Easy grilled chicken with Italian dressing marinade is quick enough for a weeknight dinner. This classic Italian dressing grilled chicken recipe is a family favorite that just happens to be gluten-free and dairy-free.
This is a super easy, old school grilled chicken recipe. I remember having it as a kid using salad dressing out of a bottle for the Italian dressing chicken marinade.
This easy recipe uses my super simple Italian dressing recipe as a marinade for a quick weeknight grilled chicken dinner. You can even use it for a simple baked chicken dish.
This post includes affiliate links. For more info, read my full disclosure here.
Italian dressing chicken
The major flavor booster in this recipe is the Italian dressing. While you could use a bottle of Italian dressing (like this one that's keto and Whole30 approved), homemade dressing is so quick and easy---and the fresh ingredients give it even more flavor. If you like to meal prep, this simple vinaigrette with Italian seasonings is perfect to make ahead.
Generally, I'm a fan of using bone-in chicken. But for quick cooking, boneless is the way to go. The key to keeping it moist is not overcooking it. Boneless chicken breasts can go from tender and juicy to dry and tough in a matter of minutes.
Ingredients you'll need
- Boneless skinless chicken breasts - you can also substitute boneless chicken thighs
- Italian salad dressing - the garlic, herbs, vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper are in the dressing so no other ingredients are needed for the marinade!
How to make it
- First, prep the chicken by marinating it. Place the chicken breasts in a shallow glass bowl and pour the Italian dressing over it. Turn the chicken to coat both sides. Cover the bowl tightly and marinate for at least 30 minutes or overnight in the fridge.
- When ready to cook, preheat the grill to medium-high.
- Grill the chicken breasts for 3-5 minutes per side and until the chicken reaches 165° F.
- Remove from the grill, cover with foil, and let rest for 10 minutes.
The best way to make sure you have perfectly cooked chicken is to use an instant-read meat thermometer. Chicken is fully cooked when it reaches the safe internal temperature of 165 degrees. Pull it off the grill as soon as it reaches 165 - if you cook it any longer it will be overdone.
- Make sure your grill grates are clean.
- Even though the chicken already has an oil component to it, thanks to the Italian dressing, it doesn't hurt to wipe your grill grates with a little avocado oil.
- Make sure your grill is preheated before adding the chicken.
- Once you add the chicken, don't move it until you're ready to flip it halfway through the cooking time.
- Check the internal temp and when it reaches approximately 165° F go ahead and pull it off the grill.
- Be sure and tent the chicken with foil and let it rest so that the juices can redistribute. The chicken will continue to "cook" internally, ensuring that you're at 165° F.
Can I cook this chicken in the oven?
Yes, you can cook Italian dressing chicken in an oven. Here's how:
- Preheat the oven to 350° F.
- Place the marinated chicken in a baking dish and bake for 30 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165° F.
- Remove from the oven, cover with foil, and let it rest for 10 minutes.
Can I cook this chicken in the air fryer?
Yes, you can use your air fryer to cook this Italian chicken. Here's how:
- Preheat your air fryer to 375° F.
- Add the chicken breasts in a single layer in your air fryer's basket. You do not need to oil the basket. There's oil in the salad dressing, so you should have no sticking issues. Leave room between each piece of chicken so that the air can circulate on all sides, ensuring even cooking. You may need to cook in batches if you have a smaller air fryer.
- Cook the chicken breasts for 5 minutes and then flip the chicken breasts over and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes. Be sure to use an instant-read thermometer to check the temperature for doneness. When it reaches 160° F, remove the chicken from the air fryer, tent it with foil and let it sit until the internal temp reaches 165° F.
Remember that each air fryer model is different, so cook time will vary. Also, take into consideration that the size and thickness of the chicken breasts will factor into how long it takes them to cook through.
Serve this chicken with cucumber tomato salad for an easy summer meal. Pair it with zucchini pasta pesto and sprinkle with fresh basil. Or bake it in the oven and serve it with grilled romaine and roasted root vegetables in the fall.
Leftovers are great on a chicken salad for lunch - just use the leftover dressing to dress the salad and add whatever fresh vegetables you have in the fridge.
Italian dressing grilled chicken is also great for meal prep. Grill up enough chicken for lunches during the week. Add some grilled vegetables and cauliflower rice and you've got ready-to-eat meals for those days you don't have time to cook!
How to store leftovers
- Refrigerator: Store cooked chicken breasts in an airtight storage container for up to 2 days.
- Freezer: Store your cooked chicken breasts in an airtight freezer-safe container or bag for up to 2 months. When ready to use, thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
How to reheat leftover Italian Dressing Chicken
Sliced, cold chicken is perfectly delicious over salads or in lettuce wraps, but if you prefer it warm, here's how to reheat it.
Note: to reheat frozen chicken, thaw it overnight in the fridge before reheating.
- Oven Method: Preheat the oven to 350° F. Place the leftover chicken in a baking dish with a little water or chicken broth in the bottom of the pan to help keep it moist while reheating. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 10-15 minutes. Check frequently to see if the chicken has heated through to your desired temperature.
- Skillet Method: Place leftover chicken in a skillet with a little water or broth and cover it with a lid. Simmer on low until chicken has heated through.
- Air Fryer Method: Preheat your air fryer to 375° F. Place the leftover chicken in the basket and heat for 3 - 4 minutes, flipping the chicken halfway through.
- Microwave Method: In a microwave-safe bowl or shallow dish, add water or broth and the leftover chicken. Cover the dish to avoid splatters. Microwave in 1 - 2 minute increments, checking to see if the chicken has reached your desired temperature.
More easy grilled chicken recipes
- Grilled Chicken Thighs with Chimichurri Sauce
- Crispy Smoked Chicken Wings
- Grilled Chicken with Avocado Mango Salsa
- 101 Paleo Grilling Recipes
Easy Italian Dressing Grilled Chicken
- Place chicken breasts in a shallow glass bowl and cover with Italian dressing. Turn chicken to coat and marinate for at least 30 minutes.
To cook on the grill
- Preheat grill to medium-high.
- Grill chicken 3-5 minutes per side, until chicken reaches 165 degrees.
- Remove from grill, cover with foil, and let rest for 10 minutes.
To bake in the oven
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Place chicken in a baking pan and bake for 30 minutes or until chicken reaches 165 degrees.
- Remove from oven, cover with foil, and let rest for 10 minutes.