Garlic Marinated Chicken

I had this recipe for Garlic Marinated Chicken hidden away within an old meal prep post, but this chicken is just SO good and SO simple that I think it deserved a post on its own. This is my favorite all-purpose quick chicken recipe that I use as an addition to all sorts of meals, so I know this is one you’ll want to save and use over and over again. Keep on reading for all the ways you can use this versatile, finger-lickin’ good chicken.

Shown with Marinated Cauliflower Salad.

What Does it Taste Like?

Perhaps I should call this Lemon Garlic Marinated Chicken, because this chicken is slightly tangy, super garlicky, and absolutely delicious. The natural sugars in the lemon juice caramelize beautifully in the skillet, giving it even more depth of flavor. And because lemon and garlic are such versatile flavors, you’ll find that you can pair this garlic chicken with just about anything.

How to Serve Garlic Marinated Chicken

In addition to just serving it as a main dish with a couple of sides, this chicken is great to add to other recipes. You can slice this garlic chicken up and use it for a sandwich, to top a salad, or even to top a big plate of pasta. Here are a few recipes that would benefit from being topped with this garlic marinated chicken:

  • Garlic Parmesan Kale Pasta
  • Summer Vegetable Pasta Salad
  • Lemon Pepper Zucchini
  • Mediterranean White Bean Salad
  • Roasted Broccoli Pasta with Lemon and Feta
  • Roasted Vegetable Salad Meal Prep
  • Tuscan White Bean Pasta
  • Lemony Artichoke and Quinoa Salad
  • Garlicky Kale and Ricotta Pizza
  • Spinach and Orzo Salad
  • Roasted Red Pepper Hummus Wraps
  • Lemony White Bean Salad
  • Bruschetta Pasta

Great for Meal Prep!

This chicken is absolutely perfect for meal prep! Cook up a couple chicken breasts worth on the weekend, then use the cooked and sliced chicken to add to your meal prep for the next few days. The cooked chicken can be refrigerated for about 3-4 days.

Can I Grill Garlic Marinated Chicken?

Absolutely! This chicken is great on the grill, whether you have a charcoal grill, gas grill, or even an indoor countertop grill, like a George Foreman.

Can I Use Chicken Thighs?

Yes, this recipe also works great with chicken thighs and they even require a little less prep! Because chicken thighs are already on the thin side and they don’t over cook quite as easily, you can skip filleting the thighs into two thinner pieces, like you need to do with a chicken breast. Simply marinate, then cook on each side until browned and the chicken is cooked through.

Shown with Marinated Cauliflower Salad.

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Garlic Marinated Chicken

4.75 from 8 votes This simple all-purpose Garlic Marinated Chicken is great to add to sandwiches, salads, pasta dishes, and more! Servings 4 Prep 45 minutes Cook 15 minutes Total 1 hour Save RecipeSaved! Print Recipe


  • 1/4 cup olive oil ($0.52)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice ($0.16)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced ($0.26)
  • 1/2 Tbsp dried oregano ($0.05)
  • 1/2 tsp salt ($0.02)
  • Freshly cracked pepper ($0.02)
  • 1.5 lbs. boneless skinless chicken thighs or breasts ($4.94)


  • Add the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper to a bowl or a large zip top bag. Stir the ingredients in the dish until combined.
  • If using breasts, fillet each chicken breast into two thinner pieces. Place the chicken in the bag or in a shallow dish, then pour the marinade over top, making sure the chicken pieces are completely covered in marinade. Marinate the chicken for 30 minutes, or up to 8 hours (refrigerated), turning occasionally to maximize the chicken’s contact with the marinade.
  • When ready to cook, heat a large skillet over medium. Transfer the chicken from the marinade to the hot skillet and cook on each side until well browned and cooked through (about 5-7 minutes each side, depending on the size of the pieces). Cook two pieces at a time to avoid overcrowding the skillet, which can cause juices to pool and prevents browning. Discard the excess marinade.
  • Transfer the cooked chicken from the skillet to a cutting board and let rest for five minutes before slicing and serving.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.


Serving: 1ServingCalories: 331.5kcalCarbohydrates: 2.28gProtein: 38.35gFat: 11.3gSodium: 432.18mgFiber: 0.4g Read our full nutrition disclaimer here. Have you tried this recipe?Mention @budgetbytes or tag #budgetbytes on Instagram!

How to Make Garlic Marinated Chicken – Step by Step Photos

In a small bow, combine ¼ cup olive oil, ¼ cup lemon juice, 3 cloves minced garlic, ½ Tbsp dried oregano, ½ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp freshly cracked black pepper.

If using chicken breasts, use a sharp knife to fillet two chicken breasts into two thinner pieces. If your knife skills are not strong enough to make this cut, you can cover the chicken breast with plastic and use a mallet or rolling pin to pound the chicken until it’s about ½ inch thick. Then cut each breast in half to make two pieces. If using chicken thighs, there is no need to cut them into smaller pieces.

Place the chicken in a shallow dish or a zip-top bag and pour the marinade over top. Turn the chicken to make sure it all gets coated in marinade. Marinate the chicken for 30 minutes up to 8 hours (refrigerated), turning the chicken occasionally to make sure it is all in contact with the marinade.

When you’re ready to cook the chicken, heat a skillet over medium. Once the skillet is hot, add two pieces of chicken at a time, and cook until browned on each side and cooked through. The chicken will already be coated in oil from the marinade, so no extra oil is needed to coat the skillet. Discard the excess marinade.

After cooking the chicken, transfer it to a cutting board and let it rest for five minutes before slicing and serving.

Enjoy that garlicky goodness!

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