Zesty Lemon Chicken Marinade

Last updated: June 4th, 2024

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This simple 3-ingredient zesty lemon chicken marinade yields perfectly juicy and flavorful grilled chicken every time. Serve it for dinner or use it for sandwiches, wraps, salads, and more!

Zesty lemon marinated grilled chicken on a plate

Want to know the secret to an easy, delicious, and super juicy grilled chicken that’s so versatile you can use it in anything? All it takes is 3 simple ingredients – vegetable oil, lemon juice, and salt – and the proper grilling technique. Try our zesty lemon chicken marinade and see for yourself how easy it is to make flavorful grilled chicken at home!

Zesty Lemon Chicken Marinade Ingredients

The best chicken marinade is sometimes the simplest – that’s why we love this 3 ingredient zesty lemon chicken marinade! All you need to make it is:

  • Vegetable oil
  • Lemon juice
  • Salt

For the best flavor, we recommend using freshly squeezed lemon juice. But if you’re looking for quick convenience, you can totally just use the stuff from the bottle! No judgment here – we often turn to the bottled lemon and lime juice when we forget to pick up fresh citrus from the store.

A plate of grilled chicken with a zesty lemon marinade flavor

How To Make The Best Zesty Chicken Marinade

The 3 main components to a good marinade are fat, acid, and salt. Which is why this simple chicken marinade for grilling just uses vegetable oil (fat), lemon juice (acid), and salt! It’s seriously that easy to get delicious flavor out of your meat – and this golden rule is the secret to achieving juicy chicken every single time.

To make this quick chicken marinade, simply combine the ingredients in a bowl with chicken breast and let it marinate at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes.

How To Grill Zesty Lemon Chicken

We recommend grilling this lemon marinated chicken for the best flavor. Preheat the grill (or a cast iron grill pan) to medium-high, then cook the chicken for about 12 to 15 minutes, flipping every 3 minutes. This method ensures an even cook and results in perfectly juicy chicken every time!

To make sure you’ve fully cooked the chicken and avoid over-cooking it (which will make it taste dry), we recommend having a digital meat thermometer handy. You can check the internal temperature of the chicken towards the end of cooking to make sure you take it off the grill just as it’s cooked through.

Storing & Reheating Zesty Lemon Chicken

Let the chicken cool before storing it in an air-tight container in the fridge. It will keep for up to 5 days. You can either store it whole, or slice the chicken into bite-size pieces before putting it away so it’s already prepped for sandwiches, wraps, burrito bowls, and more!

To reheat, warm through in a frying pan over medium heat for about 7 to 8 minutes.

A plate of grilled chicken cooked in a zesty lemon marinade

Zesty Lemon Marinated Chicken Serving Suggestions

This chicken is perfect for your weekly meal prep since it’s so quick, easy, and versatile. Make a big batch and use it for:

Since this grilled chicken has a fairly simple flavor profile, you can easily dress it up any which way you like. We love putting it on a sandwich with goat cheese, calabrian chili and tomato spread, and fresh arugula. Mmm 🙂

Zesty lemon chicken also makes a great dinner served with rice, hummus, and vegetables! Or with a side of roasted potatoes and parmesan green beans or summer squash & tomatoes. You really can’t go wrong with this quick and easy chicken marinade.

Try our zesty lemon chicken marinade recipe and let us know what you think in the comments. Don’t forget to rate and share if you love it!

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5 from 1 vote

Zesty Lemon Chicken Marinade

This simple 3-ingredient zesty lemon chicken marinade yields perfectly juicy and flavorful grilled chicken every time. Serve it for dinner or use it for sandwiches, wraps, salads, and more!
Servings 4 servings
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 13 minutes
Total Time 43 minutes



  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • lbs chicken breast trimmed


  • Combine vegetable oil, lemon juice, salt, and chicken in a bowl and stir to coat the chicken evenly.
  • Marinate at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Finally, grill chicken using your preferred method. We like to make grilled chicken on our cast iron grill pan – cook it over medium-high heat for about 12 to 15 minutes, flipping every 3 minutes, until done.
  • Let rest for 2 to 3 minutes before serving immediately. Otherwise, let cool completely and store in the fridge for up to 5 days.


Notes on grilling chicken: Depending on the size of your chicken breasts, the cook time will vary. Flip the chicken every 3 minutes and once it seems close to done (charred on both sides and slightly golden skin), check the internal temperature with a digital meat thermometer. This tool is so helpful to avoid overcooking chicken and drying it out!
Storing & reheating leftovers: Store this zesty lemon chicken in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. To reheat, simply warm through in a frying pan over medium heat for about 7 to 8 minutes.
Serving suggestions: This chicken is so versatile, you can use it in any of your favorite sandwiches, wraps, salads, burrito bowls, and more! When we meal prep this chicken, we like to let it cool and slice it into bite-size pieces before storing it away. That way, it’s already prepped and ready to go for an easy lunch.
A plate of zesty lemon marinated chicken also makes a great healthy dinner with a side of brown rice, vegetables, and hummus!
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Author: Nicole
Calories: 342kcal
Course: Dinner, Ingredients, Lunch, Main, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chicken breast, grilled chicken, grilling, lemon juice, marinade, salt, vegetable oil


Calories: 342kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 10g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 109mg | Sodium: 779mg | Potassium: 645mg | Fiber: 0.04g | Sugar: 0.4g | Vitamin A: 52IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 1mg

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5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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