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Fresh herbs and pantry staples combine to create this complex Balsamic Chicken Marinade. Grill or bake the chicken, then enjoy on its own or atop a salad.
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Ingredients in Balsamic Chicken Marinade
Marinating chicken is THE key to infusing flavor into typically lean, bland poultry cuts. This complex marinade requires mostly pantry staples to turn that lackluster cut into something that makes your tastebuds sing.
Let’s meet the key ingredients for Balsamic chicken marinade…
- Olive or avocado Oil – To keep things moist.
- Balsamic vinegar – Acid is a must in all marinades.
- Honey – Just a hint of sweetness.
- Dijon mustard – Brings in a different kind of acidity.
- Garlic cloves – Delicious pungent flavor.
- Fresh parsley (or dried) – All the herbs add color and an herbaceous undertone.
- Dried basil
- Dried oregano
- Salt and Pepper – Basics that balance every marinade.
How to Make and Store Balsamic Chicken Marinade
If you find that you are using this chicken marinade frequently, you could make a large batch of it (scale it up 2-3x) and store it for future use. There are two main ways to store the marinade: The refrigerator or the freezer.
Store marinade in the refrigerator
The marinade will store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days in a jar to use when ready.
Store marinade in the freezer
Here is an out of the box idea: make a big batch of marinade and freeze it in small portions! If you freeze it in a mason jar, be sure to allow at least 1 inch of headspace at the top because the contents will expand.
Scaling up the recipe is a great use of time and resources too. Just one of the many reasons we love freezer meals!
When ready to use the balsamic marinade, let it thaw (if necessary) and pour it over chicken in a zip-top bag or container with a lid. Let it marinate for at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours to infuse flavor.
Use Balsamic Chicken Marinade as a Freezer Meal
Another great use of your time is prep a few freezer meals out of this marinade. Like most of our chicken freezer meals, simply combine the ingredients (the marinade & the chicken) and freeze for later. No need to let the chicken marinate before freezing either. When you want to use it, let the chicken thaw one of these safe ways.
Then, grill, slow cook, pressure cook, or bake your marinated Balsamic Chicken. You choose your method! We’ve included instructions for how to cook boneless chicken breasts any of these ways in the recipe below.
My favorite way to use this balsamic chicken marinade is for grilled chicken on a Surf and Turf night. Try our Mediterranean Shrimp Kabobs with it! Or serve it over some Instant Pot Brown Rice for a super healthy meal!
More Chicken Marinades You Must Try
Try some of our other favorite healthy chicken marinades to mix things up:
- Lemon Garlic Chicken Marinade
- Cilantro Lime Chicken Marinade
- Honey Dijon Chicken Marinade
- Asian Sesame Chicken Marinade
- Southwest Chicken Marinade
- The BEST Savory Chicken Marinade
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- 1/3 cup oil (recommend: avocado or olive oil)
- 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley (sub: 2 tsp dried parsley, crushed in hand)
- 1 teaspoon dried basil, crushed in hand
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed in hand
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1–1.5 pounds chicken breasts, tenders, or thighs
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Make It Now:
- Add the oil, vinegar, honey, Dijon mustard, garlic, parsley, basil, oregano, salt and pepper to a gallon-sized freezer bag, seal, and shake. Either seal and refrigerate until ready to use, OR add 1.5-2 pounds chicken to the bag, seal, and squish around to make sure the chicken is covered in marinade. (Freezing instructions begin here.)
- Place the bag in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours.
- Cook the chicken however you’d like (grill, slow cook, pressure cook, or bake). See tips below in the Notes.
Freeze For Later: Follow step 1. Freeze for up to 3 months.
Prepare From Frozen: Thaw, using one of these safe thawing methods, and follow Step 3. No additional marinating time needed once it is thawed!
How to Know If Chicken Is Done: Chicken is done when it reaches 165°F internal temperature. (A digital meat thermometer is a must to help cook chicken perfectly.)
How to Cook Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts:
- Bake in Oven: Preheat oven to 400°F. Place chicken in a casserole dish or on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake uncovered for about 20-25 minutes, until done.
- Slow Cooker: Place chicken and marinade in slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW for 3 to 3 1/2 hours. Really! That’s all it takes to get it done, otherwise you’ll overcook and dry it out.
- Instant Pot: Place chicken and marinade in Instant Pot. Lock and seal the lid. Cook at high pressure for 7 minutes and use a quick release of the pressure when the cook time is up. (Note: It will take 10-15 minutes to come to pressure before the cook time starts.)
- Grill: Pound out the chicken to about 3/4 inch thick (or cut it in half lengthwise) to help with fast and even cooking. Preheat grill to medium-high heat and clean the grates well. Grill for about 4-5 minutes per side, maybe longer depending on the thickness, until done.
Where We Get Our Chicken: We get our meat from ButcherBox. The chicken is organic and curated from small, trusted farms. We highly recommend this service to source healthy meat–like uncured bacon, wild salmon, and grass-fed beef–and have used it for years ourselves.