This Grilled Chicken with Basil Dressing is a quick and easy dinner that’s perfect for summer or anytime you have a bunch of basil you need to use!
Why I love this recipe
This grilled chicken is so simple and uses a dry rub to give it great flavor, but not overshadow the basil dressing. If you have a bunch of fresh basil in your garden this is a great way to use it.
The dressing or you could call it a vinaigrette, comes together in seconds. You will need a blender or high speed blender to make it. There’s nothing fancy or complicated about this meal, but it’s perfect for summer and can be on your dinner table in 30 minutes or less!
Ingredients for Grilled Chicken with Basil Dressing
Chicken thighs – I used boneless skinless chicken thighs, but chicken breasts work great as well.
Smoked paprika and garlic powder – These spices along with plenty of salt and freshly ground black pepper are my go-to’s for a simple dry rub for chicken.
Basil – fresh basil is the star ingredient in the dressing. It’s a little sweet with a hint of anise flavor. It also turns the dressing an amazing green color.
Shallot – Shallots work well in vinaigrettes and dressings because they have a slightly sweeter and less harsh onion flavor.
Garlic – Fresh garlic is often more intense in it’s raw state. If this bothers you I recommend using 1/4-1/2 teaspoon garlic powder in it’s place.
Champagne vinegar – I love the light floral and fruit flavor in this vinegar. If you can’t find it, substitute with red wine vinegar or white balsamic vinegar.
Honey – Used to lightly sweeten the dressing.
Red pepper flakes – If you’re like me and enjoy a touch of spicy, add a pinch of red pepper flakes to this dressing. It’s just enough so that you get that slight burn in the back of your throat.
How to make it
Grilled Chicken – Combine the smoked paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper. I typically don’t give amounts when it comes to salt in my recipes because everyone’s tastes are so different. My preference is to use about 3/4 teaspoon of fine sea salt or kosher salt for every pound of chicken.
Rub the spice mixture evenly onto all sides of the chicken and then pre-heat your grill. I usually grill my chicken at about 400° F. Add the chicken to clean and oiled grill grates and let them cook for about 5 minutes on the first side and then flip and cook until the internal temperature is 165° F. Let the chicken rest while you make the basil dressing.
Basil Dressing – To make the basil dressing, add the basil leaves, vinegar, olive oil, honey, finely diced shallot, grated or minced garlic, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to a regular or high speed blender. Purée until smooth and then give it a taste.
Adjust the seasoning if needed and then scrape down the sides of the blender with a spatula and purée again until everything is well incorporated and smooth. Pour the dressing into a bowl or jar and serve drizzled on top of the grilled chicken or on the side.
Tips for grilling chicken
- My number one tip for grilling chicken is to use a meat thermometer. Using a meat thermometer is the easiest way to ensure that you don’t over or under cook the meat. Chicken needs to be cooked to 165° F.
- Make sure that your chicken is at room temperature before putting it on the grill.
- If you’re using chicken breasts, pound them out so that they are an even thickness. This will also cut down on the cooking time.
- Prep your grill by making sure the grates are clean and oiled before adding the chicken to them.
- Cover the grill with the lid while the chicken is cooking. This creates an oven-like environment which will cut down on the cooking time and ensure that the chicken is thoroughly cooked.
Both the grilled chicken and the basil dressing will keep for 5-6 days when stored in airtight containers in the refrigerator.
If you want to make a big batch of the grilled chicken you can freeze it. Let it cool completely and then put it in a freezer bag. Press out the air and seal. It will keep for up to 3 months in the freezer.
What to serve with it
- If you want a carb to serve with the chicken, try these everything bagel roasted potatoes or whole wheat dinner rolls.
- A couple of my favorite salads serve with it are this blueberry peach feta salad and this heirloom tomato salad.
- It would also be great served with this tomato avocado pasta salad which also uses fresh basil.
More grilled chicken recipes
- Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad
- Chimichurri Grilled Chicken
- Greek Lemon Chicken Skewers with Tzatziki Sauce
- Grilled Bruschetta Chicken
- Grilled Tahini Chicken
Did you make this Grilled Chicken with Basil Dressing? I’d love if you’d leave a recipe rating and review below.
- 1 1/4 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs or breasts
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup packed basil leaves
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 shallot (about 1/4 cup diced)
- 2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
- 1 clove grated garlic (about 1/2 teaspoon)
- 2 teaspoons honey
- Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Preheat grill to 400° F then clean and oil the grates. Combine the smoked paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper and then sprinkle it evenly all over the chicken. Place the chicken on the grill grates and cook for 5-6 minutes. Flip the chicken over and continue to cook until the internal temperature is 165° F. Remove the chicken from the grill and let it rest while you make the basil dressing.
- Add all of the ingredients for the basil dressing to a high speed or regular blender. Purée until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the blender and purée again. Taste for seasoning then pour the dressing into a jar or bowl. Serve the dressing drizzled on top of the chicken or on the side for dipping.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 345Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 173mgSodium: 253mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 1gSugar: 4gProtein: 35g
Nutritional information is an estimate. Please consult a registered dietician for the most accurate nutritional information.