Tired of flavorless, dry, and tough chicken? Then let your raw chicken marinate in this easy grilled chicken marinade before cooking. Each piece of chicken will soak in the delicious flavors of this honey based sauce, and turn out moist and flavorful after it's cooked!
Grilled Chicken Marinade Recipe
Before I learned how amazing marinated chicken was, I always thought it was just an unnecessary extra step in the cooking process. But, now I almost don't grill chicken without it! I especially don't like to grill chicken that hasn't sat in a marinade.
This grilled chicken marinade is so easy to make and truly creates the most tender and juicy chicken.
I love to throw some chicken into this marinade and let it do it's magic. Then I cook it on the grill and serve it over a bed of crunchy fresh lettuce, or on it's own with simple sides like brown rice.
And yes! You can use this marinade even if you don't have a grill. Just cook the chicken over medium-high heat with any method you want and it will turn out perfect.
Why You'll Love this Recipe
Trust me, marinating chicken is the way to go. Once you try it, you'll see what all the hype is about!
- Grilled chicken marinade is great for meal prep! You can throw the ingredients together on a busy day and then allow the chicken to marinate all day.
- Making your own marinade is great if you have any dietary restrictions or if you like to keep an eye on ingredients that you consume.
- Most of these ingredients are things you likely already have on hand. An easy recipe to throw together at the last minute. With simple steps to follow too!
These key ingredients are all you need to make this easy honey mustard chicken marinade:
- lemon juice
- white wine vinegar
- dijon mustard
- olive oil
- dried rosemary
Substitutions and Variations
Make a different flavor profile by adding things like fresh garlic, fresh herbs, onion powder or garlic powder. Lime juice would make a tasty honey lime chicken marinade.
Add a more savory flavor with a splash of soy sauce or Worcestershire sauce.
Want this marinade to be a little spicy? Mix in a little chili sauce or hot sauce.
If you don't have white wine vinegar, you can substitute another vinegar its place. The flavor will change, but you can use red wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or balsamic vinegar.
Avocado oil is a great substitute for extra virgin olive oil.
How to Make Grilled Chicken Marinade
It isn't difficult to make a great marinade! Just a few easy steps and minimal effort you can complete this simple recipe in no time. Here's what you'll need to do:
Grab a small bowl or a large glass measuring cup and make sure it's completely clean.
Pour honey, vinegar and lemon juice into the bowl first and stir well.
Then add dijon mustard, dried rosemary, salt and olive oil to the honey mixture.
Whisk the marinade ingredients together until thoroughly combined and evenly mixed together.
Then use the marinade for boneless skinless chicken breast, pork chops, chicken tenders, boneless chicken thighs, fish or any other type of meat you want to use.
How to Marinate Chicken
First, reduce the thickness of the chicken breast by slicing them in half or beating them slightly with a meat mallet. This will help ensure the chicken stay juicy and tender after it's cooked.
Place the chicken into a large mixing bowl and pour one cup of marinade over it. Reserve the rest of the marinade to use as a dressing if you plan to serve your chicken over salad.
Season the raw chicken and then allow it to marinate in the fridge for 1 to 24 hours.
Don't do more than that, or the citrus in the vinaigrette will begin to turn the meat. You can, however, prepare the marinade ahead of time and only add the chicken to it when you are ready to start the marinating process.
Grilling Marinated Chicken
Ready to grill?! Me too. Let's get started.
Once you've reached your desired marinating time, preheat the grill to 400°F (20°C) Fahrenheit.
Then place the marinated chicken onto the hot grill and use a basting brush to coat each piece in marinade that is leftover in the bottom of the bowl.
Grill chicken for about 3 minutes then flip and continue cooking for 4-5 more minutes. Use an instant read meat thermometer to check the internal temp of each piece of chicken.
Once the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C), pull the chicken off of the grill. Let it rest for 5 minutes then slice and serve!
How to Store Grilled Chicken Marinade
Place leftover chicken pieces into an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. You can also freeze this tender and moist chicken for up to 3 months. Allow to thaw overnight before reheating.
To reheat, place chicken on the stovetop in a hot skillet or in the microwave. You can reheat in the oven as well! Make sure the reheat to a safe internal temperature.
Store this great marinade in an airtight container, like a mason jar, in the fridge for a couple of weeks. Give it a good shake before using it as a marinade or a salad dressing.
Uses for Grilled Chicken Marinade
Not only can you marinate chicken in this, you can use it as a salad dressing. Grilled chicken salad is a tasty way to include both uses in one dish! Or, drizzle it on top of a strawberry spinach salad.
You can marinate pork chops in this sweet and tangy marinade too! Then throw them on the grill to maximize the flavor.
Feel free to use this marinade on any type of chicken you want; chicken wings, chicken legs, chicken thighs, tenders, chicken breast, even a whole chicken.
Tips for Success
To a cocktail shaker filled with ice
- Don't have a grill? Cook this tasty chicken in a skillet, casserole dish, air fryer, or any of your other favorite cooking methods.
- The longer you marinate, the more layers of flavor the chicken will have. One hour is the recommended minimum, but I highly encourage you to let it sit longer.
- Since this is a honey and citrus based marinade, keep an eye on the grill while the chicken is cooking. There is a possibility for some flare-ups and you don't want the chicken to burn!
Marinades are typically made from three different basic ingredients. A successful marinade will have an acid (like vinegar), an oil, and then finished with spices. So, a good base for a marinade would be any variation of these ingredient!
It is not necessary to poke holes in the chicken before marinating it, but it's also not a bad thing to do! Using a fork or knife to poke some holes into the chicken will just help get the marinade deeper into the chicken. If you'd like the flavor to seep into more layers, then poke a couple holes in the chicken before seasoning it or placing it into marinade.
More Marinade Recipes
- Chicken Fajita Marinade
- Lemon Chicken Marinade
- Grilled Shrimp Marinade
- Cilantro Lime Chicken Marinade
If you make and love this recipe, please leave a ★★★★★ review below! It means so much to me when you try my recipes, and I'd love to know how it goes. Please leave a comment below if you have any questions.
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 ½ teaspoons white wine vinegar
- ½ cup olive oil
- 1 ½ tablespoons Dijon mustard
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1 to 1.5 pounds boneless chicken breasts
- 1 cup chicken marinade
Make the marinade
- Add honey, lemon juice, and white wine vinegar to a mixing bowl and combine.
- Then add Dijon mustard, oil, salt and rosemary to the bowl and whisk until combined.
- Use immediately or store for later.
Marinate the chicken
- Reduce the thickness of the chicken breast by slicing them in half or beating them slightly with a meat mallet. (This will help ensure the chicken cooks easily and stays juicy and tender after it's cooked.)
- Place the chicken into a large mixing bowl and pour one cup of marinade over it. Reserve the rest of the marinade to use as a dressing if you plan to serve your chicken over salad.
- Season the raw chicken and then allow it to marinate in the fridge for 1 hour or up to 24 hours.
Grill the chicken
- Once you've reached your desired marinating time, preheat the grill to 400°F (20°C) Fahrenheit.
- Then place the marinated chicken onto the hot grill and use a basting brush to coat each piece in marinade that is leftover in the bottom of the bowl.
- Grill chicken for about 3 minutes, then flip and continue cooking for 4-5 more minutes. Use an instant-read meat thermometer to check the internal temp of each piece of chicken.
- Once the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C), pull the chicken off of the grill. Let it rest for 5 minutes, then slice and serve!
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 4 ounces chicken
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 270Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 85mgSodium: 901mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 0gSugar: 3gProtein: 30g