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The Best Spices to Put on Grilled Chicken

Dec 13, 2018

Chicken is one of the most versatile dishes out there: it’s super easy to meal prep and makes for a simple meal to put together after a hectic workday, not to mention the fact that you can prepare it dozens of different ways! One of our favorite ways, however, has to be grilled. And with the right seasonings, grilled chicken can be transformed from a run-of-the-mill weeknight dinner to a delicious dish packed with flavor zest. Here are our all-time favorite spices to put on grilled chicken!


When you slowly dry peppers over fragrant wood fires, you get pimentón, one of the world’s great spices: it’s smoky, sweet, and spicy all at once. Paprika is a delicious spice, especially when paired with other spices like garlic and onion. One way to do this is to your spices as a marinade for the chicken – let the chicken and spice mixture sit for 30-45 minutes, and then throw it on the grill! Just be sure to dry the skin thoroughly before grilling.

Where to find it: Our Big Easy Jambalaya seasoning is the perfect combination of these spices for grilled chicken: onion, roasted garlic, and paprika, with hints of cayenne pepper, ground sassafras, and thyme. You can’t go wrong using this for any chicken dish!

Lemon Pepper & Garlic

Citrus/pepper flavors work very well with chicken but work especially well when paired with the grilled variety. Simply marinate the chicken in a lemon- or lime- and pepper based marinade, or sprinkle cooked chicken with fresh lemon juice right before serving.

Where to find it: Eat Clean’s Zesty Lemon Pepper seasoning is a no-brainer here! It’s packed with all things citrus – lemon zest peel, spicy garlic, and black pepper – and bursts with an abundance of fresh, full flavor that is great all year-round on any dish.

Smoky Jerk Spices

Jerk seasoning — typically a spicy blend of garlic, onion, chiles, thyme, allspice, nutmeg, and cinnamon, though recipes vary — originated in Jamaica and is traditionally used on chicken and sometimes pork. Because the jerk marinade can burn easily, the chicken requires slow cooking on the grill, which also helps keep the meat moist. When it’s done right, jerk chicken is one of the great barbecue traditions of the world; it’s aromatic, smoky, sweet, and just the right amount of spicy hot!

Where to find it: Look no further than our Jamrock Jerk Seasoning! The spice mix has all the right things: bold notes of cloves, nutmeg, and allspice, with background hints of more subtle flavors like cinnamon, thyme, and black pepper.

Rosemary & Thyme

Rosemary has a woody scent and a strong flavor. Like tarragon, it can also easily overpower your food if too much is used. You can flavor chicken breasts in a rosemary marinade before cooking or place sprigs inside a whole chicken before cooking. Rosemary also makes a pretty garnish on your plate. Although you can eat the garnish without harm, most people do not because the flavor is too strong. We like pairing rosemary with a bit of thyme, and occasionally a splash of lemon juice to add some extra zest.

Where to find it: Our Herbaceous seasoning has a little bit of everything, including rosemary, thyme, garlic, and onion. There are even sesame seeds, which adds a dash of the exotic to it! For a more lemony flavor and a bit of extra oomph for your grilled chicken, try our Everything Seasoning: onion powder, lots of strong black pepper, savory thyme, a hint of fresh basil, oregano, celery seed, a hint of heat with cayenne pepper, and lemon flavor.

Cayenne Pepper

A simple spice rub that adds a little beat of heat and spice is never a bad idea – especially when it comes to the grill! A simple spicy rubbed chicken breast can be served over salad greens (just cut the chicken into strips and add your favorite dressing) or as an entree on its own. Hint: this is a great one to use for your weekly meal prep! Just grill up several chicken breasts at once and divide them between salads and entrees for the week.

Where to find it: Give our Spicy Buffalo seasoning a try for a twist on the classic buffalo spice mix (cayenne, dried jalapeno, black pepper, paprika, and onion); or, for a more heat-centric flavor, use our Habanero Inferno spice: turmeric, cumin, habanero pepper, and black pepper combine to create a deliciously spicy – but flavorful – seasoning that will work well with a grilled chicken dish.

For more recipe ideas, visit our other blogs!

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