If you're looking for the most tender and juicy grilled chicken, you're in the right place. This Ninja Foodi Grilled Chicken Breast Recipe is SO flavorful, you'll wonder how you lived without it!
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This is my go-to recipe for how to perfectly prepare, grill, and enjoy chicken. Whether the chicken has an overnight marinade or zesty seasoning, I always prepare chicken according to this post. It's been tested repeatedly and guaranteed perfect every time.
About Ninja Foodi Grill Chicken Breast
Are you looking for the tastiest way to prepare grilled chicken breast in a Ninja Foodi Grill? I present to you the Best Grilled Chicken recipe for super juicy and extremely flavorful chicken. This chicken recipe is an absolute staple in my meal prep line up every single week. It's just so easy to do and adds the best flavor (and protein) to any meal!
I love these Ninja Foodi Grilled Chicken Breasts in this Grilled Apple & Goat Cheese Chicken Sandwich, on this Mediterranean Salad, on Caesar Salad, or shredded up and used in these Pulled BBQ Chicken Sliders. It's really so versatile!
Why use a Ninja Foodi Grill to prepare chicken?
- The Ninja Foodi Indoor Grill is smoke-free and allows you to get perfectly grilled meat, without the use of an outdoor grill!
- You get juicy chicken breasts in a matter of minutes.
- Get creative with sauces and rubs! Because of the dishwasher safe inserts, it allows you to be more creative (and daring) in the kitchen without the fear of a grill fire.
- I often use this method of preparation for meal prep. I love to serve it over rice with Copycat Chipotle Vegetables.
Helpful Tools You'll Need
After sharing about how tender, juicy, and flavorful chicken can be, I always get the same questions. "How do you prep your chicken? What do season with? I'm always overcooking, how do I prevent that?"
And while there are a lot of simple ways to prepare good food in the kitchen, I think there are a few tools necessary for really good chicken.
- Ninja Foodi Grill: I LOVE this thing. It is a great way to grill while indoors. However, you don't HAVE to use this for your chicken. A regular grill will work and I provide instructions for the oven as well.
- Meat Thermometer: This will help us tell if our chicken is finished cooking.
- Kitchen/Meat Scissors: To trim the fat and any other unwanted blemishes.
- Meat tenderizer: We'll use this to pound & make chicken breasts the same thickness.
- Plastic Wrap: This will help us keep our workstation contained. You have to be careful working with raw meat!
Then, grab a tasty marinade and you'll be set. So get ready because you're about to learn how to make grilled chicken in Ninja Foodi!
Though the plastic wrap isn't the most sustainable, it contains the surface area raw meat touches AND makes the clean up process incredibly easy. Always use the FLAT side of the meat tenderizer to avoid poking holes in the plastic wrap!
Why Using a Tenderizer is Important
I highly recommend using a meat tenderizer to pound chicken in equal thickness. It is the best way to ensure even cooking throughout. Chicken breasts and boneless thighs vary in weight and thickness, thus making it even more important to pound before cooking. A simple way to understand thickness is the thinner it is pounded, the faster the chicken will cook.
Ingredients You'll Need
- Chicken Breasts - I buy mine from Costco because it's most cost effective and I make this recipe so often that I use them up!
- Lime Juice - What I like to call the ~secret ingredient~. It not only provides a hint of citrus, but also keeps our chicken breast moist.
- Spices - My go-to blend is paprika, basil, garlic salt, and red pepper flakes. I've experimented with a lot of different combos, but this is my favorite. Don't be limited by this spice mix, use your favorite!
- Olive Garden Italian Dressing - This recipe provides two different ways to marinate the chicken breasts. I've tested other Italian dressings and this one is the best.
See the recipe card below for a full list of ingredients and measurements.
How to Prepare Ninja Grill Chicken Breast
What's the best way to cook chicken? I grill my chicken! And I want to point out right from the start that different grills will have varying ignition and start times. So please pay attention to that and find what works best with your grill! It takes practice and time.
And if you’re using the Ninja Indoor Foodi Grill (like I am), inset the grill pan, set Foodi to ‘grill’ setting, and press preheat. Living in an apartment means no "real" grill but to be completely honest, we love this Ninja Indoor Foodi Grill just as much! It's space efficient, easier, and makes grilling our favorite foods into a weekly occurrence.
1. Start off by removing the thawed chicken from it’s container. Run the breast under lukewarm water. Using meat scissors, trim away any excess fat from the chicken breasts.
2. Take 2 large sheets of plastic wrap and layer them on a cutting board or countertop. You want to be sure they’re overlapping slightly. Place trimmed chicken breast on the plastic wrap and then cover with 2 more sheets of plastic wrap. Using a meat tenderizer, pound the chicken breasts until they’re all equal thickness I aim for mine to be about ½ inch - ¾ inch thickness.
3. Decide how you want to marinate the chicken. Seasonings: Add tenderized chicken into a plastic bag. Pour in lime juice. Then, add in seasonings. Dressing: Add 1 cup of Italian Dressing to a plastic back with tenderized chicken. Toss to coat the breasts well. Marinate for at least 30 minutes or for most flavorful results, overnight.
4. When the marinated chicken is ready to be grilled, heat the Ninja Foodi to 500°F. Remove the chicken from the marinades (do not put an excess amount of dressing marinade on the grill). Put the marinated chicken breast into the preheated grill. Let cook for 5 minutes of cooking and flip with tongs. Let the chicken cook for another 3-5 minutes or until internal temperature measures 160-165°F. Remove and enjoy!
Store cooked chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-5 days. Cooked chicken can be diced and sealed and stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. I love having fresh and frozen protein options on hand. It makes meal prep and building meals so much more efficient.
When you cut into your cooked chicken, the juices should be clear or an opaque white. Any red or pink juices indicate more cooking time is needed. Your chicken should an internal temperature of 160-165°F. This is the meat thermometer I use.
Absolutely and it's quite simple. Be sure to allow cooked chicken to cool completely. Place it in a freezer safe storage bag, removing as much air as possible. Seal it and keep in the freezer for 2-3 months.
If you're not using a grill and still want the same tender results, prep using the same method, but instead of grilling, bake the chicken breasts on a sheet pan for 15-20 minutes at 400°F. This is another efficient way to prepare chicken without the need for an additional appliance. I recommend trimming, pounding, and prepping the raw chicken breasts in the same way.
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Ninja Foodi Grilled Chicken Breasts
- Ninja Foodi Indoor Grill
- Meat Pounder
- Meat Thermometer
- Meat Scissors
- Plastic wrap
- 4 medium sized chicken breasts, I buy mine from Costco
- 3 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon basil
- ½ tablespoon garlic salt
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Start the Grill
- **Different grills will have varying ignition and start times** If you’re using the Ninja Indoor Foodi Grill (like I am), inset the grill pan, set Foodi to ‘grill’ setting, and press preheat.
Prepping the Chicken Breasts
- Start off by removing the thawed chicken from it’s container; run the breast under luke warm water.
- Take 2 large sheets of plastic wrap and layer them on a cutting board or countertop. You want to be sure they’re overlapping slightly as this is going to be the prepping station for the raw meat.
- Using meat scissors, trim away any excess fat from the breasts.
- Place them on the plastic wrap surface once trimmed & rinsed.
- After all the breasts there, cover the chicken with 2 more sheets of plastic wrap.
- Using a meat tenderizer (I call it a meat mallet), pound the chicken breasts until they’re all equal thickness (I aim for mine to be about ½ inch - ¾ inch thickness)
- Decide how you want to marinate the chicken. Seasonings: Add tenderized chicken into a plastic bag. Pour in lime juice. Then, add in seasonings. Dressing: Add 1 cup of Italian Dressing to a plastic back with tenderized chicken. Toss to coat the breasts well. Marinate for at least 30 minutes or for most flavorful results, overnight.
Grilling the Chicken
- When the marinated chicken is ready to be grilled, heat the Ninja Foodi to 500°F. Remove the chicken from the marinades (do not put an excess amount of dressing marinade on the grill).
- Put the marinated chicken breast into the preheated grill. Let cook for 5 minutes of cooking and flip with tongs. Let the chicken cook for another 3-5 minutes or until internal temperature measures 160-165°F. Remove and enjoy!
- Remove the chicken and turn off grill after using. Serve on a bed of greens, in pasta, or in a wrap!
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