The best Chicken marinade for grilling and baking is so easy to make but will result in the most flavorful chicken. This easy marinade comes together fast with pantry ingredients.
The best Chicken marinade for Grilling
We love to grill and this marinade is one of our favorites. It is so easy and I almost always have what I need to make this.
The marinade is light and delicious. Each bite of the chicken turns out so tender and flavor packed. Give this a try and see why our family loves it so much.
It is frugal to make using pantry staples. You will not be disappointed.
The options are endless for this chicken marinade. Not only it is delicious grilled but also baked. It is very versatile.
Why do you use a marinade?
It really enhances the flavor of the meat. It also helps to tenderize the meat while making each bite juicy.
The perfect marinade has several components to it. These include 3 components that will make your marinade amazing.
- Acidic. Vinegar, citrus or wine.
- Oil. Olive oil and sesame oil are commonly used.
- Flavoring agent. Herbs and spices.
Once combined, these 3 components come together for the perfect flavor combination. You can experiment and try new ingredients from each category to get more flavor options.
Each of these components come together to achieve different results. The acid helps to break down the protein. This helps the chicken absorb all of the flavor.
The oil helps to prevent dryness in your meat as it soaks into the chicken. Lastly, the flavoring again or seasonings, add all of that delicious flavor.
As you can see, each component is important. Together they work together to form the perfect marinade and ultimately the best chicken.
Grilled Chicken marinade Ingredients
- Chicken Breasts, (approximately 4-5 breasts)
- Salt and pepper
- Garlic Powder
- Olive Oil
- Lemon, Juiced
How to make chicken marinade:
- Combine the ingredients. Stir together all of the ingredients except for the chicken breasts in a bowl.
- Get out a plastic bag or bowl. Place the chicken breasts in a large ziplock bag or a bowl. Pour the marinade over the chicken.
- Allow the chicken to marinate. It needs to for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
How to grill:
- Preheat the grill. Then preheat the grill to 350 degrees F. Gently brush the grates of the grill with the oil to prevent the chicken from sticking.
- Place the chicken on the grill. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes per side until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
- Then remove the chicken from the grill. Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes. The chicken is ready to slice and enjoy.
How to bake:
- Preheat the oven. The oven needs to be set to 400 degrees.
- Place the chicken in a baking dish. We used a 9×13 pan.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Cook the chicken until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
Jump to recipe below for complete instructions.
What To Serve With Grilled Chicken?
- Easy Grilled Green Beans – This is so easy and really flavorful on the grill.
- Grilled Peaches – The flavor of peaches on the grill is the best.
- Parmesan Grilled Corn on the Cob – The butter and seasonings combine for the best corn on the cob recipe.
These are just a few of side dishes that we love with grilled chicken.
What kind of chicken can I use?
- Chicken breasts
- Chicken Thighs
- Chicken legs
Any of these would be delicious options with this marinade recipe. Actually, this marinade isn’t just good on chicken. You can use it on pork chops, pork tenderloin and more.
What temperature does chicken need to cook to?
The internal temperature of chicken recipes needs to be at 165 degrees to safely eat. We use an instant read meat thermometer that is so easy to use.
It is one of my favorite kitchen gadgets. I never have to worry if the meat is fully cooked. We use our thermometer practically daily.
Make sure to insert the temperature into the thickest part of the meat to ensure accuracy.
How long do I need to marinate the chicken?
For the best flavor, it needs to marinate at least 30 minutes. However, it can be marinated overnight for even more flavor.
Can I make marinade in advance?
Yes, feel free to make this in advance. Feel free to make this a few days ahead of time.
Just place it inside an airtight container or bag in the fridge. I often use a mason jar.
Then when ready to use, pour on the chicken. This will save a little time during busy weeknights since you have already prepared the marinade.
Can I freeze marinated chicken?
Yes, this freezes perfectly. This is one of my favorite ways to meal prep.
The chicken can be frozen directly in the freezer bag with the marinade. Press the air out of the bag so it can lay flat and freeze chicken. This will save precious space in your freezer and allow you to stack several bags easily.
When ready to grill, thaw the meat and discard excess liquid. Cook as normal.
- Substitute balsamic vinegar instead of lemon juice.
- Lime juice can be used instead of lemon juice.
- Soy Sauce is another delicious flavor to try adding to marinade.
- Brown Sugar adds a hint of sweetness to marainde.
How to store grilled chicken:
Place leftover chicken inside an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will keep 4 to 5 days.
When ready to eat, simply reheat. Place inside a microwave safe dish and heat in intervals until warmed through. I typically start with 30 to 40 second intervals.
Be careful that you do not heat the chicken for too long or you risk drying it out.
You can also use the oven to reheat the chicken. Place inside an oven safe baking dish and cover with foil. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until heated through.
How to use leftover chicken:
- Cut up leftover chicken and serve over cilantro lime rice for another meal or quick lunches during the week.
- Make Chicken Fajitas. Shred the chicken and add your favorite toppings.
- Cut into strips and serve with honey mustard, ranch or BBQ sauce for dipping.
Meal Prep tip for leftovers:
Go ahead and place leftover chicken in individual serving containers. You will be set for the week for easy lunches or a quick dinner when it’s not the entire family.
Place easy sides with the chicken such as salad, steamed broccoli or baked potatoes.
Your week will go so much smoother with these ready made lunches. Everyone can grab one as they head out the door for the day.
Not only will everyone get to enjoy yummy food but it will save from going to the drive-thru.
Tips and Tricks:
- The longer the meat can stay in the marinade, the better. It will enhance the flavor even more.
- Don’t overcook the chicken. It will become dry and tough. Use a meat thermometer to make sure you know when it is fully cooked.
- Double the recipe. This is an easy way to meal prep and does not require any extra work since you have all of the ingredients out. You can have some for dinner tonight and some in the freezer for another easy meal.
- Try other cuts of chicken. The marinade is amazing with thighs and more. Just remember to adjust the cooking time accordingly for other types of meat.
- Give the chicken sufficient time to rest before serving and cutting. This helps to lock in flavor and keep the natural juices inside. Your chicken will stay moist and juicy when given ample time to rest.
- Don’t reuse marinade that has been in contact with raw meat. If you plan to use some to baste the chicken with, reserve some before placing the chicken in it.
- You can use frozen chicken in this recipe. I prefer to allow the chicken to thaw in the marinade to soak in flavor as it thaws.
Print the recipe for the best chicken marinade:
Best Chicken Marinade
- 2 lbs Chicken Breasts (approximately 4-5 breasts)
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Pepper
- 1/2 tsp Paprika
- 1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1/2 tsp Cumin
- 1/2 cup Parsley
- 1/4 cup Olive Oil
- 1 Lemon Juiced
- Stir together all the ingredients except for the chicken breasts in a bowl.
- Place the chicken breasts in a large ziplock bag or a bowl. Pour the marinade over the chicken.
- Allow the chicken to marinate for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
- Then preheat the grill to 350 degrees F. Gently brush the grates of the grill with the oil to prevent the chicken from sticking.
- Place the chicken on the grill. Cook for 5-7 minutes per size until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
- Then remove the chicken from the grill, let the chicken rest for 5 minutes. Then it’s ready to slice and enjoy.
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