A quick, delicious, easy, and healthy citrus dijon grilled chicken marinade simple enough for busy nights and tasty enough to impress guests. Marinate ahead of time, then cook it up in just 15 minutes!
There’s something about the tangy taste of dijon mixed with the tart, acidic juices of lemon and orange in a chicken marinade that just really asks to be grilled.
I created this Citrus Dijon Grilled Chicken Marinade for some unexpected dinner guests — you know the ones that drop by for a second and then you just don’t want them to leave so that quick visit turns into “please stay for dinner”?
This dijon grilled chicken is super easy to pull together with pantry staples and uses up any leftover citrus you have (or you can use bottled juices too for that matter), and I have only received rave reviews when I’ve grilled this, so it’s right up there in popularity with my Grilled Chicken Margherita (who can resist pesto and mozzarella??) and all-time favorite Best Quick Steak Marinade (hundreds of rave reviews can’t be wrong).
Why This Recipe Works
- Easy pantry ingredients: made with simple spices and seasonings, lime and orange juice, and dijon mustard (substitute another mustard if you don’t have dijon), this marinade requires no extra trips to the store.
- Many uses: marinated chicken breasts work with so many dishes: in tacos, on salads, in a sandwich, on noodles or rice, or all by itself.
- Quick-cooking: these marinated boneless, skinless chicken breasts are on and off the grill in just 15 minutes.
- Versatile: healthy chicken marinade works for more than just chicken. Goes great on pork and steak too!
Here’s how you make it
- Combine all marinade ingredients and whisk vigorously to combine (or combine in a jar, cover and shake well). Take out a 1/4 cup of the marinade and set aside for later.
- Add the chicken to the marinade in a zip-close bag or bowl with a tight fitting lid. Toss or shake to coat. Chill for 1 hour or overnight.
- Preheat the grill to medium and oil the grates. Add the chicken to the grill using tongs or a fork. Cook for 5-7 minutes, flip, and brush the second side with the reserved marinade.
- Let the second side cook for another 2-4 minutes longer or until chicken is cooked through and juices run clear.
- Serve immediately and garnish with fresh herbs, lemon, lime, or orange wedges for squeezing.
How long do you marinate chicken?
Chicken isn’t like a meat that needs to be marinated to make it more tender, like a tough or thicker cut of beef. Instead, marinades pack the chicken with tons of flavor. You can marinate chicken in as little as 30 minutes. To get the most flavor out of your marinade, you should let breasts or thighs soak anywhere from 3-12 hours.
Is it okay to bake chicken in marinade?
Yes, you can cook/bake it all together. This obviously won’t work on a grill, because: grates, but you can use a baking dish or skillet to cook the chicken and citrus marinade all together. Always be sure to throw away any unused marinade. You can also use some of the cooked-down marinade as a sauce to spoon over the chicken, or rice or noodles.
Do you pour marinade off before cooking?
I take the chicken out of the marinade and cook on one side, then use a brush to brush on the reserved marinade onto the other side. I do not pour the marinade right on the grill, because this can cause flame flare-ups and cause the chicken to burn. It will only stick to the surface anyway, so might as well brush it right where you want it versus pouring it all down the proverbial drain.
- Don’t flip the chicken more than once if you can help it. You’ll notice if you try to flip it before one side has had enough time to cook that it will stick to the grill. This is a sign that it is not time to flip, but rather, give it another minute. Flipping back and forth only ensures uneven grilling, and we don’t want that!
- Interested in making your own DIY herb blend? It’s so easy! Simply combine 1/4 teaspoon each dried thyme, parsley, oregano, and basil, whisk together and add to the chicken recipe. If you want to make sure you have more for next time, double, triple, or even quadruple the ingredients, mix together, and store in a clean spice jar with a tight-fitting lid.
- Use tongs whenever possible when turning chicken on the grill (or putting it on or taking it off). It’s much easier to grab the whole piece, and there’s no scraping motion trying to get under the meat, where you might accidentally end up puncturing or tearing it. Using long tongs also helps to prevent the chance that you’ll burn yourself!
What to serve with this grilled chicken
- Baked Garlic Parmesan Potato Wedges
- Roasted Broccoli or Roasted Asparagus
- The BEST Tossed Green Salad
- Instant Pot Baked Sweet Potatoes
More popular marinade recipes
- Best Quick Steak Marinade
- Garlic Lime Shrimp Marinade
- Quick and Easy Chicken Marinade
- Grilled or Baked Pork Marinade
Did you make this recipe? Please give it a rating below!
Citrus Dijon Grilled Chicken (Marinade)
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
- juice of 1 lime
- juice of 1 lemon
- juice of 2 oranges
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning or Herbs de Provence (see note)
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme finely chopped (or additional 1/4 teaspoon dried herbs)
- 1 teaspoon fresh oregano finely chopped (or additional 1/4 teaspoon dried herbs)
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- Combine all marinade ingredients and whisk vigorously to combine (or combine in a jar, cover and shake well). Reserve 1/4 cup of the marinade and set aside for later.
- In a bowl or large zip-close bag, combine chicken and marinade (excluding reserved portion) and toss to coat well. Chill 1 hour or up to overnight.
- When ready to cook, preheat grill to medium and oil the grates. Use tongs or a fork to place chicken on the grill. Cook 5-7 minutes, then turn and brush half of the reserved marinade on the tops of all the chicken.
- Cook 5-7 minutes, then turn and brush half of the reserved marinade on the tops of all the chicken. Cook about 5 minutes longer, then turn and brush remaining marinade over the chicken. Cook 2-4 minutes longer or until chicken is cooked through and juices run clear.
- Serve immediately, garnish with fresh herbs and lemon, lime, and/or orange wedges for squeezing. Enjoy!