Love flavorful marinated chicken, but short on time? This easy recipe for Lemon Garlic Marinade is my go-to 30-minute marinade … and it’s so good.
One evening in the fall, I had the basic bones of dinner planned: chicken, rice, green beans. But while good in concept, the dinner needed a little more oomph. Marinate the chicken, I thought … but since I don’t actually keep marinades in the fridge or cabinet, I had to go with what I had: Lemon, garlic, herbs, salt, pepper …
I made it quickly. Marinated the boneless chicken breasts for about 30 minutes, and then roasted it in the oven for 20-25 minutes, flipping once. When we dug in, the tender chicken was bursting with flavor. What had been a last minute, from the pantry, idea was quite good. I wrote down the ingredients.
Then I made it again. And again. And again. So many times. Sometimes the herbs are basil and oregano. Sometimes its sage and thyme. Rosemary and thyme pair well too. But always lemon, garlic, salt, pepper.
Months later, I can honestly say that this 30-minute marinade recipe is my go-to for chicken breasts. I can whip it up in less than 5 minutes. The chicken needs to marinate for at least 30 minutes (longer is better, but it works in 30). And then we just cook, slice and enjoy — often with rice and a veggie (roasted vegetables are a favorite).
Quick. Easy. Delicious. Just as it should be.
- 1 lemon , juiced
- 1 clove garlic , minced
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp minced fresh herbs such as basil , oregano and thyme
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
Whisk together all ingredients in a small bowl. Pour into a resealable bag with 1-2 lbs boneless chicken. Marinate for at least 30 minutes, but up to 12 hours. Cook as desired.
Sarah Walker Caron is a cookbook author, freelance writer and founder of Sarah’s Cucina Bella. Her latest cookbook is The Super Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook, published by Rockridge Press, which focuses on quick, easy, from-scratch cooking for busy people. A single mother to two kids in middle school, Sarah loves nightly family dinners, juicy tomatoes plucked fresh from the vine and lazy days on the beach. She also adores reading and traveling.