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Easy Lemon Pepper Chicken Marinade

Easy lemon pepper chicken marinade you can make before making grilled chicken, baked, or in your Instant Pot! Simple fresh ingredients you will love.

Simple lemon pepper chicken marinade

Ready to drag out that barbecue or smoker and make some killer chicken breasts, thighs or legs tonight? Whip up this lemon pepper chicken marinade first to make each piece over the top delicious! (affiliate links present)

Best Chicken Marinade Recipe

Of course you can make moist chicken all day long, but I love a great sauce. With this you won’t need anything on top, it will soak it up before cooking. Oh yes.

With fresh lemons and herbs, it’s light and refreshing that’s perfect for the summertime for sure. Okay so we make it year round but who’s counting really. Make it with breasts, thighs, or our air fryer lemon pepper wings.

chicken marinade

Chicken Kabob Marinade

What are the parts of a chicken you should marinate? Of course you can go ahead and just cook a whole chicken. Most people prefer to cut it into pieces, but the best ways to cook it whole are crispy as an Air fryer whole chicken, or you can even bake frozen whole chicken in the oven.

Instant Pot frozen whole chicken turns out great too but none of these would be able to be marinated because it’s rock solid.

  • or if it’s defrosted follow our pressure cooker whole chicken recipe, it’s amazing
  • White meat chicken breast is the most popular parts on the bird. You can cook it with with or without the ribs attached.
    • Breast fillet would be what it’s called if it’s skinless and boneless.

Bone-in with the skin is going to be the cheapest but will take more time to cook.

chicken legs

Lemon Chicken Marinade

Chicken legs are probably kid’s favorite part because they’re easy to eat. Some people call them drumsticks. You can just use soy sauce for an Asian flare, or this.

  • The Chicken thighs are probably my pick when it comes to recipe creation. They’re so moist, cheap, and dark meat.
  • Chicken wings are amazing with a dry rub or you can use this easy chicken marinade. Don’t leave them in long though, there isn’t much meat.

The neck and back are typically discarded unless you’re making homemade chicken broth.

grilled chicken marinade

Herb chicken marinade

Remember that fresh is always best when it comes to lemons and herbs. If you cannot find one or several of them though, just use jarred/bottled y’all!

  1. Fresh lemons – juiced – a bit of lemon zest is great too
    1. or lemon juice if you’re in a pinch
  2. Olive oil
  3. Garlic
    1. or jarred minced garlic
  4. Worcestershire sauce
  5. Salt and pepper
  6. Oregano
  7. Parsley
  8. Basil
    1. freeze dried is great to keep on hand

Lemon pepper marinade

It is harder to find some of these in the Winter time, at least where we live, so I like to have dry herbs at all times.

herb chicken marinade

How long do you marinate chicken?

It depends on what pieces you are cooking really. Wings and legs could marinate for 30 minutes and soak up enough garlic and lemon flavors in that time.

A whole chicken or thick breasts would take longer. 2 to 8 hours is typical, overnight isn’t recommended with a lemon based mixture like this.

Is it better to marinate chicken in the fridge?

  • Yes…always!! Do not leave poultry at room temperature ever or it will increase the growth of bacteria.

Put into a freezer bag with your ingredients, or in a baking dish covered with plastic wrap.

easy chicken marinade recipe

How long does chicken take to cook?

Cooking times vary widely depending on how thick your meat is. The mode of cooking makes a big difference too. That is why you MUST have a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature.

You can find handy guides on line like this one for how long to cook chicken.

Tips for cooking moist chicken

  • A preheated grill always makes it cook quicker and more evenly.
  • You’ll want to make grilled chicken over indirect heat so it doesn’t get too brown on the outside, and still raw inside.
  • For baked chicken, use the middle rack in your oven.
  • If cooking on your stovetop, do so over medium high heat with a lid on to maintain the moisture.
  • Once it’s done, allow meat to rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing.

Looking for more easy chicken recipes you can use with this easy chicken breast marinade? You can try our air fryer chicken tenders no breading recipe.

homemade chicken tenders

I will admit, we use our Instant Pot, electric smoker and make air fryer recipes far more than any other method of cooking. This marinade works for it all though. Here are a few favorites:

How to make chicken marinade

Printable instructions and nutritional information provided below. Omit or add what you wish but this is what comes out great every time for us.

If you buy a few more pieces of fruit, you can make this copycat Starbucks lemon loaf for dessert too.

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the typical mom
lemon pepper chicken marinade
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5 from 2 votes

Lemon Pepper Chicken Marinade

Easy lemon pepper chicken marinade you can make before making grilled chicken, baked, or in your Instant Pot! Simple fresh ingredients you will love.
Course Dip
Cuisine American, French
Keyword chicken, easy, lemon pepper, marinade, quick
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 131kcal
Author The Typical Mom




  • Dice all fresh herbs if you have fresh. Whisk together all liquid ingredients, then add herbs and stir together.
  • Put chicken into a bowl (or freezer bag) and pour marinade over it. Use hands to massage in so each pieces is coated.
  • Refrigerate at least 2 hours, or up to 8 hours.
  • Remove and grill, bake, air fry or cook as desired.


Nutrition Facts
Lemon Pepper Chicken Marinade
Amount Per Serving (2 oz)
Calories 131 Calories from Fat 54
% Daily Value*
Fat 6g9%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Cholesterol 48mg16%
Sodium 226mg10%
Potassium 318mg9%
Carbohydrates 1g0%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 16g32%
Vitamin A 58IU1%
Vitamin C 4mg5%
Calcium 12mg1%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
lemon pepper chicken marinade
Recipe Rating

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Marion Thomas

Sunday 26th of September 2021

Excellent Made chicken legs withe the lemon marinade

The Typical Mom

Wednesday 29th of September 2021


Derick Espinosa

Wednesday 20th of January 2021

I made this recipe tonight and my 2 kids and my wife said it was the best lemon pepper chicken they ever had. Trust me this marinade is worth 10 Stars. Thank you for sharing this recipe with the world. Love it!

The Typical Mom

Thursday 21st of January 2021

Oh good!

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