Jump to RecipeJump to VideoLeave a ReviewPin Recipe

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. I may earn a small commission for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this website.

This Marinated Italian Chicken is the only grilled chicken recipe that you will ever need! Fire up the outdoor grill for your next cookout, or crank up the indoor grill pan on a busy weeknight. Either way, the flavorful and healthy dinner requires just 5 ingredients!

Front shot of grilled chicken breast on a plate with pasta and salad

Grilled chicken is one of our favorite summer meals, and it’s so darn versatile. Enjoy the Marinated Italian Chicken on top of salad, tucked inside a sandwich, tossed with pasta, or alongside your favorite potato salad. It’s one of those basic, flavorful dinners that everyone loves…and it couldn’t be easier!

How to make Marinated Italian Chicken:

This grilled chicken marinated in Italian dressing is a classic — because it’s quick, easy and delicious!

Ingredients:

  • Mayonnaise
  • Italian dressing
  • Garlic powder
  • Ground red pepper
  • Chicken breasts
Mayonnaise and Italian dressing for chicken marinade

Why this Marinade Works:

A marinade adds flavor to chicken breasts, but it also helps to tenderize the meat and keep it from becoming too dry. I like to allow for at least 20 minutes of marinating time, but you can leave this chicken in the Italian dressing marinade for up to 12 hours!

There are a few essential components to every good marinade, and this particular dish uses a couple of shortcuts to make the preparation even easier.

  • Oil forms the base of most marinades (here, you get oil in both the mayonnaise and in the Italian dressing);
  • Acid helps tenderize the meat by breaking down tough proteins (here, you get the acid from the Italian dressing);
  • Sweetener helps to add flavor and to caramelize the outside of the meat (locking in the juices). Here you get sugar in the Italian dressing as well;
  • Seasoning gives the marinade its personality! In this dish, the marinade gets its seasoning and flavor from both the dressing and the extra garlic powder and red pepper!

Step 1: Prepare the Italian Chicken Marinade

Simply whisk together the mayonnaise, Italian dressing, garlic powder and red pepper.

Italian chicken marinade in a glass cup with whisk

Step 2: Marinate Chicken

Place the chicken in a dish or large Ziploc bag. Pour the marinade over top, toss to coat the chicken, and then cover and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.

Chicken breasts marinating in Italian dressing

Step 3: Grill the Chicken

Remove the chicken from the marinade (discard the leftover marinade) and grill over medium-high heat until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. This may take about 5 minutes per side for smaller chicken breasts, or up to 10-12 minutes per side for larger chicken breasts.

Italian marinated chicken breasts on a grill

What to serve with Marinated Italian Chicken:

Use the Marinated Italian Chicken Breasts on top of a big entrée salad, in these Chicken Caprese Sandwiches, in pesto pasta (like this recipe), in pasta salad, or on their own.

Here are a few side dishes that also go well with Italian Marinated Chicken:

Close overhead shot of a plate of italian marinated chicken with sides

Preparation and Storage Tips:

  • Make sure that you allow at least 20 minutes for the chicken to marinate. You can leave the meat in this particular marinade for up to 12 hours, so it’s a great prep-ahead option that you can assemble in the morning before work.
  • Wrapped tightly, the grilled chicken breast will keep in the fridge for up to 1 week. 
  • You can also store the chicken in an airtight container or wrapped tightly in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  • You can enjoy the leftover grilled chicken cold — straight from the fridge — or you can reheat the chicken in a 325 degree F oven just until it’s warmed through, about 15 minutes (be careful that you don’t bake it for too long or it will become dry).

Cook’s Tips and Recipe Variations:

  • I prefer Wish-Bone Italian dressing for this marinade, but any similar variety will work.
  • The length of time that it takes to cook your chicken will depend on the size and thickness of your meat. When grilled over medium-high heat (on the outdoor grill or indoor on the stovetop), a thin, small chicken breast will require about 5 minutes per side. Larger, thicker pieces of chicken will need up to 10-12 minutes per side. I always recommend using a meat thermometer to know when your chicken breast is perfectly done. The meat should reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
  • Grilled chicken breast is a healthy dinner that’s high in protein and low in calories. Assuming that each marinated chicken breast has about 2 tablespoon of marinade, a large 8-ounce piece of chicken has 323 calories, 10 grams of fat, just 2.5 grams of carbohydrates, and a whopping 52 grams of protein!
  • You can use this grilled chicken marinade for chicken thighs as well.
  • For a shorter cooking time, cut large chicken breasts in half lengthwise to create thinner pieces of meat.
  • To bake the chicken breast in the oven, remove the chicken from the marinade and bake in a 425 degree F oven for 30-35 minutes (for smaller chicken breasts) or about 45-50 minutes for very thick, large chicken breasts.
  • Prepare this grilled chicken breast on the stove by using a nonstick skillet or griddle, or an indoor grill pan. Heat the pan on the stovetop over medium-high heat and cook the chicken according to the instructions below.
  • If you’re cooking for just two people, you can prepare 1 lb. of chicken breasts and cut the marinade ingredients in half as well.
Overhead shot of grilled marinated italian chicken breast on a plate on a wooden table

More grilled and marinated chicken recipes that you might enjoy:

Front shot of grilled chicken breast on a plate with pasta and salad

Marinated Italian Chicken

4.75 from 4 votes
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 14 minutes
Marinating Time 20 minutes
Total: 39 minutes
Servings 4 – 6 people
Calories 323 kcal
This Marinated Italian Chicken is the only grilled chicken recipe that you will ever need. The flavorful and healthy dinner requires just 5 ingredients!

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup mayonnaise (I used Hellman’s Light)
  • 1 cup Italian dressing (I used Wish-Bone Italian dressing)
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Instructions

  • In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, Italian dressing, garlic powder and red pepper. Place chicken in a dish or in a large Ziploc bag. Pour marinade over top. Toss to coat the chicken with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes (or up to 12 hours).
  • Remove chicken from the dish. Discard marinade. Allow chicken to sit on the counter at room temp while you prepare the grill.
  • Heat a nonstick pan, grill pan, or outdoor grill over medium-high heat. Coat grill or pan with about a teaspoon of oil so that the chicken doesn’t stick. Sear or grill chicken on each side until golden, crispy and cooked through (about 5 minutes per side for small, thin chicken breasts or up to 10-12 minutes per side for larger, thick chicken breasts). The meat is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.

Notes

  • Make sure that you allow at least 20 minutes for the chicken to marinate. You can leave the meat in this particular marinade for up to 12 hours, so it’s a great prep-ahead option that you can assemble in the morning before work.
  • Wrapped tightly, the grilled chicken breast will keep in the fridge for up to 1 week. 
  • You can also store the chicken in an airtight container or wrapped tightly in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  • You can enjoy the leftover grilled chicken cold — straight from the fridge — or you can reheat the chicken in a 325 degree F oven just until it’s warmed through, about 15 minutes (be careful that you don’t bake it for too long or it will become dry).
  • I prefer Wish-Bone Italian dressing for this marinade, but any similar variety will work.
  • The length of time that it takes to cook your chicken will depend on the size and thickness of your meat. When grilled over medium-high heat (on the outdoor grill or indoor on the stovetop), a thin, small chicken breast will require about 5 minutes per side. Larger, thicker pieces of chicken will need up to 10-12 minutes per side. I always recommend using a meat thermometer to know when your chicken breast is perfectly done. The meat should reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
  • Grilled chicken breast is a healthy dinner that’s high in protein and low in calories. Assuming that each marinated chicken breast has about 2 tablespoon of marinade, a large 8-ounce piece of chicken has 323 calories, 10 grams of fat, just 2.5 grams of carbohydrates, and a whopping 52 grams of protein!
  • You can use this grilled chicken marinade for chicken thighs as well.
  • For a shorter cooking time, cut large chicken breasts in half lengthwise to create thinner pieces of meat.
  • To bake the chicken breast in the oven, remove the chicken from the marinade and bake in a 425 degree F oven for 30-35 minutes (for smaller chicken breasts) or about 45-50 minutes for very thick, large chicken breasts.
  • Prepare this grilled chicken breast on the stove by using a nonstick skillet or griddle, or an indoor grill pan. Heat the pan on the stovetop over medium-high heat and cook the chicken according to the instructions below.
  • If you’re cooking for just two people, you can prepare 1 lb. of chicken breasts and cut the marinade ingredients in half as well.

Nutrition

Serving: 1(8 ounce) marinated chicken breastCalories: 323kcalCarbohydrates: 2.5gProtein: 52.2gFat: 10.3gSaturated Fat: 1.8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2.5gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 136.5mgSodium: 516mgSugar: 1g
Keyword: grilled chicken marinade, Italian Chicken Marinade, Italian dressing marinade
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American, Italian
Author: Blair Lonergan
blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

Read More

Square overhead shot of hands serving a chicken pot pie recipe with biscuits
Overhead image of a bowl of chili mac on a dinner table with cornbread
Hands serving a platter of sheet pan sausage and potatoes

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Comments

  1. 5 stars
    The addition of the mayo in the marinade was fantastic. I added extra garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasoning, garlic salt, and paprika until the marinade was exactly the taste I was looking for. This was so good and makes a beautiful presentation.

    1. 4 stars
      This was yummy!! I didn’t have a lot of time for marinating so I cut each chicken breast in half and pounded them. I added some Italian seasoning to the marinade and let it sit for about 45 mins. On the side I made some penne pasta. When it was finished I tossed it with olive oil, butter, parsley, fresh grated Parmesan, some garlic salt and a couple handfuls of locally grown, fresh, grape tomatoes that I cut in 4ths. They warmed up perfectly when thrown into the hot pasta. When I made my plate I decided to cut up my chicken in bite-size pieces and tossed with my pasta. Also added a few spoonfuls of the hot marinade & juices from the chicken that dropped into a tinfoil pan on the grill. Dang, that was a good meal!!!

  2. 5 stars
    Very tasty! I did two 9 oz breasts and halved the marinade ingredients (it was plenty). Marinaded about an hour. Added a teaspoon of Italian seasoning too. Baked them and served with veggies and garlic noodles. Excellent recipe!