This lemon pepper chicken marinade is just what you need to infuse chicken breast or thighs with zesty lemon, pepper, and garlic flavor! Tender and juicy chicken is so easy when you start with our flavorful marinade!
Based on my experience, everyone loves chicken and we’re all looking for more ways to get it on the table!
We love making grilled chicken all summer long, since it’s such a simple and healthy way to cook our favorite protein.
The only concern? Grilling up dry, boring, bland chicken.
Not a problem at all when you start with our lemon pepper chicken marinade!
Marinating chicken helps to keep it tender, moist, and flavorful.
Our lemon pepper chicken marinade is bursting with bright, zesty lemon flavor, a bit of garlic, and a little kick of black pepper. This flavor combo is perfect for a tasty dinner!
Not a fan of lemon? Try our Grilled BBQ Chicken! It’s a summer favorite.
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Chicken – We use this marinade with chicken breasts but it would work just as well with boneless chicken thighs and chicken tenderloins!
Olive Oil – The base of this marinade starts with olive oil. Use some good robust olive oil. It works best for marinades and has lots of flavor!
Garlic – Freshly minced garlic is the way to go here. You’ll use three whole cloves which will add all the garlic flavor we need to the marinade!
Seasoning – You want the lemon and pepper flavors to stand out the most in this chicken marinade so you’ll use freshly cracked pepper with a bit of salt and some dried parsley.
What We Love About This Recipe:
- There is so much great lemon flavor in this marinade when you use a fresh lemon for juice and zest!
- You can use this marinade on chicken, but it would also work with pork chops and roasted veggies! Imagine it on potatoes! Yum!
- This recipe is gluten free, low carb and keto friendly, and only takes about 10 minutes to prep!
How To Make Lemon Pepper Marinade:
Combine: Start by adding all of the ingredients including the olive oil, lemon juice, zest, garlic and seasoning to a bowl and whisk it together until well combined.
Marinate: After preparing the lemon pepper marinade all that’s left to do is add to some chicken! Pour it over chicken breast, thighs, or tenders and refrigerate for at least 4 hours but no more than 12.
After marinating, cook the chicken however you like! Some suggestions are below.
How To Cook Marinated Chicken:
You can cook marinated chicken any way you like. The time will vary based on the cut of chicken and method so always use a meat thermometer (linked below) to make sure it has reached a safe internal temp of 165 degrees!
Grilled – We love grilled chicken! It’s the best way to get that perfect char flavor on it. You can grill this lemon pepper marinated chicken with a gas, charcoal, or pellet grill until it has reached a safe temperature. For the average sized chicken breast, this is somewhere around 6 minutes per side over medium heat.
Baked – Prepare a baking sheet or dish with some non-stick spray and bake the marinated chicken at 400 degrees for about 35 to 40 minutes, flipping halfway through, until it reaches a safe temp. You could easily throw some baby potatoes or green beans in with the chicken!
Pan Fried – A nice heavy cast iron skillet works wonders for cooking tasty pan seared chicken breast! Heat the skillet up with a bit of oil and pan fry the chicken on both sides, about 5-6 minutes per side depending on how thick your chicken is.
Air Fried – Quick, easy, and mess free! Spritz an air fryer basket with some oil and cook the marinated chicken at 380 degrees for 10 minutes or until the chicken reaches 165 degrees.
I love using this meat thermometer for making sure the meat is fully cooked! Easy for beginners & absolutely worth the low cost.
What to Serve with Lemon Pepper Chicken:
There are lots of good sides that’d pair well with some grilled, baked, pan fried, or air fried lemon pepper chicken. Here are a few suggestions:
- Parmesan Roasted Potatoes
- Vegetable Rice Recipe
- Greek Pasta Salad
- Greek Cucumber Salad
- Baked Mashed Potatoes
- Parmesan Orzo
- Air Fryer Sweet Potato Cubes
Marinating chicken helps to tenderize the meat, add moisture while cooking, and allow the seasonings to soak into the meat and season it throughout.
Our lemon pepper chicken marinade contains lemon juice, and the acidity will start to break down the chicken if left in the marinade for too long. We recommend marinating your chicken for at least 4 hours but no more than 12.
We start our lemon pepper chicken marinade with a robust olive oil. It adds flavor and helps keep the chicken moist while cooking.
Yes, you can freeze chicken in marinade. Once frozen, it will stop absorbing the flavors. We often toss fresh or frozen breasts in our marinade, place it all in the freezer, and then let it thaw overnight before grilling for dinner.
MORE MARINATED MEAT RECIPES!
- Greek Chicken Kabobs
- Air Fryer Steak Kabobs
- Citrus Marinated Flank Steak
- Bruschetta Chicken
- Balsamic Chicken
- Grilled Teriyaki Chicken
Lemon Pepper Chicken Marinade
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 lemons juiced, about 4 tablespoons
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 2 teaspoons freshly cracked pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 1/2 pounds chicken breasts or thighs
- Add all of the ingredients to a small bowl and whisk to combine.
- Pour over chicken and toss to coat.
- Refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 12 hours before cooking chicken on the grill, stove top, or air fryer.
- Discard any leftover marinade.