Looking for a Keto Chicken Marinade Recipe for your grilling needs? With just a few simple ingredients you can have perfect grilled chicken in no time! This low carb chicken marinade packs a ton of flavor and is super easy to make. It is also paleo, sugar-free, gluten-free, and whole30.
Grilled chicken is one of our standard summer dinners. Grilling keeps the house cool and leaves almost no clean-up. I like to marinate my chicken breasts in a plastic gallon storage bag to make sure they are completely coated with the marinade and to save on one more clean-up step. It also has simple ingredients that you should have ready in your pantry.
Lemon with garlic is one of our favorite flavor pairings. We love it on my Garlic Broccoli and on grilled chicken breasts.
- Lemon Juice - Fresh lemon juice is the best. If you have a lemon, roll it around on the counter applying some pressure before juicing it. This helps to break up the fiber and cells that hold all the tart juices. If you don't have a fresh lemon, store-bought lemon juice will work just fine.
- Garlic - I love garlic, but I don't love peeling and mincing garlic and having garlic smelling fingers. The beauty of this recipe is that you can just use your knife to smash the garlic clove on the cutting board, this will pop it right out of its skin. You then just toss it into the blender. No need to finely mince this one. If you only have dried garlic or garlic powder, you can use that, but I highly recommend fresh garlic.
- Oil - Whenever I grill, I try to opt for a higher smoking temperature oil. Some oils hold up to high heat better than others. Olive oil will work, but I like to use avocado oil in this recipe. It has a nice flavor and holds up to grilling very well
- Salt - Marinating adds a lot of flavor to chicken, it also gives you the opportunity to season it well. Taste the marinade as you make it and make sure that you are happy with the level of seasoning.
- Optional Herbs - Add in your favorite dried or fresh herbs like oregano, thyme, rosemary, sage, tarragon, or marjoram.
How to Make Keto Chicken Marinade
This is such an easy chicken marinade recipe. Just a minute or two of time and you will be well on your way to a delicious dinner.
Step 1: Simply add the four ingredients to a blender. Pulse the blender for a few seconds until it is a nice puree.
Step 2: Pour the marinade into a plastic storage bag or bowl with a lid. Add your chicken and pop it into the fridge for a few hours to let the flavors of the lemon and garlic meld.
Step 3: Once the chicken is marinated, fire up the grill and cook the chicken.
- Spicy - Make it a keto spicy chicken marinade. When I am trying to kick any dish up with a little spice, I go to my trusty combination of cumin, paprika, and chili powder. Equal parts of each and you only need a little in a marinade to impart that flavorful heat.
- Limes - If you don't have lemons, then lime juice will work just fine. If the limes are smaller you may need two of them to make enough marinade. Be sure to roll these as well to get the most juice out of them.
- Balsamic - Swap out the lemon juice for balsamic vinegar. For even more options try red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar, or apple cider vinegar. You want something acidic in the keto chicken marinade.
- Steak - Want a great marinade for beef? Try my keto steak marinade.
What type of chicken should I marinate?
This low carb marinade works on everything. Marinated chicken has the opportunity to absorb a lot of flavor and juice. Darker meat, like chicken thighs and legs, tend to hold up pretty well with retaining their natural juices as they cook. Breast and tenderloins have a high propensity for drying out and not having a ton of flavor on their own. I will usually marinade breast and tenderloins for this reason. I will typically purchase boneless and skinless chicken. It allows the marinade to permeate the meat and you save a few calories.
I'll be the first to admit when I put things on the grill I sometimes forget about them. Knowing this about myself I have a tried and true method to juicy chicken on the grill.
How to Grill Chicken Breasts
I preheat the grill on high heat. Once hot, I add the chicken and let it sear, getting nice dark lines on one side, watching closely. Then I flip it, watch for lines on the second side, and then turn the grill down to low. Once the outside is seared it is harder to dry out because it keeps the natural juices inside. I set my kitchen timer to go temp it every 5 minutes after that. When it reaches 157 I remove it from the grill and let it rest to get up to 160.
Other ways to use this Keto Chicken Marinade
This doesn't only have to be for grilled marinated chicken. You can cook the marinated chicken in the oven, pan fry them or even toss them into your air fryer. The flavor that this marinade provides is so delicious, you will not want to save it for only those grilling days.
Make a sauce! Turn this into a delicious sauce to pour over chicken, veggies, or salad. Once blended, pour the marinade into a small saucepan and bring to simmer. Add a teaspoon of dijon mustard, some ground black pepper, and a half teaspoon of onion powder and whisk. Let simmer for 2 minutes pour over your chicken or veggies. If you are serving this as a dressing for a salad, allow it to cool first or it will wilt your lettuce. Enjoy these wonderful flavors.
What do I serve with grilled chicken?
For a delicious summery meal serve this Lemon Grilled Chicken recipe on top of Spinach Salad with Grilled Grapes and Brie Cheese. You can omit the grapes or sub strawberries to make this keto friendly. Or simply grill some peppers and onions to serve alongside this grilled chicken.
Here are some of my other favorite sides for grilled chicken:
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- 2 tablespoon lemon juice (juice of 1 lemon)
- 10 cloves garlic
- ¼ cup avocado oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 6 chicken breasts
To make the Marinade:
- Add all the ingredients to a blender. Pulse until smooth. Use to marinate chicken breasts.
To make Lemon Grilled Chicken:
- Preheat the grill to high. Add the chicken, and let it get nice dark lines on one side, watching closely. Flip it, watch for lines on the second side, and then turn the grill down to low. Temp the chicken every few minutes. When it reaches 157 remove it from the grill and let it rest to get up to 160.
Can I marinate boneless thin chicken breast and do it in a pan on the stove?
How long did you leave the chicken in to marinate?
Wilhelmina Wessel says
This chicken looks so juicy and grilled to perfection!
Nellie Tracy says
I love lemon and garlic together. This chicken looks absolutely delicious!!
This is a wonderful recipe my husband and I love it and it's so simple but I used boneless chicken thighs and they were delicious.
I'm with you! Grilling in the summer is a no-brainer here in Florida to keep the heat out of the house. Chicken is also a standard grill item for us and marinating keeps it so much moister. I like the addition of the avocado oil along with garlic and lemon in your marinade. It looks so delicious that I know just what I want to try out for dinner tonight. 🙂