We can’t rave enough over our recipe for grilled butterflied chicken with lemon. Whole chickens are so much less expensive than buying chicken breasts, and while we think the picture speaks for itself, the results are moist and flavorful like nothing we’ve ever tasted.

The seasonings are simple and the caramelized lemon gives this dish a pop of brightness without being overwhelmingly citrusy. We also had a laugh to learn that butterflying a whole chicken is also referred to as ‘spatchcocking’ in the industry—hey, we never claimed to be the most mature bunch!

To ensure a juicy bird, make sure to let the chicken rest for a bit after you pull it from the grill. The resting period will complete the very last part of the cooking process while locking in all of the succulent flavors you expect from a perfectly-grilled chicken.

A butterfly chicken with lemon, ready to eat for dinner.

Butterflied Chicken with Lemon Recipe

Grill a whole chicken with this simple butterflied chicken with lemon recipe—it’s inexpensive and tasty!


Yield: 8 servings
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  • Preheat outdoor grill to medium heat. Place chicken breast-side-down on cutting board. Remove backbone by cutting along both sides using a pair of sharp kitchen shears. Turn chicken skin-side-up then lay flat on cutting board. Press it firmly against the board to flatten the chicken.
  • Pat chicken dry then rub skin side with olive oil, making sure to rub oil into all of the creases. Season generously on both sides with garlic powder, salt and pepper.
  • Place chicken skin-side-down on grill and allow to cook undisturbed for 15–18 minutes until the skin is crispy, golden and well-marked. Turn chicken and continue grilling until the internal temperature in thickest part of thigh registers 150 degrees on a meat thermometer—about 20–30 minutes, depending on size of chicken.
  • Remove chicken from grill then cover with foil. Allow chicken to rest, covered, for at least 10 minutes. Meanwhile, place lemon halves cut-side-down on grill and cook until they achieve grill marks and are well-caramelized.
  • Carve chicken into pieces and serve hot with grilled lemon for squeezing.


Butterflying the chicken allows the entire surface of chicken to come into contact with grill for even cooking!
Calories: 242kcal, Carbohydrates: 1g, Protein: 47g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 132mg, Sodium: 384mg, Potassium: 18mg, Fiber: 0.3g, Sugar: 0.3g
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Butterfly chicken with lemon recipe