Skip to Content

Easy Marinade for Chicken

Please share

This flavorful marinade for chicken is a great way to take your dinner to the next level. Once you are ready the marinated chicken is great cooked on the grill, in the oven or even in a slow cooker.

Dinner plate with marinated chicken and pasta salad.

Chicken is such a dinnertime staple and for good reason. It is affordable, versatile and is generally popular with the family.

Letting chicken soak in a tasty marinade for a few hours lets the flavor soak in and makes cooking it easy. You can even toss the chicken in the marinade the night before to enhance it even more and keep the prep super simple.

This chicken marinade requires just a handful of ingredients you likely already have in your pantry and spice cabinet. It will be ready for the chicken in just a few minutes.

I like to let my chicken soak in a 9×13″ pan because it’s easy and reusable. If you are planning to bake the chicken, just pull out the pan about 20 minutes before you plan to bake it to take the chill off.

That will give the oven plenty of time to preheat and get ready. Then all you have to do is whip up a veggie and starchy side while it cooks.

We like buttered noodles or rice and sautéed or roasted vegetables. During the summer roasted zucchini and tomatoes would be a great option, or caprese quinoa salad. During the fall butternut squash risotto would be a great side dish.

Tips for prepping ahead

As I mentioned earlier, this recipe is pretty flexible making it great for busy nights. You can throw the marinated chicken in the refrigerator the night before and it will be ready to cook when you are ready to eat.

Pan of baked marinated chicken.

You can also toss the chicken and the marinade in a freezer bag and put it in the freezer. Pull it out and put it in the refrigerator the night before you plan to eat it to allow it to thaw and you will be ready to go.

In fact, make one for now and freeze one for later. That way you only have to think and prep once and you get a couple of meals.

Cooking your chicken

The recipe card includes directions to bake the chicken. You can also cook the chicken on the grill.

Just take the chicken out of the marinade and grill it over medium heat until it reaches an internal temperature of 165F. You know it is going to be juicy and delicious.

Freshly baked chicken breast ready to eat.

You could also toss the chicken and marinade in the slow cooker. Cook on low for 6-7 hours.

You could serve it whole or shred it and make sandwiches out of it. The possibilities really are endless!

Frequently Asked Questions

How long should you marinate chicken?

You can let your chicken soak in marinade for up to 24 hours. It is best to let it marinade for at least an hour, but even 15 to 30 minutes will help to give the chicken more flavor.

Should you poke holes in your chicken to marinate?

It is not necessary to poke holes in your chicken before you marinate it. However, if you are in a hurry and can’t let it soak long, you can poke some holes in the chicken with a fork to give the marinade easier access.

More great chicken recipes

Sweet, salty and umami collide in slow cooker sesame chicken. Serve it over rice for a flavorful and easy weeknight meal.

Bring the flavors of Greece to your grill.  Lemon yogurt chicken is marinated and then grilled.  It comes off juicy, tender and full of flavor.

Golden chicken breast on plate with pasta.

Tequila lime chicken has all of the flavor of your restaurant favorite and it stays so juicy and flavorful. Fire up the grill for Cinco de May or any day of the week!

Cheez-It chicken strips coat chicken tenders in crushed cheese crackers for an upgraded baked chicken finger experience. They are super easy and fun with your favorite dipping sauces.

Or whip up some cranberry baked chicken. It is another great sweet, savory and tangy option.

Did you make this recipe? Please leave a review in the recipe card.

Dinner plate with marinated chicken and pasta salad.

Marinated Chicken

Servings: 5 Servings
Author: Carlee
This flavorful marinade is a great way to take your chicken to the next level. Once you are ready the chicken is great cooked on the grill, in the oven or even in a slow cooker.
5 from 10 ratings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes


  • 2 Tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon warm water
  • Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 5 chicken breasts


  • Stir together brown sugar and warm water. Then add Worcestershire sauce and lemon juice until the sugar is mostly dissolved.
    2 Tablespoons light brown sugar, 1 teaspoon warm water, 1½ Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • Add everything but the chicken and mix to combine.
    ⅓ cup olive oil, 2 teaspoons minced garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon ground black pepper, ½ teaspoon onion powder, ½ teaspoon paprika
  • Put chicken in a 9×13" pan or plastic bag. Add marinade.
    5 chicken breasts
  • Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
  • Preheat 425°F.
  • Bake chicken for 30 minutes, then flip and continue to bake for for 5-10 minutes or until the chicken reaches 165°F. Alternatively, grill the chicken over indirect heat until it comes to temperature.



Serving: 1ServingCalories: 349kcalCarbohydrates: 6gProtein: 37gFat: 19gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 102mgSodium: 565mgSugar: 5g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“Cooking With Carlee” is not a dietitian or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

Loved this recipe?Please consider rating it and saving on Pinterest.

Please share

Recipe Rating


Wednesday 7th of July 2021

Looks really good! Just a little sweet with my favorite spices for meat.


Wednesday 7th of July 2021

It adds big flavor without much work.

Andrea Nine

Wednesday 7th of July 2021

Sounds like the perfect marinade, especially for Summer.


Wednesday 7th of July 2021

Thank you!