Best Chicken Marinade Recipe – An easy chicken marinade that comes together in minutes for the best grilled chicken or baked chicken you’ve ever tasted!

For years now, we’ve used this simple grilled chicken marinade that I quickly throw together when grilling chicken. It uses ingredients that you’ll most likely have on hand. If not, I urge you to buy them the next time you are at the grocery store, along with your favorite cuts of chicken and make it! It makes the perfect marinade for the BEST grilled chicken I’ve ever had!

Best Grilled Chicken Marinade Recipe - Grilled Chicken recipes are always a crowd-pleaser. This easy grilled chicken marinade recipe will become a favorite! // addapinch.com

Best Chicken Marinade Recipe

Years ago, we made grilled chicken legs using this marinade when my sister-in-law Karen, her husband Todd, and their three boys were on an RV trip with us. I knew that our son loved it and hoped that their boys would as well. We won’t even talk about how much chicken we got all of the kids to eat…so let’s just say they loved it as much if not even more than I’d hoped!

Best Grilled Chicken Marinade Recipe - Grilled Chicken recipes are always a crowd-pleaser. This easy grilled chicken marinade recipe will become a favorite! // addapinch.com

In all seriousness, I’ve not fed anyone chicken made with this marinade that hasn’t loved it.

How to Make Chicken Marinade

I originally just included this recipe in with my grilled chicken legs recipe that I shared a long time ago. It makes such juicy, delicious grilled chicken breasts and works for baked chicken too! Since I have requests for this recipe so often, I thought it deserved it’s own little spot in the world.

Chicken Marinade Ingredients

To make this, you’ll need:

  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Cumin
  • Paprika
  • Cayenne
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Fresh parsley
  • Beer, ginger ale, apple cider (not apple cider vinegar), or apple juice
Best Grilled Chicken Marinade Recipe - Grilled Chicken recipes are always a crowd-pleaser. This easy grilled chicken marinade recipe will become a favorite! // addapinch.com

I rarely cook with beer, but it definitely adds something to this chicken. For the beer, I would recommend using whatever beer you prefer. I usually use Corona or Yeungling, but any beer that you prefer will work. If you can’t use beer or prefer not to, I’ve included a couple of other options that I’ve tested in the recipe below for you.

  • Ginger Ale
  • Apple Cider
  • Apple Juice
Best Grilled Chicken Marinade Recipe - Grilled Chicken recipes are always a crowd-pleaser. This easy grilled chicken marinade recipe will become a favorite! // addapinch.com

Step-by-Step Instructions

Stir. Stir together all of the ingredients in a medium mixing bowl.

Pour. Then pour the marinade over the chicken in a large zip top or other airtight container. If using a zip top bag, press as much air as possible out of the bag as you seal.

Chill. Make sure that all of the chicken is well coated with the marinade. Arrange in the refrigerator and chill for at least an hour.

Best Grilled Chicken Marinade Recipe - Grilled Chicken recipes are always a crowd-pleaser. This easy grilled chicken marinade recipe will become a favorite! // addapinch.com

How Long to Marinate Chicken:

  • At least 1 hour
  • No longer than 2 days

If I’m using a ziptop bag, I place it on a half sheet pan in the refrigerator for at least an hour, but hopefully overnight so the chicken has plenty of time to soak up all that goodness.

Every few hours, I’ll turn the bag from one side over to the other to keep the chicken coated with the marinade.

Can I Freeze Chicken in this Marinade?

Yes! It works perfectly to freeze chicken in this marinade. Here are the steps.

Package. Place chicken into freezer-safe container and pour over the marinade. Make sure that all of the chicken is well coated. Remove as much air as possible as you seal the container. Label the container with the contents and date.

Freeze. Arrange in the freezer so that the container is as flat as possible. Freeze for up to 3 months.

Thaw. Remove from the freezer and thaw in the refrigerator overnight. After it’s thawed, then remove the chicken from the marinade and discard the marinade. Finally, cook the chicken according to your favorite chicken recipe.

What Chicken Recipes Can I Use With This Marinade?

You can use this recipe with many of your favorite chicken recipes! We love it for our grilled chicken as well as for our simple baked chicken!

Best Grilled Chicken Marinade Recipe - Grilled Chicken recipes are always a crowd-pleaser. This easy grilled chicken marinade recipe will become a favorite! // addapinch.com

Here’s The Best Chicken Marinade Recipe. I hope you love it as much as we do!

The Best Chicken Marinade Recipe

Best Chicken Marinade Recipe – Chicken recipes are always a crowd-pleaser. This easy  chicken marinade comes together in minutes for juicy, tender chicken every time. 
4.84 from 136 votes

Review Recipe

Print Recipe

Prep Time10 mins
Chilling Time1 hr
Total Time10 mins
Servings: 2 cups
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Author: Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • 3 tablespoons chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 1/2 cups beer, ginger ale, apple cider, or apple juice

Instructions

  • Pour olive oil into a 2-cup liquid measuring cup.
  • Mix together salt, pepper, paprika, cumin, and cayenne pepper and add to olive oil. Add garlic, onions, and parsley. Mix together well with a fork. Slowly add beer as it will cause the mixture to foam and bubble slightly.
  • Pour marinade over the chicken in the zip top bag. Remove as much air as possible from the bag and seal. Turn the bag from side to side to make sure all chicken has been coated with the marinade.
  • Place the bag flat on a small, rimmed kitchen sheet pan and into the refrigerator. Allow to sit up to 1 hour or overnight for best results, turning the bag over every few hours to keep the chicken coated.

Notes

Marinade works best for about 5 pounds of chicken.
Have you made this recipe?Tag @addapinch on Instagram or hashtag it #addapinch

Enjoy!
Robyn xo

Best Grilled Chicken Marinade Recipe - Grilled Chicken recipes are always a crowd-pleaser. This easy grilled chicken marinade recipe will become a favorite! // addapinch.com

From the Add a Pinch recipe archives. Originally published 2012.

Robyn Stone

..where I share sweet, savory and southern recipes, as well as home and garden tips and tidbits of travel.

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711 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. Hey Robyn, your recipes reach a lot of people. I’m a French Canadian from Montreal and I grilled 4 huge chicken breasts tonight with your marinade. I made it for my son, his girlfriend and myself and it was to die for. His girlfriend doesn’t like spicyness so after marinating the chicken, I removed most of the marinade before grilling. I had doubled your marinade recipe and went heavy on the spices. So I had quite a bit of marinade left to make a nice spicy sauce, just added 2 tbs of cornstarch and boiled the marinade for 2 to 3 minutes to be on the safe side. His girlfriend ate the chicken without the sauce and my son and I with the sauce. My son loved it so much that he went back to get sauce to pour over his rice. He already prepared the last chicken breast with the sauce for his lunch at work tomorrow. This is the first time I’ve been on your web site and I would just like to say thank you!

    1. Richard, thank you. I’m so happy this marinade worked so well for you and that everyone loved your chicken. I hope you find many more recipes here that you enjoy!

  2. It was my turn to make dinner and I chose this. My husband, the marinade master, asked what I did. He was VERY impressed. I’ve never impressed him with marinades before!
    Thanks for that!

    1. Annie, don’t you just love it when you impress your husband with a recipe? I’m so glad you both loved this marinade.

  3. EXCELLENT! I used ginger ale and it turned out great. My whole family loved it, including one picky eater grandson. I’ve already added it to my electronic recipe book, and will definitely make it again. THANK YOU!

  4. I am in charge for Saturday dinner at the cottage. Bringing chicken parts, skin on drums, boneless, skinless thighs and wings. When should I put them in the marinade? We are leaving Thursday a.m.

    1. JCB, the chicken should marinate at least 1 hour but no longer than 2 days. I would put them in the marinade on Saturday.

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