These grilled chicken thighs in homemade Italian dressing are so easy to make.  Marinate them overnight, get them on the grill, and 20 minutes later you will have an awesome meal!

Finished grilled chicken thighs plated with extra Italian dressing on top.

We love this Italian dressing.  It pulls double duty as an awesome marinade or salad dressing.  The best part is how easy it is to make.  You can make a batch of the dressing in about 5 minutes.

Ingredients For Italian Grilled Chicken Thighs

  1. 1 cup red wine vinegar – White vinegar and/or lemon juice can be substituted.
  2. 1 1/2 cups olive oil – Just plain olive oil.  Save extra virgin for salads and to finish pastas.
  3. 3/4 cup pecorino cheese – Parmesan can be substituted.
  4. 2 tsp dried oregano
  5. 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
  6. 8 cloves garlic
  7. 1/2 cup fresh parsley – Always use fresh parsley when available.
  8. 4 pounds boneless chicken thighs

Italian dressing Ingredients.

How To Grill Boneless Chicken Thighs:

Grilled chicken thighs process collage number one.

  1. Chop 1/2 cup of fresh parsley.
  2. Mince 8 cloves of garlic.
  3. To a bowl add the garlic, parsley, 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper, 3/4 cup pecorino cheese and 2 tsp dried oregano.
  4. Add the 1 cup of red wine vinegar and 1 1/2 cups of olive oil.  Whisk aggressively and give it a taste.  If it’s too vinegary add a little bit more olive oil.  It’s nice to be on the vinegary side as the chicken thighs will absorb even more flavor.

Grilled chicken thighs process collage number two.

  1. Boneless chicken thighs are real easy to work with.  Trim away any large pieces of fat, but do not go crazy.  The heat from the grill will take care of most of it.
  2. At this point reserve 3/4 cup of the Italian dressing marinade and set aside.  Add the remaining marinade and all the chicken thighs to a zip lock bag.   Mix the bag and marinade together and place in another container.  I recommend this because you never know if the bag will develop a leak.  For best flavor refrigerate the chicken overnight.   At a minimum, try to marinate for at least 4 hours.
  3. Turn on a gas grill to medium heat.  Lightly oil the racks and grill for approximately 7-8 minutes per side.
  4. Grill the chicken thighs until nicely charred.  Before removing make sure the chicken is 165f.  This is easy with an instant read thermometer.  If you don’t have one, cut a piece open and check for doneness.  The color will be dark and the texture will be firm.

Grilled chicken thighs with Italian dressing plated overhead shot.

These Italian grilled chicken thighs are all finished and are ready to be served.  The extra reserved marinade can be served on the side and drizzled on top like shown.

Additionally the marinade makes an excellent salad dressing.  A salad would go perfectly with this recipe.  Add a little bit of extra virgin olive oil to the marinade to make an awesome salad dressing.


How Long To Grill Chicken Thighs?

The time will vary depending on the grill.  Temperature control is harder with charcoal.  If using coal I recommend leaving a cool spot ( an area with no coal below it) on the grill.  This acts as a safety zone to move the chicken thighs to if they start burning.  For coal, boneless thighs will take roughly 15 minutes total.

For a gas grill on medium heat the cooking time will be about 15-20 minutes for chicken thighs.  It’s hard to overcook dark meat chicken like thighs and drumsticks, but it can be done.  If you have an instant read thermometer 165-170f should be when they are pulled off.  If the thighs get up to 190f internally they will get very hard and will lose most of their weight and become brittle.  Avoid this!

How Long To Marinate Chicken Thighs?

Aim for 4 hours, but longer is better.  Overnight marinades on chicken always yield better flavor.  12 hours seems to be the sweet spot.  Make your Italian dressing or marinade the night before to have perfect grilled chicken thighs the next day.

Also, if you can remember, flip the chicken in the bag every couple of hours to really distribute the marinade well.


For the Italian dressing

  • Lemon juice or white vinegar both work well.  Also a mix of red wine vinegar and lemon juice is great too.  That’s the start of a souvlaki marinade.  There’s a lot of similarity in the flavors of this dressing and its Greek counterpart.
  • Other herbs such as thyme and basil are great additions.

For The Chicken Thighs

  • Pork and all types of chicken pieces are great substitutes.  The same marinating guidelines will work for them.  Grilled veggies also do real well.  I like to grill the veggies and just drizzle the Italian dressing on top.

Italian Grilled Chicken Thighs Difficulty Level

On a scale from 1-5 with 1 being easy this recipe is a 2.5  Honestly there is nothing to this one.  The only reason it gets a 2.5 is because of the waiting time involved.

Only thing is to make sure to let the chicken thighs soak up the marinade long enough, and to cook them all the way through.  Use medium heat and an instant read thermometer for a foolproof recipe.

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Grilled chicken thighs in Italian dressing Pinterest image.

Grilled Chicken Thighs

4.91 from 10 votes
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 25 minutes
Servings: 8
Easy and delicious grilled boneless chicken thighs in a homemade Italian dressing.


Italian Dressing

  • 1 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1.5 cups olive oil
  • 3/4 cup pecorino cheese
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley


  • 4 pounds boneless chicken thighs


  • Chop 1/2 cup of parsley and mince 8 cloves of garlic.  Combine with 1.5 cups olive oil, 1 cup red wine vinegar, 3/4 cup pecorino cheese, 2 tsp dried oregano and 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper.  Whisk well or blend.  
  • Reserve and set aside 3/4 cup of the Italian dressing marinade.  Pour remaining Italian dressing in a zip lock bag with the boneless chicken thighs.  Refrigerate overnight or a minimum of 4 hours.
  • When ready for grilling remove chicken from bag and dispose of marinade.
  • Preheat gas grill to medium heat.  Lightly oil grates and grill thighs for 7-8 minutes per side until nicely charred.  Cook until internal temperature of meat is minimum 165f. 
  • Plate and serve the chicken thighs with a drizzle of the remaining 3/4 cups of Italian dressing.  Enjoy!


  • Remove any large pieces of fat from the boneless thighs if present, but do not worry about small bits of fat.
  • All grills are different so use the time as a general grilling guideline.
  • For certainty use an instant read thermometer and cook to 165f minimum temperature.
  • No salt was added due to the salt content of the pecorino cheese.
  • 3/4 cup of the remaining Italian dressing can be used for a salad or drizzled on top of the chicken.


Calories: 604kcal | Carbohydrates: 0.1g | Protein: 41.2g | Fat: 47.7g | Cholesterol: 193mg | Sodium: 241mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Like this? Leave a comment below!Check us out on Instagram at @sipandfeast or tag #sipandfeast!
4.91 from 10 votes

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  1. Fran says:

    5 stars
    These are sooooo good! My whole family loved this. It’s amazing how good that marinade made that chicken taste. Even on my icky gas grill, this is a winner!

    1. Jim says:

      Hi Fran, I’m so happy you and the family enjoyed the chicken and really appreciate your comment!

  2. Grace says:

    5 stars
    Love your recipes. Can I make this with bone in-skin on thighs? OR do you have a good recipe for bone in-skin on.
    Thanks for your help.

    1. Jim says:

      Hi Grace, yes, you can use this recipe for bone-in/skin-on thighs. So happy you’re enjoying the recipes and appreciate the comment!

  3. Elizabeth Leahy says:

    I’d like to know how long they cooked in the air fryer and at what temperature. Thank you love all your recipes.

    1. Jim says:

      Hi Elizabeth, I have not tested this recipe in an air fryer so I can’t say for sure. If you do happen to try it, let us know how it turns out.

  4. Glynis says:

    5 stars
    Another fabulous recipe …cooked this in my air fryer. They were great and thsnkyou for sharing your cooking tips and knowledge! So appreciated!

    1. Jim says:

      Hi Glynis, thank you for the comment and I’m so happy you liked it!

  5. Shane says:

    4 stars
    I made this tonight for my family. We had Mac and cheese with it but it would be very good with a nice bread. I left the skins on on accident but it was a nice crispy touch. I only marinated for 4 hours and it was super good. I can only imagine after a longer period how much better. I think I’ll add just a little salt next time. Thank you sir your recipes. I enjoy making them.

    1. Jim says:

      Hi Shane, thanks for your comment and so happy you liked the recipe!

  6. Ines says:

    5 stars
    I have to give you a 5 star for all your videos and recipes. Can I bake these chicken thighs in the oven since I don’t have a grill?

    1. Jim says:

      Hi Ines, thank you for the 5 stars and your comment! Yes, you can bake the chicken thighs at 375-400 until they reach an internal temperature of 175f.

  7. Carol Laskey says:

    5 stars
    Great flavor! Delicious recipe

    1. Jim says:

      Thanks, Carol!

  8. Stacy says:

    5 stars
    This was outstanding! Made it for my parents anniversary dinner. Needed to feed a crowd and was looking for a chicken thigh grill recipe. Followed it exactly and was only able to marinade for about 5 hours. It was a major hit! Everyone loved it! Prepping it now to throw in the grill tomorrow night for an easy Monday night dinner! This one is a keeper!

    1. Jim says:

      Hi Stacy! I’m pleased to hear it turned out well. Thanks very much for the nice comment.

  9. Stacy says:

    5 stars
    We made these for a family gathering. I did the marinading and my husband did the grilling. They turned out AMAZING! We will definitely make again. Only marinaded for about 4.5 hours and I was worried it wasn’t enough. It was just fine!!! We used boneless thighs and followed the recipe exactly. Paired with Greek roasted potatoes and a couple different salads. Perfect al fresco dining!

    1. Jim says:

      Hi Stacy! Sounds great with roasted potatoes. I’m happy you enjoyed the recipe!

  10. Carmella says:

    5 stars
    This looks soooo good! I’ve never been a fan of Italian as actual dressing but on chicken is amazing for some reason haha. Definitely saving this to try later.

    1. James says:

      Thanks, I agree it’s better on the chicken! Almost like an Italian chimichurri.