5 Chicken Marinades

2 hours
2 hours
Five delicious and distinct chicken marinades to prepare in advance and store in the freezer for effortless dinners throughout the week! From chicken satay to Moroccan chicken, the flavors are so versatile and will have you eating at home more often than going out to eat. Perfect for those who are busy but still want home-cooked meals!
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5 Chicken Marinades

Five delicious and distinct chicken marinades to prepare in advance and store in the freezer for effortless dinners throughout the week! From chicken satay to Moroccan chicken, the flavors are so versatile and will have you eating at home more often than going out to eat. Perfect for those who are busy but still want home-cooked meals!

Entering 2024, I made a goal for my family that we would try to minimize how much we eat out in the new year. I truly don’t enjoy eating out that much to be completely honest, I prefer my own food so much more but sometimes the day just gets too busy or tiring to cook. The biggest obstacle for me is simply planning in advance. If I don’t plan, I get lazy to go to the store and figure out what we want to eat. To avoid this issue, I thought of marinating a bunch of protein and just leaving it in the freezer for those days I did not plan what to have for dinner!

The 5 Marinades

When it came to picking out which five marinades I wanted to prepare, the goal was to make the flavor profiles as different as possible. Each one is from a different region in the world because meal prep does not have to be boring!

1. TANDOORI CHICKEN

The first marinade is tandoori chicken! If you love Indian food, this one will be a big hit. It’s packed with so many warm flavors and the vibrant orange color from the turmeric is so inviting. I love grilling this chicken and serving it with seasoned basmati rice, cilantro sauce, and some veggies like red onions and cucumbers.

2. MOROCCAN CHICKEN

The marinade for Moroccan chicken skewers is one of the most popular recipes on the blog! It is inspired by this chicken dish that my mom makes at least once a week. It’s packed with so many fresh herbs, lots of garlic, and ginger. The yogurt base makes it so light and refreshing as well. I love enjoying this with some salad, with bread in a sandwich, or some basmati rice.

3. CHICKEN SATAY

Chicken satay is a very popular street food in a few countries – Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and a few more. I always order it whenever we go out for Thai food. It’s typically served as a long skewer and the flavor profile is a little spicy, a little sweet, and very creamy and nutty from the coconut. You can use the satay to make spring rolls or bowls with jasmine rice, carrots, cucumbers, and a peanut sauce!

4. HONEY HARISSA CHICKEN

This recipe is actually a copycat recipe of Cava’s Honey Harissa Chicken! I love Harissa and grew up on it, being North African. This chicken has the perfect balance of sweet and spicy and makes for the perfect protein to create a Mediterranean-inspired dinner. You can serve this chicken up in a pita wrap or even in a bowl with yellow rice and your fave veggies. I love adding lots of garlic white sauce on top too!

5. CILANTRO JALAPENO LIME CHICKEN

Green chicken might look funky at first to you but it tastes so SO good. This recipe came to exist by accident. I love making this cilantro jalapeno lime sauce and keeping it in the fridge to make sandwiches with, use as a dressing, and drizzle it on rice bowls. I had some leftovers and decided to cook chicken in it and it turned out so good and now we’re here! This recipe makes for delicious tacos or burritos.

How to Prepare the Marinade

Preparing the marinades is actually super simple and does not take too long. You can either use five different bowls or five mason jars to prepare each marinade.

The ingredients are all listed below if you scroll all the way down. Just add all the ingredients for every marinade in the bowl/jar and mix together well and that’s it.

TIP: Before making the marinades, make a list of all the ingredients for the five marinades that you need and get everything at once so the process is super seamless.

Now for the harder part, it’s cutting all the chicken! This can take a bit more time but it’s still pretty simple. You can decide if you want to use thighs or breast for each recipe. It’s truly up to you. For boneless skinless chicken thighs, just make sure to trim any excess fat and thinly slice it or chop it. Do the same for the breasts.

Add around two pounds of meat into a large gallon-size ziploc bag. If you are a big family and need to make two pounds per meal, put it in one bag. If you are just a family of two like my husband and I, divide into two different Ziploc bags – each one having one pound of meat and just divide the marinade in half too.

Once the marinade and meat are in every bag, make sure they are labeled properly with the name of the marinade as well as the date it was packaged on. Seal it up and shake it to make sure everything is incorporated well.

Some people have had issues with thawing the marinade with the meat together although I personally have not had this problem. If this happened to you, here’s an option you can try out. Freeze the marinade separately in mason jars or ziploc bags and freeze the meat separately. Then just thaw both the marinade and meat and combine together to cook.

Storage and Thawing

Now that all the meat is marinaded and in ziploc bags, it’s time to store them in the freezer! The whole point of doing this is so that you have some meals ready to go for a few months ahead. If you store these in the refrigerator, they’ll go bad in a few days. So right after prepping them, place them in the freezer on a shelf away from other non-meat items for food safety.

HOW TO STORE IT

If you want to use one of the marinades the same day or the next day, leave it in the fridge for up to 24 hours. For anything longer, keep it in the freezer for up to 4 months. It could last longer in the freezer but sometimes things can get freezer burned if they stay in too long so try to use in 3 to 4 months.

BEST PRACTICES FOR THAWING THE MEAT

Meat is stored, it’s frozen! Now what to do when you want to cook it up for dinner? The safest way to thaw any meat is to take it out from the freezer 24 hours before and transfer it to the refrigerator. There are technically other ways that I thaw it out when I do not plan a whole day in advance but it’s not the safest way so let’s just skip over that.

COOKING THE MEAT

There is no one right way to cook these proteins. I will leave it up to you to decide how you want to do it. You can turn them into skewers and cook on the grill or BBQ. You can air fry the chicken, roast in the oven, or saute in a pan. All delicious!

Craving More Chicken Recipes? Try These Out!

If you tried this recipe and loved it, drop by down below and let me know how you liked it with a rating and comment! Feel free to also leave a question there about this recipe and I’ll get right back to it.

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5 Chicken Marinades

Five delicious and distinct chicken marinades to prepare in advance and store in the freezer for effortless dinners throughout the week! From chicken satay to Moroccan chicken, the flavors are so versatile and will have you eating at home more often than going out to eat. Perfect for those who are busy but still want home-cooked meals!

Five delicious and distinct chicken marinades to prepare in advance and store in the freezer for effortless dinners throughout the week! From chicken satay to Moroccan chicken, the flavors are so versatile and will have you eating at home more often than going out to eat. Perfect for those who are busy but still want home-cooked meals!

2 hours
2 hours

Ingredients

CHICKEN SATAY
  • 2 pounds boneless & skinless chicken thighs, cut into small pieces
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons fresh garlic, finely minced
  • 2 teaspoons ginger paste
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons yellow curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons coriander
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar sugar or honey
  • red pepper flakes to taste, to make it spicy
HONEY HARISSA CHICKEN
  • 2 pounds chicken thighs, boneless and skinless
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons harissa, more to taste
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon garlic, finely minced
  • 2-3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons coriander
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons salt 
  • 2 tablespoons honey
CILANTRO JALAPENO CHICKEN
  • 2 pounds chicken breast or boneless skinless chicken thighs, chopped
  • 1 whole bunch cilantro
  • 2 jalapeños, seeds and stems removed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 to 6 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup plain whole milk yogurt
  • juice of 1 whole lime
MOROCCAN CHICKEN
  • 2 pounds chicken thighs boneless and skinless, cut into small pieces
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup plain whole milk yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons minced garlic, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped
TANDOORI CHICKEN
  • 1.5 pounds chicken breast or boneless, skinless chicken thighs cubed
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/3 cup plain whole milk yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced or paste
  • 1 tablespoon fresh garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons mild chili powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder, optional
  • juice of 1 whole lime
5 based on 3 reviews

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THIS RECIPE?

Rate + Review

Just wanna say thank you for sharing your recipes I made the Moroccan chicken it was delicious and simple to make. I will definitely be adding it to my prepped meal rotation looking forward to trying the other marinades 😄

Thank you so much for sharing these simple recipes! I made all of them except for Tandoori Chicken (will try that next time). The chicken satay was my favorite. Also loved the Moroccan and Cilantro/Jalapeno!

Thank you for sharing these delicious marinade recipes. These have been such a time saver for me and my family (including my picky kids) love all the flavors.

I made them all today. Took 15 mins to assemble. Simple, easy to follow recipes. Can’t wait to try tomorrow!

Thank you! Thank you from a busy mom for creating and sharing your beautiful and delicious recipes. I recently prepared your 5 Chicken Marinades. They are literally some of the most flavorful food I’ve ever made! They froze well and cooked perfectly in the air fryer. Can’t wait to try your 5 steak marinades. I truly appreciate your talent and generosity!

Tried marinades they were excellent 3 neighbors smelt the barbecue and before I knew it I was hosting a pool party for 10 people. Love all your recipes. Keep them coming

My cousin shared this with me. All the recipes turned out delicious and unique. As a new cook, these were really easy to make. Thank you so much, Hajar! 🙂

Thank you for these quick, delicious recipes! My husband is a chef and absolutely LOVED the cilantro jalapeño recipe. It definitely is on our weekly dinner rotation!

These are all amazing, I tried all 5 on whole chicken instead of thighs and wowzer 🙂 and I shared your website with all my friends. Thank you for this.

Amazing honey harissa chicken. I loved it!

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