This balsamic grilled chicken recipe makes the most juicy and succulent boneless skinless breasts EVER with just 4 ingredients and 10 minutes of marinating time! And it’s Whole30 compliant…
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 balsamic grilled chicken recipe.
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 make 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.
Balsamic Whole30 Chicken Marinade
All basic marinades start with an oil and an acid. In this balsamic marinade, I start with extra virgin olive oil and, you guessed it, balsamic vinegar. Finding a balsamic vinegar that doesn’t contain added sugar (added sugar is a hard NO during the Whole30) can be 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.
10-Minute Balsamic Chicken Marinade
We all want tender and juicy grilled chicken breasts without marinating them for hours, right? Well, I’ll let you in on my secret… If you want to super speed up the marination process, I can’t recommend this OXO meat tenderizer enough. It allows the marinade to penetrate your meat more quickly, significantly reducing the overall marinating time to just 10 minutes.
Tenderize the chicken and drop it into the marinade bag with the balsamic marinade. Close the bag tightly and squish it around to coat the chicken completely. Put it on a plate in the refrigerator to marinate for 10 minutes.
Don’t have a meat tenderizer? Skip that step and marinate for at least 30 minutes 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 freezer and grill at a later time.
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!
This 30-minute balsamic grilled chicken recipe makes the most juicy and succulent boneless skinless breasts EVER with just 4 ingredients and 10 minutes of marinating time! And it’s Whole30 compliant…
- Whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper.
- 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 10 minutes.*
- Grill over medium-high heat for 8-10 minutes per side, until no longer pink inside or until the internal temperature reads 160 degrees.
- 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.
P.S. This balsamic marinade recipe is amazing on much more than just chicken. I’ve used this same marinade 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.
ButcherBox Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
P.S. I received the boneless skinless 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 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 package of bacon with your first box! Their bacon is Whole30 compliant and absolutely fantastic — I made the most amazing Kahlua pork in my Instant Pot with it…
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 the sweet potatoes) during my meal prep session each week!