This lemon garlic chicken marinade is super simple to make, healthy, and full of flavor. Simply marinate your favorite chicken in lemon juice, oil, garlic, and herbs then grill it, bake it, or freeze it for later!

Complete the meal with a creamy cucumber salad and some smoky roast potatoes. And for something a little different, try our spicy chicken marinade.

lemon garlic chicken marinade on grilled chicken.

Lemon garlic chicken marinade

This chicken has a tangy lemon flavor with just the right amount of garlic and lots of tasty herbs. It tastes bright and fresh and is delicious both grilled and baked. Bonus that it takes only minutes to make and is made with kitchen-staple ingredients so you can always have a healthy and tasty chicken dinner.

MEAL PREP TIP: We often keep a bag of lemon garlic marinated chicken in the freezer. The chicken will marinate as it thaws and be ready in time for an easy weeknight dinner.

How to make lemon garlic marinated chicken

Making this marinade is so simple!

  1. Mix some lemon juice, olive oil, herbs, garlic, salt, and pepper in a little bowl.
  2. Put the chicken into a shallow pan and pour the marinade over the top. Mix it around a little so the chicken is well-coated.
  3. OR … put the chicken into a reusable freezer bag (we love these large Stasher freezer bags) then pour the marinade into the bag.
  4. When you're ready to cook the chicken, either grill it or bake it.

Full recipe instructions are in the recipe card below.

Lemon Garlic Chicken Marinade

Ingredient notes

Chicken – this marinade is delicious on chicken breast, chicken thighs (boneless and bone-in), wings, and chicken tenders.

Olive oil – use a basic cooking olive oil for this recipe. No need to pull out your best drizzling olive oil.

Herbs – we love fresh herbs, but dried work well, too. You can also substitute Italian seasoning.

Garlic – fresh is best and we like to mince it very small (or even grate it on a Microplane) so that the garlic flavor really comes out.

Lemon garlic chicken marinade FAQs

How long should I marinate the chicken?

Chicken marinated for 6-8 hours will have the best flavor. But even a quick 30-minute marinade will do if you're short on time. Just don't marinate the chicken longer than 24 hours or the texture of the meat will change and start to get mushy.

Can chicken be frozen in the marinade?

Yes! We love these large Stasher freezer bags for freezing just about everything, including this chicken. Simply put the chicken into the bag, pour in the marinade, squish the bag around a little so the chicken is coated in the marinade, then put the bag into your freezer.

What cut of chicken should I use? Breast, thighs, boneless, help!

This marinade can be used to marinade all cuts of chicken. Simply choose your favorite and use that!

What to serve with lemon garlic marinated chicken

Our favorite sides are our creamy cucumber salad (pictured below) or our creamy celery salad; both go really well with the lemon garlic chicken. A few other sides that go well with this meal are:

Grilled lemon garlic chicken on a plate with cucumber salad.
lemon garlic chicken marinade on grilled chicken.

Lemon Garlic Chicken Marinade

This lemon garlic chicken marinade is super simple to make, healthy, and full of flavor. Simply marinate your favorite chicken in lemon juice, oil, garlic, and herbs then grill it, bake it, or freeze it for later!
5 stars (4 ratings)

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup lemon juice, (freshly squeezed for the best flavor)
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons EACH: minced fresh oregano, thyme, and rosemary, (or sub 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning)
  • 1 teaspoon EACH: sea salt and pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 lb. chicken, (see notes)

Instructions 

  • Combine the lemon juice, olive oil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, salt, pepper, and garlic into a small bowl.
    ¼ cup lemon juice, ¼ cup olive oil, 2 tablespoons EACH: minced fresh oregano, thyme, and rosemary, 2 garlic cloves, 1 teaspoon EACH: sea salt and pepper
  • Place the chicken in a shallow bowl or baking dish and pour the marinade over the top. Mix it around a little so that all the pieces are coated in the marinade. Cover the bowl then put it into your fridge for marinate for 30 minutes – 24 hours.
    2 lb. chicken

Cook the chicken

  • Bake: Put the chicken and all of the marinade into a shallow baking dish. Bake at 420 degrees Fahrenheit, uncovered, for 15 minutes for boneless thighs, 20-25 minutes for breast, and 35-40 minutes for bone-in thighs.
  • Grill: Remove the chicken from the marinade and grill over medium heat for 10 minutes for boneless thighs, 18-22 minutes for breast, and 30-35 minutes (over indirect heat) for bone-in thighs.

Optional: freeze the chicken

  • Put the raw chicken into freezer bags then pour the marinade over the top. Squish the bag around a little so that the chicken is coated in the marinade then seal the bag and put it into your freezer.
Serving: 1serving, Calories: 310kcal, Carbohydrates: 2g, Protein: 21g, Fat: 24g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 12g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 85mg, Sodium: 371mg, Potassium: 241mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 181IU, Vitamin C: 5mg, Calcium: 34mg, Iron: 2mg
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A close up of grilled chicken marinated in a lemon garlic chicken marinade.