The BEST Chicken Marinade Recipe

Look no further for the Best Chicken Marinade recipe ever! This easy chicken marinade recipe is going to quickly become your favorite go-to marinade! This marinade produces so much flavor and keeps the chicken incredibly moist and outrageously delicious – try it today!

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Look no further for the Best Chicken Marinade recipe ever! This easy chicken marinade recipe is going to quickly become your favorite go-to marinade! This marinade produces so much flavor and keeps the chicken incredibly moist and outrageously delicious - try it today!


For many years now I have been perfecting my chicken marinade recipe and it’s finally exactly what I want. I love this easy chicken marinade recipe because it quickly transforms an ordinary chicken breast (or any other cut of chicken) into something extraordinarily delicious – just in time for dinner. It really is the BEST chicken marinade ever!

I keep chicken breasts on hand at all times because there is just SOO much you can do with a chicken breast…(Make sure to check out my book for ONE HUNDRED chicken recipes!)

Chicken breasts frequently go on sale, and when you’re trying to eat sensibly for dinner so you can enjoy that Peanut Butter Caramel Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookie Bar for dessert, chicken breasts are a good way to go.


I love to make up a big batch of grilled chicken and this recipe is great for that. It has enough marinade for about 6 large chicken breasts or 3 to 4 pounds of chicken pieces.

After enjoying this chicken with a couple of sides for dinner..I like to add it to my favorite salads for lunch the next few days. The chicken just gets better and better!


This recipe couldn’t be simpler. Just whisk together a bunch of ingredients together in a large bowl (I used my large Pyrex measuring cup for easy pouring) and pour over the chicken in a large ziploc bag.

Now, in the recipe I say a minimum of 4 hours for marinating….I’m being overly optimistic there. I’ve marinated the chicken for as little as 30 minutes and the chicken was still phenomenal. Basically, the longer you have to marinate the better but don’t worry if you don’t have a lot of time.


When you’re ready to go, grill the chicken over medium-high heat until cooked through. I like to baste the chicken with the leftover marinade for optimal flavor. You can also bring the remaining marinade to a boil, reduce to a simmer and let cook until reduced for a tasty sauce to pour over the chicken. Soo good!

Look no further for the Best Chicken Marinade recipe ever! This easy chicken marinade recipe is going to quickly become your favorite go-to marinade! This marinade produces so much flavor and keeps the chicken incredibly moist and outrageously delicious - try it today!

I sure do hope you give this BEST Chicken Marinade recipe a try soon so you can enjoy it all summer long!


The BEST Chicken Marinade
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Look no further for the Best Chicken Marinade recipe ever! This easy chicken marinade recipe is going to quickly become your favorite go-to marinade! This marinade produces so much flavor and keeps the chicken incredibly moist and outrageously delicious - try it today!
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 6 servings
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar (or other vinegar)
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
  • ⅛ cup lemon juice
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 2 tbsp Dijon or Spicy Brown mustard
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 6 chicken breasts or 3.5 lb chicken
  1. Combine all ingredients, except for chicken, in a large Pyrex measuring cup or mixing bowl and whisk together.
  2. Remove a half a cup of marinade and reserve for basting the chicken later.
  3. Place chicken in a large, ziploc bag and pour marinade over the top. Close securely.
  4. Marinate for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours.
To grill
  1. Preheat grill to medium high heat and lightly oil the grates.
  2. Remove the chicken from the marinade, letting the excess drip off.
  3. Grill chicken for 5 to 6 minutes on each side or until cooked through.
  4. Baste the chicken occasionally with the reserved marinade.
  5. Remove chicken from grill and tent with foil. Let chicken rest for at least 5 minutes before serving
  1. If you bring the reserved marinade up to a boil, let simmer until slightly reduced, it makes a wonderful sauce to go on top of the chicken.
I've marinated my chicken for as few as 30 minutes and the chicken was still phenomenal. Basically, the longer you have to marinate the better but don't worry if you don't have a lot of time.

Look no further for the Best Chicken Marinade recipe ever! This easy chicken marinade recipe is going to quickly become your favorite go-to marinade! This marinade produces so much flavor and keeps the chicken incredibly moist and outrageously delicious - try it today!

Winner, winner chicken dinner!


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  1. This is great! I love making extra so there is leftover chicken for lunches or other dinners later.

  2. I am 100% going to use this every time I make chicken!

  3. Beautiful recipes, Trish. Thank you.

  4. I think I just found dinner! I love marinated chicken breasts and this looks amazing!

  5. Sounds tantalizing! I always try to find new ways to make chicken as well – it is a go to, do a million things with type of food. I will have to try this one out, it is very similar to a couple of the different things I’ve come up with, but if you have it perfected…. :-)

  6. I love chicken breast and this seems like a very delicious marinade recipe to combine with chicken breast. I am going to prepare it tomorrow for my family.
    Thank You!

  7. Jeanne Zamutt says:

    Have you used this marinade and either baked or broiled in the oven???

  8. This looks delicious but I’m unsure whether you use boneless and skinless chicken breasts or breasts with skin and bone?

  9. Michaela says:

    Can I omit the sugar? Just started strict diet & bought all the ingredients :(

  10. J. Francis says:

    I didn’t see an answer to can it also be baked or broiled in the oven. We live in a condo complex & no grills allowed. I would think a 425°F oven would bake the chicken nicely, if not broiled.

  11. Just in time for barbecue season!! Thanks for the inspiration! Yum!

  12. Ron Mongeon says:

    anybody tried this recipe on beef? like marinating tri tip pieces with it…?
    I love trying marinades on different types of meat. <3

  13. Carolyn says:

    I would also like to know if you can bake the chicken as I don’t own a bbq grill. Thanks!

  14. Justine says:

    Can you use honey instead of sugar? If so, how much? Thanks!

    • mom24boys says:

      There is no reason to not use honey; it would easily be a swap for the brown sugar. However, I would use 1/2 cup honey and then taste and see if you like the balance. You can always add more honey if you think it needs it. I just find honey seems sweeter to me and so I just don’t use as much.

  15. Julie Do says:

    Agreed, the best chicken marinade. I tenderized the chicken breast until it was thin, added a teaspoon of cayenne pepper for some spice. I grilled it on a panini grill, reduced the sauce and slathered it on. SO delicious and juicy! So flavourful!

    • mom24boys says:

      my husband whipped this up to bring for a group bbq. He used Beaver brand Deli Mustard with horseradish and it was outstanding! I think that touch of heat, from hot pepper or horseradish really brings out the rest of the flavors without getting spicy.

  16. Just tried the BEST chicken marinade,it was awesome! Im not much of a chicken eater,but with this marinade i will eat it more often. THANKS!!! Lance

  17. Wonder if this would be good for pork??? I’m going to try it tonight. Fingers crossed 🐖

  18. Jolene Carrera says:

    Amazing marinade!! Only did 2 chicken breasts, but made the whole recipe for a marinade for a later use. Marinated about 6 hours then cooked down the marinade to use as a sauce to dip in. Yum!! I bet this would be good on pork too!!

  19. Loved this. Thanks

  20. What spice would you recommend instead of rosemary?

  21. Mirela Madslangrud says:

    It suppose to be that sour?

  22. Hello Trish,
    I made your marinade yesterday, exactly as your recipe reads. Put 12 chicken legs in a bag and 3 hours later barbecued them. My husband said this is the best marinade I have made to date. It was so delicious. It is not often one finds a recipe that doesn’t need to be tweaked. Thank you for sharing Trish.

    Nova Scotia

  23. This recipe has too much balsamic vinegar! If I made it again would decrease to 2 tablespoons. It over powered the marinade

    • mom24boys says:

      I have found balsamic vinegars really vary in strength from brand to brand and even season to season. You might have just had a strong vinegar.

  24. Savannah says:

    Tooooo many popups on your website.

  25. Shannon says:

    Hi Trish
    I agree-delicious marinade but I have a question. I made 2 chicken breasts last night and left 3 in the marinade to use tonight. When I checked today some of the marinade had congealed on the top layer and turned a different colour. I’m assuming this is from the oil… When I stir it it’s still the same rich colour although there are bits of fat in it that have congealed. Im assuming this would be still safe to eat? The raw chicken in the marinade has been kept refrigerated the whole time…

    • mom24boys says:

      You are right, that is the fat. Olive oil becomes opaque and thickens in lower temperatures. It is still perfectly fine to eat.

  26. Michele says:

    Made this today, It was SO good!! I will definitely be making this again. Thanks for sharing!!

  27. Can I bake the chicken instead of grilling it? :)

  28. Nathalie says:

    This has to be THE best marinated grilled chicken I’ve ever had! Because my chicken marinated in the fridge the whole time, I boiled the remaining marinade for 5 minutes and re-purposed it as a sauce. I bet this would work very well with pork too. :)

  29. mom24boys says:

    We had a “bring your own meat” potluck this evening at church. Hubster whipped up this marinade for 6 b/s-less chicken breast that he had butterflied for quicker cooking. It marinaded for about 4 hours. It came out fantastic and shared bites with several people who agreed. Of course, I gave them you wed addy for the recipe!

    Like someone else said in the previous comments, it’s not a completely new and different flavor or kind of marinade recipe but it is perfect the way it is. It did not need any tweeks (but I think it would be very forgiving with substitutions and tiny tweeks). I’m putting this in my husband’s recipe box for our go-to chicken and pork marinade.

  30. Carole Dube says:

    Thank you printing as I’m typing. I have to watch my iron intake and I have been eating lots of chicken trying all those new recipes. I will try this one and like you I like to use the left overs in my salads for lunch. My husband likes sauce on everything.

  31. Made this the other day on my boyfriends chicken for his weekly meals to take to work and it was AMAZING! He says its the best chicken he has ever had and has requested I use this every time I marinate chicken. I let it marinate for over 24 hrs so we really didn’t need the extra sauce to put on top because it provided plenty of flavor and the chicken was so juicy! The only thing I did differently this second time was cutting the recipe in half since we didn’t need the extra for sauce!

  32. This recipe sounds so great! I usually run out of time and just end up marinating my chicken breasts in Italian dressing. But this sounds totally worth trying. My family would love this.

  33. Alejandra says:

    Hi Trish! I RARELY review recipes but this one was so worth it! I was looking for a different way to make chicken and I stumbled across your recipe and tried it that same day. It was incredible and soooo flavorful! Iwas so hesitant about the amount of balsamic vinegar and soy sauce but followed the recipe to the T! Glad I did!!! 6 hours later, threw the chicken in the grill and oh mannnn I wish I had done more!!! My husband loved it too! lol So congrats! This recipe is a winner and it made me want to suscribe to try out more of your recipes!!!

  34. Can I cook my chicken on a skillet or oven? Will it still be the same??

  35. This looks absolutely delicious and I can’t wait to try it. Thank you so much! By the way, you have a very lovely blog!

  36. Read it
    Made it
    Ate it
    LOVED it

    Thanks for sharing! It was the Best!

  37. I halved the recipe but accidentally put the full 1/8 cup of lemon juice in.. is that OK ? It will just be more acidic tasting ?

  38. Lisa Martinez says:

    Loved this recipe! Very tasty and easy to make! Definitely a regular go to chicken dinner 😋!

  39. Wow I have used this marinade twice now and both times everyone raved about the chicken. I’ve used boneless chicken breasts as well as kabobs. I marinated approx. 24 hours and everything was very successful and went over well! Thank you so much for sharing!

  40. Paul Piotrowicz says:

    I have been making pretty much the same marinade except include a cup of pineapple juice mixed in for over 40 years. I got it from a receipe book that came with my first Weber grill. It was meant for steak tips but chicken works really well with it. Best marinade ever

    • Oh my gosh pineapple juice sounds like an amazing addition! I’m so going to try that! Thanks Paul!

    • Be careful with pineapple juice it will start to break down the chicken . Making it go all gross and mushy . Only add it right before cooking . I used a recipe once that had pineapple in the chicken marinade , it ruined the chicken .

  41. I made this yesterday. It was fabulous. Everyone loved it. Thanks for this recipe.

  42. Hi there, I skimmed through all of the comments and was yet to find an answer to the method of cooking questions – is it possible to alter the cooking instructions and bake this is in the oven rather than a grill? And if so, at what temp and for how long? Thanks! I can’t wait to try this :)

  43. Hi wondering what’s on top is that parsley? Please respond.

  44. Trish- when you say to baste with leftover marinade, do you put some aside before marinating the chicken, or are you basting out of the same bag the chicken was in? I’m always concerned about contamination if I baste from the same bag.

  45. Has anyone ever used this to marinate a steak?

  46. I love how succulent chicken looks with this marinade. drooling and pinning!
    Savita @ChefDeHome recently posted..By ChefDeHome- Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Penne Pasta

  47. So let me start by saying i SUCK when it comes to cooking, my family never eats what i cook. After i made this chicken they all said it smelled delicious so they decided to give it a try. Guess what? THEY LOVED IT. Even our cook is excited to try this recipe. THANKYOU SO MUCH!!

  48. Do you have to grill the chicken can it be made in the oven or crock pot…thank you

  49. Linda Jones says:

    Hi, I made your Best Chicken marinade and it is all you said it would be. Marinated my chicken for about 6 hrs. and grilled and served with rice. It was a GOOD meal. Moist and flavorful. I only had 1 tsp. of rosemary but it tasted great. At this point it tasted so good don’t think I’ll add the other teaspoon next time. Afraid it might change a good thing for at least us. Thanks, Linda

  50. I made this yesterday. It was fabulous. Everyone loved it. Thanks for this recipe

  51. Have you ever tried freezing in baggies after marinating? Or might an ingredient in the marinade begin to break down the chicken and make it mushy? Just thinking about making a large batch and freezing multiple bags at a time. Thanks for sharing!

    • Wondering if you had tried freezing the chicken with the marinade ? I was thinking the same thing, would sure be nice to have all done up in the freezer for when the weather turns nice . Something really good after a long day at work .

  52. No one has said about the vinegar. I don’t have the balsamicgoo vinegar.. can I use just white or Apple??

  53. Made this a couple of times. Delish!!
    stevie wonder recently posted..Happy 30th Birthday Wishes: Quotes and Messages & Pics 2017

  54. can you use this marinade to bake chicken

  55. Andrew McG says:

    This works really well, a great recipe that I’ve probably used at least 20 times now. Up to 8 hours marinating time is plenty, any more and I find it can taste a little sour, but 30 minutes to a few hours and it’s perfect. Thanks!

  56. Can I use to make chicken kabobs ?

    Also, Do you by chance have a steak kabob recipe?

  57. Well I made this for supper tonight .Because it’s to cold to BBQ here now I had to put it in the oven , 400F for 20-25 minutes was not even close to it being cooked . But closer to an hour it was cooked and tasted really good . I only made a couple changes used fresh rosemary and because I can’t do all that brown sugar , used 1/4 c brown sugar and 1/2 c honey . I was concerned about the smell about the vinegar while marinading it was fine when cooked . One thing I would try is using Maple syrup instead of brown sugar & honey next time . My MIL even agreed on that .

  58. This IS by FAR the absolute best !! I have made this a few times now and it IS A HUGE HIT !!!!! YUMMY !!!

  59. Jessica A. says:

    This marinade is amazing! My chicken was only marinated for about 15 min and the flavor was still awesome. Definitely recommend

  60. I had been wanting to try this recipe for months! I was short on time tonight and really needed to do something creative with 6 skinny fresh chicken breasts. So, I used my meat tenderizing tool on them, halved the marinade recipe, marinated them in the fridge for 30 minutes, then broiled them in the oven. AMAZING!!! Absolutely amazing! Can’t wait to try them on the grill next!

  61. Hi there, I made this and enjoyed it with my hubby about a week ago. We felt our balsamic was too strong however I assume it’s the brand we used. I just made six batches and canned them as gifts for all the women at my Easter dinner (a day away). I’m starting to panic a tad that it may not sit as a canned marinade okay, however I don’t see why not….
    Anyone know?
    (I have not added chicken just gifting as a marinade)

    • My only worry would be the mustard since that is the only refrigerated ingredient. Did you actually can them as in boil the contents or did you just put them in jars? That would probably make a big difference.

  62. Trying out this recipe but not sure what to serve it with, any recommendations? This looks sooo good, can’t wait to try it!

  63. My husband and I loved it! So flavorful. Left out the mustard as I didn’t have any. Doing again tonight!

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