Simple Marinade for Chicken

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This simple marinade for chicken on the grill is so easy to make and filled with bold flavors that create the most ultimate juicy and tender chicken. Lemon, garlic, balsamic vinegar, so much more create this savory recipe.

Slices of chicken on white plate

Who loves chicken that is just full of flavor and incredibly tender? This marinade is made with a handful of simple ingredients that really transform any type of chicken.

Perfect for grilling, barbecues, parties, or just simple dinners, this simple olive oil marinade for chicken is an easy weeknight recipe you’re probably going to want to keep around.

Two chicken breasts on white plate with lemon wedges after marinating in simple marinade for chicken

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Easy to make: With just a few simple steps, you’ll have a delicious marinade prepared in no time. Citrus and robust flavors create the ultimate combination for seasoned chicken.
  • Delicious: The outcome of this chicken recipe is incredibly tender and juicy. Perfect for salads and sandwiches, too!
  • Versatile: You can use this simple marinade recipe for chicken thighs, breasts, wings, drums, and so much more. The ingredients are pretty easy to swap out, too!
Chicken on white plate with lemon and fresh herbs

What Goes Into Simple Marinade for Grilling

This recipe uses just a handful of simple ingredients that are easy to prepare and definitely cost effective. You’ll need: olive oil, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, honey, lemon, dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, salt and pepper, and chicken breasts.

How do you make chicken marinade from scratch?

COMBINE THE INGREDIENTS: In a bag, combine olive oil, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, honey, lemon juice and zest, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, salt, and pepper.

MARINATE: Marinate the chicken for at least 4 hours, but no more than 24 hours in the refrigerator.

COOK: Preheat the grill to 375°Fahrenheit. Place chicken on grill and cook until the internal temperature reaches 165°F. 

SERVE: Remove chicken from the grill and allow it to rest for 5-10 minutes. Serve as desired.


  • Let you chicken rest after you cook it. This is important because the juices settle back into the meat rather than all of the plate— we want the chicken juicy, not dry!
  • The leftovers are great on a salad! You can also pair this chicken with  rice, steamed veggies, quinoa, etc. 
  • Don’t overcook the chicken. We recommend removing the chicken at 162°F and letting it rest to 165°F. 
  • Make this chicken in the oven: Bake at a preheated oven at 450°F for about 15 minutes.
  • Cook the chicken in a skillet on the stovetop: Cut the chicken breast in half so it’s thinner and will quick quicker.
Can marinade be used as sauce?

Sure! Just combine all the marinade ingredients into a saucepan and boil for about five minutes. You can use it as dipping sauce for any of your main proteins!

Why do you marinate chicken?

Marinade is used to create chicken that is moist and rich in flavor. While marinating, the chicken absorbs all the flavors it’s submerged in. 

How can I marinate chicken quickly?

You can cut the chicken up into smaller chunks and place it into the marinade this way. This method allows it to have a smaller surface area.

How do I store this recipe?

Store this chicken recipe in the refrigerator for up to three to four days.

Can I make this marinade in advance?

Of course! Just be sure to refrigerate it.

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Simple Marinade for Chicken
Prep Time
1 d
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
1 d 20 mins

This simple marinade for chicken on the grill is so easy to make and filled with bold flavors that create the most ultimate juicy and tender chicken. Lemon, garlic, balsamic vinegar, so much more create this savory recipe.

Course: Chicken, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chicken marinade healthy, simple chicken marinade for grilling, simple lemon marinade for chicken
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 412 kcal
Author: Countryside Cravings
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 large lemon juice and zest
  • 3 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
  • 6 cloves garlic minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 chicken breasts large
  1. In a large ziploc bag combine all the marinade ingredients. Be sure to zest your lemon first before squeezing out the juice. Add in the chicken and seal tightly. Marinate in the refrigerate for 4-24 hours.
  2. TO COOK: Preheat grill to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Clean and oil the grates. Place chicken on grill and cook until you have and internal temperature of 165°F. The cooking time will vary depending on the grill but this usually takes 15-20 minutes on my grill.

  3. When you have reached and internal temperature of 165°F, then remove chicken from grill, loosely tent with foil and let rest for 5-10 minutes. Serve as desired.

Nutrition Facts
Simple Marinade for Chicken
Amount Per Serving
Calories 412 Calories from Fat 135
% Daily Value*
Fat 15g23%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Trans Fat 1g
Cholesterol 145mg48%
Sodium 1149mg50%
Potassium 946mg27%
Carbohydrates 17g6%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 15g17%
Protein 49g98%
Vitamin A 78IU2%
Vitamin C 5mg6%
Calcium 34mg3%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the information shown is just an estimate.

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