Upgrade your grilled chicken with these 5 marvelous marinades

Upgrade your grilled chicken with these 5 marvelous marinades

Chicken Marinade Recipes

In a chicken rut? Try a marinade to mix things up!

Marinading is one of the easiest ways to add flavor to grilled chicken. The marinade ingredients infuse into the meat before it cooks, which means each bite tastes amazing. The longer you marinate — up to 24 hours — the more flavorful the chicken. But if you're in a time crunch, all you need is 30 minutes of marinating to elevate your meal. 

Read on to learn everything you need to know about marinades: How to make 'em, how to marinate chicken, and five delicious marinade recipes to get you started. 


What is marinade?

Marinade is a liquid seasoning that sinks into the meat, infusing it with flavor. There are thousands of different marinades, but each of them contain three main components:

  • An oil, used to add moisture to the meat. This can include neutral oils, like canola oil, flavorful oils like olive oil, or even fatty liquids like coconut milk. 

  • An acid, used to tenderize the meat. This can include vinegars, citrus juices, buttermilk or yogurt.

  • Seasonings, which create the irresistible flavor you love. These can include dried and fresh herbs and seasonings, as well as other aromatic ingredients, like mustards.

  • Some marinades also contain sweeteners, like honey or brown sugar, to add depth of flavor and balance the acidity of the marinade. 


How to marinade chicken

Infusing your chicken with flavor is easy. Here’s what to do:

  1. Mix all your marinade ingredients until they’re well-blended, and set two tablespoons of marinade aside for basting later. 

  2. Put the rest in a bag along with the chicken and mix until the chicken is coated.

  3. Let it marinade in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. 

Make it a complete meal with sides

Marinated chicken might be the star of the show, but the right sides can help your chicken's flavors shine. Indulge in the tastes of summer with a roasted Corn Salad, or make these smoky Grilled Mexican-Style Corn on the Cob.

Alternatively, make the most of your summer garden with this refreshing Cucumber Tomato Salad, or go for a hearty (and seriously cheesy!)  Italian Pasta Salad might be just what you need. 

Finally, round out your meal with a cookout classic: Slow Cooker Baked Beans with Bacon. Since these cook in a slow cooker, you can start the recipe in the morning to enjoy them for dinner. 

5 Amazing chicken marinades to try

Now that you know the basics, it’s time to find your recipe inspiration! Try one of these five marinades for your next dinner. 

Italian Chicken Marinade

Dreaming of a relaxing vacation in the Mediterranean? This marinade recipe might not transport you to Florence, but it’s the next best thing. A trio of oregano, French's Chardonnay Dijon Mustard and McCormick Perfect Pinch Salad Supreme Seasoning add intense savory flavor to your chicken, while red wine vinegar and olive oil add depth of flavor. 

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons McCormick Perfect Pinch® Salad Supreme Seasoning
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons French's Chardonnay Dijon Mustard
  • 3/4 teaspoon McCormick Oregano Leaves

Coconut Curry Chicken Marinade

This magical curry marinade uses coconut milk as a source of oil — and the results are so satisfying. Curry powder, garlic, onion and paprika add body to this rich marinade, while a squeeze of lime juice adds a hint of brightness and acidity. Serve it on a bed of Coconut Rice for a mouthwatering meal. 

  • 2/3 cup Thai Kitchen Coconut Milk
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 4 teaspoons McCormick Curry Powder
  • 1 teaspoon McCormick Garlic Powder
  • 1 teaspoon McCormick Onion Powder
  • 1 teaspoon McCormick Paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Pineapple Teriyaki Chicken Marinade

Craving something sweet, salty and savory? This pineapple-spiked teriyaki is a must-try. Pineapple juice adds acidity to the marinade, while soy sauce and a trio of seasonings — garlic, ginger and crushed red pepper — add savory notes with just a hint of spice. Feel free to add more crushed red pepper to turn up the heat if you’re craving a little more fire.

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon McCormick Garlic Powder
  • 1 teaspoon McCormick Ground Ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon McCormick Crushed Red Pepper
  • Green Goddess Chicken Marinade

Meet your favorite new way to get your greens! This green goddess marinade goes heavy on the herbs — a blend of dill, tarragon and chives — for a burst of fresh flavor you’ll love. Onion and garlic ground the marinade with savory notes, while lemon juice adds a welcome splash of brightness. This marinated chicken tastes great on its own, and also makes an amazing topping for leafy green salads or grain bowls.

  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon McCormick Garlic Powder
  • 1 teaspoon McCormick Onion Powder
  • 1 teaspoon McCormick Dill Weed
  • 1/2 teaspoon McCormick Tarragon Leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon McCormick Freeze-Dried Chives
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Jerk Chicken Marinade

Sweet, tangy and spicy, this jerk chicken marinade has got it all. It gets its complex flavor from McCormick Hint of Sea Salt Caribbean Jerk Chicken Seasoning — a zesty blend that includes allspice, thyme, garlic, ginger and turmeric. It also has brown sugar, which caramelizes as the chicken cooks, creating irresistible crispy edges you love. This one’s sure to be a staple in your meal plan all year long.

  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons McCormick Hint of Sea Salt Caribbean Jerk Chicken Seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar

Measurements above are based on 1.5 pounds of boneless skinless chicken breast or thighs.


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