Italian Dressing Grilled Chicken

juiciest chicken ever

I have been marinating my grilled chicken in this ingredient since Girl Scout Camp in the 6th grade.

Ok, well technically, I wasn’t doing the marinating back then. But, the first time I had Italian dressing grilled chicken was the same trip where we performed a choreographed dance to Indian Outlaw by Tim McGraw, so the memory is still fresh in my mind. I still use Zesty Italian dressing to marinate my own chicken, because it adds such wonderful flavor. I typically find that bottled marinades at the store are too salty or too tangy, but Italian dressing gives it just the right amount of seasoning.

how to marinate chicken

For the most flavor allow the chicken to sit in the fridge overnight. Make sure you put it on a plate, so that if the bag leaks you’ll be safe from any drips!

italian dressing marinade for chicken

Once you’re ready to cook the chicken, heat a stove top or outdoor grill on high. Grill the chicken for about 3 to 4 minutes on the first side. Flip over and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Make sure to develop grill marks on both sides. If you find the chicken sticking when you try to flip it that means it’s not ready to flip. It’ll loosen up once it’s ready to be flipped.

grilled chicken

Once both sides have grill marks, lower the flame or heat to medium-low and start brushing the chicken with BBQ sauce. Continue to flip and brush the chicken for about 5 to 7 minutes. 

how to properly grill chicken

Remove the chicken from the grill and place it on a plate or platter. Cover loosely with foil and allow to rest for about 10 to 15 minutes before cutting. 

BBQ grilled chicken

Slice the Italian dressing grilled chicken and serve with your favorite sides or use it as a filling for sandwiches! I like to grill a double batch and keep the leftovers in the fridge. Then later in the week, I can make quesadillas with it or even this pasta recipe! The possibilities are endless. 

easy dinner recipes healthy dinner recipes

The longer the chicken sits in the Zesty Italian dressing, the juicier it’ll become. If you don’t have the time to let it sit overnight though, a few hours will still be good. If you have extra time, make several Ziploc bags and freeze them in the marinade. Then you’ll have packs ready to defrost and throw on the grill when you need a yummy dinner.

juicy grilled chicken breasts

We used boneless skinless chicken breasts for this recipe, but this method works great with all different cuts of chicken. Try it with bone-in chicken legs or thighs for even more flavor. You can even do this with pork chops!

chicken dinner
Italian Dressing Grilled Chicken
Serves 8
Italian Dressing Grilled Chicken is the easiest and juiciest chicken you'll ever make. Allow to sit in the fridge overnight for ultimate flavor!
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Prep Time
24 hr
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
24 hr
Cook Time
20 min
  1. 3 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
  2. 1 bottle Zesty Italian dressing
  3. 1 to 1 1/2 cups BBQ sauce
  1. Place the chicken in a large plastic food storage bag. Pour the dressing over it and seal the bag tightly. Shake everything together using your hands to make sure the chicken is fully coated. Place on a plate or bowl and chill in the fridge overnight.
  2. Heat a stove top or outdoor grill over medium-high heat. Grease with a bit of oil or cooking spray. Carefully place the chicken, draining most of the dressing off each piece, on the hot grill. Cook for about 3 to 4 minutes on the first side. Flip over and cook for 2 to 3 minutes on the second side. Brush the chicken with BBQ sauce and flip over. Continue to brush each side with BBQ sauce, flipping and cooking for about 10 minutes. You'll know the chicken is done when the internal temperature reads 165 degrees, with a cooking thermometer.
  3. Transfer to a plate or platter and cover loosely with foil. Allow to site about 10 to 15 minutes before slicing and serving.
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12 Responses to “Italian Dressing Grilled Chicken”

  1. Emma Jones

    Hi Rachel,

    This recipe looks delicious, I’m dying to make it! I have but one problem – I have no idea what the English equivalent of ‘Zesty Italian Dressing’ would be. It’s not something that is familiar to me and Mr Google isn’t helping. Any clues from yourself or other followers, please?


    • Rachel Hollis

      Hmmm… sorry if this is a dumb question Emma but do you have pre-bottled Italian dressing in the UK? I’m sure one of those would work well as a marinade.

  2. Alan

    I’m doing this right now with skin on and bone in chicken thighs. I plan on cooking in the pressure cooker with the marinade. After cooking, I’m going to strain add liquid back to the pressure cooker adding vegetables to make soup. I’ll also remove the skin and bones and cook them to make a broth. So any thoughts are suggestions?

    • Rachel Hollis

      I’ve never used a pressure cooker Alan but my dad just got me one for Christmas. So… if this is awesome, please let me know so I can try it 😉

      • Alan

        I just pressure cooked 8 chicken thighs on high for 20 minutes. Temp of chicken was 195 after cooking, I’ll try 15 minutes next time to see if all meat comes off more easily. I marinated in Italian dressing with the oil removed for 2 days, I didn’t figure I needed the oil from the dressing since I had fat from the chicken skin and didn’t see any problem marinating for 2 days since it was refrigerated. I’m learning each time I cook. I pulled the meat off, put skin and bones with celery, potatoes, onions, black pepper back in pot added 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, 1/2 cup garlic infused chicken broth, filled to 2/3 rd’s mark with water and pressured cooked for 99 minutes for broth. Strained broth, picked some meat out, pulled out celery, onions, potatoes to eat with broth. Meat had a slight Italian dressing taste, it was good. The Italian dressing I save to make soup with or cook with rice, it looked so goo, and the broth is always good when adding some mixed vegetables. I try to get as much from what I’m cooking with and this always a great way.

  3. Alan

    Correction, I cooked for 10 minutes on high pressure, not 20 minutes, I will try cooking 15 minutes next time to see if meat comes off bone better.

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