Easy Chicken Marinade

8 Servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Marinate 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 35 minutes

Easy Chicken Marinade is the perfect way to make juicy, tender, flavorful chicken breasts that you can make on the grill or in the oven.

When it comes to simple, satisfying weeknight Dinner Recipes, basic chicken dishes are always an excellent choice. This marinade uses lots of delicious ingredients like mustard, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and brown sugar to give simple Chicken Breast tons of flavor!

Grilled Chicken Marinade chicken on grill


An easy marinade is a great way to give recipes all the flavor they need without a lot of work. Just like our Steak Marinade, this Chicken Marinade recipe makes the meat tender, juicy, and full of flavor. Marinating the chicken for 4 hours tenderizes and flavors the meat before you cook it, so, when it comes to the cook time, your work is mostly done. 

Grilled Chicken Marinade collage of prep steps: ingredients before and after mixing, and chicken being scored for grilling

As long as you use this easy Chicken Marinade recipe there’s no need for a lot of other ingredients or flavors with your chicken. Just make some simple side dishes like Brown Rice or Roasted Vegetables to finish up the dinner, and enjoy!

This Chicken Marinade is sure to become a go-to for easy dinners. As long as you prep the Chicken Breast Marinade ahead of time, the actual cooking process becomes super easy. Plus, you can use the marinade to tenderize and flavor chicken before using the chicken in any of your favorite chicken recipes.

Grilled Chicken Marinade with chicken in Ziploc bag

Our Chicken Marinade is made with savory ingredients like balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, mustard, and garlic. However, one of the great things about a simple marinade like this one is that you can always experiment with the ingredients to add flavors to your chicken. Be sure to try out different seasonings and sauces to see what you like best. 



  • Marinade: To make the marinade start by whisking together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, Dijon mustard, garlic, salt, and pepper in a small mixing bowl. Cut slits in the top of the chicken breasts. Scoring the chicken will help the marinade to soak in more fully. Pour the mixture into a sturdy ziplock bag with 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Put the bag in the refrigerator and leave the chicken marinating for at least 4 hours or as long as overnight. 
  • Grilled chicken: There are a variety of ways you can cook the Chicken Marinade recipe. To grill the marinated chicken, set your grill to medium heat and cook for 6-8 minutes on each side. 
  • Baked chicken: You can also bake the chicken for 30-35 minutes in a 375-degree oven. Take the chicken out when it’s golden brown on the outside and cooked through. 
  • Slow cooker chicken: To make the chicken in your slow cooker, use the marinade as your cooking liquid. Place the chicken breasts in your crockpot and cook on low for 3-4 hours. 
  • Cooking temperature: No matter how you cook the chicken, you can make sure it’s cooked through by using a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. Chicken is safe to eat when it has an internal temperature of 165 degrees.

Grilled Chicken Marinade cooked chicken on plate


  • Citrus chicken marinade: To make a marinade with some citrus tang in it, try adding some lemon juice. You can squeeze the lemon juice out of one lemon or use lime juice. The acidity in the lime or lemon juice also helps to break down the chicken and make it more tender. 
  • Seasoning: You can also add to the flavor of the Chicken Breast Marinade with a variety of herbs and spices. Try mixing in some Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, oregano, rosemary, thyme, paprika, onion powder, or chili powder. 
  • Ingredient substitutes: Another way to experiment with the marinade is by replacing the ingredients in the recipe with similar alternatives. For example, you could try using maple syrup instead of brown sugar. You could also use Honey Mustard instead of Dijon. Or, replace the balsamic vinegar with rice wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar. There are really so many ways you can experiment with the ingredients and flavors!

Grilled Chicken Marinade cooked chicken sliced on plate



  • Serve: Don’t leave cooked chicken at room temperature for more than 2 hours.
  • Store: Let the chicken cool and then put it in an airtight container to store in the fridge for 3-4 days. 
  • Freeze: You could also freeze the chicken for up to 6 months as long as it’s sealed properly.

Grilled Chicken Marinade sliced chicken on plate with fork

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Easy Chicken Marinade

Easy Chicken Marinade is the perfect way to make juicy, tender, flavorful chicken breasts that you can make on the grill or in the oven.
Yield 8 Servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 35 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar , packed
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 4 cloves garlic , minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 4 chicken breasts , boneless and skinless.


  • Whisk together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, Dijon mustard, garlic, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.
  • Pour into a ziplock bag with 4 chicken breasts you've scored on the top.
  • Marinate for 4 hours or overnight.
  • Grill or bake as desired.
  • Grill directions: Medium heat for 6-8 minutes on each side on direct heat.
  • Baked: 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes.


Calories: 218kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 72mg | Sodium: 893mg | Potassium: 482mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 34IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 19mg | Iron: 1mg

Chicken Marinade collage

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

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  1. I prefer cooking with chicken thighs rather than chicken breasts. Is there any reason that I can’t make this substitution?

  2. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this recipe!!!
    Have baked it several times and tomorrow will try the crockpot (with 12# of chicken) due to our schedule. With its consistently amazing flavor, I think it will still be delicious!
    Thanks sooo much, Sabrina!

  3. I’m prepping chicken to freeze that’s already seasoned to make for quick meals on a busy day.
    I’ve made this before and loved it. This time I’m going to experiment with some substitutions. It’s a great marinade as is and I love that you encourage us to change it up.

  4. I used this recipe with pork tenderloin. I substituted apple cider vinegar and deli mustard with horseradish. I reverse seared it on my pellet grill. This marinade kept the meat moist and delicious. Much better than any store bought marinade.

  5. It was a great experience of making chicken…I had not done anything related to cooking before. This helps me a lot to learn…I suggest all to use this recipe…and still, if you are unable to cook food in this COVID transmission, you can order it online WHO has said that Food delivery service Covid-19’s time is the safest That’s why we provide take out near me for more restaurant for Dishpal’s Through Food Delivery Service to more frequent restaurant owners. https://www.dishpal.com/blog/uncategorized/takeway-services-dishpal/

    1. I haven’t tested it but I don’t see why not. I’d set it to 370 degrees and cook for 10 minutes, flip it and cook another 5-10 minutes. Timing may vary depending on the size of the chicken breast. Hope this helps.