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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
- 3 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 bottle Zesty Italian dressing
- 1 to 1 1/2 cups BBQ sauce
- 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.
- 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.
- Transfer to a plate or platter and cover loosely with foil. Allow to site about 10 to 15 minutes before slicing and serving.