« Rainbow carrot sesame pickles | Main | Salsa turkey meatball lettuce wraps »

Grilled buttermilk herb chicken

A quick marinade in buttermilk tenderizes the chicken, and gives it tang, too!

Whenever I buy a quart-size bottle of buttermilk (and why is there is no other size available?), I use some for baking, some for salad dressing, and the rest for marinades. Buttermilk is a great tenderizer, as any fried-chicken lover knows, and that's especially handy for grilled boneless, skinless chicken breasts, which can dry out quickly on the hot grill unless they've been marinated first.

This recipe calls for a quick marinade, of one hour but not more than two hours, so with buttermilk and chicken breasts on hand, you can start this when you get home from work, and have it on the grill in time for dinner. Add a side of potato salad, some grilled vegetables brushed with olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper, and a glass of something light and bubbly. That's all you need for a quick and healthy grilled chicken dinner.

Marinate this chicken for 1-2 hours before you're ready to grill. Quick and easy!

Grilled buttermilk herb chicken {gluten-free}

From the pantry, you'll need: Dijon mustard, garlic, parsley, basil, kosher salt, fresh black pepper, chicken breasts.

Serves 4-6.


1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp minced garlic (1-2 cloves)
2 Tbsp roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 Tbsp roughly chopped fresh basil
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp fresh black pepper
4 large, or 6 small, boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or thighs)
Oil or nonstick spray for the grill


In a blender, combine first 7 ingredients to make the marinade, and pour over chicken in a large mixing bowl. Marinate in the refrigerator at least 1 hour, but not more than 2 hours.

When you're ready to cook, heat the grill, and brush with oil. Remove the chicken from the marinade, and discard the marinade.

Grill the chicken for 4 minutes on each side. Or, line a rimmed sheet pan with aluminum foil, and cook the chicken under the broiler.

Let the chicken sit for 5 minutes, then slice and arrange on a platter. Serve hot, at room temperature, or cold.

[Printer-friendly recipe.]

More grilled chicken ideas:
Grilled not-too-spicy jerk chicken, from The Perfect Pantry
Chicken bulgogi, from The Perfect Pantry
Moroccan spiced grilled chicken kebabs, from David Lebovitz
Thai grilled chicken (gai yang), from Recipe Tin Eats

A quick buttermilk marinade gives this grilled chicken tenderness and tang!

Disclosure: The Perfect Pantry earns a few pennies on purchases made through the Amazon.com links in this post. Thank you for supporting this site when you start your shopping here.


what a coincidence! I just used buttermilk to marinade chicken breasts but then covered them with an almond crust and sauteed... Unfortunately my photos did not turn out very good, I need to re-visit that, but I think grilling might end up much better....😜

love this recipe....

Sally, the almond crust sounds interesting. Maybe try baking instead of sautéing? Or grilling without the crust (which might fall off on the grill)?

Agree about the buttermilk only coming in quarts, however you can freeze it. I've started measuring it in 1 cup portions and freezing it in Ziplock bags. You'll always have it on hand, and now I can try this delicious sounding recipe!

I never tire of chicken. Ever. And another use for leftover buttermilk? Win-win.
Printed. Thanks, Lydia.

Anne, wow! I never knew you could free buttermilk. What a game-changing tip. Thank you!

Connie, I never tire of chicken, either. Never ever.

I found a pint bottle of Kate's buttermilk at -I think - Hannafords. Think I'll use it for some lemon panna cotta - and this chicken recipe. The herbs and mustard sound perfect.

Ann, I don't have a Hannafords near me, but there is one near my cousin's place in Maine, so I'll be sure to look when I'm up there next month. Kate's is really my favorite, so it would be great to find it in a smaller size.

I love the sound of this, so perfect for a night when you didn't plan ahead but don't need to eat right away.

In Utah most every grocery store sells buttermilk in little pint cartons and I buy those all the time for salad dressing! Maybe you can request your store to get it?

Kalyn, I really must do that. There are three markets (at least) within walking distance of my house; I hope I can persuade one of them to carry buttermilk pints.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.