An Uncomplicated Life Blog: The Only Chicken Marinade You'll Need All Summer

Thursday, April 27, 2017

The Only Chicken Marinade You'll Need All Summer

This ultra simple marinade makes the BEST grilled chicken and works in any dish!

You're probably not going to believe me. I'm not sure if I'd believe it either, had I not tried it first. But this is, hands down no questions, the BEST marinade for grilled chicken on the face of the planet. What I like best about it is that is just makes the chicken taste GOOD. Not like anything in particular, just really flavorful. You could make this and add it to just about anything - top off a Greek salad with this grilled chicken, make it the main dish with a veggie side, or add it to this lemon-thyme pasta salad recipe I created a few weeks ago. It's so simple with only three ingredients, and just makes a great, flavorful chicken breast! (Or thigh or whatever piece of poultry you might have.)

What I like best about this marinade is it's simplicity. It's literally three ingredients. I think the simplicity is what makes it so good, and clearly what makes it so versatile. There's enough acidity in it to soften the meat, enough fat to add flavor and enough garlic to add taste, while none of these three things overpowers the other. My mom is the one who taught me this recipe. She said, "Oh, I have the best recipe for grilling chicken!" When she showed me what was in it, I was doubtful. And then I tried it.

One of the biggest things with this recipe is a charcoal grill. Now, of course you can make it on a gas grill, but why for the love of anything holy anyone uses a gas grill is beyond me! Unless you're using a gas grill with wood chips for smoke flavor. Then, ok, I get it. But other than that, I'll just cook the chicken on my fancy gas range and save me the trouble! Gas grills offer no flavor! This is the one we have. It's under $100 and holds more than enough meat and veggies for our family of four, and even for our family of 6 when our parents are in town. You just can't beat that price point and the flavor the charcoal adds to your food!

So now that we've established I'm anti-gas grilling, here's the super duper simple recipe:

The Only Chicken Marinade You'll Need All Summer

- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 lime, juiced (2 if it's not very juicy or if you're grilling more meat)
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste

Peel the garlic by using the flat side of a large knife "smashing" it with your palm. Don't chop up the garlic any more; small garlic chunks burn on the grill and turn really bitter. Juice the lime(s) with a juicer (these things are so great! My mom brought me it and I thought I'd never use it. Wrong, I use it all the time). Add the olive oil.

Salt and pepper your chicken breasts (or other cut/poultry meat) and add to the marinade. Let sit for at least an hour. If marinading for longer, place back in the fridge. I personally like to let it sit for 2-3 hours so the acid from the limes can soften the meat. Grill until just done (length depends on climate and thickness of the chicken) and let rest for 5 minutes before serving or slicing.

This simple chicken marinade has only 3 ingredients and is so tasty!

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Enjoy! This versatile marinade is the only one you'll need for any dish, all summer grilling season long. Add it to salads, pastas, quinoa dishes or grill up some veggies and have it as the main dish. Delicious.


  1. Oh my! I am so saving this for future use!

    Belle |

  2. oh man, garlic and lime sounds amazing! We always do cookouts at home. So will try this when I'm there in a few weeks!

  3. I am really excited to try this marinade at our BBQ this weekend. I am so glad I came across your blog post and seen this! Thanks for sharing!
    Julie *

  4. So simple and yet so packed with flavor! I cant wait to try this out this weekend! :)
    xoxo Barb

  5. Love the simplicity of this - anything with garlic and limes is good in my book. I'm also with you on charcoal grill over gas - duh.

  6. Give me all the garlic! I love garlic in so many savory dishes. I haven't tried lime as a marinade in chicken, just as a garnish or to squeeze over at the end, so I may have to try this.

  7. Uh - YUM. This looks so so good. Maybe I'll make some tonight!

  8. Love grilling season. This chicken looks delicious!