Made with simple and wholesome ingredients, this marinade is a great way to add flavor to grilled chicken breast or thighs. With a perfect balance of sweet and tangy flavors, this balsamic chicken marinade is perfect for grilling or baking.
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Repeat after me ... grilled chicken breast does not have to be boring. With just a few minutes of prep, you can prepare a delicious marinade that will load your chicken with tons of flavor.
Ingredients and Substitutions
One of the best things about making your own marinades is that you control the ingredients. If there is something listed that you don't like or don't have on hand, you can likely substitute it for something else.
- Olive Oil or any other mild flavored oil that you like
- Lemon Juice
- Soy Sauce or liquid aminos. You can also substitute this for worcestershire sauce if desired.
- Balsamic Vinegar
- Dijon Mustard or any mustard variety that you like
- Honey, brown sugar, or brown sugar substitute
- Salt and Pepper
- Rosemary (fresh or dried)
- Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast or thighs
See the recipe card for quantities.
Equipment for Marinating Chicken
In my opinion, the best thing you can use to marinate chicken is a simple gallon sized ziplock bag. Just mix up the marinade in the bag, then add the chicken and seal it up. After you cook the chicken you can simply toss the bag for a virtully mess free meal.
How to Marinate Chicken
Marinating chicken breasts and thighs really is so easy. Start by simply combining all of the ingredients for the marinade in a large ziplock bag or a large storage container with a lid.
Once the marinade is mixed up, add the chicken and seal the container. Allow the chicken to sit in the marinade in the refridgerator for at least 5-6 hours and no more than 24 hours.
After the chicken has marinated preheat your grill to medium heat for 10-15 minutes. Remove the chicken from the marinade and place it on the hot grill over direct, medium heat. Discard the remaining marinade.
Grill the chicken for 5 minutes, then flip and cook an additional 5 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165° F.
Allow the chicken to rest for 5-10 minutes before serving with your favorite side dishes!
What to Serve with Grilled Chicken
Grilled chicken is very versatile and pairs well with a large variety of side dishes. Here are some of my go-to sides for this chicken breast to hopefully give you some ideas:
- Pasta salad, layered salad, or salad skewers are perfect for barbecues ro summer parties and all three will go wonderfully with grilled chicken
- Roasted potatoes, Mac and Cheese, or cauliflower rice pilaf are great, hearty options
- Summer vegetables such as sauteed green beans, corn on the cob, or zucchini are will all keep your meal fresh and light.
Once the chicken is cooked it can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months. Reheat the chicken in the microwave, or wrapped in foil in the oven.
To prep this chicken ahead of time, you can freeze the uncooked chicken in the marinade for up to 6 months. When you are ready to cook the chicken simply place it in the fridge to thaw for about 24 hours. Once the chicken has thawed completely you can cook it according to the recipe instructins.
While there is no one size fits all definition of 'healthy' this marinade is low in fat, calories, and carbohydrate. It can be made completely sugar free by simply swapping the honey with your favortie sugar substitute.
In addition balsamic vinegar contains antioxidants and has been linked to potential health benefits such as reducing blood sugar levels and improving digestion.
I suggest marinating chicken for at least 5 hours, and no more than 24 hours. However even marinating for 15 minutes will give the outside of the chicken delicious flavor.
- To prevent your chicken from getting dry and chewy, use a meat thermometer and pull the chicken from the heat as soom as it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degreef F. Then allow it to rest for 5 minutes before slicing it.
Balsamic Chicken Marinade
- Measuring Cups and Spoons
- Gallon Zip Top Bag or other lidded container
- Add all of the ingredients for the marinade to a large bowl, or to a gallon size ziploc bag. Mix everything together.
- Add the chicken to the marinade making sure it is fully submerged. Seal the container and allow the chicken to marinate in the refrigerator for 5-24 hours.
- Preheat the grill to 400° F. Place the chicken on the grill and discard the marinade.
- Cook the chicken for 4-5 minutes on each side, or until it reaches an internal temperature of 165° F.
- Remove from the grill and allow the chicken to rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
Be sure to read the entire post for tips, tricks, and help troubleshooting.
The nutrition information listed here is only an estimate and is simply provided as a courtesy. It nor any other information within this post should constitute medical or nutritional advice. Be sure to read all packaging and ingredient labels for potential allergens. Optional ingredients are not included unless otherwise specified.