Chicken Thigh Marinade Recipes

Chicken Thigh Marinade Recipes are essential for grilling! Learn what makes the best marinade recipes, and what you need to keep on hand!

chicken thigh marinade recipes

Whether grilling chicken breasts or boneless skinless chicken thighs, for the best results start with a flavorful marinade.

You can buy them in your grocery store, but homemade is so much better!

At the bottom of this post, you’ll find my favorite bottled marinades and seasoning blends.

Having a few go-to quick marinade recipes is a great thing! Especially when you need an easy dinner!

My favorites?

Buffalo Ranch Chicken Thighs

Lemon & Garlic Chicken Thighs with Sour Cream

Lemon & Garlic Chicken Thighs

First, let’s chat about what makes a good marinade.

There are a few components to a delicious chicken thigh marinade.

You need an acid, a flavor enhancer, and spices.

Start with a binder like Olive Oil or Avocado Oil, then use kosher salt and black pepper.

Chicken Thigh Marinade Ingredients You Should Keep on Hand:


  • Lemon Juice
  • Lime Juice
  • Balsamic Vinegar


  • Sesame Oil
  • Regular Soy Sauce or Low Sodium Soy Sauce
  • Worcestershire Sauce
  • Dijon Mustard
  • Brown Sugar


  • Garlic Powder
  • Garlic Cloves
  • Onion Powder
  • Fresh herbs like fresh parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, basil, cilantro, etc.
  • Sweet Paprika or Smoked Paprika
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Red Pepper Flakes
  • Sesame Seeds

Pro Tip: once you find a blend you really like, mix it up and store it in a jar close by so you can use it all the time!

Sloppy Joe Sauce from Scratch on grilled chicken

Sloppy Joe Sauced Chicken Thighs are an incredible way to really boost your chicken marinade recipes!

Kitchen Equipment You May Want to Use:

The best-grilled chicken follows a few cardinal grilling rules!

Start with a simple marinade, and give it ample time to permeate. If your marinade is high in acid, half an hour will do. The more acidic your marinade, the faster it breaks down the chicken. So, if you’ve ever marinaded your chicken overnight, and then when you cooked it had a mealy texture to it, that’s probably why!

Fire up your grill to medium-high heat. And make sure your grill grates are free from debris.

While your grill preheats remove your chicken from the fridge and start to bring it to room temperature. It shouldn’t be totally room temperature, but you want to take the chill off so it grills more evenly.

Place chicken directly onto the grill and leave the lid OPEN. This allows air to circulate below the chicken and the proteins coagulate better so you get those amazing grill marks. You only have the first side to make that happen!

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Each cut of chicken needs to cook to an internal temperature of 165 degrees f. If you’re unsure how to tell, invest in a meat thermometer, or use a Meater! It’s foolproof!

Chicken cooking times will vary depending on the size and thickness. Dark meat has more leeway to overcook without drying out. Boneless chicken thighs are such a juicy way to get dinner on the table quickly.

Chicken Thigh Marinade Ideas:

Jamaican Jerk Sauce for Chicken Thigh Marinade

Jamaican Jerk Sauce is vibrant, fragrant, and full of wonderful aromatics. An easy-to-make chicken marinade using pantry staples, this is a versatile jerk sauce recipe that adds amazing Caribbean flavor.

honey garlic chicken

This Honey Garlic Chicken is marinated with honey, ginger, cumin, and garlic for the most flavorful pan-seared chicken thighs. Paired perfectly with mashed potatoes or rice to soak up the sweet and savory sauce, this is an easy weeknight meal.

mustard chicken marinade

An easy chicken marinade made with soy sauce, lemon juice, and mustard, this Mustard Chicken Marinade is salty, tangy, and just plain incredible! Plus, it comes together in just a couple of minutes.

all purpose marinade for protein

This delicious marinade is delicious on chicken or shrimp. Garlic, lemon, and rosemary are the stars of this easy marinade.

Peri Peri Chicken Recipe

Why not make your favorite Nando’s Chicken at home? This easy Peri Peri Chicken Recipe has all the flavor you know and loves from Nando’s but is much cheaper. It’s simple to make and cooks in 40 minutes, and you can even cook it on the BBQ too. Spice up your mealtimes with this flaming hot Nando’s Chicken Recipe!

Greek Marinated Chicken Thighs – Tender, and full of Mediterranean-inspired flavors, these oven-baked chicken thighs are easy to make. They are deliciously grilled as well!

Mexican Inspired Chicken Marinades

chicken fajita marinade

Make this easy Chicken Fajita Marinade for the best sheet pan or grilled chicken fajitas. Full of fresh and vibrant flavors of lime, cilantro, and garlic.

mexican chicken marinade

Fresh and citrusy, this Mexican Chicken Marinade is perfect on its own or in fajitas or tacos!

Grilled Chicken Thighs with Chimichurri Marinade

Grilled Chicken Thighs with Chimichurri Marinade – While it may not be traditional in Argentina to use chimichurri as a marinade, it works perfectly as one. And slathered in more of this fresh flavourful condiment, these juicy grilled chicken thighs are irresistible.

Asian Inspired Chicken Thigh Marinades

Korean Grilled Chicken Marinade

These Korean Gochujang Chicken Thighs are so easy to make on the grill or on the stovetop. These chicken thighs come together with only a few ingredients and are packed with flavor.

asian chicken marinade

This Asian Chicken Marinade is a marinade and a glaze in one! You’ll love this sweet and sticky chicken!

vietnamese chicken marinade

I love this Vietnamese Grilled Chicken straight off the grill, in Pho, in rice bowls, or in salads. The marinade permeates the chicken to make it succulent, distinctive, and delicious.

Soy Sauce Chicken Thighs

Soy Sauce Chicken Thighs – This is a super simple chicken recipe. These baked soy sauce chicken thighs are savory and delish, and marinated in Asian-style chicken marinade with pantry-ready ingredients.

Side Dishes That Pair Well with Chicken Thigh Marinades:

Store-Bought Marinades & Rubs I love

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chicken thigh marinade recipes

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