Easy Balsamic Chicken

5 from 2 votes

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This recipe for Balsamic Chicken is simple enough for a busy weeknight meal but can easily be dressed up for Sunday dinner. The result is juicy, flavorful, and tender chicken. Plus, you most likely have all of the ingredients for the marinade at home. 

close up of cut up juicy balsamic chicken.
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I am a big fan of marinating. Using a marinade really helps to intensify the flavors and it keeps the meat from drying out. Even marinating something for 30 minutes will make a big difference. I prefer to let the chicken marinate for 3-4 hours but if you are in a time crunch, don’t hesitate to use the time you have. 

Balsamic chicken marinade is easy to whip up. Place the chicken in a large, resealable bag. Prepare the balsamic marinade in a bowl and then simply add the marinade to the resealable bag with the chicken. Place the bag in the refrigerator for up to 12 hours.

close up of balsamic chicken and a salad on a plate.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • This recipe uses minimal ingredients that are likely already in your pantry, making it both time-efficient and convenient for busy schedules.
  • Using boneless, skinless chicken breast ensures a lean protein source, while olive oil adds healthy fats, making this a nutritious option.
  • Grilling the chicken not only adds a smoky flavor but also allows for a healthy, low-fat cooking method, perfect for outdoor cooking or a quick indoor grill session.

Recipe Ingredients

  • Chicken – I used skinless chicken breast halves
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Olive Oil
  • Garlic – minced cloves
  • Spices – Crushed red pepper and salt

See the recipe card below for full information on ingredients and quantities 

top view of a plate of chicken and ingredients for balsamic marinade in bowls next it.

How to Make Easy Balsamic Chicken

Step 1. Using the flat side of a meat mallet, flatten chicken between two pieces of plastic wrap to about ½ inch thick.

Step 2. Stir together the marinade ingredients and pour over chicken breasts in a shallow dish or zipper-topped bag.

Step 3. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 1 to 4 hours. 

Step 4. Grill chicken, uncovered, over medium heat 10 to 12 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165℉, turning and brushing with marinade once.

Recipe FAQs

What cuts of chicken can I use to marinate?

You can use any cut of chicken for this balsamic marinade. Try using breasts, thighs, tenderloins, or wings. Whatever you have on hand or what cut is on sale is what I usually use. If you are using something other than chicken breasts you will need to adjust the cooking time slightly. 

What is the shortest amount of time you can marinate chicken?

If you are really in a time crunch, try and at least marinate the chicken for 30 minutes. You will still reap a lot of the benefits of marinating in that short amount of time. 

How do can I tell when chicken is finished cooking?

The most ideal way to know when chicken is done cooking is to insert an internal thermometer. The temperature should be 165 degrees. If you don’t have a meat thermometer, cut into the thickest part of the chicken and make sure there is no pink. 

Does chicken need to rest after grilling?

I like to let the meat rest after it is done grilling, just for a few minutes. When you let the meat rest, it will hold the juice in better as opposed to flowing out if you slice the meat directly after taking it off the grill. 

Balsamic marinade being poured into a bag of chicken.

Expert Tips

  • When flattening the chicken breasts, aim for a consistent ½ inch thickness to ensure even cooking and prevent some pieces from being over or undercooked.
  • While 1 to 4 hours is recommended, marinating closer to 4 and up to 12 hours will infuse the chicken with more flavor.
  • Preheat the grill to medium heat and ensure the grates are clean and oiled to prevent sticking. Turn the chicken only once to develop a good sear and grill marks.
  • After grilling, let the chicken rest for 5 minutes before slicing or serving. This helps retain the juices and keeps the chicken moist.
close up of balsamic chicken.

How to serve and store Balsamic Chicken

The possibilities are endless for serving balsamic chicken. For a fresh summer meal, it goes perfect over a salad such as my chef salad, arugula salad, or apple salad. You can also pair the chicken with a side of roasted vegetables such as asparagus, broccoli, zucchini, or carrots to add a variety of textures and flavors. For something a little more hearty, serve alongside instant pot quinoa, brown rice, or couscous for a wholesome, balanced meal that complements the flavors of the balsamic marinade.

Store leftover balsamic chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will stay fresh for up to 3-4 days. For longer storage, place the cooked chicken in a freezer-safe container or zip-top bag, ensuring to remove as much air as possible. It can be frozen for up to 2-3 months. To reheat, thaw frozen chicken in the refrigerator overnight. Reheat in the oven at 350°F (175°C) for about 10-15 minutes, or until warmed through. Alternatively, you can reheat in the microwave, covered, in 1-minute intervals. Avoid overcooking to prevent drying out.

More Chicken Recipes to Consider

top view of a plate of chicken and ingredients for balsamic marinade in bowls next it
5 from 2 votes

Easy Balsamic Chicken

You’ll love how quickly this marinated balsamic chicken comes together and how flavorful it is once grilled. This is a simple go-to chicken recipe you can make over and over again. 
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients 

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
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Instructions 

  • Using the flat side of a meat mallet, flatten chicken between two pieces of plastic wrap to about ½ inch thick. This helps the chicken to cook evenly.
  • Place chicken in a shallow dish. In a bowl, stir together the remaining ingredients. Pour over chicken, turning to coat the chicken well. You can also marinade the chicken in a large zipper-topped bag.
  • Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 1 to 4 hours. 
  • Grill chicken, uncovered, over medium heat 10 to 12 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165℉, turning and brushing with marinade once.

Notes

  • I’ve had great luck cooking this chicken on the stove top and even baking it too. Don’t feel like you have to grill it, it’s great cooked with different methods. 
  • This recipe is really easy to scale up if you need to. It’s a good one to cook extra chicken and use it another recipe later in the week.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 of 4 half chicken breasts, Calories: 272kcal, Carbohydrates: 4g, Protein: 22g, Fat: 18g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 11g, Trans Fat: 0.02g, Cholesterol: 107mg, Sodium: 252mg, Potassium: 306mg, Fiber: 0.1g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 64IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 19mg, Iron: 1mg
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1 Comment

  1. Susan Carroll says:

    5 stars
    Melissa, this sounds so easy and delicious. I love balsamic vinegar. But your protein grams seems way off. When I checked, protein in a half chicken breast ranges from 24 to 47 grams of protein.