Ready in 5 minutes! This is the best homemade Italian dressing chicken marinade and it is a perfect solution for busy weeknights. It's bursting with flavor, delicious, and also incredibly easy to make.
Moreover, this marinade doubles as a salad dressing. Win-win! Let me show you how to make it
If you have ever wondered if your favorite Italian dressing can double as a marinade then the answer is yes. With simple ingredients and minimal prep, this homemade marinade comes together nicely and makes your chicken tender and delicious at all times.
Once you learn how to make your own homemade Italian marinade at home, you don't have to worry about what to make on a busy work night. Tender and delicious chicken all the way!!!
Related recipe: Easy Mexican chicken marinade
Why you will love this easy marinade for chicken breast
- It's easy to make, this amazingly delicious and flavorful marinade is literally ready in 5 minutes and the chicken can be marinated for as little as 30 minutes or up to 12 hours for maximum flavors.
- It's versatile. You can grill, air fry, bake, pan-fry, or even slow cook the chicken.
- It's delicious and flavourful!
- It's affordable! All of the ingredients you need for this homemade marinade are inexpensive and easy to find and you probably have them on hand.
- Healthy marinade: all the ingredients used for this recipe are relatively healthy and it will be even better if you use chicken breast and which is lean meat with high protein and low calorie. The chicken is a lean protein, and the marinade is made with healthy ingredients like olive oil, vinegar, and herbs.
What is a marinade
A marinade is a mixture of liquids and seasonings used to coat the food, usually chicken, before cooking. The purpose of a marinade is to add flavor, tenderize, and prevent the food from drying out while cooking.
A good marinade should contain these ingredients fat(cooking oil or butter), flavors: (herbs or spices), and Acid: (vinegar or citrus juice).
Lastly, time, is also important for marinating chicken, depending on the type of marinade used, the longer you marinate, the more flavorful your chicken will be.
That said, you can marinate chicken for as little as 15 minutes and up to 24 hours. In some cases, up to 48 hours if a little acidic ingredient is used as that can change the texture of the chicken.
What you will need
- Olive oil
- Red wine vinegar
- Parmesan cheese
- Dijon mustard
- Onion powder
- Sugar: I used white caster sugar.
- Italian seasoning: substitute with Herbs de Provence, oregano, or any other dried herbs of choice.
- Lemon juice
- Salt & black pepper
How to make Italian dressing chicken marinade
To an airtight lid jar, add red wine vinegar, olive oil, dijon mustard, onion powder, sugar, lemon juice, Parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, salt, and black pepper.
Cover the lid tightly and shake well until the ingredients are combined.
Next, place the chicken breasts in a Ziploc bag or an airtight plastic (BPA free) container
Pour the marinade over your chicken, 1 Tablespoon of garlic paste, and seal the bag then massage it to evenly coat the chicken.
Marinate the chicken for at least 30 minutes or up to 6 hours in the fridge before cooking.
Bring out the chicken about 15 minutes before cooking so that it comes to room temperature. If marinating for just 15 to 30 minutes then you can place the bag on the countertop.
How to use
Use ⅓ cup of Italian dressing on 2.2lb (1kg) of chicken breast. You can double or triple the amount of ingredients used to suit your need.
Note: I don't add garlic (raw or powdered) to my Italian dressing so that it can last longer in the fridge, I only add it when I am about to marinate the poultry. Without the addition of garlic, this marinade will stay fresh in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Can I make this marinade ahead of time
Absolutely, you can make and keep Italian dressing in the fridge in an airtight container for up to one week.
How long should I marinate the chicken?
Depending on your time, you can allow the chicken to marinate for as little as 30 minutes or overnight in the refrigerator for maximum flavor. I recommend marinating it for at 30 minutes or up to an hour before cooking.
What cut of chicken works best with this marinade
This Italian dressing marinade is great for chicken breasts or boneless chicken thighs. That said, you can use it to marinate any cut of chicken and it would still be great.
Do I need to poke holes in the chicken breasts before marinating
No, this step is optional but I highly recommend you do it if you would be marinating the chicken for a short period of time. That way, the flavors from the marinade would be fully infused in the chicken.
Can you marinate chicken for 2 days
Marinating chicken for 2 days is possible depending on the type of marinade used. Avoid using acidic marinades that contain high levels of lemon, vinegar, or similar ingredients.
If the marinade is a simple blend of spices and oil without any lemon, lime, or vinegar, then you may marinate for 2 days. However, keep in mind that 24 hours is sufficient to infuse flavor into your chicken. Over-marinating may result in mushy meat, which is not desirable.
Can I freeze it
Yes, you can freeze this marinade with the chicken. Basically, all you need to do is add chicken pieces (any cut of your choice) in a ziploc bag, pour the marinade over it, and mix to combine. Then, you can transfer it to the freezer and use it whenever you need it. This will keep fresh in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Best cooking options for this recipe
My go-to cooking options are baking when time is not of the essence or cooking on the stovetop when I want a quick and easy dinner. However, this marinade works great with any kind of cooking option you prefer such as grilling (broiling), or air frying, and it can even be slow-cooked.
What do I serve this with
Once my chicken is cooked and rested, I slice it up and serve it with garlic parmesan orzo, in a wrap, or with an everyday green salad.
That being said, you can serve your marinated cooked chicken however you like. It goes great in sandwiches, with rice or potatoes, and even in pasta dishes. Enjoy!
More marinade recipes you should try next
Diy spice rubs recipes you can turn into marinades
Simply add oil, vinegar, or citrus to any of the following seasonings below to make delicious and flavourful chicken marinade
Italian Dressing Chicken Marinade
- ½ cup olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard sub with whole grain mustard
- ⅓ cup parmesan cheese grated off a block
- ½ Tablespoon onion powder
- 1 Tablespoon sugar
- 1 Tablespoon Italian seasoning
- Salt & black pepper to taste
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- 4 skinless boneless chicken breasts about 2.2lb
- To an airtight lid jar, add red wine vinegar, olive oil, dijon mustard, onion powder, sugar, Italian seasoning, salt, lemon juice and black pepper. Cover the lid tightly and shake well until the ingredients are combined.
- Next, place the chicken breasts in a Ziploc bag or an airtight plastic (BPA free) container
- Pour the marinade over your chicken, seal the bag then massage it to evenly coat the chicken.
- Marinate the chicken for at least 30 minutes or up to 6 hours in the fridge before cooking.PS: Bring out the chicken about 15 minutes before cooking so that it comes to room temperature. If marinating for just 15 to 30 minutes then you can place the bag on the countertop.
Nutritional data: Please note that the nutrition label provided is an estimate based on an online nutrition calculator. It will vary based on the specific ingredients and brands you use. Under no circumstances will thedinnerbite.com be responsible for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information.
And there you have it, a simple and delicious chicken breast marinade you can make at home in 5 minutes. As always, if you made this recipe, I would love to hear from you! Kindly rate the recipe 5 star and leave me feedback in the comment section below. Tag me @thedinnerbite on Instagram and save it away to your Pinterest. Please subscribe to the blog if you haven’t for free new recipes in your inbox