Finger-lickin' grilled chicken!

Grilled chicken is such an easy and popular dish to make in the summer. Sometimes though, you can get stuck in a rut with the same recipe every time. But, with the help of some easy marinades, sauces and brines, you can take your grilled chicken to a whole new level of tender, juicy deliciousness. Here are 3 ways to boost flavor, featuring 10 recipes that will rekindle your love affair with grilled chicken.

Marinated Grilled Chicken
Pictured: Marinated Grilled Chicken | Photo by Dianne

1. Marinades

Be sure to marinate your chicken in the refrigerator. For more on marinating chicken, check out How to Marinate Chicken Right, featuring tons of top-rated recipes.

The secret to tender, flavorful chicken in this recipe is a bottle of Italian-style salad dressing. Recipe creator Denise Boyd says, "This recipe can be used for inexpensive chicken pieces or to grill a whole chicken. The Italian salad dressing gives the dish some zing!"

You might think you've gone on a weekend trip to Mexico after you taste these grilled chicken kabobs. The quick and easy marinade of oil, fresh lime juice, cilantro, and cumin adds a bright pop of flavor. Enjoy with a side of guacamole, warm tortillas, and salsa. Community member Naples34102 tried this recipe and wrote, "Beautiful, delicious, and oozing with simple, fresh, Mexican flavors."

Chicken Kabobs Mexicana
Photo by CookinBug

This recipe from Chef John uses yogurt and lemon juice in the marinade for both flavor and the ingredients' tenderizing characteristics. Chef John says, "There is something special about what yogurt does to chicken in its smoky, sizzling time over charcoal. It imparts a tangy flavor that lifts all the other flavorings. It tenderizes slightly, without turning the meat into mush. It grills to a caramelized dark brown without tasting burnt."

Grilled Lemon Yogurt Chicken
Photo by Eileen Allwine
| Credit: Eileen Allwine

Add a little spice to your grilled chicken with this recipe. Recipe creator David Huntzinger says, "This chicken is grilled after being marinated in a spicy marinade. The chipotle chiles give the marinade its smoky flavor. You can increase the heat to your liking with your favorite hot sauce."

2. Sauces

What you add to the chicken after it's grilled can be as important as the marinade. The following recipes deliver a double dose of flavor from both the marinade and the sauce.

Perfect for summertime, this chicken is glazed with a combination of peach preserves, Dijon mustard, and garlic. For extra fruitiness, fresh peaches are grilled and served along with the chicken.

Grilled Chicken with Peach Sauce
Photo by Allrecipes Magazine

Chicken and strawberries together? Why not! While the chicken marinates in olive oil, serrano chile, garlic, chili powder, and raspberry vinegar, you can quickly prepare the spicy strawberry salsa out of fresh strawberries, mint, serrano chile, and red onion. We recommend tasting the salsa first, before deciding if you want to sweeten it up with sugar.

Grilled Chicken with Strawberry Salsa
Photo by Meredith

Traditionally served with grilled meat, this Argentinian herb sauce is also fantastic with grilled chicken. It's a breeze to make, too, and takes less than a minute in your blender. Give this recipe a try as written, or follow recommendations of our community and add fresh cilantro and extra garlic.

Chimichurri Sauce
Photo by Meredith

Did you know that pineapple juice is a great tenderizer? It's a part of the marinade for these chicken tenders, together with soy sauce and brown sugar. For extra flavor, double the marinade and reduce half of it on the stove to a glaze consistency. Serve the grilled chicken tenders with the reduced glaze on the side and throw in some grilled pineapple while you're manning the grill.

Pineapple Chicken Tenders
Photo by Lidia Perez

3. Brines

While you might think about brining for Thanksgiving (the turkey), brining smaller pieces of poultry, like chicken, is definitely worth taking the time for the juicy results.

Community member Jay, shared this recipe, saying "This simple chicken brine will help make the meat more tender and juicy." Community member VictoriaJ agrees, saying "Really good brine. Made my grilled chicken really moist and juicy without being overwhelming." When preparing this recipe, a simple combination of water, salt, sugar, soy sauce, and olive oil, be sure to use Kosher or sea salt (not the table salt). To further control the amount of salt, consider rinsing the chicken once it is out of the brine, before patting it dry, brushing with oil, and grilling.

Here's another fun way to brine your chicken, using pickle juice. Chef John created this recipe and said, "Like most brine recipes, the payoff is in the texture and moisture content and not necessarily in the taste. Having said that, these did have a nice little twang. So the next time you have nothing left in the pickle jar but the juice, you now know what to do."

Pickle Brined Chicken
Photo by Chef John

For more grilling inspiration: