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Grilled teriyaki chicken is one of my favorite lean entrees. It pairs perfectly with so many sides like rice, green salad, mashed potatoes, grilled or sautéed vegetables, you name it! And this chicken is perfect for groups of any size because of how easy it is to scale way up , or way down.
The beauty here is that no matter how many you’re cooking for, you can make this recipe.
I find that about 1/2 lb per adult is plenty of chicken if you’re serving some sides as well. An average chicken breast is usually about a half pound, unless you’re like me and buy the larger ones that are usually more like 3/4 to a full pound.
When grilling this chicken, I find that slicing it thin is best. That allows the marinade to really permeate the meat giving you lots of flavor in every bite and making it easier to grill the meat evenly, which is key if you’re grilling a lot of meat at once.
If you decide to grill chicken thighs or tenders, they’re usually good to grill as-is. Normal chicken breasts are usually nice to slice into two. To do that, I lay the chicken flat on a cutting board and holding a sharp chef or filet knife horizontally, I use a sawing actions to slice through the chicken, giving me two thinner slices. For the thick chicken breasts I buy, I do this twice on each breast giving me 3 total slices.
For marinading, I like to just use the gallon size Ziploc bags. Then, when it’s time to grill, I take the bag right out to the grill, put the chicken on the grill, then hold the rest of the marinade over to pour over the top about halfway through the grilling process.
On my grill, I regularly grill about this much to feed my family of 2 adults and 4 kids and it’s more than enough. And as you can see, I could easily double or even triple the amount of chicken I grill at once.
I like getting the nice crosshatch look from the grill, which is part of why I rotate the chicken slices after 4-5 minutes and after 3-4 minutes thereafter.
The reason the time between turns and flips goes down is that when you first place the chicken on the grill, it’s cool so the grilling on the first side takes longer to complete. But after the chicken is warm and you flip it over, I find that if I leave it on as long as the first side it chars a bit too much.
When I flip the chicken, I like to drizzle the extra marinade over the top to keep it juicy. This keeps the chicken from drying out while grilling and also gives it just a little more teriyaki flavor.
I don’t use this marinade when it’s time to serve the chicken. Since it had raw chicken in it, it isn’t safe to consume unless it gets cooked. If you want more sauce (especially if you only had a few hours to marinade the chicken) use fresh teriyaki sauce that wasn’t used to marinade raw chicken.
- Chicken Breast or Thigh (fresh or thawed)
- Your Favorite Teriyaki Sauce (4 oz. per lb of chicken)
- If your chicken is frozen, thaw it to room temperature
- Slice thick chicken breasts into 2-3 filets each
- Place chicken filets into a container for marinading
- Pour teriyaki marinade over the chicken, about 1/2 cup or 4 oz. per lb of chicken
- Refrigerate chicken while marinading 4 to 24 hours (longer will give better flavor up to about 24 hours)
- Heat warm grill to about 350°F. For me, this means setting all burners to low.
- Lay chicken on the grill and close the lid for 4-5 minutes
- Turn each piece of chicken 90° (quarter turn), but keep it laying on the same side. This will grill the chicken more evenly and give you a nice crosshatch pattern. Grill with the lid closed for about another 3-4 minutes.
- Flip each piece of chicken over and grill for about 4 minutes before turning the chicken 90° again
- Remove the chicken from the grill and serve it right away or put it in a warmer. The sooner it's eaten the more juicy and delicious it will be.