The BEST Chicken Marinade Recipe

The best chicken marinade recipe for three chicken tenders cooked in the chicken marinade of honey, lime juice and Olive Garden Italian dressing on a white plate trimmed with blue and green swirls and lines with a small silver fork sitting on a wooden table.

This simple homemade chicken marinade recipe is an easy idea and quick to prepare with just 4 ingredients. Bake, grill,, or cook in a skillet for perfect results every time.  Use your choice of chicken tenders, chicken breasts, chicken thighs, or chicken legs to create the best most flavorful BBQ chicken ever.

The marinade is prepared in a Ziploc bag for easy cleanup. Marinate the chicken overnight for 24 hours or refrigerate it for an hour. It takes less than 20 minutes to cook depending on cooking method used. Adjust the amount of this quick chicken marinade to cover more pieces of chicken and make plenty for leftovers. Use it in a salad or a wrap for a delicious encore dish!

How to Make the BEST Chicken Marinade Recipe for Honey Lime Chicken

First combine 1/2 cup Olive Garden Italian Dressing, juice from 1 lime, and 1 tablespoon honey in a large storage bag to make the marinade.

Next prepare the chicken by removing the skin from 3 or 4 small boneless chicken breasts.  Cut them into thirds on a cutting board using a sharp knife.  Another option to prepare the recipe is using chicken tenderloins, chicken thighs or chicken legs instead of chicken breasts.  This marinade is enough for 4 small chicken breasts or 8 to 10 tenderloins. You can double the recipe for a larger batch or adjust to the number of servings needed.

How to Marinate Chicken

Place chicken in the honey lime marinade in a Ziploc bag, seal and massage the chicken for about 30 seconds in the sealed bag.  Refrigerate the mixture for 1 hour, overnight, or 24 hours.  To freeze remove the air  from the bag and freeze it for cooking later.  The mixture can be thawed in the refrigerator overnight or in a bowl of cool running water. Remove thawed chicken from marinade and grill, bake or cook in a skilled.

How to Cook Marinated Chicken for Grilling, Baking, or Skillet

Grill the Honey Lime Chicken

Grill the chicken by removing it from the marinade and placing on a hot grill for about 12 minutes.  The chicken should be turned halfway through cooking.

Bake the Honey Lime Chicken

The marinated chicken breasts can also be baked in a non-stick pan in an oven at  375°F for about 20 minutes.  You can turn them halfway through to brown on both sides.

To Cook in a Skillet

Begin by removing chicken from marinade and transferring it to a skillet.  Set the skillet heat to high until it starts to sizzle then turn heat to medium high.  Next, turn with tongs after about 5 minutes of cooking.  Continue to cook turning every 5 minutes until chicken is done.  You can cut into a piece to be sure that it is no longer pink inside.  It should take 15 to 20 minutes depending on how thick your chicken is.

Serving Suggestions for Side Dishes

Pasta Salad, sweet potatoes,  and bread can be combined for an easy lunch or dinner.  Alternately they could be used for chicken tacos (add angel hair slaw and salsa), quesadillas (add cheese and salsa) or in a salad or wrap.

Try one of our other easy salad recipes using leftover pork (cooked in the instant pot) for a mouth-watering  BBQ Salad!

FAQs

What kinds of meat can I marinate?

You can marinate chicken tenderloins, chicken breast with or without bones or skin, chicken thighs, chicken drumsticks (aka chicken legs). This marinade also works well for porkchops or pork tenderloin.

Can I freeze the meat in the marinade?

Yes, simply place the raw meat in a Ziploc bag with the marinade, squeeze the air out, seal and freeze up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator or in cold water and grill or bake as directed.

How long to marinate chicken?

Marinate at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours then proceed to grill or bake as directed.

How to cook chicken that has been marinated?

You can grill outdoors on a charcoal or electric grill. An indoor George Foreman grill or panini grill, oven, or skillet also works well. The marinade will result in flavorful tender chicken no matter what method you use. Be sure to cook thoroughly. Internal chicken temperature should be 165°.

Can I use bottled lime juice instead of fresh lime?

Yes, bottled lime juice works well in this marinade.

Can I freeze cooked chicken?

Yes, cooked chicken can be frozen for up to 3 months.

The best chicken marinade recipe for three chicken tenders cooked in the chicken marinade of honey, lime juice and Olive Garden Italian dressing on a white plate trimmed with blue and green swirls and lines with a small silver fork sitting on a wooden table.
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5 from 1 vote

The Best Chicken Marinade for Grilling or Baking {Flavorful and Tender}

This simple homemade chicken marinade recipe is an easy idea and quick to prepare with just 4 ingredients.  It can be baked, grilled, or cooked in a skillet.  You can use chicken tenders, chicken breasts, chicken thighs, or chicken legs to create the best most flavorful bbq chicken ever. The marinade is prepared in a Ziploc bag for easy cleanup. You can marinate the chicken overnight for 24 hours or refrigerate it for an hour. It takes less than 20 minutes to cook depending on cooking method used. Adjust the amount of this quick chicken marinade to cover more pieces of chicken and make plenty for leftovers. Use it in a salad or a wrap for a delicious encore dish!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Marinating Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4
Calories: 220kcal
Cost: $10

Ingredients

  • 10 Tenderloins Chicken Tenderloins or see Note (3 to 4 small boneless, skinless chicken breasts OR 8 to 10 chicken tenderloins OR 8 to 10 chicken thighs)
  • ½ Cup Olive Garden Italian Dressing
  • Cup Fresh Lime Juice (Juice from 1 lime)
  • 1 TBLS Honey

Instructions

  • If using chicken breasts, cut each piece into thirds on a cutting board using a sharp knife. 
  • If using chicken tenderloins be sure to remove any unwanted tendon pieces from the chicken.
  • Combine 1/2 cup Olive Garden Italian Dressing, juice from 1 lime and 1 tablespoon honey in a large Ziploc bag.
  • Add chicken to Ziploc bag and marinate for 1 hour to overnight.
  • Choose one of the following methods to cook: oven, skillet or grill.
  • To Cook in an Oven:
  • Bake on a non-stick pan in an oven at  375°F for about 20 minutes.  Turn them halfway through to brown on both sides.
  • To Cook in a Skillet:
  • Place marinated chicken in a nonstick skillet. Turn the skillet heat to high until it starts to sizzle.  Turn heat to medium high.  Turn with tongs after about 5 minutes of cooking.  Continue to cook turning every 5 minutes until chicken is done.  You can cut into a piece to be sure that it is no longer pink inside.  It should take 15 to 20 minutes depending on how thick your chicken is.
  • To Grill:
  • Remove chicken from the marinade and grill for about 12 minutes, depending on how hot your grill is.  Just turn it half way through cooking.
  • Serve immediately.

Notes

Calorie values are approximate and dependent upon ingredients used.
Chicken Marinade can be used on chicken breasts, boneless chicken breasts, chicken tenders, chicken legs, chicken thighs and of chicken tenderloins.
Serve as a main dish for family dinner, a small plate lunch, cut up in a salad or wrap.
Can freeze uncooked chicken in marinade and cook after thawing.  Freezes for up to 3 months.
Can freeze cooked marinated chicken for 3 months.
Can refrigerate cooked marinated chicken for 3 days. 
 
 

Nutrition

Serving: 2tenderloins | Calories: 220kcal

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