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This best chicken marinade is the perfect way to marinate chicken before grilling or cooking. It makes the meat juicy, tender, and so good!

You can grill or bake marinated chicken, and turn it into a delicious chicken sandwich, or just serve it as a main dish with some sides. We like to pair this best chicken marinade with Baked Parmesan Asparagus and some Mashed Potatoes.

The best chicken marinade used on chicken breasts and cut into slices.


Grilled Chicken Marinade (or Baked)

Chicken is definitely the meat of choice here at our house. Most of our favorite dinner recipes include chicken as a main dish or on top of some favorite salads! We’re always looking for yummy new ways to cook and enjoy it.

During the warmer months, we love to get good use out of our grill. Grilling is actually one of my favorite ways to cook chicken. It helps the meat to stay juicy and tender, and it adds amazing flavor!

I think the best flavor comes from marinating the chicken before grilling it, and I’ve finally found the perfect recipe for the best chicken marinade!! But you can still use this even if you’re just baking your chicken.

Easy chicken marinade ingredients whisked together in a glass bowl.

So Simple to Make!

This best chicken marinade recipe only requires a handful of ingredients, and I would bet you most likely have almost all of these on hand already!

WHISK. Simply whisk all of the marinade ingredients together, then put in a large tupperware container or a gallon-sized Ziploc bag.

MARINATE. Add 4-6 chicken breasts to the marinade and let it sit for at least 4-8 hours in the fridge. The longer it marinates, the better!

COOK. Grill your chicken breasts for a few minutes on each side until they reach an internal temperature of 165° F.

Oven baked chicken breasts on a white platter.

Additional Cooking Methods

If you don’t have a grill, you can use these other cooking methods:

  • Oven Baked Chicken – place marinated chicken on a sheet pan covered with foil and bake at 375°F for about 30 minutes until chicken is completely cooked through.
  • Pan fried chicken – heat a little bit of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Place the marinated chicken breast in the pan and cook for about 10 minutes. Flip to the other side, cover the pan, turn to low heat, and cook for an additional 10 minutes until completely cooked through. Let rest for 5 minutes before cutting into it.

SERVE. Serve chicken warm, either on its own or as grilled chicken sandwiches (like these Hawaiian BBQ Chicken Sandwiches).

The last time we made this recipe, we ate the grilled chicken on buns with lettuce, tomato, and mayo. You could even add some bacon and cheese! Regardless, the chicken marinade makes the meat SO juicy and flavorful, it will be amazing however you decide to enjoy it.

Chicken breasts in a glass bowl filled with marinade.

Marinating Tips + Tricks

Just a few tips and tricks to keep in mind for this simple chicken marinade:

  • Use a blender to quickly combine all of the marinade ingredients.
  • Don’t use a metal container to marinate the meat in, or it will give it a metallic flavor.
  • If you only have an hour or two, don’t stress. The chicken will still benefit from marinating, even if it is only for an hour.
  • Make sure the meat is entirely covered by the marinade. If it’s not, turn it a couple of times while marinating so all of it gets some flavor.
  • Once the raw chicken comes in contact with it, the marinade will contain harmful bacteria. If you want to use the marinade as a sauce after cooking the chicken, boil it for 5 minutes first to get rid of any present bacteria.

Marinade Variations

The great thing about making your own marinade is that you can adjust the ingredients to what you have on hand or to the exact flavors that you like. 

  • The vegetable oil can be substituted for extra virgin olive oil.
  • The red wine vinegar can be replaced with apple cider vinegar. 
  • Lemon juice can be replaced with lime juice. 
  • Add in some lemon zest for extra flavor.
  • Add some sweetness using honey or some brown sugar.
  • You can use 1 tablespoon of liquid mustard instead of dry mustard. You can also use 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard. 
  • If you like a spicier marinade add in some paprika or red pepper flakes.
  • Add some extra flavor using onion powder, garlic powder, or minced garlic cloves.
Marinated chicken breasts in a baking dish before being baked.

An Awesome Freezer Meal

Here’s a trick if you’re someone who likes to have meals on hand in the freezer. You can actually prepare this recipe according to the instructions, but instead of cooking the meat right away, you can actually freeze it!

FREEZE. After you add the raw chicken to a freezer bag of marinade, flatten the bag, and place it in the freezer.

When you’re ready to use it, place it in the refrigerator to thaw, and it will actually marinate the chicken simultaneously.

Once it’s thawed, cook the meat as usual. 😉

Baked best chicken marinade on a white plate.

Recipe FAQ

How long can chicken sit in the marinade?

It is best to marinate chicken for 6-8 hours. If you’re short on time even 60 minutes help. Do not exceed 24 hours in the fridge.

What cut of chicken is best to marinate?

While you can marinate various cuts of chicken, the best cut for marinating is boneless skinless chicken breasts or boneless skinless chicken thighs. The marinade helps to tenderize and flavor the lean meat, resulting in juicy and flavorful chicken breasts when grilled or cooked.

How much juice is in one medium lemon?

One medium lemon produces 2-3 tablespoons of juice. You can use fresh lemon juice or lemon juice from a bottle.

For More Great Chicken Recipes, Check Out:

5 from 13 votes

Best Chicken Marinade Recipe

By: Lil’ Luna
This best chicken marinade is the perfect way to marinate chicken before grilling or cooking. It makes the meat juicy, tender, and so good!
Servings: 8
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 35 minutes
Total: 45 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • Juice of 1 medium lemon
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon fresh parsley chopped
  • 2-3 pounds fresh chicken breast

Instructions 

  • In a medium bowl or large measuring cup, stir together the oil, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, pepper, and parsley.
  • Add the chicken to large zipper bag or storage container. Pour the marinade over the chicken and toss gently to coat. Refrigerate at least 3 hours, or up to overnight.
  • When ready to cook the chicken, preheat the oven to 375°F. Bake 35-40 minutes, or until cooked through. Alternatively, you could grill the chicken over medium heat for 5-6 minutes per side.

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 1g, Calories: 143kcal, Carbohydrates: 2g, Protein: 25g, Fat: 3g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Trans Fat: 0.01g, Cholesterol: 73mg, Sodium: 649mg, Potassium: 510mg, Fiber: 0.1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 43IU, Vitamin C: 3mg, Calcium: 18mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
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About Kristyn

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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Recipe Rating




26 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This is a good one! So easy to throw together in the morning and then grill at dinner time. Nice tenderizer for the chicken. We served with Caesar salad and crusty bread.

  2. 5 stars
    Chicken is a favorite at my house and I’m always looking for easy ways to change up the flavor of it to grill. This is a great marinade.

  3. 5 stars
    Super easy and better than any store-bought marinade. Such a great combo of flavors! It made the chicken delicious!

  4. 5 stars
    This is the easiest AND tastiest chicken marinade I have ever used! This marinade has the perfect blend and amount of ingredients.

  5. 5 stars
    Love to grill the chicken with this marinade. I always grill a few extra pieces of chicken to add to salads throughout the week. It’s the best!

  6. 5 stars
    I love a good, quick, homemade marinade. This one is especially easy and tasty! It makes a flavorful grilled chicken.