Grilled Chicken Marinade with Lemon and Garlic

~ This super easy and wonderfully flavorful marinade for grilled chicken will become your go-to grilling recipe! Featuring ingredients you’ve already got in your pantry, dinner will be marinating in no time, and ready to grill when you are! Kid-tested and 100% approved! ~

This Recipe Is:     Ready in 30 Minutes or Less    Includes Make-Ahead Steps    Gluten Free    Paleo  

Grilled Chicken Marinade with Lemon and Garlic Recipe {}

In our house, we don’t celebrate special events for only just one single day. No way. We love to combine ’em together and turn celebrations into month-long parties!

For example, my birthday is in May, and so is Mother’s Day. So, May is my month. (Obviously, right?!?)

My husband’s birthday is in June, just like Father’s Day. June turned into his month! (Welllllll … mostly his … our anniversary is also in June, so I kinda claim part of it as “our” month. But that’s beside the point.)

Grilled Chicken Marinade with Lemon and Garlic Recipe {}

So May = me, June = him. Following? Great! (And don’t worry … the kids each have their own month, too! We’re equal opportunity celebrators here!)

To me, it also seems like Father’s Day = summer, and we can all agree that summer = grilling. So if I can recall back to grade school when we learned deductive reasoning, then this would also mean that Father’s Day = grilling. AmIright?

Plus, dads and grilling just sort of go together! (At least at my house. He’s the grill master.)

Grilled Chicken Marinade with Lemon and Garlic Recipe {}

To infuse the flavor of the marinade into the chicken, pierce it with a fork before placing it in a bag with the marinade.

With it being my handsome husband’s month and all, and with Father’s Day this weekend, I just knew what needed to happen today!

I’m incredibly excited to share one of our favorite recipes that HE makes all the time!

It’s an awesome (and totally simple!!) marinade recipe for the most phenomenal grilled chicken! We eat chicken this way all summer long. It’s seriously yummy!

He’s been making this for years, and the marinade is perfect for creating chicken that’s adaptable into all sorts of meals. We love it in wraps, on salads, or nestled beside some grilled veggies and roasted potatoes. No matter how we serve it, (like I just said!) it’s seriously yummy. Every single time!

Grilled Chicken Marinade with Lemon and Garlic Recipe {}

My husband got the idea for the recipe from a family friend. Our friend had gone to culinary school after high school (but then took a very different career path), and he comes up with some pretty impressive dishes. One day on the golf course, my husband asked him if he had any good ideas for easy grilled chicken recipes.

“Ummmm … sure … maybe some lemon and garlic – and throw in some cumin, too!”

Not really a recipe (for us recipe-followers), but a great starting point! In no time, our most favorite grilled chicken recipe was born.

Grilled Chicken Marinade with Lemon and Garlic Recipe {}

I’m not joking when I tell you that we have this at least once a week at my house during grilling season. (I would never joke about such things.) And I’m totally serious when I tell you that our kids are always excited when Daddy grills up some chicken with this marinade.

And I’m absolutely telling the truth when I say that you’ll love it, too!

Remember back in January when we made that super-simple yet awesomely delicious salmon? Well, this recipe is wonderful in kinda the same way. Really easy ingredients. Hardly any prep. Just … seriously yummy.

Grilled Chicken Marinade with Lemon and Garlic Recipe {}

So whether you’re celebrating a special day (ahem … all month long!) or just a simple family dinner, this incredibly flavorful, fabulously simple marinade recipe is the perfect way to create your very best grilled chicken ever!

Happy Father’s Day to all the great guys out there!

THK by Gretchen

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Grilled Chicken Marinade with Lemon and Garlic

Preparation 7 min. (plus marinating time) 2017-08-17T00:00:00+00:00 Cook Time varies 2017-08-17T00:00:00+00:00
Serves About ⅓ cup marinade, enough for 1 - 1½ pounds chicken     adjust servings


  • chicken (see note)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • lemon slices for garnish, if desired


  1. Pierce chicken several times with a fork, and place in a gallon zipper bag.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine olive oil, lemon juice, cumin, garlic, salt, and pepper, and mix well.
  3. Add marinade to zipper bag, coating chicken well.
  4. Seal bag, being sure to remove all air.
  5. Massage marinade into chicken.
  6. Refrigerate until ready to grill; we recommend 4-8 hours.
  7. Grill chicken (see note).
  8. Serve as desired (with sliced lemon for garnish, alongside vegetables, on top of a salad, in a sandwich or wrap, etc.).


Recipe Notes

Chicken: We prefer using boneless, skinless chicken breasts with this marinade, and we find that this recipe works best for marinating about 1 - 1½ pounds of chicken.

Grilling chicken: Grill your marinated chicken until the chicken is cooked through but still tender and juicy, turning once during grilling. The exact grilling time for your chicken will vary depending on the cut of chicken you choose and the size and thickness of your chicken, as well as the temperature settings and power of your specific grill. Allow grilled chicken to rest for 5-10 minutes before serving, to allow juices to redistribute.

Make-ahead option: If you want to prep this marinade even further in advance, you can mix the marinade ingredients together up to a day ahead. Cover and refrigerate, then stir again before adding the marinade to the chicken.

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Our Grilled Chicken Marinade with Lemon and Garlic recipe has been mentioned or featured in:
80+ Grilling Recipes at Hello Nature
35+ Delicious 4th of July Recipes at My Kitchen Craze
Grilled Chicken Marinade with Lemon and Garlic Recipe {}
Grilled Chicken Marinade with Lemon and Garlic Recipe {}


Grilled Chicken Marinade with Lemon and Garlic — 6 Comments

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  4. I have made this same ,marinade for years (swiped from a friend), but it our version used plain yogurt rather than olive oil. I also use chicken breasts with the ribs and skin on, as the chicken stays more moist. It’s kind of fun because the yogurt makes a nice crispy outside…

    But the flavors are so simple and just perfect together! Thanks for sharing!

    • Just gotta jam in as many celebrations as possible, right!?! Definitely – the more the merrier! I know it’s winter on your side of the globe, and not really peak grilling season … but you’ll definitely want to tuck this super-easy chicken marinade recipe away for later. My family went crazy for this recipe the first time I made it. Gretchen had promised me it was killer-good, but I was still shocked at how incredibly delicious it was! It was an instant hit at my home, too! Can’t wait for you guys to try it! 😀 ~Shelley

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