This Lemon Herb Chicken Seasoning is easy to make at home and uses common pantry ingredients so you can make a batch in a pinch. Sprinkle on any grilled, baked, or pan seared chicken to add a classic, fresh flavor.
Let’s face it, I’m not one to use the oven or crock pot much. If I’m cooking chicken, it’ll most likely end up on the grill. With how often I grill chicken for my family, I needed to create a sugar-free seasoning blend that would stand up well to the high heat of a grill without caramelizing and burning.
While I have my tried and true Homemade Sweet BBQ Rub for chicken, it’s best used when smoking or cooking over indirect heat. For that direct, hot heat of the grill, this lemon herb chicken seasoning is the one to reach for to ensure it doesn’t burn while your chicken is cooking.
In fact, this grilled chicken seasoning works perfectly with hot and fast grilled chicken breasts, as well as juicy chicken thighs for a quick weeknight dinner. If you want a savory whole chicken cooked on the grill, I recommend drizzling the chicken with olive oil and then sprinkling the seasoning liberally on all sides before grilling.
How to Season Chicken
Seasoning chicken is a complete no-brainer. This particular seasoning is a dry seasoning, so it is perfect to use by just sprinkling liberally on all sides of your skinless chicken pieces. You can also give it a little pat to help it stick to the surface of the chicken. Just take care not to rub vigorously on the meat, or you’ll rub all the seasoning off the chicken. Be gentle and you’re good to go.
If you are cooking chicken with the skin on, I recommend using some kind of binder to help attach the seasoning to the chicken. My favorite binder to use is olive oil, but any cooking oil will work. The oil also helps the skin on the chicken to get nice and crispy. This recipe has the zest of one whole lemon in it, so I recommend squeezing some lemon juice over the chicken during the cooking process for extra flavor.
So there you have it. Bind, sprinkle, pat. Done! You now have a perfectly seasoned chicken that is ready to head out to the grill!
Best Seasoning for Chicken
The best seasoning for chicken needs a few layers of flavor that work nicely together to complement the chicken, not overpower it. This seasoning blend includes smoked paprika for a nice smoky flavor and a great mix of dried herbs. We finish this seasoning off with some fresh lemon zest to keep things tasting bright and crisp.
Another great thing about this seasoning is that it compliments the flavor of the meat without being overpowering. This chicken seasoning is really great because you can use leftovers in any type of dish and the flavor taking over. I like to use up extra chicken made with this seasoning in dishes like Chicken Pot Pie, or Brunswick Stew.
Ingredients for Chicken Seasoning
Here’s what you’ll need to snag to mix together for this recipe. For a full, printable recipe with ingredient amounts and full instructions, scroll to the bottom of this post.
- Kosher salt
- Smoked paprika
- Black pepper
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Cayenne pepper
- Lemon zest
To make this seasoning, simply combine all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. You can use a fork to break up any large chunks as needed. This seasoning can be used immediately, or you can store it in an airtight container (like these spice bottles) for up to 6 months. I always recommend using your spices sooner rather than later because they taste best when newly mixed.
More Seasoning Recipes
Here at Hey Grill Hey we like to make things from scratch, including sauces and seasonings. If you’re looking for the perfect seasoning for pork, beef, and seafood, here are a few favorites below. You can also browse all our seasoning recipes here.
Chicken Seasoning Recipe
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- 1 Tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 Tablespoon smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 zest of 1 lemon
- Combine all ingredients. Use a fork to mix all ingredients in a medium-sized bowl.
- Season and store. Sprinkle seasoning liberally on chicken before grilling, roasting, or searing. Seasoning mix can be stored in an airtight container for up to 6 months.
**This post was originally published in September 2018. We recently updated it with more information and helpful tips. The recipe remains the same.