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Here are my 5 Favorite Quick & Easy Chicken Marinades that work great with chicken breasts, chicken thighs or drumsticks, whole roaster chickens. They work great with pork, salmon or shrimp too.

Are you looking for new flavor inspiration for chicken?

Asian Marinade

Description: Sesame, Ginger, and Soy are the star ingredients in our Asian Marinade. Rice Vinegar and Chili Crisp Oil bring the acid and heat, while garlic is the key aromatic. This marinade is generally mellow, yet smells and taste like your favorite Asian dishes.

Ingredients: 1/4 cup soy sauce (or coconut aminos), 3 Tbl. sesame oil, 2 Tbl. rice vinegar, 1 Tbl. chili crisp oil (or sriracha hot sauce), 2 garlic cloves (minced), 1-inch piece fresh ginger (peeled & minced)

Instructions: Combine marinade ingredients in a zipper top bag or large bowl. Add chicken and turn pieces to coat well. Marinate in the refrigerator according to guidelines below. Remove from refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature before cooking, about 15 minutes.

Time to Marinate: It’s best to give chicken breasts 5-6 hours, chicken thighs will take on flavor in as little as 30 minutes but up to 2 hours, and whole chickens can be marinated overnight. For shrimp or salmon a quick 15-20 minute marinade is sufficient.

Recipe Suggestions: Asian Chicken Salad, Sticky Asian Drumsticks, Spicy Thai Chicken Thighs

South African Marinade

Description: South African Braai Spice Blend is the star of this marinade/paste. Smoky paprika, garlic and basil delight your senses, while the vinegar brings acid and the lemon juice brings a nice citrus undertone. Olive oil is added to bring the paste together.

Ingredients: 3-4 Tbl. South African Braai Seasoning (equal parts smoked paprika, dried basil, and granulated garlic, plus coarse sea salt), juice of a lemon, 2 Tbl. white vinegar, 1/4 cup olive oil (more or less for desired consistency).

Instructions: Combine marinade ingredients in a bowl. Throughly coat chicken pieces on all sides. Place in a covered bowl to marinate in the refrigerator according to guidelines below. Remove from refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature before cooking, about 15 minutes.

Time to Marinate: It’s best to give chicken breasts 5-6 hours, chicken thighs will take on flavor in as little as 30 minutes but up to 2 hours, and whole chickens can be marinated overnight. For shrimp or salmon a quick 15-20 minute marinade is sufficient.

Recipe Suggestions: Peri Peri Chicken, South African Chicken Kebabs, Smoky Chicken Wings

Southwest Marinade

Description: Chili powder, cumin and ground oregano pack the 1-2-3 punch in this marinade and are a classic lively Southwest and Mexican spice combo. Lime juice brings the acidic element balanced by smooth olive oil. While cilantro adds a bright freshness to this marinade. This marinade brings a gentle heat but more of nicely balanced spicy flavor.

Ingredients: 1 Tbl. chili powder, 1 Tbl. ground cumin, 1 tsp. ground oregano, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 3 Tbl. fresh lime juice, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/2 cup rough chopped fresh cilantro.

Instructions: Combine marinade ingredients in a zipper top bag or large bowl. Add chicken and turn pieces to coat well. Marinate in the refrigerator according to guidelines below. Remove from refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature before cooking, about 15 minutes.

Time to Marinate: It’s best to give chicken breasts 5-6 hours, chicken thighs will take on flavor in as little as 30 minutes but up to 2 hours, and whole chickens can be marinated overnight. For shrimp or salmon a quick 15-20 minute marinade is sufficient.

Recipe Suggestions: Southwest Burrito Bowls, Southwest Salmon Salad, Santa Fe Chicken Pasta

Mediterranean Marinade

Description: The fresh herbs aromas and flavors of oregano and rosemary take center stage, while garlic tucks in for a little extra punch. Fresh lemon juice and red wine vinegar bring acid balanced by extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. Mediterranean marinade is bursting with fresh herb and citrus flavors. Yes, it’s great for tenderizing chicken but feel free to dip a piece of crusty bread into this wonderful flavor combination.

Ingredients: 1/4 cup EVOO, juice of a lemon, 2 Tbl. red wine vinegar, 2-3 cloves minced garlic, 1/4 cup chopped rosemary and oregano, 1 tsp. dried oregano, 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. black pepper. Variation: whisk these ingredients into a cup of Greek yogurt which helps to tenderize chicken.

Instructions: Combine marinade ingredients in a zipper top bag or large bowl. Add chicken and turn pieces to coat well. Marinate in the refrigerator according to guidelines below. Remove from refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature before cooking, about 15 minutes.

Time to Marinate: It’s best to give chicken breasts 5-6 hours, chicken thighs will take on flavor in as little as 30 minutes but up to 2 hours, and whole chickens can be marinated overnight. For shrimp or salmon a quick 15-20 minute marinade is sufficient.

Recipe Suggestions: Whole Roasted Greek Chicken, Mediterranean Grilled Chicken Thighs, Greek Salad with Mediterranean Grilled Chicken

Peruvian Marinade

Description: Ground cumin, dried oregano and smoky paprika play so nicely in this South American marinade/paste. Fresh lemon juice brings the acid with a hint of citrus, while garlic and olive oil balance the flavor profile. The spices are meant to be the star and the paprika brings the signature red color to the dish.

Ingredients: 1/4 cup olive oil, juice of a lemon, 2-3 cloves minced garlic, 2 Tbl. smoked paprika, 1 Tbl. dried oregano, 1 Tbl. ground cumin, 1 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. black pepper.

Instructions: Combine marinade ingredients in a bowl. Throughly coat chicken pieces on all sides. Place in a covered bowl to marinate in the refrigerator according to guidelines below. Remove from refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature before cooking, about 15 minutes.

Time to Marinate: It’s best to give chicken breasts 5-6 hours, chicken thighs will take on flavor in as little as 30 minutes but up to 2 hours, and whole chickens can be marinated overnight. For shrimp or salmon a quick 15-20 minute marinade is sufficient.

Recipe Suggestions: Spatchcocked Peruvian-Style Chicken, Whole Roasted Peruvian-Style Chicken, Peruvian-Style Chicken & Rice

Of all 5 Favorite Quick & Easy Chicken Marinades, what’s your favorite? I’d love for you to comment below.

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All my best, Libby