34 Cracking chicken marinades to try tonight
Making your own marinades at home turns a boring grilled chicken breast into a thing of wonder (and deliciousness!) - plus you can avoid all the additives, sugar and salt that's usually found in store-bought bottles of marinade. We love marinating chicken for use in salads, stir-fries and more, so we thought we'd share with you 34 cracking marinades that you can try tonight!
#1. Lemon and Herb
This super-fresh, tasty combination of vitamin-C rich lemon and fresh herbs never fails to please! Combine the juice and zest of 1 lemon with 1/4 cup olive oil and 1/4 cup of chopped fresh herbs. Marinate your chicken for up to 30 minutes before grilling to perfection - delicious served with a leafy green salad.
#2. Indian Tandoori
Like your marinades with a little kick? This perfect tandoori marinade is ideal if you're going to be grilling or cooking your chicken in the oven. Combine 2 tablespoons of olive oil with 1/2 cup plain yoghurt, 1 tsp ground turmeric, 1 tsp ground cumin and 1/2 tsp ground coriander and smother your chicken. Marinate for as long as possible before cooking.
A classic sticky, sweet teriyaki marinade is perfect with chicken; now there's no need to rely on the Chinese takeaway! Blend 1/3 cup brown sugar, 1/3 cup water, 1/3 cup soy sauce, 1/2 tsp cinnamon and 1 clove of crushed garlic - it really is that simple! Try serving your chicken with steamed brown rice and broccoli or bok choi. This also makes a great stir-fry sauce!
#4. Dijon Sun-Dried Tomato
For a Mediterranean flavour, combine 1 tsp rosemary, 1 tsp thyme, 2 sun-dried tomatoes (in oil), 1 tbsp Dijon mustard and 1/4 cup of olive oil - we recommend chopping the sun-dried tomatoes into little pieces. Spread over the chicken and bake in the oven - great with chicken thighs or breasts.
#5. Terrific Thai
Skip the Thai takeaway and whip up this terrific marinade at home to impress your friends! Combine 1/2 cup coconut milk, the juice of 1 lime, 2 tablespoons fresh coriander (chopped), 1 shallot (minced) and 1/2 tsp chilli powder then marinate your chicken - this is also great with prawns.
#6. Honey & Lime
Sweet, sour and super-healthy, we love this marinade! Just combine the juice of 2 limes with 1/3 cup soy sauce and 1/2 cup honey to give you enough marinade for 4 chicken breasts. So addictive!
#7. Classic Chipotle
Combine 3 minced garlic cloves, 1 chipotle in adobo sauce (found in the Mexican section of larger supermarkets, or online), 1 tsp vinegar and the juice of 1 lime and marinate your chicken overnight for delicious spicy flavour.
#8. Mexican Fajita
Who doesn't love fajitas? Now you can marinate your chicken with this fajita marinade for use in wraps, salads and sandwiches. You'll need the recipe, as this marinade has quite a long list of ingredients, although you should have most of them at home.
#9. Honey Mustard
One of the easiest, tastiest marinades that also tastes great on salmon, just combine 2 tbsp Dijon or wholegrain mustard with 2 tbsp clear honey and 1 tbsp soy sauce, then marinate your chicken for at least 30 minutes before grilling.
#10. Orange & Soy
This Asian-style marinade is sweet, savoury and delicious. Combine 1/3 cup orange marmalade, 3 chopped spring onions, 1/4 cup white wine, 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp cider vinegar, 1 tsp worcestershire sauce and 1/2 tsp soy sauce then baste chicken regularly as it cooks.
This rum marinade has all the flavours of your favourite drink! Mix 1/4 cup freshly chopped mint with 2 chopped shallots, 1/4 cup rum, 1/2 cup lime juice, 1 tbsp freshly grated lime zest, 3 tbsp honey, 2 tbsp rapeseed oil (or light olive oil) and 1tbsp salt. Marinate in a sealed plastic bag for as long as possible.
This sweet, fruity marinade is a great way to turn a summer salad into something special! Combine 1 cup crushed pineapple chunks, 1/3 cup soy sauce, 1/3 cup honey, 1/4 cup cider vinegar, 2 cloves garlic (minced), 1 tsp ginger powder and 1/2 tsp powdered cloves. Yum!
#13. Jamaican Jerk
Jerk marinade is a lovely, saucy alternative to Jamaican Jerk rub - check out the spicy recipe here and serve with a black bean salad or rice.
#14. Rosemary Balsamic
For a great way to jazz up chicken thighs, combine 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar, 2 tbsp olive oil, 6 sprigs of fresh rosemary and 6 cloves of garlic, as well as plenty of black pepper. Marinate your chicken for up to 24 hours for a deep, herby flavour.
#15. Lemon & Pepper
A simple marinade that's great for everyday cooking, mix 1/4 cup lemon juice with 1/4 cup rapeseed oil, 1/2 tsp cracked black peppercorns, 1/2 tsp fresh dill, 1/4 cup water and 1/2 tsp salt. This works best with chicken cooked on a ridged grill pan, for that charred flavour.
#16. Lemon & Rosemary
If you love store-bought lemon and herb chicken but are trying to make healthier eating choices, make your own! All you need is the juice of 3 large lemons, 1/4 cup fresh rosemary (or 2 tbsp dried rosemary), 2 cloves garlic (minced), 2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp white pepper. If you like you can cut back on the rosemary and add some oregano instead. Delicious!
#17. Chilli Rub
Capsaicin can help to boost your metabolism, and this spicy rub is the perfect way to liven up chicken! Mix equal amounts of paprika, cayenne pepper, oregano, cumin and chilli powder and rub on your chicken before grilling, but be careful - it's spicy!
#18. Garlic Superfood Rub
A simple rub which adds flavour to chicken (or steak) when you're short of time. Ideally you should rub this on and let the meat sit for at least an hour before cooking. Combine 8 cloves of garlic (crushed) with 1 tbsp mustard (whole grain), 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tso lemon zest and some salt and pepper.
#19. Chipotle Lime
This is a great marinade to use when BBQ-ing chicken, even though BBQ season is still some way off! Mix 1/4 cup grapeseed oil wth 1/4 cup lime juice, 2 cloves garlic (minced), 1 tbsp freshly grated lime zest, 1 tbsp honey, 1 tbsp ground cumin, 1 tbsp chipotle powder, salt and black pepper. Marinate the chicken for 2 to 3 hours, turning frequently in the spicy marinade.
#20. Asian Spice
In a large tupperware container with a lid, mix together the following: 1/4 cup fish sauce, 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar (or use red wine vinegar), 1/4 cup soy, 1/4 cup sriracha sauce, 1/4 cup olive oil, Juice of 1 lime, 1/2 tsp ground cayenne, 4 garlic cloves (peeled and smashed), salt and pepper. Marinate the chicken for around 3 to 4 hours and serve with steamed rice and your choice of stir-fried vegetables.
#21. 7-Up Marinade
You've heard of gammon cooked in cola, so why not chicken cooked in 7-Up? Just don't make this all the time, as it's pretty high in sugar. Combine 2 cups of 7-Up with 1 cup soy sauce, 1 tbsp horseradish, 1/2 tsp minced garlic and 1 cup oil (we use rapeseed, but olive oil works too) then marinate chicken breasts for 8 hours or overnight.
This marinade is SO simple, and the chicken tastes amazing served with steamed coconut rice topped with spring onions. We recommend you brush the cooked chicken with some sweet chilli sauce before serving - yummy! Mix 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil with 1/4 cup minced garlic and 1/2 bunch of fresh coriander (or a big handful) and blend in a blender or food processor until smooth. Marinate overnight or whilst you're at work.
#23. Overnight Orange Blossom Honey
This sweet, sticky and spicy marinade works best if the chicken breasts are marinated overnight. We recommend serving this with a mixed salad (how about an avocado salad?) or some steamed brown rice or quinoa. Combine 1/2 cup honey with 1/3 cup Dijon mustard, 1 tbsp curry powder and 4tbsp soy sauce.
#24. Buffalo Chicken
If you've ever had Buffalo Chicken before, making your own at home is pretty easy. Just combine 3/4 cup hot sauce of your choice with 1/4 cup butter, 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce, 1/2 tsp onion powder and 1/4 tsp salt. Marinade for at least 3 to 4 hours before grilling and serving with baked sweet potatoes or fries.
This is super-simple and ideal if you're looking to add Asian flavour to your chicken. Great to marinate chicken with before using it in a stir-fry or noodle dish. Combine 1/4 cup soy sauce (try to use reduced-sodium soy if you can as it contains much less salt) with 3 tbsp sugar, 1 tsp five-spice powder and 1 clove of garlic (minced). Marinate the chicken in a ziploc bag in the fridge for an hour or two.
This sweet n' sour style marinade brings the taste of Hawaii to your plate - we love to serve this with rice and perhaps some pineapple or mango salsa. Combine 1/4 cup pineapple juice, 2 tbsp ketchup, 2 tbsp soy sauce, 2 garlic cloves (minced) and 1 1/2 tsp peeled minced ginger - then place with chicken breasts in a ziploc bag and chill for 4 hours to marinate. Reserve some marinade in the bowl to baste the chicken with whilst it cooks in a grill pan.
This Korean-style marinade works beautifully with smoky, grilled chicken cooked in a grill pan or on the BBQ. Combine 1 cup soy sauce, 1/3 cup brown sugar, 3 tbsp sesame oil, 1/4 cup water, 4 garlic cloves (minced), 4 spring onion stalks (chopped), 1 tsp grated ginger and some salt and pepper and marinate chicken breasts, thighs or drumsticks for up to 8 hours in the fridge.
#28. Pollo Asado
This Mexican-style marinade is a great way to add flavour to boring old chicken breasts. In a blender, combine 1/2 tsp black pepper, 1/4 cup lime juice, 2 tsp ground cumin, 2 tsp white vinegar, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/2 cup onion (chopped), 1 tsp salt, 2 garlic cloves (peeled and smashed) and 2 small dried red chillies. Pour the marinade over chicken in a tupperware container and marinate overnight in the fridge.
#29. Orange Tequila
This is a great marinade for the summer months. Crush 1 to 2 dried chillies using a pestle and mortar. Blend with 1/2 cup fresh orange juice, 2 tbsp tequila, 1 tsp grated orange peel, 2 cloves garlic (minced) and 1/4 tsp salt. Now whisk in 1/4 cup vegetable or rapeseed oil until thoroughly blended and use to baste chicken as it cooks.
This quick marinade is SO tasty, especially if you use freshly squeezed orange juice! Combine 1/2 cup orange juice, 2 tsp orange zest, 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter, 2 tbsp dark brown sugar, 1/4 cup light soy sauce, 2 tsp ginger, 4 garlic cloves (minced) and 1 tsp chilli flakes and use the mixture to marinate your chicken breasts for at least 30 minutes.
Combine 1/2 cup harissa paste, 2 tbsp sea salt, 1/2 cup olive oil, 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper and 6 garlic cloves (minced) to create this hot and spicy marinade!
#32. Sweet Bourbon Ginger
If you prefer your marinades sweet and sticky rather than spicy, this will go down a treat. The fresh ginger makes this really special. Combine 1/4 cup bourbon with 1/2 cup soy, 1/4 cup water, 1/4 cup molasses, 1 clove garlic (minced) and 1/2 tsp fresh ginger. Baste the chicken regularly as it cooks in a grill pan.
This easy, all-purpose chicken marinade is easy to make with ingredients you've probably already picked up on your weekly shop. It works well with chicken that you plan to grill or roast/bake in the oven. Combine 1/4 cup red wine, 1/4 cup red wine vinegar, 1/4 cup olive oil, 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar, 2 tbsp chopped thyme, 1 tbsp chopped rosemary, 2 tsp salt, 2 tsp soy sauce, 2 tsp black pepper, 6 garlic cloves (minced), the grated zest of 1 lemon, juice of 1/2 lemon. Whisk together until blended and marinate your chicken for 30 minutes - any longer and the lemon juice will start to cook the meat!
#34. Hariyali Tikka
This fresh-tasting herby marinade works well on chicken that's going to be grilled or cooked on the BBQ. In a blender, mix 1/2 bunch fresh coriander, 10 mint leaves, 2cm piece of peeled ginger, 2 cloves garlic (peeled and minced), 1 tbsp lemon juice, 1 green chilli (de-seeded) and 1 tbsp salt. Blend and pour over chicken - marinate in the fridge for up to 3 hours.