Garlic Marinated Chicken

$5.97 recipe / $1.49 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.80 from 10 votes
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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.

Sliced garlic marinated chicken on a plate with a fork and cauliflower salad
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:

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.

A fork picking up a slice of garlic marinated chicken from a plate
Shown with Marinated Cauliflower Salad.
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Garlic Marinated Chicken

4.80 from 10 votes
This simple all-purpose Garlic Marinated Chicken is great to add to sandwiches, salads, pasta dishes, and more!
Sliced garlic marinated chicken on a plate with a fork
Servings 4
Prep 45 minutes
Cook 15 minutes
Total 1 hour


  • 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.
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How to Make Garlic Marinated Chicken – Step by Step Photos

Prepared garlic marinade

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.

Filleted chicken breasts on a cutting board

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.

Marinade being poured over the chicken in a dish

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.

Cooked chicken in a skillet

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.

Sliced chicken on a cutting board with tongs

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

Sliced garlic marinated chicken on a plate with a fork

Enjoy that garlicky goodness!

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  1. Just leaving a second review because this is such a good recipe. I make my chicken in the foreman grill. It goes with a lot. Most recently I used it in lemon feta pasta with roasted broccoli

  2. I made this recipe with tenderloins. Came out awesome. Have to be on low sodium so in place of salt I just added more garlic. Thanks for sharing! Will definitely make again!

  3. I haven’t tried any of your recipes yet but I’ve copied some to try. I’m on a fixed income and a tight budget, so I look forward to your recipes. Thank you so much for sharing.

  4. I’ve been loving your recipes but this one had the same problem as so many other chicken recipes that require cooking on a skillet! Even cutting them in half, the cooking ends up really uneven. To get the thicker portions fully cooked, you dry out the thinner parts (I use a meat thermometer). I’ll try to pound them flat or maybe bake them next time and see if that works better, but I’d appreciate any tips/tricks to make my skillet cooking efforts more successful!

    1. Hi Kelsey. I think pounding your chicken flat would be a great place to start. Also searing the chicken it until the water is released will help keep the amount of liquid in the pan exact.

  5. Something is off with the costs listed.

    $3.37 RECIPE / $0.84

    Recipe cast is $3.37 But the the chicken alone is $5.37
    1.5 lbs. boneless skinless chicken thighs or breasts ($5.37)

    Enjoying your site, thanks.

    1. Hi, John! Thanks for catching that error! (We do all the math for each recipe by hand to reflect current prices, which means we do unintentionally make errors from time to time!) I have updated the ingredients on the recipe card to reflect the correct prices from today (Thank goodness, chicken prices are starting to go back down!) as well as the total recipe price. The correct value is $5.97 recipe / $1.49 serving.

      — Best, Marion :)

  6. I just made this and it was so good! I meal prepped it with oven roasted broccoli and mashed potatoes.

    1. This chicken was SO tender and I only was able to marinate it for about an hour before cooking. I didn’t butterfly the breasts evenly, so they were still a little underdone but I also served them with oven roasted veggies, so I ended up finishing the chicken in the oven for about 10 minutes as it cooled. They ended up perfectly!

      Thank you for another great recipe. I love your website!

  7. Delish, I used my freak picked Oregano, I made the Greek pasta Salad. So so good thanks M in AU