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Italian Chicken Marinade

This tasty Italian Chicken Marinade is simple and loaded with fresh and vibrant flavors. Even a short marinade time rewards you with ultra-flavorful meat!
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Healthy
Keyword Italian Chicken Marinade
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Marinating Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 256kcal
Author Chelsea Lords
Cost $7.84


  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard (not yellow mustard)
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
  • Fine sea salt & pepper
  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs (Note 1)
  • Optional: 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (if you like some heat)


  • PREP: Trim the chicken breasts of fat and slice them evenly in half widthwise. Pound pieces to an even thickness (with a meat mallet or the bottom of a frying pan) to ensure even grilling. Place the prepared chicken in a large resealable bag and set aside. For thighs, trim excess fat and place in a large resealable bag.
  • MARINADE: In a bowl whisk together 1/4 cup white wine vinegar, 3 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp Dijon, 1-1/2 tsp minced garlic, 2 tsp honey, 1-1/2 tbsp Italian seasoning, plus salt and pepper to taste (I add 1-1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper). Whisk until smooth and remove 2 tablespoons of the mixture and set aside, reserving for later.
  • COAT CHICKEN: Add the rest of the marinade to the bag with the chicken. Seal the bag and then knead with your hands to ensure all of the chicken is well coated. Place in the fridge and marinate for at least 30 minutes and preferably 4-6 hours. Don't marinate longer than 8 hours (acid from vinegar starts to dry out chicken).
  • GRILL: Preheat a grill to medium-high heat (about 450 degrees F.) Generously oil the grill (I drench a rolled-up paper towel in vegetable oil and, holding it with tongs, rub it over the grill grates. Don't skip this step.)
  • GRILL CONT.: Using tongs, pick up chicken from the bag, allowing excess marinade to drip off. Place chicken flat on the grill. Grill the chicken, turning only once halfway through grilling, about 3-5 minutes per side (until the thickest part of the chicken registers 165 degrees F. and the meat is nicely charred). When the chicken is ready to flip, it should come up off the grill grates easily. (I use a sharp metal turner to scrape up and flip the chicken to the other side.)
  • BASTE: Working quickly to keep the grill lid closed as much as possible, baste the chicken with the reserved marinade after flipping. (Timing will vary based on the size of the chicken and the actual heat of the grill.)
  • REST & ENJOY: Transfer the chicken to a plate and cover with foil. Allow the chicken to rest 5-10 minutes so the juices can re-distribute. Thinly slice or chop. Taste and add more salt if needed.



Note 1: Chicken: Breasts or thighs will work. If using breasts be sure to follow preparation in step 1 of the recipe (cutting them in half and pounding to even thickness). If you don't have long to marinate, pierce the chicken a few times with the tines of a fork to get the marinade to penetrate quicker. If using less than 2 pounds of chicken, reduce the salt.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 256kcal | Carbohydrates: 2.7g | Protein: 34.1g | Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 110.3mg | Sodium: 134.4mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 2g