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grilled chicken wings on a platter (title image for Chicken Marinade)

Citrus Chicken Marinade with fresh herbs

Bright, bold flavors make this easy Chicken Marinade recipe a favorite. It makes juicy, flavorful chicken no matter what way you cook it!
Course Sauce
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 2 cups
Calories 549kcal
Author Toni Dash


  • ½ cup Orange juice
  • ½ cup Lemon juice
  • ½ cup Lime juice
  • 1 1.5-inch piece fresh Ginger root minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground Cumin
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons Soy Sauce (regular or gluten-free) Tamari may also be used
  • 4-5 leaves fresh Sage chopped (OR 3 tbsp. chopped cilantro OR 2-3 crushed bay leaves)
  • 1/2 cup Vegetable Oil


  • Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl or emulsify in a blender (no need to mince or chop with the latter method).
  • Place chicken in a shallow dish, preferably of glass or heavy plastic (citrus acid reacts with metal and can leave your chicken tasting "tinny"), or in large resealable freezer bag, and pour marinade over top.
  • Refrigerate for at least one hour, preferably 2 to 6 hours (bone-in chicken breasts can be left overnight, but boneless chicken breasts should not marinate more than 4 hours).
  • Cook as desired.


Nutritional Facts are for the entire batch of 2 3/4 cups marinade.
Pro Tips
Do Not Over Marinate
Marinating in acidic ingredients should not be done for an extended time.
The benefit of the acid is it breaks down connective tissue in the meat making it more tender.
The chicken will also hold more moisture making a juicy end result after cooking.
Over marinating, or marinating too long, can make the chicken mushy.
Marinate for 2-6 hours only.
Do Not Reuse Chicken Marinade
Once raw chicken has been in a marinade it should be discarded after use. Raw chicken carries bacteria that isn't safe to consume.
Marinade that has been in contact with raw chicken cannot be reused.
Using Oil in Marinades
Oil does a few beneficial things in a marinade.
  1. It imparts the flavor to the meat. Using a fat or oil in a marinade allows the flavors to better penetrate the meat.
  2. It keeps the meat moist when cooking.
  3. It balances acidic flavors. This marinade has three citrus juices so including some oil balances the flavors beautifully.


Calories: 549kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 55g | Saturated Fat: 44g | Sodium: 1010mg | Potassium: 320mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 154IU | Vitamin C: 75mg | Calcium: 26mg | Iron: 1mg