Alluring lemon garlic marinade perfect for chicken

Ladies and gentlemen, get ready to tantalize those taste buds because I’ve got a recipe that will make your mouth water! The Lemon Garlic Marinade for Chicken Recipe is just the perfect flavor to add some pizazz to your kitchen.

For all you chicken lovers out there, trust me when I say that this recipe will become one of your go-to dishes that everyone will be begging for. The key ingredients, including fresh lemon juice and minced garlic, complement each other perfectly, leaving behind a taste that is both bold and refreshing.

I must admit that chicken can often become tedious in flavor if not spiced up right, but this recipe has the perfect balance of savory and tangy notes. Whether you’re grilling, baking or sautéing your chicken breast or thighs, this Lemon Garlic Marinade has got you covered.

Don’t worry about preparations; this recipe only requires basic pantry items that won’t break the bank on groceries. It’s also easy to make, so even novice cooks will find themselves whipping these up in no time!

So let’s dive in and get started on unleashing the tantalizing flavors of this marinade on those chicken breasts or thighs. You won’t be disappointed!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Lemon Garlic Marinade for Chicken
Lemon Garlic Marinade for Chicken

Are you tired of the same old bland chicken dishes that fail to impress your taste buds? Look no further as I present to you my Lemon Garlic Marinade for Chicken recipe! You’ll be amazed by how this simple yet flavorful marinade can transform your boneless skinless chicken breasts into a mouthwatering delicacy.

The combination of zesty lemon juice, earthy garlic, and fresh parsley will leave your taste buds dancing with joy. The marinade utilizes freshly squeezed lemon juice rather than bottled juice, which gives the dish a refreshing tangy taste. The minced garlic, on the other hand, contributes a subtle pungent flavor that blends perfectly with the lemon juice.

One of the best things about this recipe is how versatile it is. Whether you choose to grill, bake or fry your chicken, this marinade guarantees amazing results. You can even use it to make Greek chicken or herb chicken thighs by tweaking some of the ingredients.

Additionally, this recipe provides you with an option to marinate your chicken for an extended period without leaving it tough as rubbery. The acidic components in lemon juice help tenderize the meat and break down its proteins. It infuses effortlessly into the chicken within hours, ensuring that it remains moist and juicy even when left to marinate for up to 24 hours.

You won’t have to worry about being held up in the kitchen for long when preparing this meal as it takes only 20 minutes to prepare the marinade and incorporate it into your chicken. Once you have marinated your chicken, all that remains is cooking it, and voila! Your delicious lemon garlic chicken has landed.

Overall, what’s not to love about a dish that is easy to prepare, flavorful and versatile enough to suit any occasion? Trust me; once you try out this recipe, you won’t be able to go back to your old dull chicken dishes.

Ingredient List

 Zesty lemon and savory garlic come together in this flavorful marinade!
Zesty lemon and savory garlic come together in this flavorful marinade!

Here are the ingredients you need for this mouth-watering lemon garlic marinade for chicken recipe:

  • Boneless skinless chicken breasts: You can also use bone-in chicken or thighs if you prefer.
  • Lemon juice (freshly squeezed): The lemon juice is one of the main ingredients in this recipe, which helps to tenderize the meat and give it a bright, zesty flavor.
  • Lemon zest: Lemon zest is the outermost layer of the peel, which holds a lot of flavor that will add an extra kick to the marinade.
  • Garlic (minced): Garlic adds a strong, pungent flavor to the marinade and pairs perfectly with lemon.
  • Olive oil: Olive oil is a key ingredient for marinating chicken as it helps to infuse flavors into the meat and keep it moist during cooking.
  • Fresh parsley (chopped): This ingredient adds a depth of flavor and color to the marinade.
  • A pinch of salt and black pepper.

The Recipe How-To

 Elevate your chicken game with this tangy and aromatic marinade.
Elevate your chicken game with this tangy and aromatic marinade.

Preparing the Lemon Garlic Marinade is quite a simple task, and you won’t believe how easy it is to make. Let’s get started!


  • 2/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2-3 lemons)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley

Step-by-step instructions:

  1. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the juice from freshly squeezed lemons, minced garlic, black pepper, mustard, and salt.
  2. Gradually add in the olive oil while continuing to whisk until the marinade emulsifies.
  3. Toss some finely chopped parsley into the mixture and stir well.

Marinating the chicken:

  1. Place the boneless skinless chicken breasts in an airtight bag or a shallow dish.
  2. Pour the lemon garlic marinade over chicken and ensure that each piece of chicken is coated with enough marinade on all sides.
  3. Seal tightly or cover and marinate for at least three hours or up to twenty-four hours in the fridge.

Tip: Since this marinade contains acidity from the lemon juice, do not marinate your chicken breast for too long or you might end up with a mushy mess.

Cooking options:

The possibilities with Lemon Garlic Chicken are truly endless. Here are a few classic cooking options that never disappoint:

Grilled Lemon Garlic Chicken

  1. Preheat your grill to medium-high heat.
  2. Remove your chicken from the marinade and discard any extra marinade.
  3. Place your chicken on hot grates and grill it until each side has got light grill marks and is cooked through (about five minutes per side).
  4. Serve it immediately.

Baked Lemon Garlic Chicken

  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Remove your chicken from the marinade and discard any extra marinade.
  3. Place your chicken pieces into a greased baking dish and bake for around thirty-five minutes, turning the chicken pieces occasionally.
  4. When done, let it cool for ten minutes before serving.

With these steps followed accurately, you’ll have incredible tender juicy sweet lemon garlic chicken ready in no time!

Substitutions and Variations

 Bursting with citrusy and garlicky goodness, this marinade will bring your chicken to life.
Bursting with citrusy and garlicky goodness, this marinade will bring your chicken to life.

If you’re looking to switch things up with the lemon garlic chicken marinade recipe, there are plenty of opportunities to do so. Here are some substitutions and variations that can add a twist to the classic recipe:

1. Chicken thighs: While this marinade is great with boneless skinless chicken breasts, it can also work with chicken thighs. They’re more flavorful and tender than chicken breasts, but they require a bit longer cooking time.

2. Lemon pepper: For a subtle variation on the lemon garlic flavor profile, try swapping out the minced garlic in the recipe for some cracked black pepper. The zesty lemon mixed with spicy black pepper makes for a delicious seasoning blend.

3. Greek lemon herb: Transform your chicken marinade into a Mediterranean-inspired dish by adding some herbs like oregano, thyme, and rosemary to the mix. Greek chicken marinade pairs well with grilled or baked boneless skinless chicken thighs.

4. Mustard marinade: For something tangier, whip up a mustard-based marinade instead of the lemon garlic one. Combine dijon mustard, honey, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar for an excellent alternative.

5. Garlic sauce: If you want something simple that’s still heavy on the garlic flavor, try making a quick garlic sauce instead of marinating your chicken. Sauté minced garlic in olive oil and mix with yogurt or sour cream and lemon to create a creamy garlic sauce that goes perfectly with baked boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs.

When it comes to substitutions and variations in this recipe, the possibilities are endless! These are just some ideas to get those creative juices flowing. Experiment with different marinades and herbs until you find one that suits your taste buds best.

Serving and Pairing

 Say goodbye to bland chicken with this mouth-watering marinade.
Say goodbye to bland chicken with this mouth-watering marinade.

Once you’ve marinated the chicken to perfection, it’s time to serve it up! The lemon garlic chicken with its tangy and bold flavors pairs well with a wide variety of sides. If you’re looking to keep things light, consider serving it with a simple salad of mixed greens or roasted vegetables such as asparagus or zucchini.

If you’re in the mood for something a bit heartier, lemon garlic chicken is also perfect with a warm, fluffy side of rice pilaf, buttered noodles, or mashed potatoes. The rich flavors of the marinade soak into the tender chicken meat creating a delectable main course.

To elevate this dish even further, pair the lemon garlic chicken with a crisp white wine or a refreshing beer. A Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, or an IPA are excellent choices.

Whether you’re hosting an intimate dinner party or having a casual get-together with friends, serving lemon garlic chicken will surely satisfy your guests’ appetites while also impressing their taste buds. This versatile chicken recipe is sure to be a hit on your table!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Impress your guests with this delicious and simple-to-make marinade.
Impress your guests with this delicious and simple-to-make marinade.

If you’re throwing a party or having some friends over, the last thing you want to do is be stuck in the kitchen all day preparing food. That’s why this lemon garlic marinade for chicken recipe is perfect – it can be made ahead of time, stored easily, and reheated when you’re ready to serve.

To make ahead, simply prepare the marinade as directed in the recipe how-to section, then add the chicken breasts to the marinade and leave in the fridge for at least 3 hours but no longer than 24 hours- this will allow enough time to fully infuse the flavors into your chicken.

Once marinated, cook your chicken breasts as usual (grill, bake or pan-fry) and keep them stored in an airtight container. The cooked marinated chicken will last in the fridge for up to two days. This means that you can prepare them before your party or gathering, leaving more time for socializing and enjoying your company.

When it comes time to serve your lemon garlic marinated chicken, simply reheat it gently on a skillet/ griddle pan over low heat till nicely heated up. If your chicken starts to dry up, add some olive oil or garlic sauce from making the chicken breast into a small pan with and add it to help moisten and give extra flavor as needed.

The lemon garlic marinade also works perfectly with any leftover chicken thighs or other cuts of chicken that you might have lying around. You can use it to make delicious leftover chicken sandwiches or salads – this recipe is versatile and easy to adapt to suit whatever meal you need it for.

Overall, this make-ahead, storing and reheating tip saves you time and energy when cooking dinner for big crowds! It allows you not only to spend more time with your guests but also ensures that everyone can enjoy delicious juicy lemon-garlic marinated chicken even on a busy day.

Tips for Perfect Results

 Let your chicken soak up all the delicious flavors of this lemon garlic goodness.
Let your chicken soak up all the delicious flavors of this lemon garlic goodness.

Now that you have the recipe for the delicious lemon garlic marinade for chicken, let me share some tips to ensure that your dish comes out perfectly.

1. Marinate your chicken for at least 3 hours: Marinades use acidic components like lemon juice to help tenderize the meat. If left too long, however, they can break down proteins too much, making the meat tough, rubbery or even mushy. Marinate chicken for at least 3 hours but not more than 24 hours to achieve perfect results.

2. Use freshly squeezed lemon juice and minced garlic: Quality of ingredients is key when it comes to achieving great taste in your dishes. Using freshly squeezed lemon juice and minced fresh garlic will add a burst of flavor to your marinade.

3. Add herbs if desired: To add more depth of flavor to your dish, consider using other herbs like thyme, rosemary or oregano as a substitute or addition to parsley.

4. Season the chicken with salt and pepper before cooking: Don’t forget to season the chicken with salt and pepper before cooking it in the lemon garlic marinade, this will enhance its natural flavors.

5. Let the chicken rest: Once cooked, let your chicken breast rest for a few minutes before slicing it for serving. This will lock in its moisture and prevent it from becoming dry.

By following these tips, you can be sure that your Lemon Garlic Chicken will be a hit among guests at any party or family dinner.


Before concluding this recipe article, let’s address some of the frequently asked questions to help you better understand the Lemon Garlic Marinade for Chicken Recipe. The following section will provide some insights into troubleshooting, ingredient substitutions, and storage tips to make sure the recipe comes out perfectly every time. So, without further ado, let’s get started with our FAQ section.

How long can you marinate chicken in lemon?

When using marinades with acidic ingredients like lemon juice, it’s crucial to avoid leaving the meat to soak for too long. Typically, 2-3 hours is the recommended time frame. While lemon juice works wonders in tenderizing the meat, overexposure can have adverse effects. It will break down the proteins too much, leading to tough, rubbery, or even mushy meat. Therefore, pay attention to the recommended marinade time for optimal results.

What does marinating chicken in lemon juice do?

When using marinades that contain acidic ingredients like lemon juice, it is recommended to limit the marinating time to 2-3 hours at most. The reason for this is that while lemon juice aids in meat tenderization, excessive exposure may lead to the proteins being overly broken down, resulting in unpalatable, tough and rubbery meat.

How long should you marinate chicken?

Marinating chicken can enhance its flavor and make it succulent for grilling or roasting. A marination period of 2 hours to 24 hours is most effective, and even quicker marinade times of 15 to 30 minutes can improve the taste and moisture of smaller cuts of chicken. It is important to note that bone-in chicken pieces, including wings, drumsticks, and breasts, require a lengthier marination process than boneless chicken cuts.

Is 20 minutes long enough to marinate chicken?

When it comes to marinating, shorter is often better. If you’re preparing chicken, lamb, pork, or steak for your dinner party, try not to exceed 24 hours of marinating time. In fact, marinating for just 15 to 20 minutes can significantly enhance the flavor of your protein. So, don’t be tempted to leave it in the marinade for too long.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this lemon garlic marinade for chicken recipe is a must-try for anyone who loves delicious and flavorful food. It’s simple to make, yet packed with flavor that will leave your taste buds wanting more. With just a few ingredients, you can create an incredibly delicious chicken dish that is perfect for any occasion.

Not only is this recipe easy to prepare, but it’s also versatile and allows for many variations and substitutions. You can use boneless skinless chicken breasts, thighs or even wings. You can bake it, grill it or even use it as a sauce for other meats or vegetables.

Furthermore, this marinade recipe uses acidic components such as lemon juice, which helps tenderize the meat leaving it moist and succulent. The components of minced garlic, fresh herbs, and olive oil take the marinade to the next level with its robust and savory flavor.

In short, try this lemon garlic marinade on any cut of chicken or meet your craving calls for. Your guests will thank you, and your taste buds will love you for it!

Lemon Garlic Marinade for Chicken

Lemon Garlic Marinade for Chicken Recipe

I'm not sure where I got this recipe but it is very good. I usually throw some chicken breasts in a ziploc bag and add this marinade and then freeze. All I have to do for a quick meal is thaw and toss on the grill. This makes enough marinade for about 1-1.5 pounds of chicken breasts. Cooking time reflects marinating time.
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Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Course Main Course
Cuisine Fusion
Calories 319 kcal


  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice, fresh preferred
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts


  • Place chicken breasts in a large ziploc bag.
  • Mix first five ingredients together and pour over chicken.
  • Marinate at least one hour, longer if possible.
  • Cook chicken as desired.
  • I prefer to grill mine.
  • This is wonderful served on a caesar salad.

Your Own Notes


Serving: 198gCalories: 319kcalCarbohydrates: 1.4gProtein: 36.3gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 2.8gCholesterol: 109mgSodium: 199.2mgFiber: 0.1gSugar: 0.3g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Chicken, Chicken Breast, Easy, High In..., High Protein, Meat, Poultry, Very Low Carbs
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