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25 Best Grilled Chicken Marinade Recipes (All Types)

A collage of different kinds of grilled chicken.

Chicken dishes have been popular since Babylonian times, from at least 600 BC. Chefs and aspirant foodies continue to try out wet and dry marinade recipes for grilled chicken. Moistening and infusing the chicken with oils, wines, vinegar and rubbing in herbs and spices, even honey and molasses, enthrall cooks and delight many palates.

Choices for grilled chicken marinade recipes are plentiful, with variations worldwide that define different cultures and chefs’ tastes. Chicken is easy to get for the table, and fresh grain-fed chickens are sought-after. Chicken is high in protein and low in carbs and is enjoyed by young and old.

Did you know intensive farming produces around 19 billion chickens in one day? Here are 25 handpicked grilled chicken marinade recipes to try.

1. Savory Dijon Grilled Chicken Marinade Recipe

Savory Dijon Grilled Chicken Marinade Recipe.

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Quick and easy marinades for grilled chicken are any domestic goddess (and gods) faithful standbys. Some are done in a few minutes, and others, for a richer flavor, are left to soak overnight for the tastiest grilled chicken. Chicken quickly soaks marinades with vinegar, salt, and pepper. But you can follow chefs of the world and add tastes to your liking.

Classics marinades have English and French food overtones, and mustards are associated with German influences. Dijon Mustard from the Burgundy valley adds a sophisticated taste to marinades made with sugar and ketchup sauces.

Delicious-tasting Dijon grilled chicken is inexpensive, and the marinade can be kept in the refrigerator for a repeat menu. The Dijon recipe with soy and Worcestershire sauce leaves foodies’ mouths watering. Just pour the marinade over the chicken and kept in a zip-lock bag until needed.


  • A zip-lock bag is easy to use for a chicken marinade.
  • The best tastes are chicken marinades left for at least 4 – 8 hours in the fridge or overnight.
  • Grilled Dijon chicken is a tasty cold treat even the next day.

2. Perfectly Grilled Chicken Breasts Marinade Recipe

Perfectly Grilled Chicken Breasts Marinade.

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Don’t worry about a dry (and even a rubbery) taste when preparing chicken breasts. With a suitable marinade, you can have the tastiest and juiciest chicken. And this is the simplest of marinades. Imagine just layering finely shredded lemon peel and letting the zest infuse the chicken before grilling. The tang is a subtle way of adding lasting flavor. Yes, that’s all.

Many home cooks have tried this out. You don’t have to use vinegar or a large quantity of lemon juice to have succulent grilled lean and boneless chicken breasts. And the delicate meat takes on the flavor of the lemon rind. Keep the chicken breasts in a zip-lock bag for at least 4 hours or, even better still, overnight in the refrigerator.


  • Use orange zest (avoid the bitter pith) instead of lemon.
  • Use fresh rosemary, oregano, or basil leaves.
  • Add a chili rub to soak into the flesh.

3. Nigella’s Slow-Roasted Garlic and Lemon Chicken Marinade Recipe

Nigella’s Slow-Roasted Garlic and Lemon Chicken Marinade.

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This domestic goddess influences foodies worldwide with her style and creations. Popularly known as the queen of food porn, chef Nigella Lawson’s kitchen is abuzz with flavors. Her grilled chicken with white wine, chunky lemon, olive oil, and thyme marinade is a taste you’ll impress even the most refined of dining tastes. Remember to add whole garlic cloves.

In the Nigella style, the art of the marinade lies in the preparation, which includes sprinkled coarse sea salt and generous rounds of ground black pepper. Then wait to let the chicken soak up flavor and develop the taste. Remember to use your hands to mix in the ingredients.


  • Marinade chicken for at least 2 hours and, better still, overnight in the refrigerator.

4. Balinese Barbecued Chicken Marinade Recipe

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You are bound to impress your dinner guests with Balinese barbecued chicken. The marinade is rich in taste from the coconut oil and shrimp paste mixture to the taste of roughly chopped fresh lemon grass, garlic, chopped fresh chili, and fresh ginger.

The Malaysian-style paste is made with dried shrimp and chilies left to ferment, giving this grilled chicken marinade its distinctive taste.

Make sure you do the marinade recipe for the grilled chicken the day before. Allow the chicken to soak up the marinade overnight. You should add some dark soy sauce (kecap manis) for a distinctive umami taste. Also, use fresh lemongrass and Asian red shallots.


  • Use grapeseed oil instead of coconut oil.
  • Buy kecap manis (dark soy sauce) for its delectable taste.

5. Grilled Anticuchos de Pollo (Peruvian Chicken Skewers) Marinade Recipe

Grilled chicken skewers with paprika.

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With the flavors of Peru, these marinated chicken skewers are a winner. The thick chili marinade caramelizes when the skewers are grilled. The charred bits are attractive, but the taste gets guests to tuck in with delight.

The marinade includes exotic ingredients like ají panca, a red pepper paste mixed with olive oil, and vinegar. The panca chili paste’s berry flavor is enhanced by the savory Korean gochujang and tamari (or soya) sauce. The marinade recipe gets a lift from toasted cumin seeds and dried Mexican oregano.

The ingredients can be stored for a range of chicken marinades, and the exotic flavors make for memorable feasting with friends and family.


  • Soak the wooden skewers in water beforehand for at least 30 minutes.
  • Lavishly add the thick paste and let the chicken marinate overnight.
  • You can use the marinade on the grill to baste the chicken.

6. Best Grilled Chicken Marinade Recipe

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A quick round of applause as grilled chicken is a staple and a perfect summer meal! And for this marinade recipe, the prep time is less than 10 minutes. Have a large Ziplock bag ready to toss and coat the chicken. But, of course, it’s best to marinate the chicken overnight or for at least an hour. Then grill the marinated chicken for 4-5 minutes, and you have a healthy low-carb dinner.

The super juicy (tangy and sweet) marinade uses key ingredients: red wine vinegar, garlic and onion powder, honey, lemon, and mustard.


  • Garlic powder and onion powder are good staples for quick-to-make marinades.

7. Grilled Sweet and Tangy Hawaiian Chicken Marinade Recipe

Grilled Sweet and Tangy Hawaiian Chicken Marinade.

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We all like the idea of the tropics; this taste is the closest you can get to savoring your island dream. The sweet and tangy marinade recipe is quick to prepare with exotic flavors. Use pineapple juice, and add soy sauce and brown sugar. Mix in store-bought Asian sweet chili sauce and plenty of fresh ginger and garlic.

The sweet pineapple overtones are fragrant and delicious. This is one of those quick-to-make and appetizing marinades with a taste that no one can resist.


  • Serve the exotic grilled chicken with cilantro lime rice or a salad.
  • The sweet and tangy chicken makes delicious sandwiches.
  • Also, make wraps and tacos with this Hawaiian marinade grilled chicken.

8. Grilled Chicken Teriyaki Marinade Recipe

Grilled Chicken Teriyaki with sesame.

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Chicken is known for its firm flesh that soaks up flavors. Some of the most exotic flavors are chicken marinated in teriyaki sauce and then grilled. Making a teriyaki sauce takes time but is worth the aromatic fragrances and flavors released when cooking.

With ginger, garlic, and onion as key ingredients, you need to stock up on a Japanese kitchen staple called mirin. Mirin is similar to sake but has less alcohol and is sweet in taste. Remember a mixture of fennel seeds in sesame oil and add the sweet taste of maltose (similar to sugar) to give the grilled chicken that umami taste. You can also add red wine to this teriyaki marinade.


  • Use Saki instead of mirin.

9. Gai Yang Grilled Chicken Marinade Recipe

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This authentic Thai grilled chicken, known as gai yang, is made with a marinade recipe of garlic, coriander, lemongrass, and pepper. The coriander and lemongrass are finely chopped and mixed with tamarind, palm sugar, and fish sauce. Dressing the chicken in the marinade mixture and leaving it overnight has enthralled palates worldwide.

You can make a sugary dipping sauce with crushed garlic, coriander, and chili to serve with the marinated chicken.


  • The dipping sauce can be stored in the fridge for quick and easy use.
  • Grill the chicken over high heat to lightly char the chicken.

10. Chef Massimo Bottura’s Grilled Chicken Marinade Recipe

Chef Massimo Bottura’s Grilled Chicken Marinade.

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Fancy a grilled chicken marinade from Italian master chef Massimo Bottura’s kitchen? Well, make sure you have the following for the marinade: soy sauce, rice wine, and ginger. And in typical Italian flair, don’t skimp on toppings of Parmesan and have some mature balsamic nearby.


  • Choose chicken cutlets for Botturas’ grilled chicken.

11. Grilled Chicken Drumsticks With Savory Caramel Marinade Recipe

Grilled Chicken Drumsticks with onions.

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The mind boggles at just how many variations of grilled chicken marinades there are. Some are wet, some dry, and all are relatively easy to make. Marinades tenderize and infuse the chicken. The vinegar and acidic marinades are mainly used with garlic, herb, or spice seasonings. On the bone, marinades are best left for between 1 to 12 hours.

The marinade on the boneless chicken is quicker and can vary between 30 minutes and two hours. The savory caramel marinade recipe is made up of garlic and lemongrass, and added to this is cumin. The sauce’s combination of sugar, vinegar, red pepper flakes, and black pepper gives the dish a distinctive flavor. In addition, what’s popular in Asian marinades is the use of the fish sauce.


  • Savory Caramel Marinade can be used as a basting sauce.
  • Stir in fish sauce only once the marinade mix has cooled.

12. Asian Grilled Chicken Marinade Recipe

Asian Grilled Chicken Marinade with scallion.

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For this Asian grilled chicken marinade, you use soy sauce, garlic, ginger, brown sugar, and a hot chili sauce. You must use sesame oil and rice wine vinegar. Add the chicken, toss, coat, and ensure the chicken is coated evenly. It is best to refrigerate the chicken in the marinade for an hour before grilling.

The chicken is quick to cook and cooks under 10 minutes depending on the thickness of the chicken pieces.


  • Serve grilled chicken hot with fresh green onions and sesame seeds garnish.

13. Masterclass Grilled Chicken Breast Marinade Recipe

Grilled Chicken Breast Marinade with dried chili.

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Of all the marinades for grilled chicken, the best ingredients are usually in everyone’s kitchen. Choose olive oil, grape seed, or sesame oil and mix in orange juice, lemon, lime, or vinegar. Add gochujang (a red chili paste), sugar, garlic, and ginger.

These ingredients are part of the kitchen staples of the world’s most famous chefs, like Gordon Ramsay, Yotam Ottolenghi, and Alice Waters.


  • Massage the marinade onto the chicken with your hands.

14. Yotam Ottolenghi’s Grilled Chicken Marinade Recipes

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Yes, even the kids will ask for more. Yotam Ottolenghi is known for his mastery as a chef, restauranteur, and food writer. He has conjured a range of tastes of which his paprika, garlic, and buttermilk chicken marinade recipe is a winner. The recipe works well for chicken thigh marinades. And, best to keep the thighs in the marinade for at least an hour and, better still, overnight.

He is also well-known for his white miso marinade made with tomato paste, maple syrup, and lime leaves. This marinade recipe also calls for fresh chilies and thinly sliced ginger.


  • Serve the above recipes with toasted sesame seeds, spring onions, and homemade kimchi (fermented sauerkraut).

15. Grilled Italian Herb Chicken Marinade Recipe

Grilled breast chicken with cherry tomato.

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Plates of pasta, pizzas, and wine come to mind when one thinks of Italian cuisine. But there are more tastes and flavors, especially once you discover this must-have Italian herb marinade for grilled chicken. Most of us have the ingredients in our pantries. In true Italian style, the grilled chicken is mouth-wateringly juicy and tasty.

So, start with a generous amount of olive oil and let the oil seep into the chicken. Add lemon juice and zest, and fresh oregano. And, for a bit of heat, add chili flakes to the marinade. The hot taste is a twist that guests enjoy. You will need to add some acidity, and a few drops of vinegar will do.

Of course, no Italian cooking skips on garlic – add as much as your taste buds will allow.


  • Use only a few drops of vinegar, as you want to do the acidity sparingly.
  • Marinade for as little as 15 minutes but at least 8 hours to get the best taste.

16. Grilled Mexican Chicken Marinade Recipe

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It’s time for a Mexican touch with a chicken marinade recipe that is definitely a showstopper at any event. Mix olive oil, lime juice, garlic, and chili powder to make this marinade for chicken breasts, thighs, and drumsticks. The stand-out ingredients for taste are Mexican oregano, smoked paprika, ancho chili powder, and a bunch of chopped cilantro (fresh coriander).


  • Marinade chicken in the Mexican sauce for at least two hours to taste juicy and delicious.

17. Spicy Tamarind-Glazed Grilled Chicken Wings Marinade Recipe

Tamarind-Glazed Grilled Chicken Wings.

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You will impress your guests with these grilled chicken wings marinated in a tamarind purée. And of all the dishes, grilled chicken marinades add flavor and even tenderizes the meat. The most exotic tastes also make for the most memorable times with friends and family.

To add more flavor, you must use fish sauce, and no marinate is ever without a spoonful of brown sugar. The taste of the wings also comes from the use of crushed red pepper flakes and cumin seeds.


  • Serve the grilled chicken wings charred and topped with sliced and crunchy onion rings.

18. Grilled Chicken Skewers With Soy-Mirin Marinade Recipe

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This Japanese-style grilled chicken uses a simple marinade of mirin (sweet rice wine), soya sauce, and dark sesame oil. You must pour the ingredients into a large bowl, toss the chicken in, and then mix the chicken and the marinade well.

The chicken is delicious on skewers, grilled, and served on a summer picnic outing or for an outdoor meal with family and friends. Kids love the taste and experience too.


  • Roll skewers in toasted sesame seeds.

19. Spicy Coconut Grilled Chicken Thighs Marinade Recipe

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Summertime and grilled chicken go together. Try out this brown sugar and coconut milk marinade with fresh ginger and lime juice as a special treat. The marinade works well on chicken thighs, and as these are on the bone, best to leave enough time to let the flavors sink in. Again, best to let the marinade soak in overnight.

As with most marinade recipes, there’s also a secret ingredient. Make sure you have a hot chili paste. Foodies agree sambal oelek does the trick. This classic chili paste is made from ground chili peppers, vinegar, and salt.


  • Use fresh coriander for cooking and as a garnish.
  • Serve with lime wedges for the look and for additional flavor.

20. Nigerian Grilled Chicken Marinade Recipe

Nigerian Grilled Chicken with baked potato and garlic.

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Marinade recipes for grilled chicken can be poured on and cooked immediately or left to soak up flavors overnight. From the breasts and legs (drumsticks) to the darker meat thighs and chicken wings and drummettes, chicken is enjoyed as a protein-rich meal. Many people eat chicken feet, skins, and cartilage which, for westerners, are exotic.

In the Caribbean, Vietnam, and Africa giblets (heart, gizzards, and liver) are as much a delicacy as chicken heads are in China. In Nigeria, the tastiest marinade for free-range grilled chicken is made with red onions, Cameroon pepper, and suya spice.

The spice, also known as Yaji spice, is ground-roasted peanuts mixed into the marinade with crushed ginger, thyme, and masala. This marinade is also one of Nigeria’s most popular flavors of street food.


  • Suya spice, a staple in Nigerian kitchens, must be prepared in advance. You can keep the peanut spice to have it ready when you need it.
  • Peanut spice is not suitable for people with peanut allergies.

21. Fufu’s Kitchen – Middle Eastern Grilled Chicken Marinade Recipe

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Boneless chicken thighs quickly soak up the Middle Eastern flavors mixed into plain yogurt to tenderize the meat. These flavors include crushed fresh garlic, dried oregano, sweet and cayenne pepper. Many have cumin and sumac added in. You must add lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, tomato paste, and olive oil. You can also add a touch of cinnamon.


  • Grill the marinated chicken on high heat and serve it hot, tender, and juicy.

22. Sanpete Grilled Chicken Marinade Recipe

Sanpete Grilled Chicken with cherry tomato.

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Amazingly easy is how the Sanpete in Utah grilled chicken marinade is described. The recipe is simply a cup of Sprite (lemon- and lime-flavored fizzy drink), soy sauce, vegetable oil, and garlic powder in a Ziploc bag. The chicken is cubed, added to the marinade, and left for an hour to soak up flavors before skewered for grilling. The chicken is always moist and full of flavor.


  • Soak the skewers beforehand to avoid getting these burnt when the chicken is cooked at high heat.

23. Ras El Hanout Grilled Chicken Marinade Recipe

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The marinade consists of various spices like cardamom, cumin, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, mace, dry ginger, chili, coriander seeds, peppercorns, paprika, fenugreek, and dry turmeric. The complex spice known as Ras El Hanout is a familiar staple in Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco kitchens. It is sold as some of the world’s best spice mixes.

There isn’t just one blend; different shops in these countries make up their own particular brand or choice of spices and quantities. The Moroccan blend for the grilled chicken marinade is prepared in yogurt and has lemon juice added in. The chicken must marinate for at least 2 hours and overnight for the best taste.


  • Serve the chargrilled chicken in Ras El Hanout marinade with limes cut in wedges.

24. Swedish Grilled Chicken Breast Marinade Recipe

Swedish Grilled Chicken Breast in the oven.

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The classic recipe has been prepared for generations of Swedes, and the key ingredients are dry white wine, gin, dill weed, and powdered thyme. This marinade recipe is less like the wet rub ones and is better known as a dry rub marinade.


  • Instead of putting the chicken breasts in a skillet, you can rub the chicken with the dry ingredients to infuse, and during the cooking, add the wine and gin.

25. Russian Grilled Chicken Shishkebabs Marinade Recipe

Grilled Chicken Shishkebabs on a plate.

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Step back for this moment. You can be sure that if you are invited to a Russian dinner or lunch, you’ll have shishkebabs on the menu. And the invitation is simple: let’s go kebabing or ‘давай соберемся на шашлыки’!

The experience of skewered chicken chunks over an open flame is memorable. And the marinade is simple to make. Use salt, ground black pepper, chicken seasoning, garlic, grated onion, mayonnaise, and lemon juice.


  • Skewer chicken close together, but not too tightly.
  • Oil grill thoroughly before grilling chicken to avoid the meat sticking.