This grilled chicken thigh recipe is sweet, tangy, and smoky! It’s simple and fast, requires only five ingredients, and is perfect for your summer BBQ spread.
One of the best things about making food in the summertime is getting to grill! I much prefer grilled chicken over oven-roasted. I love the charred smokey flavor it adds! And when that grill flavor is paired with this chicken and its honey dijon sauce, it’s the perfect combination of flavors.
I also love that grilled chicken is way faster to cook than roasted chicken thighs. This dish typically takes me about 20 minutes to put together in total. We serve it alongside some simple side dishes, and dinner is done! The chicken comes out super tender and juicy, and the sauce adds some sweetness from the honey and tang from the dijon. It’s so tasty and, best of all, easy!
One of the best things about this recipe is it requires only five simple ingredients! See below for the full list.
Check out the recipe card below for the full ingredient list & measurements.
Chicken thighs: I used boneless & skinless chicken thighs. You can also use chicken breasts, cutlets, or chicken tenders.
Dijon mustard: most of the sauce is made of dijon. It has a delicious tangy flavor!
Soy sauce: I use tamari for gluten-free. This adds the perfect salty flavor to the sauce.
Honey: to balance out the tang from the dijon and the salt from the soy sauce. If you don’t have honey, you can use maple syrup instead!
Garlic powder: A must for flavoring the sauce! I use garlic powder to make things easier, but you can also use two fresh garlic cloves.
How to Make Grilled Chicken Thighs
Mix the marinade. Add all of the sauce ingredients into a small bowl, and mix together.
Preheat the grill. Then, preheat your grill to medium to high heat, preferably 400-450F.
Marinate the chicken with the sauce. Add the chicken and most of the sauce to a large bowl (save a little bit of sauce to brush onto the chicken at the end). Toss together until the chicken thighs are coated in the sauce. Let it marinate for 30 minutes.
Grill the chicken. Next, grill the chicken on both sides for 5-7 minutes. Keep the hood closed while they are cooking, larger chicken thighs may take a little longer. When they are fully cooked brush the thighs with the remaining sauce.
Let the chicken rest. Once the chicken is cooked, the internal temperature should be 170F. Put the cooked chicken on a clean plate and cover with foil, let it rest for about 3-4 minutes before serving.
Way to Prevent Chicken Thighs From Drying Out on the Grill
Brine them – this is a trick my mom taught me years ago. Marinating the chicken thighs for several hours or overnight in a turkey brine will add tons of moisture to the thighs and is a sure way to prevent dry chicken. The results are incredibly juicy and tender chicken! You can also do this with chicken breasts.
Marinate the thighs longer – instead of marinating the chicken thighs for 30 minutes, you can marinate them in them for several hours or even overnight in the fridge. This will lock in flavor and make them even more tender.
Add some heat. If you want a touch of heat to the honey dijon sauce, add 1-2 teaspoons of your favorite hot sauce or a pinch of red pepper flakes!
Other sweeteners you can use. If you don’t have honey, use maple syrup, coconut sugar, or brown sugar instead.
Frequently Asked Questions
What temperature are chicken thighs fully cooked? To know that the chicken breasts are thoroughly cooked, they must be at an internal temperature of 170F. We always recommend using a meat thermometer when cooking meat to make sure everything is cooked properly!
Do I close the grill when cooking chicken thighs? Yes, the grill should always be closed when cooking chicken thighs or any meat on the grill. This helps trap the heat like an oven, allowing them to cook much faster.
How do I avoid burning chicken on the grill? The best way is to 1) keep the grill temperature under 500F. I like to shoot for 450F for chicken thighs. 2) Flip the chicken multiple times if the grill is too hot. This will help keep the chicken rotating and cooking, without burning. If the grill gets too hot, open the lid and turn the burners down.
What to Serve with Grilled Chicken Thighs
Vegetable sides. We always serve grilled chicken thighs with a few vegetable sides, such as corn on the cob, grilled or roasted asparagus, zucchini, or assorted grilled vegetables!
Salad. We also love to pair grilled chicken thighs with a summery salad, such as our grilled corn and tomato salad (one of my favorites), summer farro salad with cherries and chickpeas, or this Tuscan artichoke salad.
Pasta Salad. If you’re looking for a more filling side dish, pasta salad is a great pairing with grilled chicken! We love to make our Italian pasta salad or this bowtie pasta salad – you can’t go wrong with either.
More Chicken Recipes
Looking for more delicious chicken recipes to try? Then you might be a fan of our roasted Lemon & Rosemary Chicken with Potatoes, 15-minute Lemon Chicken Piccata, or our Crispy Roasted Chicken Thighs.
Honey Dijon Grilled Chicken Thighs
- 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- The sauce: Mix the sauce ingredients in a small bowl.
- Preheat grill: Preheat the grill until the temperature reaches medium to high heat.
- Marinate: Place the chicken in a large bowl and pour most of the sauce over top, reserving a small amount of sauce to brush on the chicken later. Toss the thighs in the sauce until the chicken is coated. Cover and refrigerate, and let the chicken and sauce marinate for 30 minutes.
- Cook the chicken: Transfer the chicken onto the grill and cook for 5-7 minutes. Flip the chicken and cook for another 5-7 minutes or until fully cooked through, brush the last of the sauce over top for the last few minutes. If the grill is super hot, flip the chicken several times throughout the cooking time to avoid burning. Keep the grill temperature around 450F.Note: to accurately test the chicken, use a meat thermometer. The internal temperature should reach 170F when fully cooked.
- Rest the chicken, then serve: Transfer the grilled chicken onto a plate, cover with a lid or foil, and let it rest for 3-4 minutes before serving.