The BEST 5 Flavorful Chicken Marinades for Grilling

Gluten Free

These 5 Chicken Marinade recipes make flavorful, juicy and tender chicken every time. Cook the best grilled chicken with tips on how long to marinate, the best grilling methods and how to know your chicken is done but NOT dry! 

the best 5 flavorful chicken marinades for grilling in ziplock bags

Easy Chicken Marinades for Grilling

One of the MOST asked questions I receive on my blog and on social media is.. 

“Do you have any marinades you use for chicken or vegetables?” 

And the answer is yes! Today I am sharing 5 of my favorite chicken marinades for grilling. I use them mostly on chicken, but you could definitely use them on vegetables if you want! 

How do you make a chicken marinade?

When making a chicken marinade, there are a few things I always keep in mind. I want to include an acid to help tenderize the meat, herbs to flavor and an oil to help coat the chicken. Every one of these marinades has a tangy, sweet, acidic and savory component. You NEED each and every one of these when creating a flavorful marinade. It’s like an umami of flavor!

How long do you marinate chicken?

When marinating anything the general rule is, marinate for at least 30 minutes but overnight is always better. Here are a few tips when it comes to marinating chicken: 

  • For a faster marinade: You can score meat before marinating. Doing this helps the marinade penetrate deeper. Just prick the surface of the chicken a few times with a fork or a knife then add to the marinade. Marinate for 30 minutes for a fast marinade.
  • Coat Everything: I always make sure that when my chicken is in the marinade I toss it around to make sure every square each of that chicken is coated with the marinade and even during the marinating process. After all, you don’t want just one side of the chicken getting flavor.

The BEST 5 Flavorful Chicken Marinades in jars

Can you marinate chicken too long?

Surprisingly, yes! I usually don’t go past 1 full day of marinating in the refrigerator. When you have a marinade with an acid component, like vinegar or citrus juice, it can actually make the meat tougher and denser. Which is why I don’t buy pre-marinated meats! Just saying!

How do you keep chicken moist on the grill?

The best way to keep your chicken juicy instead of drying out is two fold. Infuse it with marinade and don’t overcook it. Duh! One of the best things you can invest in is a meat thermometer! I use this one, and I love it! It has the option to select different meats (beef, lamb, fish, chicken, etc) and gives you the doneness temperature for each! It’s amazing! No more dried out chicken! EVER!

How do I grill chicken on the grill?

  1. Preheat your Grill: I like to make sure my grill is around 375-400°F when grilling chicken.
  2. Generously oil your grill grates. I either spray my CLEANED grill grated with a cooking spray like this or I soak a old rag with oil (avocado, olive or vegetable). Then using tongs, rub the drenched rags along the grill grates. Doing this will ensure the chicken doesn’t stick to the grill grates. 
  3. Grill Chicken: Place marinated chicken breasts on the grill. I like to grill my chicken for a total of 10 minutes, usually 5-6 minutes per side. After 10 minutes I start checking the internal temperature of the chicken, once is reaches 165°F it’s done.
  4. Let it Rest: Once chicken reaches 165°F, remove it from the grill and let it rest for at least 5-10 minutes before cutting it. This part is key! When the chicken is being grilled it seizes up and all the juices come to the center. As it rests, you’re allowing all those juices to be redistribution to the rest of the chicken leaving you with one juicy chicken breast.

closeup of The BEST 5 Flavorful Chicken Marinades for Grilling

Can I freeze chicken in marinade?

YES! Honestly, that’s the best part about this marinades! I made all 5 of these marinades in one day and froze 3 of them! Here’s how you do it:

  1. Add chicken to a freezer-safe storage bag and pour the marinade over the chicken. Remove all the air from the bag and seal. Using your hands move the chicken around to make sure they are all coated. Label the container with the contents and date.
  2. Place storage bag in freezer, try to arrange the freezer so that the bag is as flat as possible. Freeze for up to 3 months.
  3. To thaw: Remove bag from the freezer and thaw on a plate in the refrigerator overnight. After it’s thawed, remove the chicken from the marinade and discard the marinade.

I worked hard on all 5 of these recipes. They have been tested, re-tested and approved as the Best Chicken Marinades for Grilling around! I tried to make sure that I had enough variety and I think I did it!

You have a Teriyaki Marinade, Honey Sriracha Marinade, Sweet Balsamic Marinade, Cilantro Lime Marinade and a Zesty Greek Marinade. I cannot wait to hear what you think!

Bon Appetit friends!

ingredients for teriyaki chicken marinade

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ingredients for teriyaki chicken marinade

Teriyaki Marinade

  • Author: Krista
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 cup 1x
  • Category: Condiments
  • Method: Mix
  • Cuisine: Asian

Description

A gluten free Teriyaki Marinade for Chicken that’s sweet, salty and slightly tangy from the rice wine vinegar.

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Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup tamari sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

  1. To a medium bowl add tamari sauce, brown sugar, honey, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, garlic, ground ginger, sesame seeds and black pepper. Using a whisk, mix until well combined.
  2. Add chicken to a large storage bag and pour marinade over chicken.
  3. Marinate for at least 1 hour. (always better if it marinates overnight)

Keywords: teriyaki marinade, chicken marinade for grilling, chicken marinade recipes, teriyaki chicken recipe, teriyaki chicken marinade

honey sriracha marinade for chicken

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honey sriracha marinade for chicken

Honey Sriracha Marinade

  • Author: Krista
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1/2 cup 1x
  • Category: Condiment
  • Method: Mix
  • Cuisine: Asian

Description

If you like heat, then this Honey Sriracha Marinade will be your jam. Made with honey, sriracha, clove, ginger and garlic – it has the perfect asian twist with a punch of spice!

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Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 3 teaspoons sriracha
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground clove
  • 1 garlic clove, minced

Instructions

  1. To a medium bowl add honey, olive oil, lime juice, sriracha, ground ginger smoked paprika, ground clove and minced garlic. Using a whisk, mix until well combined.
  2. Add chicken to a large storage bag and pour marinade over chicken.
  3. Marinate for at least 1 hour. (always better if it marinates overnight)

Keywords: honey sriracha sauce, honey sriracha marinade, honey sriracha chicken, chicken marinade for grilling, chicken marinades, chicken marinade recipes

sweet balsamic marinade for chicken

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sweet balsamic marinade for chicken

Sweet Balsamic Marinade

  • Author: Krista
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1/2 1x
  • Category: Condiments
  • Method: Mix
  • Cuisine: Italian

Description

This classic is one of the most used marinades out there – made with sweet balsamic, fresh herbs, garlic, dijon mustard and olive oil for one simple but flavorful bite. 

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Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • salt & pepper

Instructions

  1. To a medium bowl add balsamic vinegar,  dijon mustard, thyme, rosemary, garlic, salt and pepper. Whisk together until combined.
  2. Slowly add in olive oil, whisking the entire time until the mixture is emulsified. (when the oil and vinegar no longer separate)
  3. Add chicken to a large storage bag and pour marinade over chicken.
  4. Marinate for at least 1 hour. (always better if it marinates overnight)

Keywords: balsamic marinade, sweet balsamic marinade, balsamic marinade for chicken, balsamic chicken marinade, how to make balsamic marinade, chicken marinade for grill, chicken marinade recipe

cilantro lime marinade for chicken to grill

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cilantro lime marinade for chicken to grill

Cilantro Lime Marinade

  • Author: Krista
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1/2 cup 1x
  • Category: Condiment
  • Method: Mix
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Description

A simple yet fresh Cilantro Lime Marinade to brighten up your chicken and tenderize it at the same time – made with lime juice, fresh cilantro, garlic and cumin!

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Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 garlic clove, minced

Instructions

  1. To a medium bowl add lime juice, olive oil, cilantro, ground cumin, salt and garlic cloves. Whisk until well combined.
  2. Add chicken to a large storage bag and pour marinade over chicken.
  3. Marinate for at least 1 hour. (always better if it marinates overnight)

Keywords: cilantro lime chicken, how to make cilantro lime chicken, cilantro lime marinade, chicken marinade for grilling, chicken marinade recipe

greek marinade for chicken to grill

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greek marinade for chicken to grill

Greek Marinade

  • Author: Krista
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1/2 cup 1x
  • Category: Condiment
  • Method: Mix
  • Cuisine: Greek

Description

A zesty Greek Marinade filled with oregano, basil, dijon mustard and red wine vinegar for a tangy herbaceous punch you’ll love!

Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. To a medium bowl add garlic, oregano, basil, dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper. Whisk until combined.
  2. Slowly pour olive oil into bowl, whisking the entire time until the marinade is emulsified. (when the oil and vinegar no longer separate)
  3. Add chicken to a large storage bag and pour marinade over chicken.
  4. Marinate for at least 1 hour. (always better if it marinates overnight)

Keywords: greek chicken, greek marinade for chicken, greek marinade recipe, greek chicken recipe, chicken marinade for grilling, chicken marinade recipe

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Krista
Hi! I'm the recipe developer and food photographer behind all these easy healthy recipes! I love food, Jesus, morning lattes, and am obsessed with fantasy football! { more }
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