Prepare this easy lemon herb chicken marinade earlier in the day and enjoy delicious chicken hot off the grill for dinner!

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Lemon Herb Grilled Chicken Marinade

You are going to LOVE this grilled chicken marinade! 

This recipe provides an immense amount of flavor and will keep your chicken as moist and delicious as it possibly could be. Once you try it out, you’ll finally understand the hype of homemade marinades. 

Use it for grilled or baked chicken, I love it both ways, and you won’t be disappointed. In no time this lemon herb chicken marinade will be your new go-to. 

Serve your chicken with Chili Lime Corn on the Cob and Zucchini Salad for a meal everyone will love.

grilled chicken and corn on the cob

What Kind of Chicken Do I Need For Chicken Marinade?

For this recipe, you can use any chicken you want, such as breasts, wings, thighs, legs, or even the whole chicken if you really want to. Once you pick the chicken type you can cook it either on the grill or in the oven. Both ways taste great, I just love taking advantage of any chance to fire up the grill in the summer to avoid heating up the oven. 

How Long To Grill Chicken: 

Grilling chicken is all based on how hot your grill gets, and the type of chicken you are cooking. A good rule of thumb is to use a meat thermometer to gauge if the chicken is at the right temperature before removing it from the heat. 

If you don’t own a meat thermometer you can also just prick the chicken with a fork to see if the juices run clear. If the juices are pink, the chicken isn’t cooked through.

  • Boneless skinless chicken breasts usually need about 4-5 minutes per side 
  • Bone-in chicken needs about 10 minutes per side. 

How Long To Bake Chicken: 

The same thermometer rule goes for baked chicken as well since, just like grills, all ovens are different. Here are your general cooking times though.  

  • Boneless skinless chicken needs about 30 minutes baked at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  • Bone-in chicken thighs, legs, and wings need about 40 minutes baked at 350 degrees Fahrenheit


 lemon herb chicken marinade in measuring cup with raw chicken

How To Make The Best Grilled Chicken Marinade

Marinades are so easy to make yourself! Once you try just one you’ll wonder why you ever spent money on those expensive preservative-filled store-bought marinades. Once you have all the ingredients prepped, everything comes together in minutes. 

Just use a small bowl or jar and whisk together all of the ingredients. Then, using a gallon-size ziptop plastic bag or large bowl, combine chicken and marinate for at least 30 minutes to 4 hours, turning occasionally

Remove the chicken from the bag; discard the marinade. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and cook as desired. 

pouring easy lemon herb chicken marinade over raw chicken

Why Should I Marinate Chicken?

You might be wondering “what’s the point of marinating chicken, can’t I just pour the sauce on right before cooking?” Well to answer your question, marinating does so much more than just saucing the chicken prior to cooking it.

When the chicken and the lemon herb marinade get the chance to mingle for those few hours, a mass of flavor infusion is happening, which is simultaneously making the chicken both more flavorful, and juicier. 

So, as you can see, it’s definitely worth the little bit of extra time and effort to use a chicken marinade. 

How Long Should I Marinate Chicken?

With this grilled chicken marinade, in particular, you have a small window of that perfect length of time to get the best results. The ideal is 4 hours or less. You don’t really want to marinate for too much longer because with a marinade that has a high acidity level, marinating for too long can cause the meat to become mushy. 

If you plan to marinate for longer than 4 hours, wait to add the lemon juice until the last hour or two.


marinating chicken in easy lemon herb chicken marinade

How To Avoid Contamination When Marinating Chicken

Using caution when dealing with raw chicken is an absolute must! You need to be especially cautious when working with marinades that raw chicken will soak in for hours. 

Bacteria that can cause illness when consumed lives on raw chicken and can only be killed once the chicken is fully cooked. That bacteria can easily spread from the chicken to anything it comes into contact with. This means to fully sanitize anything it comes into contact with. 

It’s also important to note that you should NEVER reuse marinades. Once the meat has soaked in the marinade it is now loaded with harmful bacteria and needs to be discarded immediately after use. 


grilled chicken with easy lemon herb chicken marinade

When and Where To Serve Lemon Herb Grilled Chicken Marinade 

Backyard barbeques are the best place to break out this simple grilled chicken marinade recipe. It’s perfect because you can make a big batch for the whole party, or just a small amount if only a few people are lemon-herb fans. 

Plus since it’s a make-ahead marinade, it will leave you with one less thing to prep the day of, I’d call that a win! 

You can also pair this perfectly with a few simple sides for a great mid-summer family dinner. I love serving up this lemon herb marinated chicken with grilled corn on the cob and a simple salad for a healthy yet delicious dinner I can whip up in no time. 

plate of easy lemon herb grilled chicken corn and salad

You Can Never Have Too Many Chicken Recipes

Kickin’ Chicken Stuffed Peppers – Conveniently portioned and stuffed with chicken, rice, tomatoes, and cheese to create a weeknight dinner ready for everyone to dig in.  

Pickle Brine Chicken Wings –  Seriously crispy and seriously delicious. A fantastic keto wing recipe for your snacking pleasure. With instructions for both air fryer and oven.

Buffalo Chicken Meatballs – All the flavors of buffalo hot wings, without the guilt. If you’re a fan of buffalo chicken wings, you’re going to want this finger-lickin’ good recipe. 

Cilantro Lime Grilled Chicken – Delivers lots of flavor thanks to a quick marinade, and with just 7 ingredients and 3 steps, it’s easy enough to cook any night of the week.

BBQ Chicken Salad A Panera Copycat Recipe – a flavorful dinner salad recipe that’s off the hook delicious! It’s super easy to make but tastes like it’s straight from a restaurant. It’s sure to become a favorite salad recipe at your house too!

One-Pot Chicken Parmesan Pasta –  A go-to easy dinner recipe anytime you are craving comfort food. A delicious chicken and pasta recipe everyone in the family will love. 

Like This Chicken Marinade Recipe? Pin it!


easy lemon herb chicken marinade for and grilled chicken

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grilled chicken and corn on the cob

Lemon Herb Chicken Marinade

Yield: 2/3 cup
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Minimum Refrigeration Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Prepare this easy lemon herb chicken marinade earlier in the day and enjoy delicious chicken hot off the grill for dinner!


  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2½ teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 pounds chicken pieces (either bone-in or boneless)
  • Seasoned salt and fresh ground pepper to taste


  1. Using a small bowl or jar, whisk together all of the ingredients.
  2. Using a gallon-size ziptop plastic bag or large bowl, combine chicken and marinate for at least 30 minutes to 4 hours, turning occasionally.
  3. To Grill Chicken: Remove the chicken from the bag; discard the marinade. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat grill to medium-high indirect heat. Grill chicken, covered, until a thermometer registers 165°F when inserted into the thickest part of a chicken, 20 to 25 minutes, turning halfway through grilling. (or about 4-5 minutes per side if using boneless skinless chicken)


Alternately, the chicken may be cooked in the oven.

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