The 7 Best Store-Bought Chicken Marinades – From Spicy to Tangy

The 7 Best Store-Bought Chicken Marinades – From Spicy to Tangy

Chicken is versatile enough that you can include it in nearly any recipe. While baked, roasted, or grilled chicken is tasty on its own, marinating your chicken breast or thighs can enhance the flavor and ensure you end up with juicy and tender chicken. However, what if you don't have time to make your own marinade? 

Marinades are the perfect way to cook tender and flavorful chicken breast, but you don’t have to make the marinade yourself to enjoy these benefits. If you’re tired of bland chicken and you’re ready to spice up your dinner plate, try one of the best store-bought chicken marinades.

Raw marinated chicken breast on dark background with spices ready to cook.
Marinating your chicken before you begin cooking can bring out some of the best flavors.


1. Lawry’s Mesquite with Lime Juice

Lawry’s by McCormick makes some of the simplest and best-tasting marinades. The Lawry’s Mesquite with Lime Juice is great to use with chicken and many other types of meat. This marinade is a combination of lime juice, chili pepper, and mesquite flavor.

Lawry's Mesquite with Lime Juice is highly-rated and simple to use with a variety of recipes. If you’re a fan of spicy marinades with a bit of a kick, this marinade is the perfect choice for your recipe.

2. Trader Joe's San Soyaki

If you’re a fan of Trader Joe’s sauces, you’ll love their version of teriyaki. This sauce from Trader Joe’s is a unique take on teriyaki with a healthy dose of sesame seeds. 

This sauce is more affordable than many other marinades and it also has less sugar and salt than some comparable sauces.

3. King’s Hawaiian Marinade

If you’re a fan of citrusy, tangy barbecue sauce, you’ll love the King’s Hawaiian Marinade. This sauce by King’s Hawaiian is the perfect balance of sweetness and tang with crushed pineapple, molasses, and vinegar.

The combination of soy sauce with pineapple provides just enough sweetness to pair perfectly with numerous chicken recipes.

4. Stubb’s Citrus & Onion Chicken Marinade

Stubb’s is another popular brand by McCormick that includes flavors such as onion, citrus, and other spices. It’s the perfect marinade for chicken breast or thighs with a great blend of sweetness and tang.

Stubb’s is known for its delicious low-sugar and low-calorie sauces and marinades. This sauce only has 10 calories and 2 grams of sugar. Additionally, there’s only 210 mg of sodium in a serving which is less than some other brands and only about 10% of your daily sodium intake.

5. Allegro Original Marinade

Allegro Original Marinade is a great choice for any type of meat, including chicken breast or chicken thighs. While Allegro sells several different sauce varieties, this marinade is their original recipe.

The flavor profile of this marinade is savory so it’s not as sweet as other sauces. When you taste Allegro Original Marinade, you’ll notice the savory flavor of soy sauce with a hint of acidity from the vinegar and lime juice.

6. Lawry’s Honey Bourbon Marinade

If you’re looking for a marinade with a unique flavor, try Lawry’s Honey Bourbon Marinade. It’s made with real honey and bourbon that combines the sweetness of honey with the distinct bite of bourbon.

Lawry’s Honey Bourbon Marinade is made without any artificial ingredients, MSG, or high fructose corn syrup. It’s also a 15-minute marinade that’s perfect for a quick weeknight meal.

7. Primal Kitchen Teriyaki

Primal Kitchen sauces have become more popular in recent years and they’re known for their dietary-friendly sauces and dressings. This marinade is not only soy-free, but it’s also paleo, keto, and Whole30 approved.

There are no artificial sweeteners added to Primal Kitchen sauces or marinades and the ingredients are certified organic. One serving of the Primal Kitchen Teriyaki only has 15 calories and 3 grams of sugar.

Roasted Chicken Fillet, green lettuce, arugula, tomatoes. Ketogenic diet. Low carb high fat breakfast. Healthy food concept. place for text, top view.
No matter what kind of recipe you're making, even a quick marinade can add to the overall flavor and tenderness of the chicken.

©sweet marshmallow/Shutterstock.com

Tips for Marinating Chicken

No matter what you’re marinating, the trick is getting the right combination of ingredients. The ingredients in a marinade help to bring out the flavor of the meat and break down the ingredients to ensure the meat is tender.

The right combination for any marinade is a fat, a type of acid, along with your choice of seasonings. That being said, here are some tips for achieving the perfect marinade for your chicken:

  • Keep an eye on the time
    While a marinade can help to tenderize your chicken, it’s still necessary to pay attention to how long you’re cooking the meat. Chicken thighs have more fat than chicken breast, so it’s harder to overcook them. However, chicken breast can become too dry if you overcook it.
  • Don’t marinate for too long
    While it’s important to marinate your chicken for the proper amount of time, it is possible to marinate it for too long. In this case, the chicken will start to break down and become mushy because of the acidic ingredients. The right length of time will depend on the marinade and the type of chicken, but generally you want to marinate chicken for less than 12 hours.

Best Store Bought Chicken Marinades: Final Thoughts

Chicken can be the star of the show in numerous dishes, but if you’re looking for a more unique way to cook chicken, marinating it ahead of time can add additional flavor and lead to tender and juicy chicken.
If you’re looking for a way to make a delicious meal but you don’t have time to make your own marinade, try using one of the best bought chicken marinades. Looking for a way to marinate steak instead? Check out the 7 Best Store Bought Steak Marinades!

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