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Juicy Balsamic Grilled Chicken with 4-Ingredient Balsamic Chicken Marinade

This balsamic grilled chicken recipe makes the most juicy and succulent boneless skinless chicken breasts EVER! Made with an easy balsamic chicken marinade that requires just 4 ingredients and 10 minutes of marinating time. AND it’s paleo & Whole30 compliant…

juicy balsamic grilled chicken sliced

Balsamic Grilled Chicken

BOOM, I finished the Whole30! Yes, I did it — and it was actually easier than I expected. Well, except for the no alcohol part, which obviously means no wine. And there were several evenings when I really, REALLY wanted a glass of wine while I was cooking dinner… But I stuck it out, and it was worth it.

You regular readers are probably sitting there thinking, “But I didn’t even know you were doing a Whole30?” Yeah, there’s a reason for that. I didn’t broadcast it here (or on social media) because I didn’t want that added pressure. But now that I’m on the other side, I’m excited to share some new Whole30-compliant recipes and tips, starting with my favorite of all the Whole30 chicken breast recipes I made — this balsamic grilled chicken.

Oh, and if you could give a rat’s ass about the Whole30? TRY THIS RECIPE ANYHOW. It’s a damn delicious balsamic chicken recipe — that just so happens to be Whole30 friendly. I know you’re going to love it!

This super simple balsamic chicken marinade helped me manage to stay on track through many, many late evening dinners. With just a handful of ingredients, it transforms boring, blah boneless skinless chicken breasts into juicy and succulent grilled chicken that you will crave — all in only 30 minutes!

I typically start a batch of these perfect Instant Pot sweet potatoes right after I start the marinating process, and then I use the period when the chicken breasts are resting after grilling to cut up some fresh fruit or to throw together a simple side salad. Talk about an EASY Whole30 dinner!


balsamic chicken marinade made with 4 ingredients in a pyrex measuring cup

Whole30 30-Minute Chicken Marinade

All basic marinades start with an oil and an acid, and this Whole30 chicken marinade is no exception. In this balsamic chicken marinade, I start with extra virgin olive oil and, you guessed it, balsamic vinegar.

Finding a balsamic vinegar for this Whole30 marinade that doesn’t contain added sugar (because added sugar is a hard NO during the Whole30) was quite a challenge. But I finally discovered that the Kirkland brand at Costco is Whole30 compliant. Added bonus — it’s also surprisingly budget friendly!

To the oil and vinegar mixture, I add plenty of fresh minced garlic and my favorite Italian seasoning, along with some salt and pepper. Whisk it all together and pour it over your chicken breasts in a plastic Ziploc marinade bag.

NOTE: This balsamic vinegar chicken marinade recipe has not been tested with other brands of Italian seasoning. I noticed a comment on Pinterest that said the recipe contains too much Italian seasoning. I suspect that they used a brand that is more finely ground, but the recipe as written, using my preferred brand (which contains large flakes), works perfectly. If you choose to use a different brand, I recommend starting with less than the recipe calls for and adding more as necessary.

whole30 chicken marinade made with 4 ingredients

Juicy Balsamic Grilled Chicken Recipe

We all want tender and juicy grilled chicken breasts without marinating them for hours, right? Well, I’ll let you in on my secret to marinating your chicken in a fraction of the time you’d normally allow…

If you want to super speed up the marinating process, I can’t recommend this particular meat tenderizer enough. It allows this paleo chicken marinade to penetrate your meat far more quickly, significantly reducing the overall marinating time for your balsamic chicken breasts to just 10 minutes!

Use the tenderizer to stab the chicken breasts all over, and then drop them into the marinade bag with the balsamic marinade. Close the bag tightly and squish them around to coat the chicken completely. Put the bag on a plate in the refrigerator to marinate for 10 minutes.

Don’t have a meat tenderizer? Skip the tenderizing step and marinate for at least 30 minutes or up to 3 hours. I really don’t recommend any longer, because the acid can actually cause the chicken to start to break down. But you can mix it up ahead of time and freeze the chicken breasts in it, because freezing will halt the marination. Then you can just thaw it all in the fridge and grill at a later time.

balsamic vinegar chicken marinade for chicken breasts

How To Make Balsamic Grilled Chicken

After your chicken breasts have completed their soak in the marinade, it’s time to grill them over medium-high heat. Grill for 8-10 minutes per side, until the chicken breasts are no longer pink inside or the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees.

I recently picked up this digital meat thermometer, and it’s really upped my grilling game! It makes it super easy to check whether meat is grilled to perfection without cutting into it.

The final step (and don’t skip this!) is to rest the chicken breasts after grilling for about 10 minutes. Cover them with a piece of aluminum foil, forming sort of a tent over them, and it will help keep them tender and juicy. SO good!


sliced grilled chicken breasts made with 30 minute chicken marinade

Juicy Balsamic Grilled Chicken

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 14 minutes
Cook Time: 16 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

This balsamic grilled chicken recipe makes the most juicy and succulent boneless skinless breasts EVER! Made with an easy balsamic chicken marinade that requires just 4 ingredients and 10 minutes of marinating time. AND it’s paleo & Whole30 compliant…



  1. Whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper.
  2. Tenderize the chicken breasts using a meat tenderizer. Then place them in a Ziploc marinade bag, and pour the marinade mixture over top. Close the bag tightly and squish it around to coat the chicken. Place the bag on a plate and put it in the refrigerator to marinate for at least 10 minutes or up to 3 hours.
  3. Grill over medium-high heat for 8-10 minutes per side, until no longer pink inside or until the internal temperature reads 160 degrees. This simple and inexpensive digital meat thermometer will change your grilling game forever!
  4. Remove the chicken breasts to a platter to rest and cover with a tent of aluminum foil for 10 minutes.


Don't have a meat tenderizer? No problem, you'll just need to marinate the chicken longer -- at least 30 minutes or up to 3 hours. See notes in the post if you'd like to freeze your chicken breasts in this marinade.

*Italian Seasoning
This balsamic vinegar chicken marinade recipe has been tested with my go-to brand of Italian seasoning. It is a coarser mix then most other Italian seasonings. If you use a brand that is more finely ground or powder-like, you may want to start with less than the recipe calls for and add more as needed.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1 chicken breast
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 148.5Total Fat: 4.2gSaturated Fat: 0.9gCholesterol: 70.2mgSodium: 61.5mgCarbohydrates: 0.3gFiber: 0.0gSugar: 0.0gProtein: 25.7g

Have you tried this recipe?

Leave a comment below and share a photo on Instagram. Tag it @unsophisticook and hashtag it #unsophisticook!

This balsamic vinegar chicken marinade is amazing on much more than just chicken. I’ve used this same balsamic marinade recipe on tenderized pork chops that were only in the marinade for about 10 minutes, and they were fabulous! Just grill until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees.

paleo chicken marinade for chicken breasts made with 4 ingredients

Best Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts

Wondering where to get the very BEST boneless skinless chicken breasts? I received the chicken breasts used in this post in a sample box I received from ButcherBox, and I have to say, they were honestly some of the very best chicken breasts I’ve ever had! Partly because of this delicious balsamic marinade, but also because they were just really high quality meat.

I’ll share more about ButcherBox soon, but if you’re interested in checking it out before then, use this link to get a FREE ground beef for life! Yep, you’ll receive 2-lbs. of 100% grass-fed ground beef in every order for the life of your membership. This is seriously SUCH an amazing value…

Also, be sure to check out their bacon. It’s Whole30 compliant and absolutely fantastic! I made the most amazing Kalua pork in my Instant Pot with it…

instant pot hard boiled eggs perfect every time

6-Minute Instant Pot Hard-Boiled Eggs

P.S. If you’re doing a Whole30 and have an Instant Pot, I think you’ll also adore this method for 6-minute Instant Pot hard-boiled eggs! They turn out amazing every time: easy to peel, perfectly cooked and never have those icky green yolks… I make a batch of these (along with a batch of my Instant Pot sweet potatoes) during my food prep session each week!

P.P.S. If you have a paleo chicken marinade or Whole30 chicken marinade that you adore, please drop me a line! I’m always looking for a new recipes to try.

I’d love to see how your balsamic grilled chicken turns out… Tag me @Unsophisticook on Instagram or use the hashtag #Unsophisticook so I can check it out. Enjoy!


Thursday 16th of June 2022

I don’t have a grill. Would you recommend baking of pan cooking instead?

Tara Kuczykowski

Friday 17th of June 2022

Hi Anne! You could use either method. The most important thing is to cook the chicken breasts until they reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees.


Wednesday 5th of January 2022

I've made this recipe many times, but I usually make it "kabob" style. I use this to marinate the chicken and then add the chicken and veggies to skewers and grill. Perfect and easy! Thank you for sharing this recipe!

Tara Kuczykowski

Wednesday 5th of January 2022

Great idea -- we love kabobs, too!!


Saturday 26th of September 2020

So yummy and easy! The meat was so tender and juicy. Will definitely make again!

Tara Kuczykowski

Sunday 27th of September 2020

Thanks, Kourtney -- so glad you enjoyed it!!


Saturday 25th of July 2020

I’m in love! I only had Pomegranate Balsamic in my pantry so it was sweet, but added some crushed chili peppers to the marinade to balance the sweetness. Loved it!

Tara Kuczykowski

Saturday 25th of July 2020

That sounds amazing -- glad you enjoyed it!!


Friday 8th of February 2019

So easy and delicious!

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