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5 Easy Chicken Marinades

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These 5 easy chicken marinade recipes are freezer-friendly, simple to prepare, and totally dependable and delicious! Perfect for grilling, roasting, sautéing, slow cooking, Instant Pot, meal prep, and more.

5 Chicken Marinade Recipes

Due to popular request, I’ve finally created a collection of marinade recipes to share with you this week!

Like, 15 different marinade recipes, to be exact. ?

And the good news is that each recipe will pair actually well with any of the four main proteins that I like to marinate (chicken, steak, pork or tofu). Also, each recipe is freezer-friendly (perfect for meal prep), adaptable for various cooking methods (oven, grill, stovetop, slow cooker, etc.), quick and easy to prepare (about 5 minutes for one marinade), naturally gluten-free, and sure to kick that plain protein up a delicious notch.

Truly. It’s amazing what a difference a simple marinade can make.

So today, I thought I’d kick off our week celebrating the protein you all request the most. Behold…5 of my favorite easy chicken marinade recipes!

5 Easy Chicken Marinade Recipes | 1-Minute Video

5 Easy Chicken Marinades

5 Favorite Chicken Marinade Recipes:

When it comes specifically to chicken, these are 5 of the marinades I use most often:

  • Teriyaki Chicken Marinade: a simple sesame-ginger marinade
  • Chicken Enchilada Marinade: a no-cook version of my favorite enchilada sauce
  • Tandoori Chicken Marinade: a simple curry marinade that is big on flavor
  • Honey Mustard Marinade: always a classic for you mustard-lovers
  • Pesto Chicken Marinade: pesto sauce works just as well as a marinade!

Easy Chicken Marinades

How To Make A Chicken Marinade:

To make each marinade, simply whisk the ingredients together in a small bowl until combined. Then combine the marinade and chicken together in a freezer ziplock bag, seal, and refrigerate or freeze according to the directions below until ready to use. So simple!

That said, here are a few tips to keep in mind with marinating chicken…

Tandoori Chicken Marinade

Best Chicken Marinade Tips:

Marinade to Chicken Ratio: 

You’re welcome to use however much marinade you would like per pound of chicken, but in general, I recommend 1/2 cup marinade per 1 pound of chicken.

Marinade Times:

  • Fridge marinade time: I recommend marinating your chicken packs in the refrigerator for anywhere from 30 minutes up to 1 day (24 hours).
  • Freezer marinade time: I recommend marinating your chicken packs in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Marinade Safety:

  • Never freeze chicken twice: If you plan to freeze your marinated chicken, be sure to use fresh (not frozen) chicken when making these packs. It’s not safe to mix frozen chicken with a room-temperature liquid and then freeze it again. That said, you can combine frozen chicken and the marinade together, and refrigerate the pack until the chicken is completely thawed, then cooked within 1 day, if you’d like. (<– Again, just don’t freeze those packs afterwards.)
  • Always thaw chicken properly: As tempting as it may be to try and “quick-thaw” frozen chicken, food safety guidelines recommend that you always thaw chicken slowly in the refrigerator. Ideally, you can plan ahead and pop your frozen chicken pack in the fridge and let it rest for 24 hours or so, or until it has completely thawed. But to speed the process up, you can place the chicken pack in a bowl of cold water, then refrigerate until the chicken pack has completely thawed.
  • Don’t try to cook partially-frozen chicken: Probably goes without saying, but if you jump the gun, the chicken will cook unevenly. So thaw completely.
  • Basting with marinades: There are a variety of opinions in the food safety world about how safe/unsafe it is to baste your chicken with its marinade. Some say it’s ok to use the marinade as a baste in the beginning stages of cooking, but many strongly disagree. To err on the side of caution, if you would like to use the marinade as a baste while cooking, I recommend using extra marinade that you have reserved. (Basically, marinade that hasn’t touched the raw chicken.)

Marinade Equipment:

  • Freezer bags: I recommend using the designated freezer ziplock bags (vs. the thinner/cheaper sandwich plastic bags) for these chicken packs. They are stronger and (obvs) freezer friendly, and will help prevent leaks. And I also love using freezer bags because you can note the expiration date on the front. Here is an eco-friendly reusable freezer bag option too!
  • Meal prep containers: We also regularly use meal prep containers for quick marinades in our house. I don’t recommend them for freezing, since there’s no way to eliminate all of the excess air inside. But for a quick (1 to 24 hour) marinade, they work well.
  • Everyday bowls: Another simple option for quick (1 to 24 hour) marinade would be to use any small mixing or serving bowls that fit your amount of chicken. Just mix, cover with a sheet of foil or plastic wrap, and refrigerate.

Cooking Tips:

  • Instant-Read Thermometer: However you choose to cook your chicken, I always recommend having an instant-read thermometer on hand to ensure that your chicken is cooked through…and not overcooked. (The FDA recommends cooking your chicken to 165°F.)  I love and recommend this $10 thermometer from Amazon.
  • Baking/Grilling/Sautéing/Slow Cooking: I’ve included general instructions for each of these methods below. They will each vary (especially with cook time) according to the cut and size of your chicken, so again, I recommend using a thermometer to guarantee accurate doneness.

Meal Prep Chicken Marinade Recipes

Alright, I think that about covers things. But lemme know in the comments below if you have any more questions, and I’ll do my best to answer them. :)

5 Easy Chicken Marinades for Meal Prep

Happy marinating, everyone!Chicken Marinades

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5 Easy Chicken Marinades

5 Easy Chicken Marinade Recipes

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 8 reviews
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 0 About 1 cup (each) 1x


These 5 easy chicken marinade recipes are simple to make, freezer-friendly, and totally dependable and delicious!  Perfect for grilling, roasting, sautéing, slow cooking, meal prep, and more.



Teriyaki Marinade:

  • 1/3 cup soy sauce (or tamari*)
  • 1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 3 tablespoons peanut oil (or olive oil)
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Enchilada Marinade:

  • 3/4 cup chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons enchilada seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil (or olive oil)

Tandoori Marinade:

Honey Mustard Marinade:

  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Pesto Marinade:


  1. Whisk together the ingredients for (one) marinade in a small bowl until combined.
  2. Combine marinade with chicken in a ziplock freezer bag, and toss until the chicken is evenly coated in the marinade.  Carefully press out any extra air that might be in the bag, then seal.  (You will need 1/2 cup marinade per 1 pound of chicken.)
  3. If Using Immediately: Refrigerate the chicken pack(s) for anywhere from 30 minutes to up to 1 day.
  4. If Freezing: Immediately transfer the chicken pack(s) to the freezer, and freeze for up to 3 months.  Then when you’re ready to cook the chicken, transfer the chicken pack back to the refrigerator for 24 hours, or until it has thawed completely.  Or to speed up the process, you can submerge the sealed chicken pack in a bowl of cold water in the refrigerator until it has thawed completely.
  5. When ready to cook, remove the chicken from the marinade, discard the remaining marinade, and cook however you prefer.  (See recommendations below.)


Cooking times will vary depending on the cut of chicken that you use.  I always recommend using an instant-read cooking thermometer to test your chicken as it cooks, to be sure that it reaches a safe (and not overcooked) 165°F.  For 8-ounce boneless skinless chicken breasts, here are some general recommendations.

Baked: Heat oven to 425°F.  Place chicken on a baking sheet or baking dish.  Bake for 18 minutes, flipping the chicken halfway through, until it is cooked through (165°F) and the juices run clear.   Remove from the oven, and loosely cover the pan with aluminum foil.  Let the chicken rest for at least 5-10 minutes.  Serve warm.

Grilled: Heat grill to medium-high.  Grill for 18 minutes, flipping the chicken halfway through, until it is cooked through (165°F) and the juices run clear.  Transfer the chicken to a clean plate, and loosely cover with aluminum foil.  Let the chicken rest for at least 5-10 minutes.  Serve warm.

Sauté: Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat.  Add chicken breast and cook for 6 minutes per side, until the chicken is cooked through (165°F) and the juices run clear.  Transfer the chicken to a clean plate, and loosely cover with aluminum foil.  Let the chicken rest for at least 5-10 minutes.  Serve warm.

Slow Cooker: Add chicken and marinade to the bowl of a slow cooker.  Cover and cook for 3 hours on high or 6 hours on low, until the chicken is cooked through (165°F).  Serve warm.  (I recommend a batch size of at least 1 pound of chicken in the slow cooker.)

Instant Pot: Add chicken and marinade to the bowl of Instant Pot.  Close lid securely and set vent to “Sealing”.  Press “Manual”, then press “Pressure” until the light on “High Pressure” lights up, then adjust the +/- buttons until time reads 6 minutes.  Cook.  Then let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes.  Then very carefully, turn the vent to “Venting” for quick release, and wait until all of the steam has released and the valve has dropped.  Remove the lid, and check to be sure that the chicken is cooked through.  (If not, repeat this process and cook the chicken for 2 more minutes on high pressure.)  Shred the chicken if you’d like.  Serve immediately.

*As always, if making these recipes gluten-free, be sure to use certified gluten-free ingredients.



Be sure to also check out these other marinades!

These 5 easy steak marinade recipes are simple to make, freezer-friendly, and totally dependable and delicious! Perfect for grilling, roasting, sautéing, slow cooking, meal prep, and more. Marinades include: Cold Brew Coffee, Fajita, Korean, Chimichurri and Balsamic Herb. | Gimme Some Oven #steakmarinade #steakrecipe #beefmarinades #howtocooksteak

5 Easy Steak Marinades

These 5 Easy Pork Marinade Recipes -- Moo Shu (Hoisin), BBQ, Pineapple Ginger, Maple Dijon and Carnitas -- are freezer-friendly (perfect for meal prep), naturally gluten-free, easy to make, and SO delicious. Perfect for pork, steak, chicken, and tofu. And flexible for baked, grilled, slow cooker, or Instant Pot pulled pork. | Gimme Some Oven #porkrecipe #porkmarinade #porkchops #pork

? 5 Easy Pork Marinades

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38 comments on “5 Easy Chicken Marinades”

  1. I am always looking for simple ways to flavor up chicken/make it a little different. Thank you!

  2. You are brilliant and wonderful! I am always looking for good recipes for marinades and sauces, especially ones that can freeze well. I’m going to try all five of these this week. Thanks!!

  3. How do you print only two of the recipes?

  4. I love your blog, but I wanted to point out that the ‘never freeze twice’ is an old wives tale. This article sites the USDA recommendations – it’s safe as long as the meat isn’t spoiled.

  5. These marinades look amazing. I have to admit, I’ve never tried an Enchilada marinade but it’s a great idea. Thank you!

    Alexis | Simple Health Style

  6. love these ideas! would you say these were only for marinating or would you use as a sauce as well? would you maybe cook and pour some of this over chicken and rice? (obv not the aforementioned marinade that already had raw chicken in it…)

  7. What does tandoori seasoning taste like? I’ve never had that before.

  8. Wonderful — I can see using these with different vegs and proteins. Thanks much!!

  9. Love this. My friends and I just started a monthly freezer meal exchange and these will be perfect when I’m looking for an easy and yummy recipe to exchange.

  10. this is awesome – one question. I see you say 1/2 cup per pound but I don’t see how much each of the recipes makes. trying to decide how to scale it up

  11. These look amazing. Have you used any of these (fresh or frozen) in the instant pot?

    • Oooh, I actually meant to include an Instant Pot option and completely forgot. :) I’ll add that in, but yep! They work great in the Instant Pot, similarly to the slow cooker.

    • Do you brine the chicken before putting it into the marinade to sit before cooking? I was concerned because that might bring the chicken to room temperature so I wouldn’t want to put it back in the fridge or freezer at that point correct?

  12. Ali –
    These are amazing! Super simple but so great – no reason to get bored with “plain chicken”!

  13. Yum! What a fun idea!

  14. My fiance & I just started doing Keto and this is just what we needed to mix up our current chicken rotation! The enchilada, tandoori & pesto versions are perfect, I cannot wait to pick up the ingredients for them this weekend.

    Lindsey | This Miss Cooks

  15. I made the Tandoori! It was amazing! Now I can eat Indian food at home!!

  16. Love that this included a few completely different chicken marinades! Would be perfect to make all of these and freeze a bunch of chicken for super easy dinners in the future!

  17. Thank you so much! So far I have made three of these marinades and they are so freaking good! I love how simple the ingredients are and how flavorful. I just taped the recipe to my kitchen cabinet and have been using them often. I have got to make time to try your other marinades! :-D

  18. I just made the enchilada chicken and it was delicious! Topped it off with some avocado. Will definitely make again!

  19. This may seem like a dumb question but say you empty the contents of the freezer bag into a baking dish and then bake the chicken completely–would it be okay to use the sauce that has run off the chicken into the dish as extra? Since it has sat with raw chicken for however long? If that makes any sense. I’m an extra sauce kind of person. Thanks!

    • I do this all the time! Just bring the remaining marinade to a boil in a saucepan and let it simmer for several minutes. That cooks off anything raw in the marinade and turns it into a delicious sauce!

  20. Hi, I’m using skinless checked breasts that I have cut into deck of card size pieces. Could you please tell me how would I cook the chicken from frozen in the Instant Pot? Thank you!

  21. Thank you for your time & effort I really appreciate your hard work keep it up:).
    The recipes are great & easy to implement & your advice & explanation are very helpful.
    I appreciate the variety of recipes & the website is amazing & well organized.

  22. 5/5
    Will use again!

  23. I want to say thank you for your recipes. I love your fried rice and baked chicken breast.
    I am planning to bake chicken tights using your teriyaki and tandoori marinade.
    What would be the temperature and time for baking.
    Also should the chicken tights be covered or uncovered while baking?

  24. Hello,

    can you substitute chicken thighs in either of these recipe?. Thanks for your hard work in this area.

  25. Can you recommend the best way to freeze marinated chicken? Should I pack the chicken with the marinade in a ziplock and freeze that way or is it best to cook everything and then freeze it?

  26. For the tandoori recipe, the mixture came out far too spicy for my taste. Do you have any suggestions for mitigating the spice without adding extra fat? I already added an extra cup of coconut milk and it is still to spicy.

  27. I have made the honey mustard marinade many times. When I bring the chicken home from the grocery store, I prep it immediately and put it in a zip bag for the freezer. It’s a winner.

  28. How can I store the extra marinade, if I’m not using it right away?

  29. I loved this recipe and with work so well with my family! For me I use a glass pipe bowl ( glass pipe bowl)
    thank you.

  30. Tandoori chicken doesn’t have coconut in it. Vicinities is the base for South Indian cooking. It’s not used in north India except for in desserts.

  31. Made the tandoori chicken and sautéed in a pan. Sliced up on naan bread 10/10 would recommend.

  32. Solid recipes and advice but you left out one of the most important steps in marinating chicken.

    Chicken tends to have its own ‘goo’ and juices. To get the most flavorful chicken (and the most out of your marinade) take the extra step of blotting your chicken with paper towels before putting it in the marinade. The dryer you get it…the more the chicken will soak up the marinade. Gooey chicken just gets a coating. Dry chicken gets the marinade deep into the chicken.


    The Adam :-)

  33. Thanks so much for your series of protein marinades. It is so nice to have all of these marinade options all together in one place.