Six Healthy Chicken Marinade Recipes For Easy Dinners

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Chicken marinade recipes take plain, boring chicken breasts and turn them into a delicious meal that leaves a taste sensation in your mouth.

Chicken marinades are excellent because they can be prepared in advance and then stored away in the freezer or fridge for future use, saving you plenty of time when you’ve had a long day at work and don’t want to get stuck in the kitchen.

Perfect for those summer BBQs with the family, added to your favorite pasta dish, or simply served with some fresh vegetables and potatoes, chicken marinades are versatile and can be used to elevate any dish.

Store-bought marinade sauces often come packed with preservatives, so making your own at home gives you not only a fresher and tastier marinade but one that is also healthier and more nutritious.  

If your looking for your own quick and easy, healthy chicken marinade recipes then you’ve come to the right place! In this article, we have put together a list of six healthy chicken marinade recipes that are easily made in no time at all. We have also included some useful tips that will help you prepare, store and use your marinades.     

Anyway let’s not waste any more time, let’s get stuck on the list!

Chicken Marinade Tips

Marinating Time

Chicken should be marinated for at least 30 minutes. This ensures that all the flavors have soaked into your chicken. Having said that as long as you wrap the chicken up and keep it covered in the refrigerator there’s no reason it can’t be left for up to 24 hours. 

In most cases, we would recommend you let your chicken marinate overnight but if you don’t have the time 30 minutes to an hour is perfectly fine.

Storing Your Chicken Marinades

You should use freezer bags when storing your marinated chicken. These bags will let you safely store the chicken away for use at a future date without contaminating any other food.

If you are only refrigerating your chicken marinades, you can use a glass container or Tupperware box instead. 

Defrosting the Chicken Marinades

When defrosting anything it is a good idea to remove it from the freezer the night before you want to use it. This is no different from your chicken marinades.

The best way to defrost the marinades is to remove them from the freezer before placing them in a bowl of water in the fridge. This helps defrost the marinades quicker.

Meals for Marinated Chicken

Your marinated chicken can be used in a variety of ways. They go excellently well on the barbeque, in dishes with vegetables and potatoes, slow-cooked meals, and a lot of delicious plates of pasta. 

Using Raw Chicken

Raw chicken is a food that has to be handled with care. Chicken can cause salmonella poisoning.

As a result of this always wash your hands well before and after touching the chicken and whatever you do, don’t try to reuse and remaining marinade. The marinade that is leftover has been in contact with raw chicken, unfortunately, it has to be thrown away.

Labeling the Chicken Marinades

When making a batch of chicken marinades it is important that you get into the habit of labeling every single bag. On each label, you should write what type of marinade is in the bag, when it was made, and the date it needs to be used.

By doing this when you go to the freezer to get a marinade out, you know you will be grabbing the marinade that needs using first. This will reduce waste and make your food taste even better. 

Barbecue Chicken Marinade

Barbecue chicken goes well in a range of tasty meals. The most obvious thing to do with your BBQ chicken is to grill it on the BBQ for your burgers.

It must be said though this chicken also tastes wonderful in creamy chicken pasta, with roasted vegetables, and with some mango couscous. 

Instead of using chicken breast with this recipe, you could also use chicken wings. With this recipe, it’s fair to say your BBQ chicken wings will impress everyone at the next family get-together.


  • 2lbs chicken breast

  • ½ cup barbecue sauce (low in sugar)

  • ¼ cup Maple Syrup or honey

  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar

  • ½ Tbsp chili powder


  • Barbecue chicken marinade is made with barbecue sauce, honey/syrup, apple cider vinegar, and chili powder. Add this to a bag of some chicken breasts.
  • Once added together and mixed the marinade can be placed in the freezer. You can leave the marinade in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Ginger Sesame Chicken Marinade

Inspired by traditional Asian cuisine this quick and simple recipe is full of flavor. The rich soy sauce lends itself nicely to the garlic and onion to create a beautiful taste with a hint of spice. 

This marinade goes really well with rice, vegetables, and noodles. You will fall in love with this chicken marinade if you put it in a stir fry.

The ginger sesame chicken is also an absolute delight when done in a slow cooker. The packed with flavor chicken falls apart in your mouth. 


  • 2 Tbsp Sesame oil

  • 1 minced garlic clove

  • 3 green onions sliced

  • 1 Tbsp minced ginger (about ½ inch)

  • ¼ cup soy sauce (dark or light, it depends on your personal preference)


  • To make this marinade mix sesame oil, garlic, green onions, ginger, and soy sauce together with your chicken. Once mixed together place in the freezer or fridge until you are ready to use it.

Teriyaki Chicken Marinade

This mouthwatering Japanese masterpiece can easily be served in a tasty vegetable stir fry, alongside some noodles, in a fresh salad, or with grilled vegetables and rice.

If you have more time on your hands and fancy something a bit more unique you could serve this marinade with some tempura vegetables, sticky mushrooms, or some Asian-style eggplant. 


  • 2lbs chicken breast

  • ¼ cup soy sauce (dark or light to suit your taste)

  • ¼ Maple syrup or honey

  • ½ cup olive oil

  • 2 minced garlic cloves

  • 1 Tbsp ground ginger

  • Pepper (to taste)

  • Salt (to taste)


  • To make the teriyaki chicken marinade add chicken breasts with soy sauce, honey, olive oil, flour, minced garlic, ground ginger, salt, and pepper to the freezer bag. After this is done give the bag a good shake to make sure all the ingredients are nicely mixed together. 
  • Once this is done the bag can be placed in the fridge or freezer. If you decide to keep this chicken marinade in the fridge, it must be used in 2 days. If the marinade is kept in the freezer you have up to 3 months to use it. 

Basil Balsamic Marinade

This chicken marinade can be added to some very quick and easy meals that taste wonderful. One of the best things to have this chicken with is tomatoes and mozzarella.

The three ingredients come together brilliantly to create a light, fresh, and more importantly tasty meal.  

Other meals you can make with this marinade include refreshing salads and vegetable chicken dishes. We must also mention how nice this chicken marinade tastes when the chicken has been grilled. Give it a go and see what you think!


  • 2lbs chicken breast

  • 3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

  • ¼ cup olive oil

  • 1 Tbsp sea salt

  • 2 minced garlic cloves

  • 1 Tbsp dried basil


  • By adding olive oil, balsamic vinegar, minced garlic, dried basil, and salt to your chicken you can easily create this rich-in flavor marinade. This is another marinade that can be left in the freezer for up to 3 months or in the fridge for 2 days.

Hawaiian Chicken Marinade

The Hawaiian chicken marinade gives the chicken a sweet flavor that almost tastes refreshing. Balanced well with the grated ginger, soy sauce, sriracha, and garlic, this marinade is the perfect blend of sweet and spicy elements. 

Remember you can store this marinade in the fridge for 2 days or in the freezer for 3 months.

This chicken marinade is versatile in the way it can be served with a range of nutritious, healthy meals. The

Hawaiian chicken marinade goes well with a light Caprese salad, with sticky noodles and stir-fried vegetables, or new potatoes and roasted vegetables. 

Grill this chicken marinade if you want to experience the full flavors. You won’t be disappointed.


  • 4 chicken breasts

  • ¼ cup pineapple juice

  • ¼ cup brown sugar

  • ¼ cup reduced dark or light soy sauce

  • 2 Tbsp ketchup

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1Tbsp grated ginger

  • 1tsp sesame oil

  • 1tsp sriracha (optional)

  • 2Tbsp cilantro leaves 


  • To make the Hawaiian chicken marinade add your choice of chicken with pineapple juice, soy sauce, sesame oil, brown sugar, ketchup, garlic, grated ginger, sriracha, and cilantro, and mix it all together in a bag before putting it in the freezer.  

Fajita Chicken Marinade

When making your fajita chicken marinade if you like more spice in your chicken then you might want to add a little extra chili powder. This will give your chicken that little bit of extra heat if that’s how you like it. 

This marinade is always a crowd-pleaser. The popular flavors will make it a big hit with your family. You can use the marinade in a number of classic dishes and also in some more unique, yet easy-to-make meals.

The most common meal this chicken marinade is used in is obviously the Mexican fajita dish. Slice the chicken up into strips before wrapping it in a tortilla wrap with some sour cream, salsa, cheese, and bell peppers to make the perfect Mexican-inspired feast. 

Another tasty and easy-to-make meal that you can have your fajita chicken marinade with is to grill the chicken first, before serving it with sauteed bell peppers and cauliflower rice. This dish is healthy and very tasty. 


  • 3lbs chicken breast

  • ½ cup vegetable oil

  • 2 Tbsp Maple syrup or honey 

  • 2 Tbsp Chili powder

  • ½ tsp Black pepper

  • ½ tsp Paprika

  • 2 tsp garlic powder

  • 2 Tbsp lime juice


  • Fajita chicken marinade is made using vegetable oil, honey, chili powder, black pepper, paprika, garlic powder, and lime juice. Mix this with your chosen choice of chicken to make a delicious marinade that has a little bit of a kick.


Making chicken marinades is a quick and easy way to make an easy dinner that is healthy and nutritious. There are so many different flavors you can make and enjoy in so many different meals.

By making a batch of marinades and storing them in the freezer you make your life a lot easier. If you know you have a long day at work coming up simply lift the marinade of your choosing out of the freezer the night before.

Then when you get in that night all you need to do is grill your chicken and serve it with some vegetables, rice, or in a stir-fry. 

There are so many marinades out there that you just have to try and make some. We have listed 6 delicious ones for you here, so now it’s over to you. With these recipes at your fingertips get out there and get trying these marinades out. 

How Can I Cook My Chicken?

There are a few different ways in which you can cook your marinated chicken. You can pan-fry it, bake it in the oven, and grill it on the barbecue.

Below you will find some help regarding each way of cooking the chicken marinades.

Grilling Chicken


  • To grill chicken on the barbecue first heat the barbecue to medium heat. Once this is done place the chicken on the grill and cover it for 5 minutes.
  • After 5 minutes flip the chicken and let it cook until the meat is no longer pink and the juices run clear.

Pan-frying chicken


  • Heat a frying pan over medium heat with cooking oil. When the pan is hot enough add your chicken. 
  • Cook the meat for 3-4 minutes, flip it over and cook for a further 3-5 minutes.
  • Check the meat is cooked by using your thermometer and checking for a pink color.

Baking chicken


  • To bake your chicken preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the chicken on a baking sheet or aluminum foil and then place it in the oven for 20-25 minutes.
  • The chicken will be cooked if the meat is no longer pink and the temperature is 165°F. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Internal Temperature Should Chicken Be Cooked To?

According to USDA the safest internal temperature to cook any type of poultry at is 165°F. This is the internal temperature that the meat will be at when it is removed from the heat.

If you don’t already own one, you should invest in a food thermometer so you can check your food to see if it is at the correct temperature.

To check the temperature of the meat pokes the thermometer into the thickest part of the meat. If the reading isn’t high enough turn the heat up and leave the chicken in for longer. 

Do You Have To Use Chicken Breasts With The Chicken Marinades? 

No, you don’t have to use chicken breast with the chicken marinades. These marinades can be used with any cut chicken whether it be on the bone, drumsticks, wings, or the breasts.

You might want to use the barbecue chicken marinade with chicken wings instead of the breast to impress your friends at your next BBQ. It really doesn’t matter which chicken you choose as long as you make sure it is cooked properly. 

Just keep in mind that different types of chicken take longer to cook than others. 

What is a Marinade?

A marinade is a variety of ingredients mixed together to add flavor to your meat. In every marinade, you will find fat, acid, and flavor boosters.

The fat is normally found in the oil in the case of these marinades in olive oil and sesame oil. The acid is usually found in the vinegar or juices for example pineapple juice or balsamic vinegar.

Finally, the flavor booster is usually added in the form of herbs, spices, and garlic. 

By adding all three of these elements together along with some tender meat you can create wonderful flavors in a matter of minutes. 

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