We love this Grilled Ranch Chicken all year long. My ranch yogurt marinade is one of our favorite marinades for grilled chicken. It is one of our favorite main dishes because the chicken has so much flavor and only 5 ingredients. This easy recipe is low carb, keto, gluten-free, grain-free, sugar-free, and Trim Healthy Mama friendly.
I buy fresh chicken tenders and freeze them in a gallon Ziploc bag with this ranch chicken marinade. When we are ready to have them for dinner I defrost and grill. My grilled ranch chicken tenders are moist, tender, flavorful, and delicious.
Trying to feed my family of 8 without breaking the bank means that I buy staples in bulk when they go on sale. Whenever I find chicken tenderloins for a good price I buy at least 3 or 4 packs. Chicken tenderloins are the perfect portion size for small children.
What is the difference between a chicken breast and a chicken tenderloin?
The tenderloin isn't a big chicken breast cut into pieces (even though you can do that in a pinch). It is the smaller piece that lies behind the breast. It really is more tender and is harder to overcook than an entire large boneless skinless chicken breast. The tenderloins tend to be a little more expensive than skinless chicken breasts but you save on time because they don't require you to cut off fat or pound thinner to make them cook evenly.
If you prefer to use boneless skinless chicken thighs go for it! Those work well in this ranch grilled chicken recipe too. You can also just cut up chicken breasts if that is your preference.
How to Make Grilled Ranch Chicken
Making this ranch chicken recipe is very easy and you do not need bottled ranch dressing. I prefer to use a blend of herbs and spices to make a homemade ranch flavor without all the additives and soybean oil found in most bottled dressings.
Simply combine yogurt with garlic, onion, dill, parsley, and salt and you have the flavors of ranch dressing for your grilled ranch chicken!
Why use yogurt in a chicken marinade?
Yogurt works well to tenderize meat. It is a common ingredient used to marinate meat in many cultures. Since yogurt is mildly acidic it naturally tenderizes the chicken. There are some carbs in yogurt but not many and when using it as a marinade vs eating a big bowl of it the carbs are minimal.
And with my homemade ranch seasoning blend, you don't need bottled Hidden Valley ranch dressing or flavoring packets.
Tips & Tweaks for Grilled Ranch Chicken
Garlic Ranch Chicken - Add in 2-3 minced cloves of fresh garlic to boost the garlic flavor.
Grilled Chicken Breasts - Yes, you can use this on breasts instead of tenderloins.
BBQ Ranch - Mix in a little bbq sauce to the marinade for barbecue ranch flavor.
Make-Ahead Freezer Recipes
I love having a few easy meals in the freezer for nights I don't feel like cooking. And on days I've spent hours in the kitchen developing a new recipe I'm generally tired of cooking when dinner rolls around. My freezer staples are cooked taco meat, cooked meatballs, and raw chicken tenders frozen in a marinade. I can get any of those from freezer to table in 30 minutes.
Recipes using Chicken Tenders
While we love this grilled ranch chicken recipe I do try to change things up. When I get a good deal on chicken tenderloins I stock up.
Grilled Ranch Chicken:
- ranch yogurt marinade
- 2.5 lbs chicken tenderloins
- Mix all ingredients in a bowl or gallon size ziploc bag. Add 2.5 lbs of chicken tenders. Marinade in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours before grilling.
- Heat the grill to medium high. Grill the chicken for 5 minutes, flip and grill for an additional 5 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 160.
Originally published May 20, 2016. Updated and Republished on April 23, 2019.