The Best Grilled Chicken Marinade Recipe combines the flavors of easy spices to make an easy marinade. Marinating your chicken makes it flavorful and extra juicy.

Grilled Chicken on a plate with a slice of lemon.
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The Best Grilled Chicken Marinade Recipe is very easy to make. The marinade starts with easy pantry spices, olive oil and fresh squeezed lemon. Marinating your chicken is so important to create the most juiciest and flavorful grilled chicken recipes.

This marinade is one of my family’s favorite. I love it because the seasonings are staple ingredients in our pantry. So I can easily use this marinade and grill chicken any night of the week.

You may also love this Grilled Citrus Chicken Recipe.

What is a Marinade?

A marinade is used to soak any type of meat before cooking. Marinades usually includes spices and oils. The main reason you marinade your meats is to give it more flavor and to make is extra juicy.

To get the most out of your marinade it is good to marinade your meat for at least 15 minutes. The majority of the time we like to marinade the meat overnight. You can even it for your baked chicken recipes.

Should You Marinate Chicken before Grilling?

Marinating your chicken it recommended because it adds so much flavor to your chicken. Putting together a quick marinade that includes easy spices and oil is easy to do.

Make sure to let your chicken marinade for at least 15 to 30 minutes. This will make your chicken go from bland to full of flavor. Depending on the type of marinade your use, you can easily make up the marinade a few days before. Then it is ready for you to use later in the week.

Chicken Marinade Ingredients

Ingredients needed - chicken breast, salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, cumin, parlsey, olive oil, lemon
  • Chicken Breasts
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Paprika
  • Garlic Powder
  • Cumin
  • Parsley
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Lemon, Juiced – You can also use lime juice

Scroll to the bottom for the full recipe in the recipe card.

Chicken Marinade Variations Ideas

Putting a marinade on your chicken is the key to keep your chicken juicy and full of flavor. We like to keep things simple around here, so there are some of my favorite variations to marinades.

  • Simple Marinade – A basic marinade can consist of oil, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce or Dijon mustard and a sweetener. Then you can add any additional spices you prefer.
  • Make it Spicy – If you like a little kick in your marinades, add in some red pepper flakes.
  • Add in Fresh Herbs – Add in fresh herbs, like fresh cilantro, fresh parsley, thyme, oregano, rosemary or basil to this marinade.
  • Teriyaki Marinade – Teriyaki Marinade is one of our favorites. We love the flavor of soy sauce that it gives to the chicken.
  • Add Sweetness – If you like your marinade to have some sweetness, add in about a tablespoon of brown sugar.
  • Worcestershire Sauce – Adding Worcestershire sauce really brings in the smoky flavor.

How to Make Grilled Chicken Marinade

  • Step 1 – Mix together Marinade Ingredients – Stir together all the ingredients except for the chicken breasts in a bowl.
  • Step 2 – Pour marinade over chicken – Place the chicken breasts or chicken tenders in a large ziplock bag or a bowl. Pour the marinade over the chicken.
  • Step 3 – Marinate Chicken – Allow the chicken to marinate for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
  • Step 4 – Prepare Grill – Then preheat the grill to medium-high heat about 350 degrees. Gently brush the grates of the grill with the oil to prevent the chicken from sticking.
Grilled Chicken on the grill.
  • Step 5 – Grill Chicken on Grill – Place the chicken on the grill. Cook for 5-7 minutes per side until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
  • Step 6 – Serve and Enjoy – Then remove the chicken from the grill, let the chicken rest for 5 minutes. Slice your chicken and enjoy.

Marinade Expert Tips

  • Adding a Fat Option – Olive oil is our choice of fat to add to the marinade. The buttery flavoring really pulls in all the seasoning that is added to it.
  • Salt Option – Plain salt is an easy addition to your marinade. Soy sauce is another one that we like using. It is slightly sweet but full of flavor.
  • Add Sweetness – A good addition to any marinade is brown sugar. We love how it balances out the ingredients plus gives the chicken a caramelized texture. Another option to use is honey.
  • Add Brightness – We love using lemon juice to really make the marinade come alive. You can also use Dijon Mustard. Adding in the seasoning really pulls the ingredients together to give it the best flavor.
  • Chicken Thickness – Make sure the chicken is an even thickness before grilling. You may need to use a meat mallet to thin the chicken so the chicken evenly cooks.

How long should you marinate?

There is no written rule on how long you marinate a chicken. We usually do about 30 minutes prior to the chicken going on the grill.

If you marinade has acidic ingredients in them such as lemon juice or vinegars marinate your chicken for about 30 minutes. The only marinades that I would marinate overnight is if they have a BBQ or a honey-mustard base.

How do I keep my Grilled Chicken moist?

When you are preparing your chicken to put in the marinade, pierce the chicken with a fork. Piercing the chicken with a fork all over helps the marinade to seep in. This allows the chicken to be juicy and full of flavor.

We recommend marinating the chicken for at last 30 minutes or overnight.

How to serve Marinade Chicken

My family loves when I grill a big batch of marinated chicken. We use it for so many different ways during the week.

  • Dice up the chicken and toss it on your salad to make a chicken salad.
  • Slice the chicken and make a Cesar Chicken Wrap.
  • Top it on a rice and veggies for a healthy lunch or dinner option.
  • Shred the chicken and add it to your favorite pasta salad.
  • More Grilled Chicken Side Dishes

What to Serve with Grilled Chicken?

We eat Grilled Chicken a lot especially during the summer months. When we grill out, I like to make easy sides to get dinner on the table with ease. Here are some of my favorite sides:

  • Baked Potatoes – We love using our instant pot. It has been a game changer for my family. This instant pot baked potatoes recipe is ready in about 15 minutes.
  • Mashed Potatoes – My kids could eat mashed potatoes every day. So I try to make them at least once a week with this easy recipe.
  • Green Beans – Adding a side of green beans is easy option. It is simple but delicious.
  • Rice and Grilled Chicken – Rice is also tasty. We actually keep this in the freezer so it is so easy on busy nights. Learn how to freeze rice and you can make this meal even easier. I love to grab the rice from the freezer and we all can enjoy a really easy meal.
  • Steamed Broccoli – Add a simple side salad or steam broccoli in the microwave for another easy side idea.
  • Asparagus – This meal is also good with asparagus. This oven roasted asparagus is a family favorite and it is very simple and quick to make.

Can I use other cuts of chicken?

Yes, this marinade works great with other cuts of chicken. You can use chicken tenderloins, drumsticks or chicken thighs.

We have even make chicken skewers using this marinade and they turned out so good.

Grilled Chicken on a plate with a slice of lemon.

How to check temperature correctly?

To make sure your chicken is thoroughly cooked, it is important to have a meat thermometer. Use a meat thermometer to check to see if you chicken is done. This is the best method instead of slicing it to see if it is pink.

You meat thermometer should show an internal temperature of 165 degrees. This will ensure your chicken is done.

Can you Freeze Chicken in the Marinade?

Yes, you can freeze chicken in the marinade. When we meal prep for the week or we buy a lot of chicken. I will add different marinades to freezer bags and add the chicken.

Then when you are ready to cook the chicken, thaw in the refrigerator. The chicken is then ready to bake or grill.

Grilled Chicken on a plate with a slice of lemon.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to Store Leftovers

Storing grilled chicken is easy to do. Place chicken in an airtight container for up to days. Place in the refrigerator and use it for multiple meals through out the week.
I like to make individual containers so that it is easy to grab and go as we head out the door. This is my husbands favorite meal to make for lunch. We add some rice and vegetables and he can head out the door.

How to Reheat

When we are ready to reheat grilled chicken, we place on a microwave safe dish and heat. We start with 30 seconds intervals so that we don’t heat to long.
Heating your chicken to long, will dry it out. You can also place in a baking dish and heat in the oven for about 10 minutes. This is the way we do it if we have a lot of chicken leftovers.

More Grilled Chicken Recipes

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Grilled Chicken Marinade

4.92 from 12 votes
The Best Grilled Chicken Marinade Recipe combines the flavors of easy spices. This simple marinade makes your chicken juicy and flavorful.
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 6
Cuisine American
Course Main Course
Calories 261

Ingredients

Instructions

  • 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.

Nutrition Facts

Calories 261kcal, Carbohydrates 2g, Protein 33g, Fat 13g, Saturated Fat 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat 2g, Monounsaturated Fat 8g, Trans Fat 1g, Cholesterol 97mg, Sodium 567mg, Potassium 622mg, Fiber 1g, Sugar 1g, Vitamin A 487IU, Vitamin C 19mg, Calcium 23mg, Iron 1mg

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About the Author

Hi, I’m Carrie. Welcome to Grill on a Dime!

I’m on a mission to help you cook delicious meals without busting your budget. From the Best Blackstone recipes, to grilling, and easy smoker recipes, together we are going to cook real food, with easy ingredients… for real families!

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  1. 4 stars
    Simply, this is an amazing recipe….don’t skimp on the parsley! I used bone in chicken thighs and marinated 24 hours.