10 Quick & Easy Chicken Marinade Recipes for the Grill


Whether your hosting a summer barbecue or just appreciate the fresh flavors that can only come from grilling, the secret to any successful grilled chicken recipe is in the marinade. Although store-bought marinades are convenient, you can also make your own marinades with just a few simple ingredients straight from your pantry and refrigerator.

All of these recipes are quick and easy, and while they are intended for chicken, they can also be used for pork, shrimp or even your favorite cut of red meat. For extra flavor and juiciness, be sure to reserve a couple tablespoons of your marinade so you can baste while grilling.

Here are 10 quick and easy chicken marinade recipes for the grill.

Jamaican Jerk Marinade

Finely dice four scallions, two cloves of garlic, two jalapeno peppers (remove seeds for less spice) and place all in a large bowl. Add the juice of two limes, one teaspoon allspice, three tablespoons of olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Whisk all ingredients together until fully combined, and then add chicken or pork. Cover tightly and refrigerate for 30-60 minutes.

Lime-Chili Marinade

Combine the juice of two limes with one teaspoon of chili powder, one teaspoon of sugar and one-quarter cup of olive oil. Whisk all ingredients together and add salt and pepper to taste. Pour over chicken and cover tightly or seal in a Ziploc bag. Marinate for 30 minutes or up to 12 hours prior to grilling.

Sweet and Spicy Curry Marinade

Using store bought Italian vinaigrette salad dressing, combine one cup of the dressing with one-third cup honey, one-to-two tablespoons curry powder, the juice of one lime and one teaspoon pineapple juice. Whisk all ingredients together and pour over chicken, marinating in tightly sealed container or baggie for at least 30 minutes.

Soy-Ginger Marinade

Combine one-quarter cup of soy sauce, two tablespoons brown sugar, half a teaspoon black pepper, one tablespoon of fresh ginger (grated or minced), two cloves diced garlic or one tablespoon garlic paste, and two tablespoons olive oil. Whisk until fully incorporated. Add poultry or meat and marinate for 30 minutes or up to 24 hours. This is also a great basting sauce for shrimp kabobs!

Super Garlic Marinade

Dice four or five cloves of garlic (can also use garlic paste in an equivalent amount) and combine with one-quarter cup of olive oil, one tablespoon balsamic vinegar, and one tablespoon diced scallions. Add salt and pepper to taste. Marinate for at least two hours or overnight if possible.

Lemon Pepper Marinade

Combine the juice of two lemons with one-half cup olive oil, whisking until emulsified. Add two teaspoons minced garlic, one teaspoon black pepper and salt to taste. Slice one of the lemons you juiced very thin and add that to the marinade. Add chicken and cover tightly. Marinate for 24 hours.

Sweet and Spicy Barbecue Marinade

Mix one cup ketchup with one-third cup red wine vinegar, half a cup of brown sugar (packed), one teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, one tablespoon dry mustard, one teaspoon chili powder, one teaspoon paprika and salt and pepper to taste. Mix all ingredients until the sugar is dissolved and it is smooth. Reserve half the sauce for basting and marinate the rest with meat or poultry for up to 24 hours.

Asian Fusion Marinade

Mix one-half cup olive oil with one-quarter cup rice vinegar. Add one tablespoon sugar, one tablespoon diced scallions, one teaspoon soy sauce and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well with whisk or in blender. For extra heat, add half a teaspoon of chili oil. Marinate up to 24 hours before grilling.

Italian Herb Marinade

Combine half a packet of Italian dressing mix with half a cup of olive oil, one-quarter cup rice vinegar and one tablespoon of fresh basil, diced. Take the remaining dressing mix and sprinkle it over chicken, pressing and rubbing lightly so that it sticks. Refrigerate chicken for one hour with dressing mix on it, then pour marinade over it and refrigerate for at least one more hour.

Honey Mustard Marinade

Peel and mince one tablespoon of fresh ginger, adding one teaspoon of garlic paste and two tablespoons chopped shallots. Add one teaspoon fresh parsley, two tablespoons rice vinegar, one tablespoon stone-ground mustard and two tablespoons of honey. Combine all ingredients in a blender, then while the blender is going, slowly add about half a cup of olive oil. Marinate for 30 minutes or up to three hours.