Easy Weeknight Dinner – Mesquite Chicken Thighs and Summer Tomato Salad

By Jennifer Pittman


When it comes to weeknight meals, I’m all about simple, quick and easy. Oftentimes, my husband and I don’t get home on weeknights until 6:30 or 7:00; leaving a small amount of time for supper prep. This recipe is my favorite weeknight “go-to” because it’s yummy, fat-loss friendly, cost effective for feeding a family and literally only takes about 15 minutes of true prep time.
mesquite chicken


Mesquite Chicken Thighs



  • 2lbs boneless/skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat
  • 1 package McCormick’s Grill Mates marinade, flavor of your choice. I like these marinade packs because they have no MSG, are pretty low in sodium for packaged marinades, they use natural flavorings with no unnecessary add-ins and give a great flavor. I prefer the Backyard Brew flavor or the Mesquite flavor. You can find them at any grocery store.



1. Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees.

2. Place the trimmed chicken thighs in a large bowl and marinate according to Grill Mates package directions (FYI…the package says to use an oil of your choice. I make mine with coconut oil or olive oil to give the thighs an extra boost of healthy fats). Let the thighs marinate for about 15-20 minutes.


mesquite chicken

3. Once the thighs are finished marinating, place them on a large tin foil lined baking sheet and bake in the oven for 30-45 minutes, flipping once through cooking. The amount of time you cook the thighs is going to be based on your personal preference for doneness. I prefer my thighs to be a little more on the well-done side, so I usually cook mine for about 45-50 minutes. These thighs are best when both sides are nicely browned.

While the thighs are baking, make your salad.


Summer Tomato Salad



  • Two medium sized slicing tomatoes, quartered twice
  • One large cucumber, peeled and sliced
  • 2 T Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 T Olive oil
  • 2 T Crumbled feta cheese or fancy sliced parmesan cheese
  • Salt and Pepper



  1. Place all ingredients in a large bowl and combine.
  2. Set in fridge to get cold until chicken is finished cooking.


This salad recipe is great because you can make it with any combination of summer veggies and tomatoes. Instead of cucumber, you could try it with fresh garden zucchini, summer squash or thinly sliced red onion. Or, try it with different types of heirloom tomatoes and diced avocado. The options are limitless here!

And that’s it my friends! Once the thighs are done, pull them out of the oven and plate up!

This recipe is also a “two-fer” – any leftovers you have, take with you the following day for a fat-loss friendly lunch. Bon appetite!


Stay healthy this season with plenty of fresh produce & protein!

We want to send you 3 of our FAVORITE “out of the box” salad recipes including:

  1. Grilled Shrimp Salad with Pina Colada Vinaigrette Dressing
  2.  Lemon Berry Salad with Sugared Pecans
  3.  Fat Loss Friendly Crab Cake Salad