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This recipe for a healthy chicken marinade is my family’s absolute favorite and it’s a great recipe for clean eating! It tastes very fresh with a lot of delicious lime, honey and some simple but flavorful spices. This chicken on the grill is the best dinner for summer, fall and any outdoor barbeque you might have lined up! The flavors pack a real punch while still tasting very light and fresh with the caramelized honey and the perfect seasoning blend. I love this chicken marinade and I hope your family will too!
Healthy Chicken Marinade
This healthy chicken marinade recipe is completely paleo, grain free, gluten free, dairy free, nut free and refined sugar free.
More Healthy Dinner Recipes
You can never have too many healthy dinner recipes in your rotation. So, if you’re looking for some more ideas take a peek at my lunch/dinner menu category. You can also check out these ones below.
- Healthy Fish Tacos with Dairy Free Tzatziki (Grain Free + Dairy Free).
- Easy Chicken and Veggies Over Rice (Gluten Free + Dairy Free).
- Healthy Fried Rice with Shrimp (Gluten Free + Dairy Free).
- Healthy Stir Fry Orange Chicken (Gluten Free + Dairy Free).
Healthy Chicken Marinade Ingredients:
Chicken: You can use any cut of chicken that you prefer. I love using this marinade on chicken breast, chicken thighs and chicken drumsticks.
Marinade Base Ingredients:
Avocado oil: This is a neutral oil that I like because it has a high smoke point for cooking. But, of course you can use another neutral oil in it’s place such as olive oil.
Honey: This natural, unrefined sugar adds the perfect caramelized sweetness to the chicken when it’s grilled. You could try substituting another sweetener like agave but I haven’t tried this option.
Fresh lime juice: Of course you can use bottled lime juice but using the juice and zest of fresh limes makes this marinade extra flavorful.
Lime zest: Adding this ingredient is the secret to make it really flavorful and fresh tasting. You can leave this out but I recommend using the fresh limes to make a huge difference!
Sea salt: You can use any finely ground sea salt in this case. I like real salt or a pink Himalayan salt for my cooking.
Garlic powder: This really just adds another depth of flavor to the marinade. You could definitely substitute onion powder or mince 3 garlic cloves instead.
Coriander (ground): This spice is dried coriander/cilantro and it brings a lot of fresh herb flavor. You can also chop up some fresh cilantro and add that to the marinade instead.
Cumin (ground): This ingredient is packed with a delicious earthy flavor that tastes amazing with the other fresh tastes. I don’t recommend skipping this or using anything in its place.
Chili powder: Another spice that adds more depth to the flavor along with a little heat and color. I you don’t like using chili powder you can leave this out or substitute paprika powder instead.
Cayenne pepper: This is just if you want a little more kick to your chicken and you can add even more if you like a higher spice level. It’s also completely optional so leave it out if you’d rather have very mild chicken.
Grilled Chicken Marinade Tips:
I like to let my chicken defrost completely if it’s frozen in order for it to cook more evenly. An easy way to do this is take it out of the freezer a couple days before you make the marinade and place it in the fridge. It will be defrosted but done in a slow and safe way.
Instead of using a plastic bag to marinade the chicken, I prefer to use a baking dish with a lid. This works perfectly to place it in the fridge while it sits. You can also use a large bowl with a lid or cover with a plate.
For a good marinade to flavor the chicken, it’s best to give it some time. This time will allow the meat to absorb more of the delicious flavors and make it taste extra delicious. I recommend you let the meat marinade for at least 2-3 hours but it would be even better overnight.
When grilling chicken, it does need to be cooked completely through. For this reason, you may find it helpful to grill at a little bit of a lower heat and let it cook for longer, especially when grilling legs with the bone in. Before removing your chicken from the grill, cut into the center of the thickest part to see if there is any pink left.
Healthy Chicken Marinade Recipe:
Keyword: healthy chicken marinade
Author: Adrianne from Bananasaboutlife.com
- 2.5 – 3 pounds chicken (you can use chicken breast, legs or thighs)
- 1/4 cup avocado oil
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 tablespoon lime zest
- 1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 3/4 teaspoon coriander (ground)
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin (ground)
- 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
- a pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
- Prepare your defrosted chicken how you like depending on the cut you’re using. If using chicken breast, cut them into similar size portions in order for them to cook more evenly. If you’re using legs or thighs, no other cutting is required.
- Add the chicken to a large bowl or baking dish with a lid.
- In a separate, smaller bowl, combine the other ingredients and stir to create the marinade.
- Pour the marinade over the chicken and turn the pieces in order to coat all sides very well.
- Cover with a lid and place marinating chicken in the fridge until you’re ready to grill. I recommend you let in marinade for at least 2 hours or overnight.
- Grill chicken until cooked completely through.
- Serve with rice, lime wedges and freshly chopped cilantro.
More Recipes with Chicken
If you’re looking for more recipes with chicken, feel free to check out some of these ones!
- Grilled Teriyaki Chicken Skewers (Paleo + Nut Free).
- Butter Chicken Curry Recipe (Dairy Free + Gluten Free).
- Grilled Cilantro Lime Chicken Skewers (Paleo).
Thank You For Stopping By
This post is a recipe for a healthy chicken marinade made with fresh lime and honey. If you enjoyed this post, feel free to take a look at my other recipes. I’d love to hear from you if you make this recipe so, let me know how you like it! Thanks for stopping by and supporting my blog today. Have a great rest of your day!