5 fast and freezable chicken marinades

Take the guesswork out of weeknight meals with any of these fast and freezable chicken marinades.

Take the guesswork out of weeknight meals with any of these fast and freezable chicken marinades

(Credit: iStock/Getty Images)

Mastering weeknight meals are all about working ahead, and there’s no better way to do this than by freezing chicken right in a marinade. It soaks up the flavour as it thaws, and you’ll have a tasty dinner with little to no effort at all.

To do this right, choose your cut of poultry. You can use bone-in, skinless, breasts or thighs — you decide. Each marinade below will flavour about two and a half pounds of meat. Trim off the excess fat.

5 Fast and Freezable Chicken Marinades

By Jessica Brooks


Lemon and garlic marinade:

  • 2 lemons
  • 6 garlic cloves, smashed
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 3 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp cayenne

Tandoori marinade:

  • 1 small onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 6 oz plain yogurt
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon

Sweet and sour marinade:

  • 6 garlic cloves, smashed
  • ½ cup white wine vingear
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp salt

Hot and spicy marinade:

  • ½ cup fresh cilantro, leaves and stems
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled
  • 2 tbsp thinly sliced lemongrass, from inner tender stem
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 small onion, quartered
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp grape seed or canola oil

Tropical marinade:

  • 1 cup pineapple, cubed, fresh or canned
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup soy sauce
  • 1 garlic clove


Lemon and garlic marinade:

Peel the lemon with a vegetable peeler before juicing it. Put both the juice and strips of yellow peel into your marinating vessel. Add the remaining ingredients.

Tandoori marinade:

Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth.

Sweet and sour marinade:

Put everything into your marinating vessel and mix well.

Hot and spicy marinade:

Combine all ingredients in the blender and puree.

Tropical marinade:

Puree all the ingredients in the blender until smooth.

Preparation (for all marinades):

Pour blended marinade it into a flat, freezer-safe container or resealable bag. Submerge the meat completely, making sure all sides are coated. Pop it in your freezer immediately.

To cook it, simply defrost in the fridge overnight. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Remove the meat from the marinade, letting the excess run off.

Lay the meat in a single layer on the foil and broil it in the oven, flipping it once, for 10-15 minutes, or until it reaches 165 degrees F.


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.