8 Easy Chicken or Tofu Marinades

I’m still in Italy, but wanted to share a fun (pre-scheduled) post full of easy marinade recipes, just in time for Memorial Day grilling out! One of my biggest pet peeves is when people think that eating healthy means eating completely plain grilled chicken. Not so! Here are some of my very favorite easy marinades, which can be used for chicken or, if you’re vegetarian or want to mix it up, for extra firm tofu that has been pressed/drained.

easy chicken marinades

Marinating is a simple form of food preparation in which you let the meat (or vegetarian protein like tofu) sit in the fridge in a bath of ingredients which will make it much more tender, juicy, and flavorful when it’s cooked. You can marinate for as little as 30 minutes or as long as overnight. After marinating, simply put the marinated meat on the grill or in a pan and heat on medium high, flipping at least once, until it’s cooked through! Another option is to bake the meat after marinating.

Each recipe below will marinate about 2 chicken breasts or an equivalent amount of tofu. Even if you’re only serving yourself, go ahead and cook both and save the extra to eat the next day!


8 Easy Marinade Recipes for Chicken or Tofu

Easiest marinade ever: salad dressing! Balsamic vinaigrette and Italian dressing in particular make great marinades. I like Newman’s Own brand of salad dressing – buy the full fat/regular version because reduced fat/light dressings just have added sugar or salt.

Thai grilled chicken: 1 diced garlic clove + ¼ cup fresh cilantro + ½ Tbsp. Asian fish sauce + ½ Tbsp. low sodium soy sauce + ½ Tbsp. toasted sesame oil

Lime chicken: juice of 1 lime + 1 Tbsp. honey + 2 Tbsp. olive oil + 1 small can diced green chilis + ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro + a pinch of salt & pepper

Asian chicken: 1/4 cup honey, 2 Tbsp. fish sauce, 1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice, 2 Tbsp. chili sauce (this is spicy but not insane)

Mexican chicken: 3 Tbsp. olive oil, 2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro, 1 Tbsp. chipotle chili sauce (from can), ½ tsp. chili powder, ½ tsp. cumin, a pinch of salt & pepper

Teryaki chicken: juice from 1 orange, ¼ C low sodium soy sauce, 1 Tbsp. olive oil, sprinkle of garlic powder & pepper

Persian chicken: juice from 1 lemon + 2 tsp. olive oil + 1 tsp. cinnamon + ¼ tsp. turmeric + a pinch of salt & pepper

Balsamic chicken: 1/2 tsp. dried rosemary + 2 cloves garlic (minced) + 1 Tbsp. olive oil + ¼ cup balsamic vinegar + a pinch of salt & pepper

The Asian chicken marinade is great for stir fry!


What’s your favorite marinade recipe?


  1. 1

    thai grilled chicken is only 1 1/2 tbsp. liquid- that’s really enough for 2 chicken breasts?!?

  2. 3

    This looks great! Thanks for sharing! If it’s nice outside this weekend I’ll see if I can do a BBQ with a few of these. Safe travels and see you next weekend. Ack! It’s June in a few days!

  3. 4

    I love marinades!! And 8…amazing ;)

  4. 5

    These are great! I’m always looking for new marinades to try.

  5. 6

    I love a good chicken marinade. Another awesome one is tequila, lime zest and juice, olive oil and some salt and pepper. Delish!!

  6. 7

    These all sound yummy! Must give them a try!!

  7. 8

    I’m a big fan of using OJ as a marinade base. Add a little olive oil, any type of vinegar, spices, and it’s good to go.

  8. 9

    Some great ideas there for marinades! I like sweet and sour where you use soy sauce, tomato sauce, apple cider vinegar, garlic and some stevia it makes it really nice but these I’ll have to give a try too.

  9. 10

    I love miso maple orange…use it for tempeh, tofu, sweet potato and squash! :)

  10. 11

    All 8 marinades look great, Anne. I will try them all. Thanks

    P.S. Our granddaughter graduated High School last night. Can’t believe it.

  11. 12

    I love the Persian Chicken marinade idea. It has some of my favorite flavors. I love a touch of cinnamon in savory dishes.

  12. 13

    The Persian marinade looks intriguing. I love marinated tofu. I usually bake it so it has a firmer texture so I can add it to salads or serve with veggies and a side of grains.

  13. 14

    Anne’s good day.I adore chickens under every figure,grilled, pickled, baked,and the most wing from honey and curry.Proud .I will make is some of Your recipes,surely.

  14. 15

    Just tried the Thai marinade with tofu and it was tasty. Thanks for the easy marinade ideas!


  1. […] What are your favorite foods to bring to BBQs? If you’re simply bringing something for the grill and looking to amp up the flavor, check out this recent post I wrote: 8 Easy Chicken or Tofu Marinades. […]

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