We really think this is the best chicken marinade recipe for the great flavor it adds!

With an easy combination of ingredients you likely have on hand, this grilled chicken marinade guarantees juicy, tender, and flavorful chicken every time!

With a slight hint of sweetness with a bright tangy and salty flavor, this is sure to be the go-to recipe for every time chicken is on the menu.

The Best Chicken Marinade on chicken

The Best Chicken Marinade

  • It’s so easy to create your own marinade for chicken using this basic recipe!
  • Tailor the herbs and spices to your liking or add some to bbq sauce to make a savory glaze!
  • Make the marinade in advance so the flavors can blend and allow plenty of time for the chicken to marinate.
  • Shake it up and use it on any recipe for chicken breasts, drumsticks, thighs, or wings!
  • Add chicken marinade to pieces before freezing so it’s pre-seasoned and ready to cook. Simply thaw and grill!
Chicken Marinade and seasonings over chicken breasts

Chicken Marinade Ingredients

  • Acid – This recipe uses red wine vinegar and a bit of lemon juice as the acidic components which help break down the meat making it more tender (be sure not to marinate too long!).
  • Fat – We prefer vegetable oil or avocado oil over extra virgin olive oil as it has a neutral flavor.
  • Salt & Sugar- Soy sauce adds salt, and umami (and helps the exterior of the chicken brown a little bit). Brown sugar adds a hint of sweetness but also caramelizes well on the grill.
  • Flavor – Garlic powder (or fresh minced garlic cloves) and herbs or spices with a bit of Dijon add great flavor.  


  • Vinegar – Switch the red wine vinegar for balsamic, apple cider vinegar, or lime juice in place of the lemon.
  • Sugar – Brown sugar can be replaced by honey or maple syrup.
  • Flavors – Sprinkle in a little basil, parsley, rosemary, and red pepper flakes in place of Italian seasoning mix. Try a bit of lemon zest or fresh herbs if you have them.
Chicken Marinade and seasonings over chicken breasts in a bowl with parsley

How to Make Chicken Marinade 

  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl or freezer bag.
  2. Marinate chicken in the refrigerator between 1 and 6 hours (as per the recipe below).
  3. Discard used marinade.

Serve this chicken over salad or tuck it into a bun to make grilled chicken sandwiches!

Quick Tips

  • Keep fresh marinade in a jar with a tight-fitting lid for a few days.
  • You can use this on bone-in or boneless chicken breasts or chicken thighs.
  • Marinate in a bowl, freezer bag, or baking dish. Do not marinate in a metal bowl or container.
  • If you have extra (unused marinade!), add a little to veggies before grilling or your other favorite side dishes for a punch of flavor.
  • Use this chicken marinade to season chicken whether it’s pan-fried on the stovetop, grilled, or baked.
  • Cook marinated chicken breasts on the grill until a meat thermometer reaches 165°F, about 7-8 minutes per side. Let the chicken rest before serving.

More Marinade Recipes We Love

Did your family love this easy Chicken Marinade? Leave us a comment and a rating below!

The Best Chicken Marinade on chicken
4.97 from 198 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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The Best Chicken Marinade

This easy marinade makes the perfect juicy chicken and can be tailored to suit any meal!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 4
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  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts


  • cup vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder


  • Combine all marinade ingredients in a small bowl or a freezer bag.
  • Add chicken and marinate at least 1 hour or up to 6 hours.
  • Grill, bake, or broil as desired.

To Grill Boneless Chicken Breasts

  • Preheat grill to medium-high heat and cook chicken 7-8 minutes per side or until internal temperature reaches 165°F.
  • Rest 3-5 minutes before serving.


  • Keep fresh marinade in a jar with a tight-fitting lid for a few days.
  • This is enough marinade for up to 2lbs of chicken, the recipe can be doubled.
  • You can use this on bone-in or boneless chicken breasts or chicken thighs.
  • Marinate in a bowl, freezer bag, or baking dish. Do not marinate in a metal bowl or container.
  • If you have extra (unused marinade!), add a little to veggies before grilling or your other favorite side dishes for a punch of flavor.
  • Nutrition information is an estimate for 1 tablespoon of the marinade as most of the marinade will be discarded.
  • Nutrition information does not include chicken as this can be used on bone in or boneless chicken with or without skin.
4.97 from 198 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 52 | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 0.3g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 134mg | Potassium: 43mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 9IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 11mg | Iron: 0.4mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Chicken, Dressing, Sauce
Cuisine American
chicken with The Best Chicken Marinade and writing
marinating chicken in The Best Chicken Marinade with finished dish and writing
close up of The Best Chicken Marinade on chicken with a title
close up of The Best Chicken Marinade with chicken in a bowl with a title


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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Recipe Rating


  1. Thank you for this recipe! Its SO good! It has been so helpful to find a recipe that is quick and full of flavor for a working mom. I use this marinade multiple times a week. My husband says it tastes like restaurant quality and loves it too!5 stars

    1. We use an average 5-7oz chicken breast (about 1.5lbs total) however there is enough marinade for 2lbs of chicken if needed.

  2. i just want to start this by saying i have literally never left a review on a recipe on any website ever but this chicken marinade is so good, i had to give it a review. this is literally the BEST chicken marinade ever. the chicken falls apart every time and is so juicy and full of flavor after marinating for only an hour. i cut our worcestershire because i never have it in my house but i typically just put an extra splash of soy sauce. turns out perfect every time.5 stars

    1. Sarah, thank you so much for coming back and leaving a review, I appreciate it! I’m so glad you’ve loved this recipe!

  3. Absolutely delicious on boneless chicken breasts . Best grilled boneless I ever made ! Can’t wait to make this marinade with bone in thighs .5 stars

  4. Excellent! So easy my kids measured and prepared with me! Thank you!!! Printed this for our family favorite! We did not have red wine vinegar so substituted with balsamic vinegar. Delicious!5 stars

  5. For meal prep purposes… With this recipe, have you tried to you marinate the chicken and then freeze? Thank you!

    1. Hi Bria, we haven’t tried freezing this recipe, but it should work well. Just make sure you give the chicken enough time before freezing or after thawing to marinate before cooking :)

  6. This was perfect! Nice and salty but the brown sugar really balances it out.

    The only slight difference was I used olive oil as opposed to vegetable oil. I think olive oil marinates better. Just my opinion!

    Great recipe!5 stars

  7. worked great, but i beg to differ on using boneless skinless chicken

    does this tast different on wings, legs, thighs, bone-in breasts?

    probably best to leave the type of chicken out of marinade, or is this a recipe ?

    just sayin

    1. Hi Dave, you can use this marinade on any chicken. But if using boneless chicken breasts we have included grilling instructions for the perfect marinaded chicken breast!

  8. I just drooled a little! This sounds like a perfect combination of spices and seasonings for the chicken. Can’t wait to try!5 stars

  9. Wow, this sounds like such a tasty marinade for chicken! I am definitely going to be giving it a try.5 stars

  10. Yum! I need to try this. I regularly make chicken breasts to use for our son’s sandwiches and he’s been asking for more variety. the brown sugar here would make it a winner I suspect!5 stars

  11. I cooked the chicken breasts on medium high heat for the time allotted for the coming but the center is still raw and the chicken partially burnt!1 star

    1. So sorry to hear that Franco. As per the directions, you will want to make sure the chicken cooks to an internal temperature of 165°F to ensure it is not raw in the center.

    1. Hi Debby, we recommend marinating for a maximum of 6 hours. If you marinate chicken too long, the acids can break down the fibers in the meat.

  12. This is my new go-to marinade. My picky family loves it. Use mostly when I’ve done bone-in thighs & legs in oven. Comes out juicy & full of flavor. Delish!!!!5 stars