Marinating meat or fish before cooking can change the flavor of the meat like never before. It helps the flavor soak in and absorb, enhancing the taste of the meat and of the dish on the whole. It also makes the meat more succulent and soft.

3 Ingredient Marinades

From zesty citrus blends to oil-based sauce infusions, we’ve got different marinade recipes for you to flavour your meat with and guess what, these marinades are so simple, as all you need are just 3 ingredients.

These marinades can be used for chicken breasts, thighs, wings or even drumsticks. So, check out these simple 3-ingredient chicken marinade recipes below!

10 Simple Three-Ingredient Marinade Recipes

Note: For all these recipes this is what is common – ¼ cup of fat, 2 tbsp of citrus or acid and 1 – 2 tsp salt (or salt to taste).

So, you could always substitute any of these ingredients with the same proportions.

Below, are the marinade recipes and I’ve also mentioned a note on method to use these marinades and how to cook the chicken, at the end.

1. Mexican Marinade


  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp taco seasoning

2. Lemon Marinade


  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 2-3 pounds salmon

3. Garlic Marinade


  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb salmon, boneless fillet

4. Coconut Milk and Lemon Marinade


  • ¼ cup coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp salt (preferably kosher salt)

5. Sesame and Soy Marinade


  • ¼ cup sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp soy sauce

6. Worcestershire Marinade


  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

7. Ranch Marinade


  • ¼ cup oil
  • 2 tbsp buttermilk
  • 2 tsp Ranch seasoning

8. Hawaiian Smoked Marinade


  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp pineapple juice
  • 2 tsp smoked sea salt

9. Sesame Miso Marinade


  • ¼ cup sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp Miso

10. Italian Marinade


  • 1.5 lbs of fresh salmon (cut into 4 pieces)
  • juice ½ large lemon (at least ¼ cup)
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Note: You can make adjustments in the quantities of these ingredients as per your taste requirements, in any of these recipes.

Method to Marinade the Chicken

You will need to combine the three ingredients in a bowl (of any marinade recipe of your choice) and give it a good mix until well combined.

Then, add in one pound (450 grams of chicken) and give it a mix, making sure that all the chicken is well-coated. Thereafter, let it sit in the refrigerator for at least 3 to 4 hours.

To cook:

1. Sear and Bake: You can pan sear the chicken pieces on a skillet for 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Then, place on a baking tray and bake at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes (or until done).

2. Grill: You can place your chicken pieces over a griller and fry on both sides, flipping in between. Cook until well done.

3. Air Fryer Chicken: You can cook your marinated chicken in the air fryer at 390 degrees. It should take anywhere between 15 to 25 minutes to cook. Check in between.

4. Barbecue: You can also barbecue the chicken pieces. All you need to do is place the marinated chicken pieces on the barbecue mesh and let one side get well-cooked and thereafter flip and cook until the other side is properly done. This should take about 6 to 8 minutes on each side for it to be well cooked.