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Six Healthy Chicken Marinade Recipes For Easy Dinners

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Chicken marinade recipes are healthy and will take boring chicken breasts and zest them up with flavor.

You can serve marinated chicken breast with a side of roasted vegetables and rice, add it to a pasta dish, grill it on the barbecue, or even air fry it.

Chicken marinades are great because they can be batch prepped in advance and then stored in the fridge or freezer! Plus, they’re full of healthy nutritious ingredients instead of the store-bought marinade sauces which are usually loaded with preservatives and other ingredients we don’t need.

As a mom, I’m always looking for new ways to make home cooking fast and flavorful!

I love these recipes because I can purchase a large pack of chicken breasts from the grocery store, and divide them into freezer bags with different marinade flavors. Then I just pop the chicken into the freezer for a variety of future recipe ideas using chicken breasts. Does it get any better!?


six healthy chicken marinades in bags with chicken breasts

Chicken Marinade Tips And Tricks

  • PREPPING MARINADES: If you’re buying a big amount of chicken, you’ll have to freeze them in smaller amounts no matter what. So I like to use this time to marinate my chicken! I’ll put out multiple freezer bags to divide the chicken up, then place the marinade ingredients inside and seal. Then I just pop it into the fridge or freezer depending on when I’ll be using the chicken.
  • MARINATING TIME: I like to marinate my chicken overnight (at minimum) to get the most flavor. But if I’m short on time, I’ll marinate for 30 minutes and then cook.
  • DON’T REUSE: Since the marinade has been in contact with raw chicken, it’s not safe to reuse it – so always make a fresh marinade for the next batch.
  • STORAGE TIPS: You can use Ziploc freezer bags to freeze your chicken. When adding ingredients to your freezer bags, I like to use these handy clips that will help your bag stand up and avoid spilling. Or you can place the chicken in a glass container with a lid in the fridge to marinate.
  • DEFROSTING TIPS: I always take out my chicken the night before I’m ready to cook it and place it in a bowl of shallow water in the fridge. This will help to speed up the defrost process.
  • RECIPE TIPS: You can use your marinade chicken for a variety of meals! I’ve used mine in my slow cooker, baked using the sheet pan method, Barbequed, or chopped into small pieces for stir fry.

If you like these chicken marinade recipes then be sure to grab my free chicken marinade printable below:

stacked chicken marinades with text describing each flavor including, bbq chicken, basil balsamic, fajita, teriyaki, cilantro lime, and hawaiian

WHAT INTERNAL TEMPERATURE SHOULD THIGHS BE COOKED TO?

According to the USDA recommended cooking temperatures, the safest internal temperature for cooking all types of poultry products to is 165°F. This is the interior temperature that the meat will read at once removed from the heat source. You can use a food thermometer, which will be poked into the thickest part of the meat to read the temperature.

Do I Have To Use Chicken Breasts? Can I use Different Chicken Cuts For Marinade?

Yes! You can use any type of chicken you’d like. These chicken marinades can be used with any chicken cut including, drumsticks, wings, and bone-in chicken breast. However, different chicken cuts will require different cook times.

IS IT SAFE TO MARINADE Chicken OVERNIGHT?

The USDA food safety information suggests that you can keep raw marinating chicken in the fridge for up to 2 days. Any longer and it should be frozen instead (visit this link for more food safety information regarding chicken).

Chicken marinades stacked together. Ingredients listed for chicken marinades over top of each freezer bag.

HOW TO COOK Marinated CHICKEN:

The baking time for boneless chicken breast will be different than bone-in chicken, such as chicken thighs. You want to bake until the chicken juices run clear and there is no more pink.

Here are the instructions for each way you can cook it…

COOKING Chicken Breast IN A FRYING PAN

  1. Heat a frying pan over medium-high heat with cooking oil. Once the pan is hot, add the chicken breast and marinade. Cook for 3-4 minutes then flip over and cook for another 3-5 minutes.
  2. At this point, depending on how thick the chicken breast is, the sides of the chicken should have turned white and it should be cooked. The chicken will be cooked if the inside is no longer pink, juices run clear, and the internal temperature reads 165°F when using a meat thermometer.

BAKING Chicken Breast IN THE OVEN

  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Place chicken breast on the baking sheet. Bake boneless chicken breast for 20-25 minutes. The chicken will be cooked if the inside is no longer pink, juices run clear, and the internal temperature reads 165°F when using a meat thermometer. (Note: if you have a large chicken breast it will take longer, this is why I like to use the meat thermometer). No need to flip or cover the chicken when baking.

GRILLING Chicken BReast ON THE BARBECUE

  • Heat barbecue to medium heat, place chicken on the grill. Cover and let cook for about 5 minutes, then flip. Pour extra marinade over top and cook an additional 5 minutes. The chicken breast will be cooked when the inside is no longer pink, juices run clear, and the internal temperature reads 165°F when using a meat thermometer.

AIR FRYING Chicken BReast

I love the air fryer. In the past, I’ve shared recipes for air fryer chicken drumsticks and air fryer salt and pepper wings. Here are the instructions for cooking chicken breast in the air fryer.

  • Lightly coat the inside of the air fryer tray or basket with olive oil or cooking spray. Preheat the air fryer at 380°F for 2 minutes. Add the chicken breasts and cook for 10 minutes, then flip them over and cook an additional 8-10 minutes, or until fully cooked.

A NOTE ABOUT AIR FRYERS: If you haven’t used an air fryer yet, you can find a variety of popular ones from the Power Air Fryer to the Ninja Foodi Deluxe. I have the Ninja Foodi Deluxe – it’s an all-in-one that allows me to use it as an air fryer, instant pot, and slow cooker. It’s big enough that I can cook an entire meal in it all at once, which saves time and it’s basically my favorite tool in the kitchen.

barbecue chicken marinade in a plastic bag with ingredients text listed

Barbecue Chicken Marinade

**Get My FREE Chicken Marinade Recipes Guide: All six healthy chicken marinade recipes in one easy-to-print format – Sign Up Here To Get It

Barbecue chicken marinade is created by adding the chicken breast with barbecue sauce, honey, apple cider vinegar and chili powder to a bag. This can then be stored in the fridge to marinate for up to 2 days for placed in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Teriyaki chicken marinade sauce with raw chicken in plastic bag

TERIYAKI CHICKEN MARINADE

**Get My FREE Chicken Marinade Recipes Guide: All six healthy chicken marinade recipes in one easy-to-print format – Sign Up Here To Get It

Teriyaki chicken marinade is created by adding the chicken breast with soy sauce, honey, olive oil, flour, minced garlic, ground ginger, salt and pepper to a bag.

This can then be stored in the fridge to marinate for up to 2 days for placed in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Basil Balsamic Vinegar chicken marinating in a plastic bag

Basil Balsamic CHICKEN MARINADE

**Get My FREE Chicken Marinade Recipes Guide: All six healthy chicken marinade recipes in one easy-to-print format – Sign Up Here To Get It

Basil balsamic chicken marinade is created by adding the chicken breast with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, minced garlic, dried basil and salt to a freezer bag. This can then be stored in the fridge to marinate for up to 2 days for placed in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Hawwaiian chicken marinade recipe in a plastic bag

Hawaiian CHICKEN MARINADE

**Get My FREE Chicken Marinade Recipes Guide: All six healthy chicken marinade recipes in one easy-to-print format – Sign Up Here To Get It

Hawaiian chicken marinade is created by adding the chicken breast with pineapple juice, soy sauce, olive oil, onion powder, ground ginger, salt and pepper to a bag. This can then be stored in the fridge to marinate for up to 2 days for placed in the freezer for up to 3 months.

fajita chicken marinade recipe in a plastic bag

More Chicken Recipes To Try:

If you like these recipes, then you’ll have to try my six healthy salmon marinade recipes. They’re delicious and the perfect way to add flavor to your salmon before you grill, fry or bake it.

6 Healthy Chicken Marinade Recipes

Chicken marinade recipes are healthy and will zest up your chicken with flavor.
5 from 1 vote
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Prep Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

Barbecue Chicken Marinade:

Teriyaki Chicken Marinade

Basil Balsamic Chicken Marinade:

Hawaiian Chicken Marinade:

Cilantro and Lime Chicken Marinade:

  • 2 lbs chicken breast
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro - minced
  • salt and pepper - to taste

Fajita Chicken Marinade:

Instructions

  • Add the chicken breasts and all other ingredients into a freezer bag. Remove all excess air and seal tightly. Write the name and date on the front of the bag and freeze up to 3 months. When you’re ready to use, let defrost overnight in the fridge. You can place in a bowl of water to help speed up the defrosting.
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