Come get saucy with me and these chicken marinades.
Marinades really only need a minimum of three things: fat, acid, and seasonings.
Fats can be anything from buttermilk to olive oil or butter.
The fat in a marinade helps transfer seasonings that are fat-soluble and keeps the meat moist.
Acids break down connective tissue. The more they are broken down, the more tender the meat will be.
You can get acid from citrus fruits, vinegar, or even Greek yogurt.
Seasonings handle all of the flavor in a chicken marinade. The sky’s the limit with this part.
Customize the seasonings to whatever type of marinade you’re making.
This list of 13 chicken marinades will give you a little taste of everything from benign to borderline bizarre.
Either way, they’re all fantastic. So let’s dig in!
1. Cilantro Lime Chicken Thighs
Cilantro lime chicken thighs are the perfect grilling season kick-off meal.
The flavors of cilantro and lime are bright and fresh and the chicken is super juicy.
This marinade is made with cilantro, lime zest, olive oil, cumin, chili powder, salt, and pepper.
It’s a tangy and herbaceous flavor combo that can’t be beat.
I love this recipe because you can enjoy these chicken thighs as they are.
You can also use them for tacos, quesadillas, or in a bowl-style dish. It’s a versatile dish that doesn’t cut corners on flavor.
2. Chipotle Chicken
This copycat Chipotle chicken recipe is so crave-able and delicious. Plus, it will save you some money!
The marinade for this recipe is more of a wet rub. It’s made with chipotle, ancho chile peppers, olive oil, and a few other spices.
The chicken comes out full of flavor and perfectly tender.
Just like the restaurant, you can use this chicken for tacos, burritos, bowls, or even quesadillas. All you need now is that phenomenal guac.
3. Greek Chicken Marinade
This Greek chicken is a deliciously light and fresh flavored marinade.
The secret to the perfect chicken. Greek yogurt ensures that the meat stays tender and juicy.
I love this Greek chicken for its lemon and garlic flavors. Add a dash of oregano for another layer of fantastic flavor.
The yogurt is just another cooking trick that works tremendously.
The acid from the yogurt breaks down connective tissues in the meat and makes it extra tender.
I love to serve this chicken with rice pilaf, grilled veggies, and some pita bread.
4. Coca Cola Chicken
This is one recipe that I never thought I would make. The idea of using Coca-Cola on chicken sounds insane, but it’s actually insanely good.
This marinade uses only four ingredients: Coca-Cola, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, and salt and pepper.
It’s acidic and sweet and so yummy when it cooks down into a sauce. The coating gets sticky and sweet, and it has so much flavor.
This recipe can be served with almost any side. I love serving it with creamy mashed potatoes and a salad.
5. Delicious Chili Garlic Chicken Wings
I love these chili garlic chicken wings. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoy a classic buffalo wing.
But these flavors are more subtle without lacking in flavor. These wings have a spicy kick and a savory garlic flavor.
These chicken wings are also topped with marinated scallions that take this game-day favorite to champion status.
The scallions are mixed with strong flavors like garlic, ginger, and lime juice. It’s an absolute game-changer.
These wings are sure to be enjoyed whether it’s just dinner with the family or a game-day meal.
6. Tandoori Chicken
Traditionally, Tandoori chicken is cooked in a Tandoor, which is a cylindrical oven made out of clay.
This chicken is very popular in Indian restaurants, but now you can make it at home.
This chicken is super moist, tender, and juicy thanks to the delicious marinade.
Tandoori chicken is made with a yogurt marinade to keep the chicken really tender. The spices used are so scrumptious and flavorful.
7. Teriyaki Chicken Marinade
Teriyaki chicken is a favorite in my house. It’s like an Asian-style BBQ chicken. It’s tangy and sweet with a little bit of a smoky flavor from the grill.
The teriyaki marinade is made with honey, soy sauce, and vinegar as the base.
Then, add minced garlic and ginger for a pop of flavor. Finally, brown sugar and sesame oil bring it all together.
I’m a big fan of freezing this chicken as suggested.
You can make the marinade and add it to your chicken when you get home from the store.
Freeze the chicken and sauce together so that they marinate while they’re defrosting.
I love to serve this with stir-fried veggies and some rice. It’s a quick and easy meal that everybody loves.
8. Baked or Grilled Honey Mustard Chicken
Dijon mustard and honey are the stars of this chicken marinade.
The two flavors together are perfectly balanced and delicious.
Chicken is an awesome base for these flavors but this marinade also tastes wonderful with salmon.
This recipe is simple but has tons of flavor. It’s tangy, sweet, and garlicky.
This honey mustard chicken is perfect with any side dish and can be baked in the oven or grilled on the barbecue.
9. Italian Marinated Chicken
Italian marinated chicken is a delicious take on a basic grilled chicken recipe.
This marinade is made with a ton of fantastic ingredients including garlic powder, oregano, basil, and lemon.
It has bright and fresh flavors that are super pleasing.
This chicken is best served with veggies like broccoli or Brussels sprouts. You can also serve it with some fluffy bread and a tasty salad.
10. Balsamic Chicken
Balsamic vinegar is one of my favorite ingredients to work with lately.
I love that it can be prepared in both sweet and savory dishes.
It has a natural sweetness to it, but the deep tangy flavors also make it a spectacular savory ingredient.
The marinade gets reduced into a sticky, flavor-packed sauce while the chicken cooks. This dish is absolutely superb!
11. Chicken Fajita Marinade
Chicken fajitas are a really yummy way to change up the normal chicken dish for the week.
This marinade is full of Mexican flavors like cumin, garlic, chili powder, and paprika.
These fajitas also have a bright hint of lime. Just layer the chicken into a tortilla with more of your favorite fajita ingredients.
This recipe makes a fantastic taco Tuesday recipe that the whole family will enjoy.
12. Healthy Grilled Pineapple Chicken
This chicken is marinated in a sauce similar to a Hawaiian BBQ sauce.
It has really great sweet and tangy flavors that will have you coming back for more.
The juicy and sweet pineapple adds the perfect amount of sweetness to this recipe. Since they’re grilled, they have a hint of smokiness.
13. Jerk Chicken Marinade
Jerk chicken has really strong flavors. I love the Caribbean flair that it has and it’s always a hit.
This jerk recipe includes lime, ginger, garlic, and soy sauce.
It also calls for a scotch bonnet pepper, which is known to be about 40 times hotter than a jalapeno.
This jerk chicken packs a huge punch of spice but it’s worth it!
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