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The Best Gluten-Free Chicken Marinade

Level up your grilling game with this Gluten-free Chicken Marinade. Marinate any cut of chicken overnight in a flawless balance of savory, citrusy, salty, and spicy flavors. This easy recipe makes enough for 4-5 pounds of chicken. Low carb variation included.

grilled chicken breasts on a blue plate

Instead of using a bland bottle of gluten-free marinade, make this insanely flavorful homemade gluten-free chicken marinade. It’s seriously the best chicken marinade recipe using a super simple blend of EVOO, tamari, fresh lime, garlic, brown sugar, and savory seasonings that makes the most delicious juicy chicken.

This marinade is best spiced with Accent seasoning. Accent adds a delicious umami flavor to grilled meats. Mrs. Dash salt-free all-purpose blend works well, too, if you would rather use an alternative seasoning. It has a lovely mix of herbs and spices.

This is my favorite recipe to marinate a whole chicken. I love marinated chicken breast, chicken drumsticks and chicken thighs. Bone-in chicken takes longer to cook, but the added flavor is worth the extra time. It also works great for boneless skinless chicken breasts and chicken tenders to add moisture to the lean meat.

However, this gluten-free chicken marinade isn’t just for chicken! I’ve also used it with flank steak, and that was some of the juiciest flank steaks I’ve ever had!

Marinate your meat in this savory chicken marinade the night before your next bbq, and I’m sure your guests will ask why the chicken is so dang good. Now that we’re on the brink of grilling season, I plan to use it with everything! It’s great how a few simple ingredients results in a healthy delicious dinner! 

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Best gluten-free marinade for chicken, beef, pork, and more!
  • It only takes a minute to make.
  • Checks off the key components of a good chicken marinade.
  • Easy to make keto with zero-carb sweeteners.

Ingredients You’ll Need

This gluten-free chicken marinade makes meats incredibly tender thanks to having all of the components of a good marinade: fat, salt, acid, and heat.

measured out ingredients for chicken marinade on a counter ready to mix
  • Extra virgin olive oil – EVOO is your fat. It equips the marinade with moisture. Avocado oil or vegetable oil also works great here.
  • Tamari soy sauce – The salty component. Tamari adds vibrant flavors and richens the marinade with a deep amber color. You can use gluten-free soy sauce or coconut aminos for a slightly different taste.
  • Lime juice – for acid. Freshly squeezed is essential. If you don’t have limes, try lemon juice or orange juice instead. You can even add a little lime or lemon zest for added flavor.
  • Tabasco sauce – Here’s your heat. Feel free to swap Tabasco with a different hot sauce.
  • Fresh Garlic Cloves– boosts the savory flavors. Fresh garlic is always best, but in a pinch you can sub with garlic powder.
  • Brown sugar – The sugar isn’t enough to overpower the savory, but just enough to make tender meat with crisp, charred edges. For paleo chicken marinade, you use coconut or maple sugar here.
  • Accent seasoning – Accent seasoning is an amazing flavor enhancer in marinade. Mrs. Dash salt-free all-purpose seasoning is another seasoning option. You’ll also need just a little bit of salt & black pepper.
bottle of Accent seasoning

How To Make The Best Gluten-Free Chicken Marinade

Step 1: Whisk ingredients. In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil, tamari, lime juice, garlic, salt, pepper, Tabasco, sugar, and seasoning blend until well incorporated.

chicken marinade ingredients in a white bowl with a whisk

Step 2: Soak chicken. Add your chicken pieces to a shallow glass container (or gallon-size zip-top plastic bag). Add the marinade and use tongs to adjust the pieces so each piece is soaked.

skin-on chicken pieces in a sealed bag with marinade

Step 3: Soak chicken overnight. For best results, cover the container, refrigerate, and let soak overnight (5 to 6 hours is ideal).

Step 4: Grill chicken. Using tongs, transfer the chicken pieces from the marinade to your preheated grill set to medium to medium-high heat (depending on your grill) and cook the chicken through until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. Always check temp with a meat thermometer for doneness. Discard the remaining marinade.

bone-in chicken on a big green egg

How To Make A Low Carb Chicken Marinade

Brown sugar is key to achieving tender, flavorful meat with those tasty charred edges. Please don’t skip it! For a low carb and keto variation, replace brown sugar with one of these zero-carb sweeteners:

  • Swerve Brown Sugar
  • Monkfruit Sweetener
  • Sugar-free Maple Flavored Syrup
  • Stevia Syrup

Recipe Tips

  • For food safety, you should never reuse marinade. Throw it away when the chicken is finished marinating.
  • You can, however, set some aside to baste as you’re grilling.
  • Plan ahead, so you have plenty of time to marinate chicken drumsticks or any meat you like overnight. If marinating the day of, soak the chicken in gluten-free marinade at least 5 hours in advance.
  • Feel free to add in your favorite fresh herbs! I always have fresh herbs in the garden during the summer months.

Favorite Sides

A few of our favorite side dishes for chicken recipes are grilled asparagus, grilled corn-on-the-cob, and bacon-wrapped green beans.


You can use this marinade with chicken wings, legs, breasts, and anything else you can think of. Check out the list below for ideas:

Storing & Freezing

Storing: Store unused chicken marinade in a covered container in the fridge for 2 days.

Freezing: Freezing homemade gluten-free marinade is simple. Just pour it into a freezer-safe bag, lay the bag flat, and freeze for 6 months.

Recipe FAQ

Do I have to marinate my chicken overnight?

Technically, no. Even 30 minutes is better than not marinating at all, but for the juiciest grilled chicken with the best flavor, soak the meat for at least 5-6 hours. I prefer overnight for best results.

Can I freeze raw chicken in marinade?

Yes! You can freeze cuts of chicken soaked in marinade in freezer-safe bags for 2 to 3 months. Set the bags in the fridge the night before. Once thawed, your chicken is marinated and ready for the grill.

If you love this recipe I would be so grateful if you could leave a 5-star 🌟rating in the recipe card below. I love reading your comments and feedback!

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plate of cooked grilled chicken

Best Gluten-Free Chicken Marinade

A simple gluten-free chicken marinade recipe made with olive oil, Tamari, fresh lime juice, garlic, brown sugar, and a blend of seasonings. Makes enough for 4-5 pounds of meat
4.60 from 10 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 20
Calories: 106kcal
Author: Amee


  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup Tamari soy sauce works if you don't need GF
  • 1/2 cup lime juice freshly squeezed
  • 3 cloves garlic pressed
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp fresh black pepper
  • 1/2-1 tsp Tabasco sauce
  • 2-3 tbsp brown sugar or coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp Accent seasoning or substitute with a salt-free all-purpose seasoning, like Mrs. Dash


  • Whisk all ingredients together and add your meat
  • Cover and soak overnight
  • I use this for boneless and bone-in chicken breasts, flank steak and london broil


*Serving size for 1 tbsp of marinade
  • For food safety, you should never reuse marinade. Throw it away when the chicken is finished marinating.
  • You can, however, set some aside to baste while grilling.
  • Plan ahead, so you have plenty of time to marinate chicken drumsticks or any meat you like overnight. If marinating the day of, soak the chicken in gluten-free marinade at least 5 hours in advance.
  • Feel free to add in your favorite fresh herbs! I always have fresh herbs in the garden during the summer months.


Calories: 106kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Sodium: 386mg | Potassium: 23mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 3IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 4mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @ameecooks or tag #ameecooks!
Amee Livingston
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  1. Hi Amee,
    I can’t wait to try this Marinade, it looks great! Your presentation of the chicken is awesome, makes me hungry. Hope you are having a great week end and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  2. This sounds great! Thanks for linking up with Strut Your Stuff Saturday. We’re hoping you will join us again next week with more great ideas! – The Sisters

  3. This sounds delish! What if I don’t buy Mrs. Dash, do you have any suggestions for the bare minimum of dry seasoning that would substitute?

  4. @Six Sisters, I love Strut Your Stuff! Aims, the marinade will still be delicious without the Mrs. Dash. You can substitute with another all purpose seasoning blend (salt-free) if you wish, but it will still be full of flavor. 🙂

  5. Used this last night for dinner. It was delicious. My husband even commented on it and said it was a keeper for sure. I was only able to marinade it for a few hours so I am looking forward to letting it soak up the flavors for a full 24 hrs. Thanks so much for sharing it on Pinterest!

  6. I’m using this marinade now. I just went and checked on it and after soaking for about 5 hours there was a for lack of a better word, gooeyness on top. Is that usual??

  7. I’m not really sure about the gooeyness? The only thing that may cause that is the olive oil beginning to solidify in the fridge. That is normal and once you bring it to room temperature prior to grilling, it should be fine. Just give it a good stir. Hope you enjoy it!

  8. Had an unseasonably warm January evening last night and decided to grill these up. I was only able to let them marinate for about 4-5 hours and I used quite a bit less oil and Garlic Pepper instead of Mrs.Dash. But still–it was AMAZING. Super flavorful and very juicy (hubby seared it on the grill over high flame, then lowered the heat and let it slow cook). We ate this over a healthy salad – and overall felt very proud of ourselves for the delicious and light meal 🙂 It was so good that we’re making it again tonight! Thanks for the recipe.

  9. I made this yesterday, marinated overnight, and my husband grilled it today. It was perfect! I made it go a long way (6 segmented chickens) by marinating in plastic bags and adding a 50% more soy sauce and double the garlic. Thank you for a great recipe.

  10. So glad you loved the recipe!! Great idea with doubling the garlic and soy! They are the best flavor enhancers. I appreciate all of you that take the time to stop by and comment. xo~

  11. Hello! I love this recipe and have been using it for awhile now. I would love to add it to a post on my new blog that I’m working on(prettyontheinsidemommy.blogspot.com)I’m making a list of my favorite Pinterest recipe finds, I will be sure to link back to your blog and give full credit. Would this be alright?

  12. Just had this for dinner and it was delicious. Didn’t have any real limes so used lime juice and was still excellent! Also, did not have Mrs Dash and subbed with All Purpose seasoning and it worked well! Thanks for the recipe, it’s a keeper.

  13. My favorite chicken marinade! I have been using it for a while and this weekend am using it at my sons bday party for chicken kabobs. Thank you for this awesome marinade recipe!

  14. Doing in second time. In a week. Now overnight. I added less hot peppers. Even after the last raves it was little too hot (only to me). Maybe because I added ingredients of Mr Dash measured with my eye. Yes, trio soy sauce+lime+garlic nobody could beat out. Thanks Amee

  15. I am always looking for ways to dress up a plain old chicken breast and this marinade is so simple and perfect

  16. awesome site by the way! i just found it! is it possible to save the marinade? i’m only cooking for two. i don’t think they can eat 6-8 chicken breast. LOL

    1. Thank you Stephanie! Yes, you can definitely save the marinade in a sealed container in the refrigerator. It should last a couple weeks, no problem.

  17. 5 stars

    I’m gonna make this recipe sooner , but I wondered what’s the ideal weight ( kg or lbs ) of raw chicken to be used for it?

  18. 5 stars
    This marinade was a hit in our house. I thought the tamari was salty enough and left out the extra salt, and I substituted one stock cube for the Accent seasoning. Yummy!

  19. Instead of grilling the chicken could you bake it in the oven? If so, at what temp and for how long? I’ll be using boneless skinless chicken breasts.

    Thank you.

    1. Hi Joan! I haven’t tried it that way, but you definitely could. I would do 400 degrees F in a baking dish for 10 min, flip, and do 10-15 minutes more (depending on the size of your breasts.) I recommend a meat thermometer that you insert into the chicken and pull it when it reaches 165 degrees. After you remove it from the oven, place them on a plate and tent with foil to rest for 5-10 minutes.

4.60 from 10 votes (8 ratings without comment)

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