This Grilled Chicken Thighs Marinade is simple and delicious with fresh herbs, citrus, and garlic. Use on any chicken, pork, fish, lamb, and vegetables! Instructions for making grilled chicken thighs included. Let's make it!
- What makes this the Best Chicken Thigh Marinade
- Chicken Thighs Marinade ingredients
- Chicken Thigh Marinade variations
- How to make Grilled Chicken Thighs Marinade
- How to use this Marinade for Chicken Thighs
- Chicken Thigh Marinade Recipe top tips
- How to store Chicken Thighs Marinade
- Marinated Chicken Thighs FAQs
- More Rub and Marinade Recipes
- Grilled Marinated Chicken Thighs
What makes this the Best Chicken Thigh Marinade
"BBQ chicken thighs are one of my favorite foods, especially in the summer. This has been a go-to BBQ chicken thigh marinade for years!"
The perfect grilled chicken marinade! It's super versatile - use it on pork and any chicken. You can easily make as much as you need, adjust any of the ingredients to your tastes, and even add more spices and herbs if you want!
This marinade uses with fresh or dried herbs (your choice) and has the perfect balance between sweet, tangy, smoky, and salty. It hits all the perfect notes and you can add any additional spices you like to enhance it even more!
This marinade recipe is keto, low-carb, gluten-free, vegan, Whole30, paleo, and low-calorie! I love that there are no chemicals or "unpronounceable" ingredients like you see in grocery store marinades.
Chicken Thighs Marinade ingredients
Here are the ingredients you will need to make grilled chicken thighs marinade:
- Parsley - fresh or dried.
- Basil - fresh or dried.
- Rosemary - fresh or dried.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Lemon Juice - use fresh lemon juice for best flavor!
- Brown Sugar - real brown sugar or brown sugar substitute.
- Garlic - fresh minced garlic.
- Kosher Salt
- Ground Black Pepper
- Red Pepper Flakes - only a small amount is called for so it's quite mild. If you love spice use more.
- Chicken Thighs - use skinless chicken thighs, or skin on. You can use any cut of chicken bone-in or boneless too
For exact ingredient quantities, please see the recipe card below!
Chicken Thigh Marinade variations
Here are a few ways you can vary or make substitutions to this recipe:
- Use any protein you prefer in place of chicken thighs such as pork loin, steak, or fish!
- Add a few tablespoons of soy sauce and a little sesame oil to give this an Asian-style twist.
- Spice it up! Use red chili pepper flakes, chipotle powder, or any of your favorite hot sauces in the marinade.
- Substitute any of the herbs in this recipe with some of your favorites! I would use dill, thyme, or even a little rosemary.
How to make Grilled Chicken Thighs Marinade
Here are the step-by-step instructions for making grilled chicken thighs marinade:
Add all ingredients to a small bowl and mix.
Pour marinade over chicken thighs and seal in an air-tight container. Marinate in the refrigerator for a minimum of 2 hours and up to 10 hours.
Note: This recipe makes enough marinade for 6 to 8 bone-in or boneless chicken thighs.
How to Grill Boneless Chicken Thighs
Preheat your grill to medium-high heat.
Add your boneless chicken thighs and cook for 5 to 7 minutes per side or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.
Remove the chicken from the grill, cover and let rest for minutes and enjoy!
How to Grill Bone-In Chicken Thighs
Preheat your grill to medium-high heat, with the heat on one side of the grill only.
Place the chicken thighs face down on the lit side oof the grill (direct heat) and sear for 4 to 5 minutes until they turn golden brown. (Watch your heat so you don't char the thighs. Move them around if needed.)
Turn the chicken over and move to the unlit side (indirect heat) of the grill and continue cooking covered until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.
Remove chicken from the grill, cover, and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes and then enjoy!
How to use this Marinade for Chicken Thighs
Here are a few ways to use your Grilled chicken thighs marinade:
Use this on any chicken breasts, thighs, drumsticks, etc.
Not just for the BBQ! Make baked chicken thighs, cook them in a skillet, or even a slow cooker.
Use it on vegetables, pork, shrimp, and even fish.
Make it a dry rub by removing the liquids - lemon juice, water, and oil.
Chicken Thigh Marinade Recipe top tips
- Feel free to use all fresh or all dried herbs in this recipe. You can even do a mixture if preferred!
- Marinate your chicken thighs for a minimum of 2 hours and up to 10 hours to ensure the marinade soaks into the chicken for the best flavor and tenderness.
- Remove your chicken from the fridge and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes prior to cooking to allow an even cooking time.
How to store Chicken Thighs Marinade
Store your leftovers (if any) in the refrigerator in an air-tight container for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave or in your air fryer until heated through to your desired temperature.
Marinated Chicken Thighs FAQs
The minimum amount of time is 30 minutes and the maximum amount of time is 24 hours. The longer the better as the marinate will absorb into the meat better. If you go longer than 24 hours it will break down the protein too much so be careful.
Yes! The acidity in the lemon juice will help break down the protein and encourage tenderization making for a better end result.
If you pierce the chicken skin before marinating that encourages the marinade to penetrate deeper and will ultimately enhance the flavor of the chicken.
No, you do not need to cut up chicken thighs before marinating.
It is not necessary to marinate chicken before grilling, but marinating tenderizes the chicken and gives it a lot of flavor. Using a dry rub can be used instead of a marinade - it will also tenderize the meat.
More Rub and Marinade Recipes
Have some terrific marinades and rubs I think you might like:
- Dry Rub For Chicken
- Cowboy Ribeye Steak with Cumin Chili Rub - use this rub on chicken, pork, and beef.
- Grilled Pork Steak - makes a great brine that works with pork and chicken!
- Pork Dry Rub
- Lamb Rub
- Marinade For Lamb
- All Purpose Easy Marinade for Steak
Grilled Marinated Chicken Thighs
- ¼ cup fresh chopped parsley or 2 teaspoon dried
- ¼ cup fresh chopped basil or 2 teaspoons dried
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried crushed
- 3 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1½ tablespoons brown sugar (or sugar free brown sugar substitute)
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon (optional) dried red pepper flakes
- Note: makes enough to marinade 6 to 8 bone-in or boneless chicken thighs.
- Add all ingredients to a small bowl and mix.
- Pour over chicken thighs and seal. Marinate in refrigerator for a minimum of 2 hours up to 10.
How To Grill Boneless Chicken Thighs
- Preheat a grill to medium-high heat.
- Add boneless chicken thighs and cook 5-7 minutes per side or until chicken reaches 165°F.
- Remove chicken from the grill, cover and let rest for 5 minutes.
How To Grill Bone-In Chicken Thighs
- Preheat grill to medium-high heat, with the heat on one side only.
- Place the chicken thighs face down on the lit side of the grill (direct heat) and sear for 4 to 5 minutes until they turn golden brown. (Note: watch the heat carefully you don't want them to char. Move the chicken around if needed.)
- Turn chicken over and move the chicken to the unlit side (indirect heat) of the grill and continue cooking, covered until internal temperature reaches 165°F.
- Remove chicken from the grill, cover, and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Don't miss all of our helpful hints, substitution ideas, cooking tips, and other delicious recipes that can be found in our post. Check it out!
- VARIATIONS: Marinate any chicken, bone-in or boneless. Play around with different fresh or dried herbs and come up with your own unique combination. If you don't like red pepper flakes you can omit them.
- HOW TO USE IT: Marinate any chicken, pork, fish, shellfish, lamb, and vegetables.
- TOP TIPS: Fresh herbs will have the best flavor, but you can also use a combination of fresh and dried, or even all dried. Marinate your chicken for 2 to 10 hours.
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