Best Chicken Marinade

The BEST Chicken Marinade ever! A super flavorful, tangy marinade made with a secret ingredient that’s probably right in your refrigerator. So versatile, this marinade recipe can also be used with pork and turkey, too. Whether you cook it on the grill or in the oven, you’re going to end up with the most flavorful, juicy chicken ever!

marinated chicken breast sliced with juices

 Why We Love This Chicken Marinade

So, how much chicken do you guys eat??? If you’re like us and so many people we know – the answer is A LOT. That’s why finding the best chicken marinade recipe is so important. When you’re eating a lot of something like grilled chicken, you want the flavor to be addictive.

Our secret ingredient in this marinade is pickle juice. Yep, pickle juice fright from your favorite jar of pickles. Don’t like pickles? No worries, we have non-pickle lovers in our house and they still go crazy for this chicken.

Ingredients You’ll Need For The Marinade

  • Pickle Brine (from your favorite jar of pickles!): Again, no worries if you don’t like pickles, just grab a jar for the juice!
  • Soy Sauce: Low sodium if you prefer, but either will work.
  • Olive oil: For flavor and moisture.
  • Fresh Garlic: For flavor, fresh is best!
  • Dijon Mustard: Stone ground or regular dijon mustard.
  • Salt and Pepper: Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper for flavor. If using regular soy sauce, you can skip the salt.
ingredients for making chicken marinade

How To Make And Use

All you need to do to make this marinade recipe is add all of the ingredients to a bowl and whisk to combine. You can double or triple the recipe if you’re making some chicken in bulk for meal prepping, we do that often.

A regular batch of this marinade will work for about 2 pounds of chicken. If you have more chicken (or other protein) than go ahead and double the recipe.

Then pour the marinade over your chicken in a glass dish or resealable plastic bag and toss to coat. Refrigerate until you’re ready to cook.

chicken breasts marinating in glass dish

How Long Do You Need To Marinate The Chicken?

We like to marinate the chicken for quite a few hours before it hits the grill or the oven. You’ll want to marinate the chicken at least 6 hours but overnight will give you the best results.

Cooking time for your chicken will depend on how big your chicken breasts are, or really whatever cut of chicken you’re using. Because you can also use this on a whole, butterflied (spatchcocked) chicken or chicken thighs or legs too.

Make sure the temperature of your chicken is at 165 degrees so that you know it’s cooked through, a good way to test it is by cutting into it and seeing if the juices run clear. Or use a meat thermometer for a precise temperature reading.

grilled chicken breasts on platter with parsley

Tips For Success

  • Use Quality Ingredients: Since there are only a few ingredients in this recipe, you want to make sure they’re all quality ingredients. Fresh garlic, instead of jarred garlic will impart the best flavor. Good olive oil (doesn’t have to be extra virgin) and a pickle brine that’s not too sweet.
  • Take Time For The Marinating Process: We really like the flavor of our chicken after it’s been in the marinade for several hours. At least 6 or overnight is our recommendation.
  • Not Too Thick: If the chicken pieces that you’re using are very thick or large, cut them in half so the marinade can penetrate the meat better.
close up of grilled chicken breasts on platter with juice

Serving Suggestions

There’s plenty of side dishes to choose from, if you’re not eating this chicken straight up or cut up in a salad. Here’s a few ideas for you!

close up of sliced chicken breast with juice

Looking For More Marinade Recipes?

marinated chicken breast sliced with juices

Best Chicken Marinade

  • Author: Dan
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 Cup 1x

The BEST Chicken Marinade ever! Super flavorful, tangy chicken that’s never dried out thanks to this powerhouse marinade recipe!



  • 1/4 cup pickle brine (from your favorite jar of pickles!)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper to taste


  1. Add all the ingredients to a small bowl or container. Whisk until all ingredients are combined, then pour over chicken, pork or turkey.
  2. Marinate for at least 6 hours or overnight.
  3. Grill or bake the chicken to your liking!

Recipe Notes

This marinade recipe is enough for about 2 pounds of chicken, it can be easily doubled if you need more!

Pro Tip: Make double or triple batches of this marinade, freeze in freezer bags making sure to carefully press the air out. When you want to marinate the next batch of chicken just grab a bag of marinade from the freezer and let it defrost for about 30 minutes at room temperature. Add your chicken and marinate in the refrigerator.

  • Category: Marinade
  • Method: Stir
  • Cuisine: American

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9 Responses
  1. Ashley

    Seriously the BEST marinade! I didn’t alter it in any way except I added some crushed red pepper since my husband and myself like more spice. I marinated boneless skinless chicken breast that had already been butterflied for about 7 hours and then tossed on the grill. They were moist and so flavorful!! The next day I threw cold leftovers with some cauliflower rice and it was just as amazing the next day, and cold!!!

    1. Dan

      Crushed red pepper sounds like a great addition! I’m definitely going to try that next time, thanks for writing in, so glad you liked it!

      1. Lori

        Making this for the second weekend in a row but this time is for a large group. It’s just that good!! The chicken is so flavorful as well as juicy. It’s a keeper! Thanks for the recipe!

  2. Debra Young

    I made this chicken tonight and it was moist and delicious.Will have a sandwich tomorrow with lettuce, tomato and Mayo. Yum
    BTW I have used a lot of your recipes and loved them all.

  3. Tricia

    I’ve made this so many times now and realized that I’ve never left a comment. So delicious!!! I highly recommend making this marinade!!

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