Best Healthy Grilled Chicken Recipe

The secret to this easy perfectly moist and delicious healthy grilled chicken recipe is in the brine. No need to marinate! You won’t believe how simple this healthy grilled chicken is! Just brine, sprinkle with seasoning and grill! Don’t be scared away by brining, there’s nothing to it!

This healthy grilled chicken recipe really came about because of my husband. He is the grill master in the house. It was his idea in the first place to brine the chicken years ago and grill it on our Traeger grill. Originally he just used whatever spice mix we had on hand, later we started using my own homemade chipotle seasoning which is the best grilled chicken seasoning in my opinion.

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What is brining? Is it hard?

plastic container with water, box of kosher salt, on a granite counter

Brining chicken is super simple! This brine recipe has only 2 ingredients – kosher salt and water. And it makes a world of difference. Just mix it up, add the raw chicken and let it sit in the refrigerator- overnight is best but even an hour will work. Brining adds flavor but it also changes the chicken’s physical nature by allowing the protein cells to retain more moisture. You can read more about brining here.

How much sodium in in brined chicken?

It’s a bit hard to calculate how much sodium in in brined chicken. If you’re really watching your sodium intake, I would speak to your doctor about it. I did find an interesting article that gives some suggestions to the sodium count in brined chicken. Less than 1/8 t of salt for a 6 oz piece of brined chicken. But again, this is an estimate and it also depends on how long you brine the chicken.

What can I do with grilled chicken?

Having chopped grilled chicken in your freezer is like having gold in your freezer. When you need a quick meal or snack, it’s ready to go. Just microwave until hot and serve over salads, pasta, in tacos, enchiladas, sandwiches and more! I package my grilled chicken into 1 cup portions and use vacuum sealed bags. It’s so handy when you want cooked chicken for a recipe.

bowl of chopped grilled chicken, vacuum sealer with bag of grilled chicken
The secret to this easy perfectly moist and delicious healthy grilled chicken recipe is in the brine. No need to marinade! You won’t believe how simple this healthy grilled chicken recipe is! Just brine, sprinkle with seasoning and grill! Don’t be scared away by brining, there’s nothing to it! You can use this recipe for grilled chicken thighs or breasts!

No time to grill? Use the Instant Pot instead!

You can also use this healthy grilled chicken recipe in the Instant Pot. See the directions here!

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How to make healthy grilled chicken in pictures:

plastic container with water, box of kosher salt, measuring cup with salt on a granite counter

In a big plastic container with a lid, or bowl mix 3 qts. of water with the salt.

bag of chicken thighs

You can use chicken thighs or breasts. Sometimes I trim off the fat on the chicken thighs.

chicken thighs in plastic container of brine with wooden spoon

Add the chicken thighs to the brine. Place in refrigerator for at least an hour or overnight is best.

raw chicken with Chipotle seasoning on a grill

Preheat grill to 350°-375°. You can use any kind of grill. When hot, lay chicken flat on grill. Try to spread the pieces out. You may have to do this in a few batches. Sprinkle with homemade chipotle seasoning -the best grilled chicken seasoning or use a seasoning of your choice.

partially grilled chicken thighs on a grill

Grill for 20 minutes, then flip over and grill until temperature is at least 165°. For my Traeger grill, it takes another 15-20 minutes. You can sprinkle more seasoning on the other side if you’d like.

cooked chicken thighs with thermometer in a glass dish

Be sure and use a thermometer and grill it to at least 165° and then take the meat off the grill. Brined chicken cooks differently than just placing breasts or thighs on the grill. The texture is different, so don’t just “guess” when it’s done.

grilled chicken on a white cutting board with knife and fork, partially cut into pieces

Chop the chicken if desired and place in vacuumed sealed bags and freeze. Use in salads, pastas, tacos and more!

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Healthy Grilled Chicken Breasts in a glass dish

Best Healthy Grilled Chicken Recipe

  • myWW Points:For chicken thighs 4 oz (about 1 cup chopped chicken): 3 points for all plans: For chicken breasts: 0 points for blue and purple plans; 3 points for green
  • Author: Amy Lawrence
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • + 1 hour to 24 hours brining time:
  • Cook Time: 40 min
  • Total Time: 1 hour plus brining time
  • Yield: 24 cups of chopped cooked chicken 1x
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Grill
  • Cuisine: American

Description

The secret to this easy perfectly moist and delicious healthy grilled chicken recipe is in the brine. No need to marinate! You won’t believe how simple this grilled chicken recipe is! Just brine, sprinkle with homemade chipotle seasoning or seasoning of choice and grill!


Scale

Ingredients

Brine

  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 3 quarts water
  • 1 large pack of chicken thighs (or breasts) about 7 1/2 pounds (or how ever much you want to make)

Additional Ingredients for the Grilled Chicken

 


Instructions

  1. In a big plastic container with a lid, or bowl mix 3 qts. of water with the salt.
  2. Add chicken. Cover with lid or plastic wrap.
  3. Allow to brine overnight or at least 1 hour in the refrigerator. Overnight is best.

To Grill the Chicken

  1. Preheat grill to 375°. You can use a gas, charcoal, Big Green Egg, Traeger, whatever you have.
  2. When grill is hot, remove chicken from brine. Lay chicken flat on grill. Try to spread the pieces out. You may have to do this in a few batches.
  3. Sprinkle generously with Homemade Chipotle Seasoning or whatever seasoning you’re using.
  4. Grill chicken for about 20 min, then flip over and grill until temperature reaches 165°.
  5. Cool. Then cut into bite sized pieces, freeze into vacuum sealed bags. I like to freeze them in about 1 cup packs.

 

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