Lemon Garlic Chicken Marinade is simple to make and loaded with fresh herbs and citrus. You control the ingredients, so you know it's healthy, and you can tweak the flavors to your preferences. Use this herb chicken marinade for juicy chicken you can bake, grill or freeze.
Chicken is affordable and versatile but doesn't have to be boring. This lemon garlic chicken marinade recipe is the BEST chicken marinade recipe. It's loaded with fresh herbs, citrus and has a bold, umami flavor from the Worcestershire sauce.
You can have flavorful juicy chicken tenders, chicken breast or thighs in just 4 hours (or up to 24 hours). You can marinate any cut of chicken with this herb chicken marinade. Then grill, bake or roast for a main dish, side dish or tasty chicken that can be added to soups, salads and casseroles.
- Lemon Juice – Fresh lemon juice has a brighter, more robust flavor than bottled lemon juice.
- Worcestershire Sauce –Worcestershire sauce has a unique flavor, but you can substitute it with soy sauce in a pinch.
- Olive Oil – Or use your favorite light, neutral-flavored oil.
- Fresh Herbs – A combination of fresh oregano, parsley, and basil is perfect for any cooking application. You can also substitute dried herbs in smaller quantities.
- Garlic – minced garlic adds an earthy flavor. Add more or less to taste.
- Brown Sugar – Light brown sugar adds a touch of sweetness. Omit if you prefer a sugar free marinade or substitute with maple syrup or honey.
- Seasonings – Paprika, salt and black pepper round out the flavor of the marinade.
See recipe card for quantities.
How to Make Chicken Marinade
Add the Worcestershire sauce, oil and dry ingredients to a bowl.
Add the fresh herbs and whisk until combined. Pour over chicken in a bowl or resealable bag and marinate for a minimum of 4 hours.
How to Cook Marinated Chicken
Marinate 2 pounds of bone-in chicken or 3 pounds of boneless chicken in a covered bowl or resealable bag in the fridge for a minimum of four hours. The marinated chicken can then be baked or grilled.
Baked or Roasted Chicken:
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Put the chicken into a shallow baking dish and brush with a little extra marinade.
- Bake for about 20-25 minutes for boneless breasts and 40-50 minutes for bone-in breasts. Boneless thighs will take about 25 to 30 minutes and bone-in thighs usually take 35 to 40 minutes.
- Cooking times can vary on how big your pieces of chicken are so make sure the chicken is no longer pink inside and reaches an internal temperature of 165 with an instant-read meat thermometer.
- Lightly oil a gas grill.
- Remove the chicken from the marinade and grill over medium heat for 10 minutes for boneless thighs, 18-25 minutes for boneless breasts, while turning once in the middle of cooking. For bone-in chicken breasts or thighs, grill over indirect medium heat for 35-45 minutes, turning several times to cook evenly.
- Test chicken with a meat thermometer to ensure it has an internal temperature of 165 and all juices run clear.
Hint: Any herb chicken marinade that has been in contact with raw chicken should be discarded. If you wish to brush with additional marinade during cooking, set some aside prior to marinating the chicken.
Variations / Substitutions
- Dried Herbs - I love the look and flavor of fresh herbs, but sometimes dried herbs are more convenient. See the recipe card for quantities.
- Citrus Zest - Add lemon or lime zest to really bump up the citrus flavor.
- Spicy Marinade – Add crushed red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper or chopped jalapeno for a spicy marinade.
This chicken breast marinade is intended for immediate use. It can be stored in the fridge for about 24 hours or so, but the herbs will begin to break down and become mushy when stored for longer periods.
Combine chicken and marinate in a freezer-safe bag and freeze for up to 3 months. The chicken will marinate as it thaws in the freezer. You can thaw it in the refrigerator overnight then cook per instructions.
- For the best chicken marinade recipe use fresh herbs.
- Prepare the lemon garlic chicken marinade and use it immediately.
- Double the recipe for larger quantities of chicken or when marinating a whole chicken.
- Allow for a minimum of 4 hours to marinate the chicken or up to 24 hours.
- Freeze a bag of chicken with herb chicken marinade, so you have flavorful chicken any time.
- Don't overcook the marinated chicken. Use a meat thermometer to check for doneness.
- You can also use this marinade for turkey and pork.
This marinade works well for all cuts of chicken. This recipe makes enough marinade for 2 pounds of boneless chicken or 3 pounds of bone-in chicken. For larger amounts or a whole chicken, you may need to double the recipe.
Chicken should be marinated for a minimum of 4 hours, but you will get some good flavor after just 30 minutes. Avoid marinating longer than 24 hours or the chicken will start to become mushy.
Yes. Freezing chicken in the marinade is the easiest way to have marinated chicken any time you needed it. Simply combine chicken pieces with marinade in a freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months.
Lemon chicken marinade is bright and flavorful so you can enjoy the juiciest chicken. The flavors pair well with all of your favorite side dishes like Air Fryer Red Potatoes, Air Fryer Broccoli, Mexican Street Corn or this tasty Green Bean and Potato Casserole. If you are looking for something a little lighter, try my Caprese Salad with Pesto Vinaigrette or check out this list of 21 side dishes to find the perfect fit.
Looking for other chicken recipes? Try these:
If you like this chicken marinade recipe, please give it a 5-star rating below.
Lemon Garlic Herb Chicken Marinade
- ½ cup fresh lemon juice
- 3 TBS Worcestershire sauce
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 TBS fresh oregano, minced (or 2 teaspoon dried)
- ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped (or 4 teaspoon dried)
- ¼ cup fresh basil, chopped (or 4 teaspoon dried)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 TBS light brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon sweet paprika
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 lbs boneless chicken (See notes below)
- Add all marinade ingredients to a medium bowl and whisk until well combined
- Place chicken in a large resealable bag and pour marinade over chicken. Seal bag. Place chicken in the refrigerator on a plate and chill for a minimum of 4 hours or overnight.
- Remove chicken from refrigerator and bring to room temperature for 20 minutes.
- Cook chicken by grilling or baking.
Bake: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put the chicken into a shallow baking dish and brush with a little extra marinade. Bake for about 20-25 minutes for boneless breasts and 40-50 minutes for bone-in breasts. Boneless thighs will take about 25 to 30 minutes and bone-in thighs usually take 35 to 40 minutes. Cooking times can vary on how big your pieces of chicken are so make sure the chicken is no longer pink inside and reaches an internal temperature of 165 with an instant read meat thermometer.
Grill: Lightly oil a gas grill. Remove the chicken from the marinade and grill over medium heat for 10 minutes for boneless thighs, 18-25 minutes for boneless breasts, while turning once in the middle of cooking. For bone-in chicken breasts ot thighs, grill over indirect medium heat for 35-45 minutes, turning serveal times to cook evenly. Test chicken with a meat thermometer to make sure it has an internal temperature of 165 and all juices run clear.
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