Best chicken marinades to take boring, plain chicken to flavorful, tender, and juicy in no time at all for amazing chicken dinners! Whether you're grilling, roasting, pan-frying, or stir-frying your chicken, using marinades helps to lock in flavor and moisture for an immediate upgrade to your family meals! Plus, the marinades themselves only take a few minutes to whip up!
Best Chicken Marinades (for Grilled, Pan-Seared, Roasted, or Baked Chicken)
Have you ever wondered why you should bother marinating chicken? Let me tell you that there's more than just great-flavored chicken to be gained with this super simple process!
All of the amazing marinade flavor soaks into your chicken for added flavor when cooking. This makes your chicken breasts, chicken thighs, chicken wings, or drumsticks absolutely perfect for a wide variety of cooking methods!
There are endless possibilities of how to use these marinades in my chicken recipes here on BIWL!
The addition of an oil base to most marinades, in general, serves two purposes:
- To help the marinade, coat the chicken for the best marinating results.
- To keep the chicken tender and moist throughout the cooking process.
In a time crunch, any of these easy marinades can be used for a quick 15-30 minute marinade. However, your best-marinated chicken flavor is from at least 4 hours of marinating, and preferably overnight between 8-24 hours!
Popular Chicken Marinades
- Lemon Pepper- this super lemony, pepper-ey, and extra tasty marinade is made with just 6 ingredients! Lemon pepper chicken is a great basic flavor that is a crowd-pleasing favorite, even with youngsters! Use olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, freshly ground coarse black pepper, and salt for an easy upgrade to your chicken!
- BBQ - A much-improved barbecue marinade perfect for grilling or baking chicken! This 8-ingredient marinade includes one of my 'secret ingredients for making anything BBQ better! It's an incredibly easy-to-make marinade that combines your favorite bottled BBQ sauce with olive oil, liquid smoke, garlic, paprika, chili powder, salt, and pepper!
- Honey Mustard - a classic flavor combination that makes a delightfully savory-flavored chicken with just the right amount of sweetness! Combine honey, your favorite Dijon mustard (creamy, stone-ground, or coarse-ground mustard), olive oil, apple cider vinegar, paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic or garlic powder, salt, and pepper for a family-favorite chicken flavor!
- Lemon Rosemary - an incredibly flavorful lemon-herb marinade made with just 7 ingredients! Simply combine olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, rosemary, thyme, salt, and pepper for this classic flavor pairing!
- Tarragon - Another super-flavorful herb chicken marinade made with 7 ingredients ( if you're counting salt and pepper as I am here )! In addition to tarragon, this marinade uses olive oil, garlic, white wine or chicken broth, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper for light and flavorful chicken!
- Curry Chicken Marinade - A SUPER simple 4-ingredient marinade that is rich and flavorful! Simply combine yogurt, lime juice, curry powder, and salt for a ridiculously tender and tasty chicken!
- Greek Chicken Marinade - Another yogurt-based chicken marinade that I LOVE! There are so many great flavors here, but this is one of my personal favorites! Combine yogurt, olive oil, lemon, minced garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper for an addictive chicken flavor you'll make many times in the future!
>>>>See all of my recipes here<<<<
- Teriyaki Chicken Marinade - combines just 5 ingredients for the well-loved and family-approved teriyaki chicken flavor! Mix soy sauce with rice vinegar, brown sugar, ginger, and garlic, plus the optional 6th ingredient, chopped green onions. This is one of my all-time favorites for stir-fry!
- Honey Garlic - is another well-loved Asian flavor that's super easy and uses just 6 ingredients! It's an easy marinade to mix directly in your quart-sized freezer storage bags! Add honey, soy sauce, olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper for a sweet and tangy chicken that's perfect for grilling and roasting!
- Japanese Steakhouse - Hibachi-inspired marinade is built on the very popular ginger dipping sauce flavor. Just 5 ingredients for a wonderfully tasty savory chicken that's perfect for outdoor hibachi grilling on your Blackstone grill! Combine soy sauce, onion, ginger, mirin, and coconut oil with your chicken for a punch of flavor!
- Fajita Chicken Marinade - Make your fajita night dinners so amazing! This marinade combines 10 ingredients to take your fajita flavors to new levels of deliciousness effortlessly! Mix olive oil, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cilantro, salt, and pepper, then add it to your chicken!
- Chipotle Chicken Marinade - This 8-ingredient Mexican chicken marinade is a great way to add immense flavor to your chicken! Puree some chipotle chilis with adobo sauce, or stick to the adobo sauce alone and add olive oil, lime juice, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper!
- Cilantro Lime - This marinade combines two of my favorite flavors in a simple 7 ingredient marinade! Mix together lime juice, olive oil, cilantro, cumin, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper to enjoy some delightfully tangy chicken!
- Italian Chicken Marinade - Just 6 ingredients, and you have truly tasty chicken with a wonderful combination of Italian flavors! Oh, how I love basil! Use some fresh basil, then add olive oil, lemon juice, Italian seasoning, garlic, and crushed red pepper flakes for a completely homemade Italian chicken dinner!
- Balsamic Chicken Marinade - this super flavorful balsamic marinade uses just 7 ingredients to make incredibly rich and flavorful chicken! Mix together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, thyme, basil, salt, and pepper, then enjoy what is a family favorite in my household!
- Pesto - A wonderful, classic Italian-flavored marinade with all the rich basil flavor you know and love in pesto! Combine basil, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, pine nuts, salt, and pepper for an easy, rich pesto chicken!
- Jamaican Jerk Chicken Marinade - A simple Jamaican jerk recipe that uses pantry staples, with all sorts of suggestions for an authentic version to try too! Combine olive oil, lime juice, brown sugar, garlic powder, thyme, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, allspice, salt, and pepper to keep it quick and easy!
- Mango Chicken Marinade - A fresh and flavorful marinade that uses 7 ingredients, including delicious fresh mango! Puree the diced mango with olive oil, lime juice, honey, sriracha, garlic, and salt. The chicken is amazingly tender and moist without being overly sweet or spicy at all! The whole family will love your mango chicken!
I hope that you enjoy this excellent selection of marinades to add flavor to your chicken dinners! Let me know which ones you like best!
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📖 Recipe Card
Best Chicken Marinades: For Chicken Teriyaki Skewers (+More Tasty Meals!)
Teriyaki Chicken Marinade
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 2 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon ginger (fresh, peeled, and chopped - or ginger paste - or use 1 teaspoon dried or ground ginger)
- 1 tablespoon garlic (fresh, minced garlic clove - or use 1 teaspoon garlic powder)
- 2 tablespoon green onion (chopped - optional)
Marinate The Teriyaki Chicken
- Whisk ¼ cup soy sauce, 2 tablespoon rice vinegar, 2 tablespoon green onion, 1 tablespoon ginger , 1 tablespoon brown sugar, and 1 tablespoon garlic together in a small mixing bowl until well combined.
- Add the 2 lbs chicken thighs and turn the meat until it's well coated.
- Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
Grill The Teriyaki Chicken Skewers
- Remove the marinated chicken teriyaki from your fridge, uncover, and add the optional 2 tablespoon cornstarch. Stir to mix until everything is evenly distributed.
- Place the chunks of chicken onto skewers. You can then strain the leftover marinade into a saucepan and bring it up to boil to make the glaze, or use the optional ½ cup teriyaki sauce.
- Preheat your grill to medium-high heat. Once hot, grill the skewers, brushing them with the glaze or teriyaki sauce, for about 4-5 minutes per side (or until the internal temperature reads 165°F / 74°C).
- Remove the skewers from the grill and serve immediately.
Equipment You May Need
- You can always use low-sodium soy sauce if needed.
- If you don't have any rice vinegar, apple cider vinegar will make the best replacement. White wine vinegar is also a great substitution. Check out more substitutions here.
- You can use ground ginger instead of fresh as long as you reduce the amount. You'll want to use 1 teaspoon of dried (or ground) ginger per tablespoon of ginger paste or fresh ginger.
- One teaspoon of garlic powder can be used in place of minced garlic.
- You'll want to let your chicken marinate for at least 2 hours before grilling. The longer you leave the chicken to marinate, to more flavorful it will become!
- To store: Store any leftover skewers in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
- To reheat: You can reheat your chicken in the microwave or on the stovetop over medium heat.
Angela is an at home chef that developed a passion for all things cooking and baking at a young age in her Grandma's kitchen. After many years in the food service industry, she now enjoys sharing all of her family favorite recipes and creating tasty dinner and amazing dessert recipes here at Bake It With Love!