHOLE30: Use extra-virgin olive oil and sea salt.