Use this grilled chicken marinade to infuse your grilled chicken with juicy, delicious flavors. This is seriously the best grilled chicken marinade recipe!
Seriously the BEST Grilled Chicken Marinade
Say hello to the best grilled chicken marinade you’ll ever taste! It’s made with a few of our favorite things: balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, and garlic to name a few.
If you’re big into grilling like us, you know that having good marinades on hand is clutch because they infuse your meat with juicy flavors. Our steak marinade and pork tenderloin marinade are both ones to keep in your back pocket!
Why should I marinate my chicken before grilling?
So much flavor: when we say so much flavor, we mean it! This grilled chicken marinade recipe is basically a flavor bath for your chicken.
Saves time: in this recipe, we’re recommending that you marinate your chicken overnight, which will ultimately save you time when you’re ready to cook.
Juicy + tender chicken: speaking from experience, your grilled chicken is going to come out so juicy and tender.
What You Need
Alright, let’s chat about what this chicken marinade is made from. The flavors are savory and a bit tangy, perfect for any cut of chicken!
- balsamic vinegar
- olive oil
- dijon mustard
- lemon juice
- lemon zest
- minced garlic
- red pepper flakes
- salt and pepper
Cuts of Chicken to Use
Good news! You can use pretty much any cut of chicken for this grilled chicken marinade. Use around 2-lbs. of the following:
- Grilled chicken breasts
- Grilled chicken thighs
- Grilled chicken Legs
- Grilled chicken wings
How to Marinate Chicken Breast for Grilling
Making this chicken marinade is easy and can be done in less than 5 minutes.
- Mix: measure out all of your ingredients and place them into a medium bowl. Whisk together to combine.
- Transfer ingredients: transfer marinade into a gallon-size plastic or baking dish and submerge the chicken. Make sure it’s all covered in the marinade.
- Marinate: marinate for around 12-18 hours for best results. If you’re short on time, we suggest no less than 2 hours.
How long should I marinate grilled chicken?
We recommend marinating your chicken for 12-18 hours for the best results. If you’re short on time, we recommend no less than 2 hours. The longer you marinate your chicken, the more flavorful it will be.
Can I over-marinate chicken? We don’t recommend marinating your chicken for more than 24 hours if the marinade has either vinegar or citrus in it because your chicken could come out tough.
How to Grill Marinated Chicken
Once your chicken has marinated for 12-18 hours, it’s time to grill it! We have a thorough guide on how to grill chicken here, but here’s a quick refresher.
- Remove Moisture: First things first, remove your chicken from the package and then use a paper towel to blot as much moisture out of it as you can.
- Flavor: Next, use this grilled chicken marinade recipe to marinate your chicken for 12-18 hours.
- Grill: Preheat your grill (gas or charcoal) to around 400ºF. We know that grill temps fluctuate, so don’t freak out if it isn’t exact! We’ve found that 400ºF is the perfect temp for grilled chicken. Hot enough to get you gorgeous grill marks, but not too hot to dry out your chicken. Grill your chicken for around 7-8 minutes over direct heat, flip, and grill for 8-10 more minutes. PS: this is for a 6 oz. chicken breast!
- Internal Temp: You know your chicken is completely cooked once it reaches an internal temperature of 165ºF. We use a meat thermometer for this, that way you don’t take any risks in eating raw chicken. You can learn more about cooking here from this great article by the USDA.
- Let Rest: What is rest time? After you remove the chicken from the grill and it sits, it will continue to cook to the final temperature. We recommend letting your chicken rest for at least 5 minutes so that you can ensure it reaches at least 165ºF to destroy any bacteria.
Best Grilled Chicken Marinade
- 1.5 - 2 lbs. chicken we used breasts
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoon Worcestershire
- 2 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1.5 tablespoons minced garlic
- ⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Place balsamic vinegar, olive oil, Worcestershire, honey, dijon, lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper into a medium bowl.
- Use a whisk to mix everything together until combined.
- Transfer grilled chicken marinade into a large baking dish or gallon-size bag and then add chicken.
- Submerge the chicken into the marinade and make sure it's covered in marinade.
- Place into the fridge to marinate for 12-18 hours for best results (no less than 2 hours).
- When you're ready to grill your chicken, follow the instructions in our grilled chicken recipe post.
Tips & Notes
- Nutrition information is for just the marinade.
My kiddo, who says he doesn’t like chicken, LOVES this chicken marinade. 1st time I made it I was only able to marinade about 2 hours and even that was such good flavor. It’s our new go-to marinade recipe for summer grilled chicken.
We’re so happy to hear your kiddo loves this marinade, Nancy!