The Best 3 Ingredient Grilled Chicken Recipe - Pinch of Yum
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The Best 3 Ingredient Grilled Chicken

21 reviews / 4.6 average

We need to talk, like, big time.

This is the easiest and best way I’ve ever made chicken EVER. Period. I’m not even going to beat around the bush about it – you need to know the secret to this 3 Ingredient Grilled Chicken right this very second.

The secret is equal parts:

  • soy sauce
  • honey
  • water
  • (and a few cloves of smashed garlic)

And chicken, doh.

Ummm hi, that’s all.

Honestly, I’d like to keep you around because we’re internet besties and we have good times together, but you probably don’t even need to look at the rest of this post because I bet you can not only get started making this grilled chicken in the next two minutes – you can actually just tuck that combination in your head (try chanting it to commit to memory: equal parts soy sauce, honey, and water – very good, friends) and keep it filed away for all your future grilled chicken needs.

Even as a flustered person trying to grill for the second time in my life and stressing majorly, I can handle that short ingredient list. THANK YOU LIFE.

Three ingredients // marinate // grill it up.

How To Make Our 3-Ingredient Chicken:

Grilled chicken on skewers.

The chicken is lightly saucy and sticky on the outside and tender, juicy, and loaded with flavor on the inside, and grilled to golden brown grill perfection on skewers because CUUUUTE! It’s really adaptable since it just starts with a base of three ingredients, so you could think of a bajillion and one ways to give it more of a personalized kick and they would all be just as simple as tossing a few more ingredients into the bag. Ginger, maybe? Jalapeño? Peanut butter to do a creamy-peanut-sauce type thing? I have plenty of ideas for elaboration in my head.

But as is – the short recipe – that’s the kind of recipe that can stay filed away in the back of my head and that will get pulled out whenever we need to feed people (read: ourselves) something really summery, flavorful, and satisfying.

This grilled chicken goes with just about everything, including but not limited to 5 Minute Magic Green Sauce, and it makes for a great Getting Ready For The Week recipe that you can keep in the fridge to toss in salads, wraps, and noodle and rice dishes.

Marinating chicken in a plastic bag.

Normally me and chicken don’t really love each other. I mean, you guys know what I eat better than anyone, and you know that I don’t make a lot of chicken in my life. This is true.

But that’s because I can only morally support chicken that is really, really delicious – flavor, texture, all of it – and a lot of the chicken that I find myself eating in life is just medium delicious. I’m super picky with chicken, and in this case that’s actually a good thing for everyone because I’m not interested in something halfway good. AND THIS. This passes my Delicious Chicken Test.

I have to have to HAVE TO to give a huge shout out to my friend Liz for sharing this genius idea with me – she and her huzz were actually sweet enough to invite us to her house for dinner (Sage included!) and feed us the best grilled pork using this 3-ingredient marinade.

And in return, I was greedy enough to seriously badger her for the very explicit how-to on the pork and then replicate the process with chicken and post it on my food blog. I’m so fun like that.

Grilled chicken on skewers.

The beauty of this recipe is that it’s so easy that EVEN I CAN DO IT. Like – I can actually grill. I can make grilled chicken. I can make grilled chicken that tastes so super good. And you’re talking to a person who does not grill.

Look, Mom, I’m doing it!

I’d like to close today with one more shout out to my 5 Minute Magic Green Sauce, which continues to be amazing on everything including soy sauce and honey grilled chicken. I’m very aware that it doesn’t even make sense (avocado and parsley in a sauce? plus soy sauce chicken?) but I do not question the powers of that sauce.

So. This pretty chicken! And the smell of the grill. And the taste of the plate piled high with rice, chicken, cilantro, lime, and 5 Minute Magic Green Sauce.

It all awaits you and it is SO MUCH YUMMMMMY!

Grilled chicken with green sauce.


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3 Ingredient Grilled Chicken with sauce.

The Best 3 Ingredient Grilled Chicken

  • Author: Pinch of Yum
  • Total Time: 4 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


The Best 3 Ingredient Grilled Chicken – marinated in soy sauce, honey, and garlic and grilled to juicy, golden brown perfection. So easy!


  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 3/4 cup soy sauce
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed
  • cilantro and lime for serving
  • 5 Minute Magic Green Sauce for serving


  1. Cut the chicken into chunks. Place in a large ziplock plastic bag or bowl.
  2. Pour the soy sauce, honey, water, and garlic into a bowl. Whisk until incorporated. Set aside about 3/4 cup of the sauce for brushing the chicken later.
  3. Pour the remaining sauce into the bag or bowl with the chicken. Seal or cover the mixture and refrigerate as long as you can – 4 hours is a good minimum but you can go as long as overnight.
  4. When you’re ready to grill, preheat the grill on medium high for 5-10 minutes and oil the grates. Meanwhile, drain off the marinade and place the chicken pieces on skewers. Place the chicken on the hot grill, cover and cook for 3-4 minutes. Brush with reserved sauce and flip. Repeat this process until you see that the chicken is browned to your liking and fully cooked.
  5. Serve with cilantro, lime, Magic Green Sauce, or any other dipping sauces you like. We also like this with a salad and some naan or rice.


If you’re using wood skewers, be sure to soak them in water prior to using them.

  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 4 hours
  • Category: Dinner
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: grilled chicken, easy grilled chicken recipe

3 Ingredient Grilled Chicken recipe - with soy sauce, honey, and garlic. So easy and super adaptable! 200 calories. |

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  1. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Winner winner chicken dinner! Is that the saying? Yes, chicken needs to be extra good for me to like it. I cannot wait to try out this super simple recipe. It looks delicious.

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      I have done a side by side comparison with Chicken and Organic has a noticeable taste difference. Recipes come out so much better with the organic. I just wish it wasn’t so expensive to feed a family of 8 on it!

      1. Pinch of Yum Logo

        I totally agree about organic. The organic chicken at Wegmans (the awesome grocery chain where I shop) sells organic at over twice the cost of the regular chicken. But it’s tough because it’s so dang expensive and we want to be able to afford to go on vacation too. Decisions. Decisions. What’s a man to do?

  2. Pinch of Yum Logo

    There’s that sauce again. I need to get to the store. It is just that I”m trying to use up what is in my two pantries, three freezers and, three refrigerators this month.

    I do have chicken to use so I think this may have to be dinner tonight or tomorrow. I love grilling season….less dishes to wash.

  3. Pinch of Yum Logo

    We grill all year long. Yup, even when it’s snowing…so having one more idea to add to this list of things we love to cook? Perfect! Fire up that grill!

    Btw, I used to think that all chicken was created equal. Steak, I could definitely taste the differences in quality, but chicken, kinda six of one (always bought organic free range chicken)…but when we decided to only buy our chicken from this local farm (for a million reasons I won’t get into…suffice to say I read an article that freaked me out 🙂 Anyway, I wasn’t expecting after cooking the chicken from our new source that it would taste so much better than the stuff we used to buy at the grocery…the GOOD grocery store, no less. It’s really amazing to taste the difference. Just thought I’d add that in since you don’t eat it alot. We eat alot less meat and poultry than we used to, but when we do, it’s the best we can get.

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      Great tip Ramona! I’m the same as you (easily freaked out) so I buy Bare Organic chicken and I really like it. I would love to find a place to buy locally though – maybe when I start getting out to the farmers market this summer!

  4. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I thought I was the only flustery person who JUST learned how to grill, so she could stop asking her hubby to stay home all the time for the PICTURES.
    I Make chicken alot. Like everyday kinda a lot, so I am SO on board with 3 ingredients and easiness. Gimme all DA SKEWERS! Pinned!

  5. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Lindsay!! You sure know how to make a girl hungry. I barely comment on recipe posts (mainly on your income reports) – but this grilled chicken recipe (3 ingredients only!!) is definitely going on my menu this week! Thanks for the idea!!

  6. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Love your posts! Do you think this would work with salmon? Thanks for sharing!

  7. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Shoutout accepted and passed on to my mother-in-law, whom I atually called no fewer than 5 times in my first year of marriage with questions like, “it’s honey, soy sauce, and what?” and “was it maple syrup or honey?” and “which three ingredients again?”
    So chant away, my friends. Put it to memory.
    And then wrap that marinated chicken or pork on bacon and grill it so that you can blow your own mind.
    xo, Lindsay!

  8. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I am going to marinate some chicken thighs and drumsticks tomorrow and use this. For all you novice grillers using charcoal especially (my speciality), always grill your chicken on indirect heat. Pile all the coals on one side of the grill and place the chicken on the other side. Seriously, when you do it like this, it browns up very nicely, with no burning whatsoever, and it stays nice and moist–as opposed to dry. I usually only turn it once an sometimes not at all, depending on how it’s cooking. You may have to rotate the pieces from the ones next to the coals with the ones on the outer sides too, depending how much you’re cooking.

    I agree with others who have said that organic chickens are best–local if you can get them. They are delicious and never stringy.

  9. Pinch of Yum Logo

    That sounds wonderful but I’d have to add a touch of acidity as in lemon, lime or orange instead of water. And then I’d probably grate some ginger and toss that in too. Oops — I’m getting carried away with the ingredients but I would add the garlic. Everything (almost) tastes better with garlic. 🙂

  10. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Love the recipes but dislike the video ads that keeps scrolling the browser to the bottom of the page. I’m one of those fans that likes to read the post and the recipe

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      Hi Mary! What kind of device are you viewing on? Feel free to send me an email with a screen shot of the page and the ad that you’re talking about – we don’t always see things the same way on our end so we really rely on reader feedback to keep the user experience good. Thanks for the comment!