Jason planted basil in containers on the deck and they are going bonkers this year. We have to either make a lot of basil related recipes or a big batch of pesto! This Grilled Basil Chicken recipe is super easy to make, even after a busy weekday!
This recipe has mild flavoring and tastes clean. It leaves out all the extra spices that can overwhelm your tastebuds. So, if you have a bumper crop of basil like we do, join me and make up a batch of this delicious, juicy chicken for dinner!!
Chicken with Fresh Basil – Easy Chicken and Basil Recipe
You probably already know, that you need more fresh herbs than dried when making a recipe. You will see in recipes, just like this one, where the recipe calls for a ¼ cup of fresh herbs and I’m sure you think I’m just crazy!! I’m not, I promise you!
You need that much to make a mild version of this recipe. If you only have dried herbs, you will only need 1-2 tablespoons for it to turn out fabulous. We don’t all have basil plants growing crazy all year around, right?
The olive oil serves two purposes in this recipe. It provides a non-stick protection for your grill grate and it keeps the juices inside of the chicken. Since this is not brined or marinated, the olive oil helps lock in the juices. If you want to bump up the flavor a bit, use softened butter instead of the olive oil. This will add a richness to the chicken, and the butter will still protect the grill grate and the juices.
Making the Basil Mixture for the Chicken
Chop the fresh basil into small pieces. In a small bowl, combine the chopped basil, olive oil, salt and pepper and rub all over the chicken. Garlic is optional, but we love it! It’s ready for the grill!
How to Cook the Grilled Basil Chicken
Set up the grill for direct heat at 375 degrees. Always remember to wait until your grill reaches temperature before you start cooking. I love to use GrillGrates on my Big Green Egg when cooking chicken. The fins of the GrillGrate leave fantastic sear marks on the food which is extremely tasty (and it looks great!)
Grill each side for 5-7 minutes, checking internal temperature for 165 often towards the end so it won’t overcook.
Garnish with fresh basil on top of the grilled chicken after it has come off the grill.
Short on Time? Try Baked Basil Chicken
If you are running short on time and don’t want to wait for the grill to heat up, try your hand at baking it. The recipe is the same.
Add the chicken to a baking sheet or stoneware and place it in the oven at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes. Make sure the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. You won’t get the grilled flavor, but it is still delicious and very quick to make.
What to Serve with the Grilled Basil Chicken?
- 4 chicken thighs or breasts
- 1/3 c olive oil
- 1/4 c chopped fresh basil
- 4-6 garlic cloves minced (optional based on preference)
- salt and pepper
- Heat grill for direct heat to 375.
- Combine basil, garlic, salt and pepper and olive oil.
- Rub mixture over the chicken breasts making sure the breasts are even throughout to cook evenly. If not, pound them down.
- Grill 5-7 minutes on each side, depending on how thick your chicken breasts are. Check for internal temperature to be 165. Check many times as to not overcook.