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Italian Grilled Chicken

If you need a delicious new grilling recipe this summer, this Italian Grilled Chicken marinated in tomato paste, red wine vinegar, garlic, onion, and olive oil is just what you are looking for. The marinade has a big, bold flavor that caramelizes perfectly on grilled boneless, skinless chicken thighs.
Course Dinner, Main Course, Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Diet Gluten Free
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 People
Calories 413kcal
Author Diana Reis


  • Grill or Grill Pan


  • 2 Lbs. Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs
  • 2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
  • ¼ Cup Red Wine Vinegar
  • ¼ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 6 Cloves Garlic minced, pressed
  • ¼ Cup Red Onion thinly sliced
  • 2 Teaspoon Oregano
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • ½ Teaspoon Black Pepper


  • Make the marinade by mixing together tomato paste, olive oil, red wine vinegar, thinly sliced onion, minced garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper.
  • Place the marinade in a large bowl or food storage bag or large bowl and add boneless, skinless, chicken thighs. Mix the marinade and chicken together until the thigh pieces are well coated.
  • Let the chicken sit in the Italian grilled chicken marinade for 10 minutes.
  • Heat a grill or grill pan to medium heat. Make sure the grill itself is very hot.
  • Place the marinated chicken thighs on your grill. You should hear a sizzle letting you know that they are searing.
  • Cook for 5-7 minutes on each side or until you reach an internal temperature of 165°.


Can I cook this grilled chicken on the stove?
You can definitely make this recipe in a pan on the stove. If you have a grill pan you can even get the same grilled appearance. However, a heavy skillet on medium heat will cook these marinated thighs perfectly. For a regular skillet, add a tablespoon of olive oil to the pan to prevent sticking.
How do you get a good sear on boneless chicken thighs?
The most important thing to do is heat your grill or pan properly. When a recipe instructs you to heat something to a certain temperature, it means to turn the heat on and wait until the pan itself is hot, not just the burner. 
You should listen to the grill as your food touches it. If you hear a gentle sizzle, then you are right on the money. No sizzle means it is still too cold, and popping or smoking means it is too hot.
You can tell if a pan has reached temperature by watching any oil you put in the pan. The oil should start to run and start to form a few bubbles. It should not spit or brown. Those are signs that the oil is too hot. 
Expert Tips
  • Slice the onions super thin so that they are light enough to stick to the chicken when cooking. 
  • Make sure that tomato paste is fully incorporated into marinade.
  • Let some of the marinade run off before placing it on the grill. Do not rinse it off or pat it dry. Just make sure that excess marinade doesn’t slop onto the grill grates. 
  • Once you place the chicken on the heat, don’t touch it or try lifting it until it has a good sear. The olive oil in the marinade should help prevent sticking, but the best bet to avoid sticking is letting the chicken cook undisturbed. 
  • Make sure you have a meat thermometer. It is harder to tell when a chicken thigh is cooked, because dark meat stays a pinkish color. Typically, when we don’t have a meat thermometer we err on the side of overcooking. So a thermometer will give you confidence that your chicken is safe to serve, but also ensures that you don’t overcook it.


Calories: 413kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 45g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 215mg | Sodium: 849mg | Potassium: 691mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 195IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 52mg | Iron: 3mg