The best chicken marinade

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Every cook needs a chicken marinade in their recipe box, and this is the best I've ever had! Serve your chicken with rice pilaf and zucchini parmesan for a complete meal that the whole family will love.

In the summer I like to grill, and I make this incredibly delicious chicken marinade at least once a week. It only takes a few minutes to put it together and uses ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry. This marinade produces tender, juicy and tasty chicken that will earn you great reviews!

How is the chicken marinade made?

This marinade is a combination of savory and sweet flavors and includes ingredients that you probably already have around the house. The base of the marinade is olive oil, which is flavored with lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, minced garlic and Italian seasoning. Add the chicken, let it soak in all the flavor, then cook the chicken to your liking and serve.


Chicken should be marinated for a minimum of one hour for boneless, skinless cuts. If you're using a skin-and-bone cut, you'll want to marinate for at least 4 hours. I usually marinate my chicken for about 8 hours to get the best flavor.


  • This marinade can be made up to 3 days before you plan to use it. Simply store the marinade in the refrigerator until you are ready to add your chicken. The olive oil in the marinade can solidify if stored in the fridge for an extended period of time. Simply let the marinade sit at room temperature for 20 minutes and the olive oil will thaw to a liquid consistency.
  • You can really use any cut of chicken for this marinade, like boneless skinless breasts or thighs, chicken fillets or even chicken thighs. This recipe also works great with chicken wings.
  • This marinade contains sugar that adds great flavor, but can be easily grilled. Make sure your grill is not too hot before adding your chicken! You'll want to roast your chicken over medium heat, and if you're using bone-in cuts that take longer to cook, place them on indirect heat.


While this recipe is delicious as-is, you can add other ingredients to customize to your liking.

  • Hot: Add crushed red pepper flakes to taste.
  • Herb Lovers: Add 1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs like thyme, green onion, rosemary, or parsley. Scrape off large chunks of herbs before cooking your chicken.
  • Asian: Use a blend of olive oil, roasted sesame oil, lime juice, soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, and garlic.
  • Mexican: Use the marinade recipe listed here.


My favorite way to cook marinated chicken is grilled. If the weather isn't nice enough to grill outside, I use an indoor skillet on the stove. If you prefer, you can bake or sauté your chicken. I recommend baking your chicken if you're using bone-in cuts like drumsticks or chicken thighs.

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At what temperature should the chicken be cooked?

All chicken cuts should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. The easiest way to measure if your chicken is ready is to insert a thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken; make sure the thermometer does not touch the bone. Once you have reached the correct temperature, remove the chicken from the heat and let it rest for 3 minutes before cutting.

Once you try this chicken marinade recipe, you'll find yourself using it constantly! I make marinated chicken almost every week and my family happily devours it. Even kids love this one!

More great chicken recipes

  • Jalapeño Popper Chicken
  • Walnut chicken
  • Chicken with sweet chili
  • Chicken with mushrooms
  • Chicken Sauce

Chicken marinade video

Chicken marinade

This chicken marinade is a blend of garlic, herbs, olive oil, soy sauce, brown sugar, and Dijon mustard. Produce perfect marinated chicken every time, and you can use your chicken marinade for baked, broiled, broiled, or stir-fried chicken.

Preparation time: 5 minutes Cook time: 1 minute Marinating time 1 hour Total time: 6 minutes

Servings: 8 Calories: 128kcal


  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons dry Italian seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons of kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper


  • Put all ingredients in large bowl or resealable gallon bag.
  • If you use a bowl, beat to combine the ingredients. If you use a bag, seal the bag and shake to combine the ingredients.
  • Add 2-3 pounds of chicken, then marinate for at least 1 hour, or up to 12 hours.
  • Continue with the cooking method of your choice.


Calories :: 128kcal | Carbohydrates: 13 g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 696mg | Potassium: 119mg | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 15 IU | Vitamin C: 4.4mg | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 1.1mg

This post was originally published on April 10, 2019 and was updated on April 22, 2020 with new content.

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