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Switch up your everyday chicken with this Thai chicken marinade! It's made from scratch with only real ingredients and delivers big bold Thai flavor. Grill or bake it and then serve it with some rice and a salad for a quick and easy meal that's ready in just 35 minutes!
Just in time for grilling season, we're sharing our absolute favorite Thai chicken marinade! This quick and easy-to-make marinade turns out chicken that's juicy, tender, and flavorful every time.
It's a well-balanced marinade that manages to be sweet, savory, and a bit spicy. It's made with only real ingredients and no preservatives so it's much healthier than most store-bought marinades.
With minimal prep time, it makes for an easy dinner any day of the week. Just marinate the chicken in the morning, then while your rice is cooking, grill the chicken, mix the peanut satay sauce, and prep a salad.
Save yourself some effort by making a double batch and freezing one for later. This marinated Thai chicken is easy, it's delicious, and kids love it, too!
Thai chicken marinade ingredients
This Thai chicken marinade is made with only real ingredients and you're likely to have most of them on hand. Here's everything you need to make it:
- Soy sauce – soy sauce is a salty condiment that's rich in umami flavor. You can use tamari if that's what you have on hand, or gluten-free soy sauce if needed.
- Fish sauce – fish sauce is a well-balanced seasoning that adds its unique salty, sweet, and sour flavor to Asian food.
- Coconut sugar – coconut sugar adds a caramel-like sweetness to the marinade. Brown sugar and honey make good substitutes.
- Lime juice – only fresh lime juice will do for a bright pop of citrus flavor!
- Red Thai curry paste – red curry paste can range from mild to hot so make sure to test it before adding it to your marinade. Use a minimal amount of curry paste for a kid-friendly version.
- Garlic + ginger – fresh ginger and garlic add a flavorful kick and help make this marinade undeniably delicious!
- Chicken thighs or breasts – both chicken thighs and chicken breasts work well so use what you prefer.
How to make Thai chicken marinade
Thai marinade for chicken is so simple to make, and it will take your meal to a whole new delicious level! You can bake it or grill it right away, or freeze it for later.
Here's how to make the marinade in just two simple steps:
- Mix all the sauce ingredients together in a bowl.
- Pour the marinade into a shallow dish, and mix in the chicken thighs or breasts until they're coated. Then, cover and refrigerate it for up to 8 hours.
How to cook the Thai marinated chicken
- To bake it, place the chicken in a shallow baking dish with all the marinade and bake it until it's cooked through.
- To grill the chicken, remove it from the marinade and grill it over medium heat until it's fully cooked.
* Refer to the recipe card for cooking times as they will vary depending on the cut of meat.
Place the raw chicken into freezer bags (we love reusable Stasher Bags!) and pour in the marinade. Squishing the bag around a little so that all the chicken is well coated. Seal the bag and freeze. The safest way to thaw frozen chicken is to put it into your fridge.
What to eat with marinated Thai chicken
This Thai marinated chicken is a delicious main that's easily turned into a meal with some rice, a salad, or a sautéed vegetable. In the pictures, we serve it with our Thai cucumber salad and peanut satay sauce for dipping. For a more filling meal, pair it with some jasmine rice or our favorite coconut rice.
Can I use this marinade to marinate chicken for pad Thai?
Absolutely! Use this marinade recipe for all of your favorite grilled or baked chicken recipes.
Can I marinate other meats with it?
Of course! You can use it to marinate other meats like fish, pork, or even tofu!
How long should I marinate the chicken?
We recommend marinating the chicken for a minimum of 30 minutes, and up to 8 hours in the fridge. Marinating it for too long can affect the texture, making it soft.
How long does leftover chicken keep in the fridge?
Store any leftover chicken in the fridge for up to 3 days. Make sure to discard any leftover used marinade.
What's the best way to reheat leftover chicken?
The best way to reheat chicken is to place it on a baking tray in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10-15 minutes or until it's warmed through.
- ¼ cup soy sauce (gluten-free if needed)
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 tablespoon red curry paste (see. notes)
- 1 tablespoon finely minced ginger
- 2 cloves garlic (finely minced)
- 2 lb chicken thighs or breast
- In a small mixing bowl, mix the soy sauce, fish sauce, coconut sugar, lime juice, curry paste, ginger, and garlic.¼ cup soy sauce, 2 tablespoons fish sauce, 2 tablespoons coconut sugar, 2 tablespoons lime juice, 1 tablespoon red curry paste, 1 tablespoon finely minced ginger, 2 cloves garlic
- Place the chicken in a shallow container (like a baking dish) and pour the marinade over top. Mix it around so that all the pieces are coated in the marinade. Let the chicken marinate in your fridge for at least 30 minutes, or up to 8 hours.2 lb chicken thighs or breast
Cook the chicken
- Bake: Put the chicken and all of the marinade into a shallow baking dish. Bake at 425 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.
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.