Go Back
+ servings
Print Recipe
marinated chicken drumsticks in a bowl with rice

The Best Chicken Marinades (easy + healthy!)

The best chicken marinades that are easy, healthy, and absolutely delicious. With flavors like lemon basil, spicy taco, and moroccan coconut, these flavorful chicken marinade recipes are perfect for making delicious chicken breasts, drumsticks, or thighs.
Course Dinner, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Paleo Friendly
Keyword best chicken marinades
Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 25 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Monique of AmbitiousKitchen.com


  • Spicy Maple Dijon
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 ½ tablespoon reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Ranch
  • 1/2 cup nonfat plain greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons fresh lemon juice (or can sub apple cider vinegar)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried dill or fresh chopped chives
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • Optional: ¼ teaspoon honey
  • Moroccan Coconut
  • ¾ cup light coconut milk (or use full fat)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 3/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ tablespoon honey
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • Lemon Basil
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons sugar or honey
  • 4-5 basil leaves
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground salt and pepper
  • Jerk Chicken
  • 1 tablespoon olive or avocado oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 2 tablespoons gluten free soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/2 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Spicy Taco
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil or avocado oil
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. For each of the marinades, place all ingredients into a Stasher bag or a large ceramic dish.
  2. Add 1 pound chicken of choice to the bag or dish, and mix well to evenly coat.
  3. Let the chicken marinade in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours before cooking. 30 minutes before you’re ready to cook the chicken, remove the chicken from the marinade.
  4. For boneless skinless chicken breasts: preheat grill to medium high and lightly oil the grate. Cook chicken breast 6-8 minutes per side, until juices run clear and chicken in no longer pink.

  5. For chicken drumsticks: place the chicken on the grill and cook for 8 minutes, then flip, brush with the reserved marinade, and grill for an additional 8 minutes. Turn the chicken over one last time, brush again with the remaining marinade, and cook for 5 more minutes, or until no pink remains in the center of the chicken.

Recipe Notes

To bake chicken breasts: I typically bake my chicken breast at 350 degrees F for 20-30 minutes, but this also depend on the thickness of your chicken breast. Be sure to check the the internal temp with a meat thermometer so that it reads 165 degrees F.

To bake chicken drumsticks: preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place a oven-safe rack on a large baking sheet and grease with nonstick cooking spray so that the chicken doesn’t stick to the pan. Place the drumsticks on the pan with the thicker part of the drumstick to the outside. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until cooked through.