Easy Grilled Chicken with Buttermilk Marinade

Grilled Chicken marinade made with Buttermilk, garlic, herbs, and spices is the key to moist chicken breast. This marinade not only keeps the chicken juicy but seasons it inside out. This is such a staple recipe and is perfect for a quick weeknight dinner, or summer barbeques, or wraps.

Chicken Breast marinated in Buttermilk, garlic, herb, spice marinade and grilled until juicy. This Grilled Chicken Marinade With Buttermilk is easy and quick to make.

Are you looking for the Best grilled chicken marinade recipe? The only way to avoid dry, rubbery, and bland chicken breast is to have the right marinade, that tenderizes the meat and keeps it moist.

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You would always find chicken breast in my freezer because it is just handy. Well-cooked grilled chicken can be used in many different ways. I usually make a rice bowl with diced Chicken breast, char-grilled veggies, some fresh salad, and rice/ any grain. Sometimes I also serve them as it is alongside a fresh salad for dinner.  You can also meal prep and use it in various recipes.

If you are planning outdoor grilling this summer, make sure you have this recipe bookmarked, because you will treat yourself to incredibly juicy and delicious chicken. Still, it is cold out there??? Make this grilled chicken in a grilled pan on the stovetop instead.

Grilled Chicken Marinade

There are tons of ways you can marinate chicken but none of them come as close to this buttermilk marinade. It is the best and the easiest. You need buttermilk, garlic, herbs, and a couple of basic pantry staples here.

The acidic nature of buttermilk works as a tenderizer by breaking down the protein. Soaking the chicken pieces in the buttermilk brine that is seasoned, also ensures the meat gets well-seasoned from the inside out. Other herbs and spices give the required flavor. Brown sugar also helps to tenderize the meat and gives a nice caramelization while grilling.

If you are one of those who believe chicken breast always tastes bland and chewy, no matter how you cook, this buttermilk marinade will change your mind.

Chicken Breast marinated in Buttermilk, garlic, herb, spice marinade and grilled until juicy. This Grilled Chicken Marinade With Buttermilk is easy and quick to make.

What you need

  • Buttermilk– Use any buttermilk brand you have on hand. As a substitute, I would suggest using thinned-out yogurt( 3/4 cup yogurt + 1/4 cup water). Another popular substitute is to mix milk and vinegar. Though milk and vinegar work in baked recipes, It didn’t work out in terms of flavor in this case.
  • Garlic– I have used fresh minced garlic. You can also use garlic powder
  • Onion
  • Paprika – Use hot or medium hot paprika because the heat will be balanced by buttermilk without making grilled chicken too spicy.
  • Italian Seasoning – I have used dried Italian seasoning blend. Alternatively, you can use a mix of any 2-3 dried herbs.
  • Brown sugar – to balance the sourness of buttermilk. It also gives a beautiful caramelization to the chicken when cooked.
  • Salt and pepper

How to Make

  • If the chicken breasts are large and thick, cut them into fillets by horizontally slicing them. For medium or small-sized chicken breasts, pound them to even thickness with the use of a rolling pin or meat mallet. This step ensures the chicken is cooked evenly.
  • Next is to make the buttermilk marinade. I don’t suggest using a ziplock bag as it might leak. Use a glass container with a lid or a large bowl and cover with cling wrap after adding the chicken.
  • At least 30 minutes before cooking, keep the marinated chicken on the kitchen counter for it to come to room temperature. Then cook in your preferred way.

Recipe Tips?

Honestly, it doesn’t matter much which method you cook your chicken. It is about Grilling chicken breast right?  Chicken breast if not cooked in the right way, will end up dry and hard. For that reason, I have seen many people prefer Chicken thighs over the breast because Chicken thighs don’t get dry so easily. But believe me, Chicken breast can also be as juicy as Chicken thighs if you take care of a few things.

These are the few tips that would ensure your Grilled Chicken Breast is tender and juicy.

  1. Begin by pounding the chicken breast to an even thickness. This step might not seem important. But this is one of the important steps and should not be missed. The chicken breast is not of uniform thickness. So when cooked the thinner part of the fillet dries out while the thickest part is still undercooked.  Fillet of uniform thickness ensures even cooking.
  2. Or else use a meat tenderizer or a simple rolling pin, keep the fillet in between cling film and gently flatten the thick side of the fillet.
  3. This step is important if you have refrigerated the marinated chicken for more than an hour. Make sure you take the marinated chicken out of the refrigerator at least an hour before cooking. Chicken fillets should be at room temperature while grilling, else it might not be cooked uniformly.
  4. Last but not least is the cooking/ grilling time. Once the fillets come to room temperature heat up your grill to the highest or if using a grill pan heat it. Grease the grill pan lightly. Grill each side for 3 minutes each side. Overcooking would make the fillets dry and hard.
  5. Bast chicken with melted butter in between to keep the meat moist.
  6.  If you are still not sure about the cooking time then check the internal temperature of the grill. It should be around 155 F – 160 F.
  7. Once the chicken is done, cover and let it rest for 7-8 minutes before serving.
This Grilled Chicken Marinade With Buttermilk is easy and quick to make.Chicken Breast marinated in Buttermilk, garlic, herb, spice marinade and grilled until juicy.

Can I Use Any Other Cut Of Chicken?

Yes, the same marinade can be used for any cut of chicken like bone-in chicken thighs, legs or even full chicken. If roasting a full chicken, then you will have to triple the recipe so that the chicken is fully covered in the brine. Just adjust the cooking time accordingly. The best way is to check the internal temperature for doneness. Chicken needs to reach an internal temperature of 165°F.

How long do I marinate the chicken?

A minimum of 1 hour for the chicken to tenderize well and also absorb the flavors. It’s safe to marinate for up to 24 hours. For more than 24 hours, it’s not really necessary to marinate as it will not make any difference.

Serving Grilled Chicken

You can serve or use Grilled chicken in various ways. Serve it as a main dish and pair it with some roasted veggies like green beans, roasted broccoli, or a fresh salad.

If you are outdoors grilling this summer, then make a delicious corn pasta salad or Greek tortellini pasta salad for a delicious pairing.

I most often serve grilled chicken alongside mushroom pasta , One pot Lemon Pasta or sometimes with Herbed Garlic Butter Rice.

More Failproof Chicken Breast Recipes

Chicken Breast marinated in Buttermilk, garlic, herb, spice marinade and grilled to perfection. This Easy Grilled Chicken Breast With Buttermilk Marinade is super moist and Juicy. Best for a quick weeknight dinner or for summer barbeques. 
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Grilled Chicken With Buttermilk Marinade

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Resting time 1 hour
Total Time 15 minutes
Grilled Chicken with Buttermilk Marinade is juicy and flavourful. This Grilled Chicken Marinade made with Buttermilk, garlic, herb, spice is easy and quick to make. Best for a quick weeknight dinner or for summer barbeques. 
Servings 4 Serving


  • 4 chicken breast medium size
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoons Garlic Minced
  • 1 teaspoon Onion powder
  • 2 teaspoon Italian seasoning (or mixed dry herb)
  • 1 teaspoon Paprika
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • Salt and Pepper as per taste
  • 2 tablespoon Melted salted Butter


  • Pound chicken breast till it is of uniform thickness(1/2 inch thickness). If it is too large, then cut horizontally to two fillets.
  • In a container with a lid or large bowl, add all the ingredients for the marinade, and adjust the seasoning. Add chicken fillets. Cover the bowl tightly with cling wrap.
  • Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour up to 24 hours.
  • Remove Marinated chicken at least 30 minutes before cooking and let it come to room temperature. (Letting the chicken come close to room temperature is important for even cooking).

For Grilling

  • Preheat the Grill to medium-high heat and lightly oil the grates to prevent sticking. Shake off the excess marinade. Grill Chicken 5-6 minutes on each side or until cooked through. The internal temperature of the chicken should reach to 165°F.
  • Remove grilled chicken, cover loosely with foil, and let it rest for 6-7 minutes before slicing through.

To Bake In Oven

  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Shake off excess marinade. Place chicken on a wired rack and place a baking tray lined with foil underneath to collet drippings.
  • cook for 20 to 22 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F. You can broil chicken for 1-2 minutes towards the end of the baking time for a more golden crust.
  • Cover loosely with foil, for 6-7 minutes before slicing through.


  • Heat a cast iron griddle pan to medium-high heat. Brush with oil. Cook chicken 2-3 pieces at a time for 4-5 minutes each side. (avoid overcrowding the pan) or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F.
  • (Optional) I prefer brushing grilled chicken breast with melted butter just after removing it from the grill.



Serving: 100g | Calories: 336kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 51g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 154mg | Sodium: 362mg | Potassium: 957mg | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 290IU | Vitamin C: 3.3mg | Calcium: 130mg | Iron: 1mg
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  1. Myrtha Horton says:

    How long do you marinate the chicken?

    1. Subhasmita says:

      For atleast 1 hour for upto 24 hours you can marinate

  2. Good recipe but to avoid confusion I would change the step that says “In a ziplock bag or a bowl, add all the ingredients including chicken” to “ In a ziplock bag or a bowl, add all the ingredients including chicken (except for the butter).”

    1. Wish I had seen your review, cause I added the melted butter!!

  3. 5 stars
    I tried this recipe it is great. Nice flavour. I will definitely use this marinade recipe again.

  4. 5 stars
    This worked really well with boneless skinless chicken thighs.
    I’m doing this a second time in a week today.

  5. Elaine @ Dishes Delish says:

    These grilled chicken breasts look so delicious! I love the tip you gave about pounding the chicken breasts so they are even! I never thought of doing that when grilling chicken! I look forward to making your delicious recipe!

  6. Jessica Formicola says:

    I can’t wait for grilling season weather! I will be making this asap!

  7. Saving this grilled recipe for the nicer weather that is coming. Look delicious for everything from a main course to a perfect topping on a salad.

  8. Veena Azmanov says:

    Oh, I love chicken. Your recipe looks incredible! Very interesting combination of ingredients. I really like! I definitely want to try it and I’m sure it is very tasty. Thank you for sharing this great recipe!

  9. I have had issues in the past with my chicken coming out dry and after reading this I realize that I never pound the chicken to even thickness. I think this could be the difference maker. Thanks!

4.05 from 64 votes (62 ratings without comment)

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