Lemon and Rosemary Marinade Recipe for Chicken

Lemon and Rosemary Marinade Recipe for Chicken

The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 10 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Yield: 1 cup
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
246 Calories
15g Fat
35g Carbs
3g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 246
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 15g 19%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 1169mg 51%
Total Carbohydrate 35g 13%
Dietary Fiber 7g 27%
Total Sugars 17g
Protein 3g
Vitamin C 144mg 720%
Calcium 72mg 6%
Iron 2mg 9%
Potassium 521mg 11%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

A lemon and rosemary marinade is a great way to brighten up the flavor of your chicken dish. The citrus zing against the soft floral herb is a perfect flavor pairing that's especially fitting for spring and summer meals. Not only does this fresh marinade work really well with chicken, but it also tastes wonderful with pork and turkey.

The marinade is quick and easy to prepare: Combine the fresh lemon juice and rosemary with olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper in a nonmetallic container. About an hour or two before you're ready to cook, add your protein of choice, and let it marinate. From there, it's just a matter of cooking the meat, which you can do on the grill or stovetop or in the oven.

The marinade can be prepared in advance and stored in the fridge. This is a great option because the extra time will allow the flavors to marry and create a more flavorful marinade. You can also freeze it, and that's always helpful because you'll have it on hand whenever you need it—when you have a busy schedule and need to add some vibrant flavors to dinner at the last minute.

The recipe makes about 1 cup of marinade. It is enough for about four chicken breasts or an equivalent amount of other chicken pieces. It's easy to whip up a double or triple batch when needed, too.

Pair the marinated protein with grilled asparagus, a tasty sweet potato dish, and a fennel avocado salad to make a complete meal.


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  • 3 large lemons

  • 1/4 cup fresh rosemary leaves

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 teaspoons salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Lemon and Rosemary Marinade Recipe for Chicken ingredients

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  2. Cut the lemons in half and squeeze the juice into a medium plastic or glass bowl.

    lemon juice in a bowl

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  3. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.

    marinade ingredients in a bowl

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  4. Marinate chicken for 1 to 2 hours in the mixture before cooking. Discard any excess marinade.

    Lemon and Rosemary Marinade Recipe with Chicken in a bowl

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga


  • The marinade can be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for one week and the freezer for up to three months.
  • It is unsafe to use marinade that touched raw meat for basting or serving. Instead, double the marinade recipe and use one half for marinating and the other to baste the meat or make a sauce.
  • If you don't have fresh rosemary on hand, use 2 tablespoons of dried rosemary.