It always amazes me how a simple marinade can transform boneless chicken from something boring to something that will leave your taste buds doing a little happy dance. These juicy Keto Grilled Chicken Thighs have just five ingredients (other than salt and pepper) and require almost no prep time. It is perfect for summer when there are a million things that you would rather be doing other than spending time in the kitchen.
Hands down, grilling is my favorite way to enjoy chicken thighs. They are good most any way you fix them, but there is something magical about how they transform when the grill lightly chars them.
I love the crispy little bits.
These Keto Grilled Chicken Thighs are a warm-weather habit at my house. Not only are they super simple to make, but they are also a keto meal that the whole family enjoys! (And they are great for meal prep!)
I can easily make a carby side for the kids and keep things low-carb for the grown-ups.
The grilled chicken thigh marinade is so simple to make but packs a punch of flavor.
Ingredients for Making Grilled Chicken Thighs Keto
- Lemons: Wash the lemons well and then zest them. Once you have zested them, juice them.
- Mustard: I used Dijon mustard, but grainy mustard would work too.
- Garlic: If you don’t have fresh garlic, you can use garlic powder.
- Salt and pepper: Adjust the amount to your liking.
- Oil: I use avocado oil because it is a keto-friendly oil that is safe at high temperatures. I don’t recommend using extra-virgin olive oil for grilling, but you can use regular olive oil if you like.
- Chicken: This recipe would work with chicken breast too. Just make sure you use an instant-read thermometer, and the chicken is cooked through - you may need to adjust the cooking time depending on the thickness.
Tips, Tricks, and Variations
- For an extra kick of flavor, try adding some fresh chopped rosemary or thyme to the marinade.
- If you want to marinate overnight, omit the lemon and use ¼ cup coconut aminos instead. (Coconut aminos are a keto-friendly alternative to soy sauce.) Marinating chicken in lemon juice too long can cause it to get tough.
- If you have bone in chicken and want to use it, you will need to increase the marinating time to at least 30 minutes. The cook time will also go up - to about 6 to 7 minutes per side. Use an instant-read thermometer to determine doneness.
- For meal prep, use fresh chicken (not pre-frozen) and double the recipe. Freeze half of the chicken in the marinade for later.
Grilled Boneless Chicken Thighs are one of those easy recipes that can pair with most anything.
I love this with Keto Cauliflower Wings (or BBQ Cauliflower Wings) or Keto Potato Salad. It is also great with Keto Asparagus or Zucchini Chips.
For more inspiration, check out these 47 Keto Summer Recipes and these 25 Keto BBQ Sides! And don't forget a refreshing drink. Keto Lemonade is perfect!
Tools Needed to Make Grilled Boneless Chicken Thighs
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- Grill or grill pan
- Lemon zester
- Instant read thermometer
Cooked chicken thighs can be kept in the refrigerator for up to three to four days. You can freeze leftovers in a sealed container for up to three months. I like to pre-cut them in cubes to use for salads.
How to Make Keto Grilled Chicken Thighs
First, make your Grilled Chicken Thigh Marinade by combining the juice and zest of the lemons, mustard, garlic, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.
Whisk the oil in until the marinade is emulsified.
Put the chicken in a shallow dish and pour the marinade over it.
Marinate boneless thighs at room temperature for at least 15 minutes, or refrigerate for up to four hours. (Don’t refrigerate longer than this as the lemon juice will start to “cook” the chicken and make it tough.)
Preheat your grill or grill pan to medium-high. Remove the chicken from the marinade.
Ninja Foodi Grill
Ninja Foodi Grill Chicken Thighs (Boneless)
First, start by heating your Ninja Foodi Grill to medium heat on the grill setting.
Set your timer to 14 minutes. (If your chicken thighs are especially small, you may need to reduce this.)
Add the chicken in a single layer once you see the ADD FOOD notification.
Cook for 7 minutes. The unit will beep and let you know it is time to flip.
Brush with the reserved marinade and cook for another 7 minutes.
Allow to rest before serving.
Outdoor Grill or Grill Pan
Oil the grill grates and add the chicken.
Cook for about 4 - 5 minutes per side until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees. Allow to rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving. (The temperature will continue to increase until the chicken is 165 degrees.)
More Keto Chicken Recipes to Try
- When you want a chicken dinner that is creamy, cheesy, and kid-friendly, Keto Cream Cheese Chicken is perfect!
- Keto Chicken Spaghetti is something I crave throughout the year! It is a no-fail one pan dinner that deserves to be a habit.
- You can make this Keto Tuscan Chicken on the stove top or in your Instant Pot. Either way, it is an easy meal that is shockingly delicious.
- Instant Pot Rosemary Chicken is the perfect weeknight dinner. It has become a staple in my kitchen.
Keto Grilled Chicken Thighs
- 2 lemons juice and zest
- 2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ cup avocado oil
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
- In a medium bowl, combine the lemon juice, zest, Dijon mustard, garlic, salt, and pepper.
- Whisk in the oil until the marinade emulsifies.
- Place the chicken in a shallow dish and pour the marinade over it.
- Allow to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes, or refrigerate for up to 4 hours.
Outdoor Grill or Grill Pan
- Preheat a grill to medium-high heat. (400° F to 450° F)
- Remove the chicken from the marinade.
- Oil the grill grates. Cook the chicken until it is lightly charred and the internal temperature reaches 160° F, about 4 to 5 minutes per side.
- Let the chicken rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
Ninja Foodi Grill
- Turn your Ninja Foodi Grill to medium heat on the grill setting and set your timer to 14 minutes.
- Add the chicken in a single layer when the grill is preheated, and you have the "add food" notification.
- Cook for 7 minutes. Flip and brush with the reserved marinade.
- Cook for an additional 7 minutes, until the internal temperature reaches 160° F.
- Allow to rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
No way does a chicken thigh cook on each side for 5 minutes all the way through. this needs to be adjusted otherwise you can become very ill. mine is still on the grill after 20 minutes and its bloody inside and pink. you must cook chicken LONGER!!!
the marinade however is fantastic thank you!!
Based on the comment that they were bloody inside, it sounds like you used bone in chicken thighs, rather than the boneless thighs this recipe is for. Those will for sure take longer than 10 minutes.
If not, your grill was not hot enough.
At 450° F, boneless skinless thighs will cook through in just 10 minutes. (Give or take based on the overall size.) Whenever cooking meat, it is important to have a thermometer to ensure the appropriate temperature.