by Olena

5 Easy Chicken Marinade Recipes

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Olena Osipov
5 from 28 votes

5 Easy-Easy-Easy Chicken Marinade Recipes all in one place. I compiled my best chicken marinades you can make with simple ingredients any time!

I bet you can make at least 3 marinades right now. 🙂

5 Easy Chicken Marinade Recipes

You will use these 5 chicken marinade recipes over and over again. So, bookmark the page or pin it!

Whether for a quick dinner or a Saturday night party, one of these chicken marinades is guaranteed to work for you. The problem with many recipes is ingredients I never have. That is why I like to keep things simple, flavorful and healthy.

Any of the marinades takes from 30 minutes to 24 hours. Then you can grill, bake or fry marinated chicken. I also included tips on how marinades work, best dish to use and how to cook and store.

Hope this is the last resource you need for juicy and flavorful chicken breasts or thighs. Enjoy! 🙂

Grilled chicken breasts on a baking dish

Quick Links to 5 Easy Chicken Marinades

If you click on each link, it will take you directly to that marinade recipe. At the end – below all recipes, there is also a recipe card you can print.

grilled chicken breasts in a baking dish

Fajita Chicken Marinade

Chicken Fajita Marinade is Tex Mex marinade made with simple pantry staples. Everyone loves it and you can control amount of heat.

Serve with other traditional fajita ingredients like sauteed white or yellow onions, green and colourful bell peppers, salsa and tortillas.
Fajita Chicken Marinade in black containerFajita Chicken Marinade in black container

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp honey or maple syrup
  • 1 lime, juice of
  • 2 tsp chilli powder
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper

Greek Chicken Marinade

Greek Chicken Marinade brings pricey Greek restaurant into your kitchen – absolutely delicious and easy!  All you need is lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and pantry dried herbs. Serve with quinoa or rice and a side of Greek salad.
Greek Chicken Marinade in black containerGreek Chicken Marinade in black container

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large lemon, juice of
  • 1 tbsp oregano, dried
  • 1 tbsp rosemary, dried or fresh
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes

Lemon Chicken Marinade

Lemon Chicken Marinade is universal and versatile king of all marinades. Basic, lemon-y and extra easy. I use it to make grilled chicken breast that goes with everything.
Lemon Chicken Marinade in black containerLemon Chicken Marinade in black container

  • 1 large lemon, zest and juice of
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, grated
  • 2 tsp oregano, dried
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper

Teriyaki Chicken Marinade

Teriyaki Chicken Marinade is Asian infused. It would go very well with rice and a simple broccoli side dish like sauteed broccoli.

Teriyaki Chicken Marinade in black containerTeriyaki Chicken Marinade in black container

  • 3 tbsp maple syrup or honey
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce (I used Bragg’s liquid aminos)
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ginger, grated

Ranch Chicken Marinade

Ranch Chicken Marinade made healthy without a packet of dry ranch mix and with yogurt or buttermilk. Unlike vinegar and citrus juice, yogurt has fat to help prevent chicken from dehydrating. Making it a good “for tomorrow” marinade.
Ranch Chicken Marinade in black containerRanch Chicken Marinade in black container

  • 3/4 cup yogurt or buttermilk
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper

How to Marinate Chicken

  • Make marinade: To make marinade, just whisk all ingredients in a small bowl.
  • Best dish to marinate in: Pick large and flat baking dish, container with a lid or reusable silicone bags so chicken can lay flat. It ensures the most flavor in every bite. I try to avoid plastic Ziploc bags these days but you can.
  • How long to marinate: Chicken marinating time is anywhere from 30 minutes – 24 hours depending on your schedule.
  • After 24 hours: If “oops” happened and you didn’t have time to cook chicken after 24 hours, remove meat from its marinade, wipe excess, transfer to another container and refrigerate for up to another 24 hours.

a ple of juicy grilled chicken breasts

Chicken Marinade 101

  • Chicken marinade active ingredient is acid – vinegar, citrus juice, yogurt, wine, buttermilk, coffee etc.
  • Marinade really affects only the surface of meat.
  • Chicken submerged into marinade begins to break apart – its fibers tenderize, absorb moisture and forms bond with flavors.
  • It is not recommended to marinate past 24 hours.
  • You can marinate any chicken pieces.

a bowl with chickpea salad, grilled chicken and pita bread

Fajita chicken served with chickpea salad and pita bread.

How to Cook Marinated Chicken

You can bake, grill or fry marinated chicken. Guidelines are provided based on boneless chicken breasts and thighs.

  • Grill: Grills vary so please use these as guidelines and your pretty eye’s judgement. You want to preheat your grill to up to 500 degrees F, clean and oil the surface. Then grill chicken on both sides about 4-5 minutes on each side while covered. Longer cook time is necessary for bone-in chicken.
  • Bake: Bake marinated chicken uncovered (!!!) in a baking dish or tray at 450 degrees F for 25-35 minutes approximately. Cooking chicken on high heat and without a lid will result in roasted outside and juicy inside chicken.
  • Fry: To fry chicken, you can use non-stick, cast iron or grill skillet. Make sure it is hot, add a bit of oil and fry for 4-5 minutes per side. Keep it covered for 4-5 minutes in the middle of frying to help cook through.

grilled chicken on a skillet

Chicken is ready when internal read thermometer inserted in the center reads 165 degrees F. However, chicken keeps cooking after you remove it from the heat. I recommend to do so at 150 degrees F and that takes us to a very important next step…

Let it rest!!! Place chicken in a dish and cover it with foil, towel or lid. Let it sit like this for 5-10 minutes. Juices will settle in and you will have the most juicy, flavorful and healthy chicken!

Which marinade is your favorite? Mine is Fajita and kids picked Ranch. It was hard to pick one! They all are so-so good!

More Easy Chicken Recipes

sliced chicken breast on a cutting board

5 Easy Chicken Marinade Recipes

5 Easy Chicken Marinade Recipes

5 Easy-Easy-Easy Chicken Marinade Recipes all in one place. I compiled my best chicken marinades you can make with simple ingredients any time! I bet you can make at least 3 marinades right now.
4.97 from 28 votes
Print Save Rate
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: North American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 1 /2 cup each marinade
Calories: 402kcal
Author: Olena Osipov

Ingredients

  • Fajita Chicken Marinade
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp honey or maple syrup
  • 1 lime juice of
  • 2 tsp chilli powder
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • Greek Chicken Marinade
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large lemon juice of
  • 1 tbsp oregano dried
  • 1 tbsp rosemary dried or fresh
  • 2 garlic cloves grated
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Lemon Chicken Marinade
  • 1 large lemon zest and juice of
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves grated
  • 2 tsp oregano dried
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • Teriyaki Chicken Marinade
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup or honey
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce I used Bragg’s liquid aminos
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove grated
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ginger grated
  • Ranch Chicken Marinade
  • 3/4 cup yogurt or buttermilk
  • 2 garlic cloves grated
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper

Instructions

  • Combine marinade ingredients in a bowl and stir.
  • Pick flat container, baking dish or reusable silicone bag so chicken can lay flat for maximum flavor penetration.
  • Place chicken in a container, pour marinade over and stor to coat well.
  • Marinating time is from 30 minutes - 24 hours. Longer marinating time means more flavor but I wouldn't marinate past 24 hours so acid will cause flesh to break down.
  • When ready to cook, remove chicken from marinade and cook as per recipe instructions (see tips below).

Video

Notes

  • How much chicken? Amount of any marinade is enough to marinade up to 3 lbs of chicken well.
  • Past 24 hours: If meat is done marianting but you are not ready to cook, remove it from marinade, wipe off any excess and refrigerate in a container for another 24 hours.
  • Freezing: You can freeze marinated chicken with excess air removed from the container for up to 3 months. When ready to cook, thaw in the fridge for 24 hours and cook as per recipe.
  • Grilling: Preheat grill on medium-high heat (450-500 degrees F) and rub with oiled paper towel. Place chicken on the grill, close the lid and grill for 8-10 minutes turning once.
  • Baking: Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Rub bottom of large baking dish with oil and lay chicken breasts in a single layer. Bake uncovered for 25 minutes - 35 minutes for boneless chicken and longer for bone-in pieces.
  • Pan frying: Preheat large non-stick or grill skillet on medium heat, add a bit of oil , add chicken and cook for 5-6 minutes. I find it helps to cover thicker pieces with a lid midway to help meat cook through. Flip and cook for another 5-6 minutes or until the thickest part juices run clear when poked with a knife or fork.
  • When is chicken ready? Technically, chicken is ready when meat thermometer inserted in the middle reads 165 degrees F. BUT I like to stop cooking chicken at 150 degrees F because it will keep cooking with residual heat while resting. I liek juicy chicken. 🙂
  • Rest your meat: Make sure you let chicken rest after cooking with any method. After finished cooking, cover dish with meat with tin foil, silicone lid or paper towel. Let rest for 5 minutes to allow juices flow back into meat.
  • Discard marinade.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5cup (nutritional info for Fajita chicken marinade | Calories: 402kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 1260mg | Potassium: 269mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 25g | Vitamin A: 1678IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 61mg | Iron: 1mg
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olena osipov in the studio

Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys, a wife to Alex and we reside on magical Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. This is our healthy family recipes blog. Originally from Ukraine, I grew up on real food. As an adult, I struggled with diets for years because none worked long-term. Now for over 10 years, I cook easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

40 comments on “5 Easy Chicken Marinade Recipes

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  1. 5 stars
    Love the Ranch & Lemon Chicken Marinades!! Making the Greek Marinade today for lunch/dinner… chicken breasts are in the fridge marinating now!
    Thanks for some of the most delicious & healthy recipes I’ve tried thus far! Love your site – STILL!!

      1. 5 stars
        Love the Greek Marinade I made yesterday… flavor in the chicken was really good. I made a Greek Pasta Salad to go along with it. Hubby enjoyed it very much – as did I. Thank you for all you do to make such healthy & wonderful recipes!
        I can’t tell you enough just how much I love your recipes which I’ve tried more than once I might add!! And, the funny thing is I never get tired of using the same ones over… they’re that good.
        May God continue to bless you & your family!

        1. Thank you so much for your kind words and amazing feedback Tricia! I love that you are enjoying my recipes. Made my day 🙂

    1. 5 stars
      I’m delighted that I found your recipes.
      I’ve used them every night for the last two weeks.
      The kids (6) & hubby have really enjoyed all the meals without any complaints.

      Baking the chicken the way your recommended has been a game changer!
      Thank you.

  2. 5 stars
    I have made the Greek Chicken Marinade it was so good. I use it for most of my chicken now.
    I am anxious to try the others too!

    Thank you for these.

  3. 5 stars
    I tried the Greek lemon dish and will definitely try the others, it was very easy and delicious!

  4. 5 stars
    It was a great chicken dinner! Everybody loved this recipe. It was so juicy inside but the outside was very crispy like fried chicken. I cooked 3 lbs bone in chicken thigh pieces for 35 mins at 450 degrees F in a fan oven according to your recipe. Just perfect! Lovely chicken! Thanks again, Olena.

  5. 5 stars
    This is the recipe I made just a few weeks ago and it is delicious and one of the easiest recipes I’ve ever made. We always use good quality chicken so it was moist and truly wonderful with just a salad. The added benefit is that it is healthy and low cal.

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