Food & Nutrition

Your SmartPoints®-friendly guide to grilling chicken and turkey

No dry turkey burgers here. Crush your next cookout with one of these 21 mouthwatering poultry recipes, plus WW’s expert prep tips.

Among WW members, skinless chicken breast and extra-lean ground turkey are always popular proteins—and not just because they’re ZeroPoint™ foods for Blue and Purple. Versatility is another major selling point: These poultry MVPs can be dressed up or down, seasoned and sauced to channel any kind of cuisine. 

Add in the ease of backyard grilling, and you have yourself a perfect warm-weather meal. Here, we present some tasty advice for grilling chicken and turkey, along with our 21 best recipes for grilled turkey burgers, chicken skewers, chicken sandwiches, and whole chicken breast to make your next barbecue truly mouthwatering. 

Tips for grilling chicken and turkey 


Season freely

Chicken and turkey are mild in flavor, which means they’re delicious with almost any kind of seasoning. Search WW.com for barbecue-friendly rub and marinade recipes. Or try a simple brine for chicken breasts to help them grill up extra juicy and flavorful.

Make poultry burgers juicier

Burgers made from super lean ground turkey and chicken don’t have to be dry. Amp up the flavor, texture, and juiciness by adding minced portobello mushroom or shredded zucchini to the burger mixture before forming patties. Just be sure to remove excess moisture from shredded zucchini, if using. Squeeze the zucchini in your hands over a bowl, or use the back of a spoon to push out the moisture through a fine-mesh strainer. The goal is a juicy burger, not a soggy one!

Pound breasts before grilling

Before putting boneless, skinless chicken breasts on the grill, you’d be wise to pound them to a consistent thickness. This ensures even cooking so you don’t end up with flame-dried jerky on one end. To pound boneless chicken breast, place the meat between two sheets of plastic wrap or wax paper, then gently hit with a meat mallet, rolling pin, or other blunt, heavy object until you achieve the desired level of thickness.

Always measure temperature

In terms of doneness, grilled meat can sometimes be tough to eyeball—nice char marks aren’t necessarily a sign the food is ready to eat. To be safe, use a food thermometer. No matter what kind of poultry you’re preparing—ground meat, cutlets, pieces on the bone—the safe internal temperature for doneness is 165℉, as measured at the meat’s thickest part. Once the food is done, remove from the grill and let rest for a few minutes so juices reabsorb (instead running onto your plate or lap).
 

Our best grilled chicken and turkey recipes

 

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Leslie Fink, MS, RD, has been working at WW for 20 years. In addition to her role as a nutritionist and recipe editor, she works on food and program development for a variety of projects, including WW Cruises, WW Ambassador partnerships, WW Fresh, and WW x Blue Apron.

 

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