Home RecipesMain courses 3 Chicken Marinades for Pan-Frying and Grilling

3 Chicken Marinades for Pan-Frying and Grilling

by Lorena

Chicken breasts are one of the easiest proteins to cook daily at home. However, we easily get bored of it. That’s why I have 3 chicken breast marinades perfect for serving with different sides or even on salads. In this way you can vary your weekly menu as you see fit and according to what everyone likes at home.

chicken marinades

Chicken marinades

A marinade is a mix of ingredients to add flavour to a main ingredient and take it to the next level. This can be both animal or vegetable. In this case, we’re making chicken breast marinades that are perfect for pan-fried chicken. A good marinade adds lots and lots of flavour to a protein that is very much neutral. That’s why you will notice that marinades are very present in chicken recipes, they just make for a more flavorful chicken. When pan-fried, it becomes more golden than without the marinades and the result is a lot tastier. It’s perfect to have with mashed potatoes, rice or even to serve on salad. An easy marinade is one of the best ways to add flavour to chicken.

Tips for cooking the chicken

Even though pan-frying chicken sounds easy, I know that it can be a complicated affair if you’re not often in the kitchen. That’s why when we talk about chicken breast marinades we also need to talk about how we’re cooking the chicken. That’s why here I have written a few tips that will ensure that you nail the best result when cooking it. 

  1. Cut of chicken: In this instance, I used boneless skinless chicken breasts. Of course, you can go for other cuts of chicken like thighs or drumsticks as well. If you want to use chicken thighs or drumsticks, I recommend that you de-bone it. If that sounds too daunting, you can also sear the piece of chicken in a pan and then transfer it to the oven to finish cooking. 
  2. Before marinating the chicken in any of these 3 chicken marinades I recommend that you cut the chicken breasts in half going from side to side. In this way, you will have a thinner chicken piece that will cook quicker and more evenly. 
  3. Preheat the pan over medium-high heat to achieve a nice level of caramelization on both sides of the chicken. If you don’t preheat the pan you can achieve the desired cooking degree but it won’t be golden. On the other hand, you can have it golden but it would take so long that it would dry up the chicken.
  4. Cook the marinated chicken just the right amount, since it’s a protein that tends to become dry. This is especially true with chicken breasts and chicken tenders. In general, it should take 4-5 minutes per side to be cooked through while remaining juicy. You can cook it in a pan or on a charcoal grill. If it’s hard for you to achieve this cooking degree, I advise that you get yourself a meat thermometer. You insert it in the thicker part and you know it’s ready when the internal temperature reaches 63C/146F.

Variations for the chicken marinades

The recipes for these 3 chicken breast marinades are made with simple ingredients. Also, you can easily replace ingredients depending on your favourite recipes. This is because what I want to achieve here is to give you tools to vary them as much as you like at home. You can swap the spices, dressings, oils, vinegars and more. In this way, you can create your recipes depending on your favorite flavor profile. You can add Italian seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, fresh herbs, brown sugar, red pepper flakes and more. To make them you just mix every ingredient in a small bowl and then add it to the raw chicken. You want to have at least 30 minutes of marinating before cooking. Ideally, wait until the next day, keeping the chicken in the fridge as it marinates. Here are the marinade ingredients in the marinade recipes shown here.

  • Mediterranean: olive oil, lemon zest, fresh lemon juice or lime juice, dried oregano, Dijon mustard, garlic clove, salt and black pepper.
  • Asian inspired:  soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar (or apple cider or white wine vinegar), garlic clove, green onion/scallion, only the white section, salt and pepper.
  • Fajita: paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, apple cider vinegar (or white wine vinegar), olive or vegetable oil, salt and pepper.

Refrigerate and freeze

If you’re like me you must be asking yourself how can you freeze or refrigerate these 3 chicken breast marinades. Here we have 3 options. What you choose will depend on if you want to do it when the chicken is raw or cooked. In both cases, you need to keep the chicken and its marinade in an airtight container or bag. If you’re going to freeze the chicken it’s best to keep it in a zip-top bag in a single layer. In this way, you can thaw it quicker and more evenly. If you’re going to keep it raw, you can refrigerate the chicken in its marinade for up to 2 days. Alternatively, you can freeze it for up to a month. If you’re keeping it cooked, then you can refrigerate it for up to 5 days or freeze it for up to a month. In general, what I do is make enough chicken for the week and keep it refrigerated for future meals. In this way, I can pair it with different sides. 

3 Chicken Marinade Recipes

Chicken breasts are one of the easiest proteinsto cook on a daily basis at home. However, we easily get bored of it. That’swhy here I have 3 chicken breast marinades perfect for serving with different sidesor even on salads.
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Course: Main, Main Course
Keyword: chicken, chicken breasts, marinade
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Author: Lorena Salinas from Cravings Journal



  • 50 ml olive oil
  • ½ lemon zest
  • 1 lemon juice
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove finely grated or minced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 chicken breasts


  • 50 ml soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar or apple cider or white wine vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove finely grated or minced
  • 1 green onion/scallion only the white section, sliced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 chicken breasts


  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp olive or vegetale oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 chicken breasts


  • Divide the chicken breasts in half, like butterflying it.
  • In an airtight container or place all the ingredients for the marinade of your choice and give it a mix. Add the chicken and mix.
  • Let the chicken marinade for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 days in the refrigerator. Alternatively, you can freeze the chicken for up to 1 month. If you’re going to freeze it, it’s best to do it in an airtight bag in a single layer to make it easier to thaw.
  • Once it’s time to cook the chicken, preheat a pan over medium-high heat. Add a bit of oil and just enough chicken to fill the base of the pan comfortably. Cook for 4-5 minutes each side.
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chicken marinades

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