Best Grilled Chicken Marinade Recipe is an easy marinade recipe that will add zesty citrus flavor to your meal. Use this marinade recipe to make tender and juicy chicken every time. It's so delicious!
Looking for an easy weeknight dinner option? We've got you covered. This grilled marinated chicken is a great addition to so many meals. We love to have it in our Copycat Olive Garden Asiago Tortelloni Alfredo. It's also great in salads, pastas, sandwiches, tacos, burritos, you name it!
Bonus: This easy marinade recipe also makes a great flank steak marinade.
Everybody's Favorite Marinade
This recipe is also known as Big Ed's Marinade. And it's hands down everybody's favorite marinade recipe around here.
This zesty marinade recipe was developed by our friends/family Big Ed and Mary Jo and has been served at countless summer BBQ's and family gatherings ever since.
It's simply best marinade for chicken or flank steak EVER. Thanks Big Ed and Mary Jo! 💜
Here's What You Need
- corn oil - or any neutral flavored oil like canola oil or olive oil will do.
- lemon juice - fresh squeezed is best.
- green onion - use green tips and slices all the way down into the white.
- garlic - use fresh garlic.
- dried oregano
- salt - kosher salt
- ground black pepper
- dried thyme
- dried rosemary
- boneless skinless chicken breasts - This recipe works with any cut of chicken like boneless chicken thighs, legs, or tenders.
See recipe card for ingredient amounts.
- medium mixing bowl
- gallon resealable bag
- liquid measuring cup
- measuring spoons
- chef's knife
- cutting board
How to Make It
Combine Ingredients. Add all ingredients to a gallon resealable bag, squeeze out the air, and seal the bag.
Marinate. Marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes up to 10 hours.
Grill. Grill over direct heat (medium-high heat) for 6 minutes on each side until internal temperature reaches 165°F when checked with a meat thermometer.
We recommend using a fast and accurate, instant read thermometer like the Thermapen® ONE to check temps.
Rest 5 Minutes. Let it rest for 5 minutes before slicing into it so that the juices reabsorb into the meat. That way, the meat stays juicy instead of the juices running out onto the cutting board or plate.
Slice. Slice the meat against the grain. This will aid the tenderness of the meat.
Substitutions: A Guide To Marinades
Change Up the Flavors. Get creative with your flavors and make your own perfect marinade using your own combination of simple ingredients. Here are some ideas to get you started.
Oil - Use any neutral flavored oil. Common examples include canola oil, vegetable oil, or corn oil. Olive oil and avocado oil may impart a more pronounced flavor of their own.
Acid - Acidic ingredients like citrus or vinegar tenderize meat but can also "cook" the meat. So limit the marinating time to under 10 hours. Citrus juice like lemon juice, lime juice, or orange juice are common acids used in marinades. As are vinegars like balsamic vinegar, white vinegar, champagne vinegar, or apple cider vinegar.
Salt - Don't forget the salt!
Protease - Tenderizes meat by breaking down the protein. Good examples of proteases are soy sauce, ginger, or pineapple juice.
Fresh Herbs - Fresh herbs give a bolder flavor than dried herbs. Try few sprigs of rosemary, thyme, oregano.
Dairy - Great meat tenderizer. For super tender meat without using oil, soak it in buttermilk or greek yogurt for 30 minutes.
Meal Prep Tip
Store prepped bags of marinated meat in the freezer to take out as needed for easy weeknight dinners. Thaw a bag in the refrigerator overnight and it'll be ready to cook the next day.
This recipe for the Best Chicken Marinade also makes a great marinade for flank steak, too!
A marinade is a liquid mixture of ingredients in which fish, poultry, beef, or other meat is soaked for a period of time in order to infuse flavor and tenderize the protein.
The 3 main ingredients of a marinade are oil, acid, and salt and/or protease. Herbs are often added for flavor, as well.
Marinate chicken for 30 minutes up to 10 hours.
We love to use this recipe for the Best Grilled Chicken Marinade in our Copycat Olive Garden Asiago Tortelloni Alfredo. It's also great in salads, pastas, sandwiches, chicken tacos, burritos, you name it!
Store sliced, cooked meat in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer.
It's as easy as that. Make this easy chicken marinade at your next family gathering for the most flavorful chicken. People will be asking you for this recipe! Try it and let us know how you like it. We'd love to hear from you!
xo ~ Seanna
Easy Weeknight Dinners
More Dinner Ideas
- Oven Baked Chicken Wings - Perfect easy party food recipe for the big game. People go wild for these tasty wings.
- Classic Chicken Salad - Delicious classic flavors.
- Instant Pot Chicken Soup - Same comforting soup made in a fraction of the time.
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Best Grilled Chicken Marinade Recipe
- medium mixing bowl
- gallon resealable bag
- 1.5 cups corn oil
- 1 cup lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon green onion chopped
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ¼ teaspoon dried rosemary
- 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- Combine Ingredients. Add all ingredients to a gallon resealable bag, squeeze out the air, and seal the bag.
- Marinate. Marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes up to 12 hours.
- Grill. Grill over direct heat for 6 minutes on each side until internal temperature reaches 165°F.
- Rest 5 Minutes. Let the grilled meat rest for 5 minutes before slicing into it so that the juices reabsorb into the meat. That way, the chicken stays juicy instead of the juices running out onto the cutting board or plate.
- Slice. Slice the meat against the grain. This will aid the tenderness of the meat.
SubstitutionsChange Up the Flavors. Feel free to get creative with your flavors. Just remember to substitute oil for oil, citrus or vinegar for acid, and herbs galore. Try a little chopped jalapeno for spice. Fresh Herbs: Sub in fresh herbs for the dried herbs. A few sprigs of each, up to a small handful in total will be just right.
VariationsMakes a great marinade for flank steak, too!
Top TipsHow long to marinate? Marinate the meat for a minimum of 15 minutes up to 10 hours in the refrigerator. Meal Prep Tip. Plan ahead for easy weeknight dinners by prepping bags of marinating meat and storing them in the freezer to take out as needed. Thaw a bag in the refrigerator overnight and it'll be ready to cook the next day.
Freezing and Storage.Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer.
Use In Various Recipes.Grilled marinated chicken is a great addition to so many meals. We love to have it in our Copycat Olive Garden Asiago Tortelloni Alfredo. Its also great in salads, pastas, sandwiches, tacos, burritos, you name it!
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I love the easy to follow directions, explanations, and flavorable results!
So happy to hear! 😊
Seanna! This is the best marinade ever...thank you for sharing your family recipe with us. It's now my go-to favorite, and so easy. A total keeper!
Thanks so much Lisa! That means a lot coming from you!
We've been eating healthier and found this chicken marinade! It's absolutely amazing and so flavorful.
Oh thank you so much Jessica! I am so happy you like it! We're trying to eat healthier over here too!
Awesome flavor for chicken or flank steak!
Thank you!! I'm glad you like it. You've sure been eating it enough lately!