Gluten Free Chicken Thigh Marinade Recipe (2024)

This is the only Gluten Free Chicken Thigh Marinade you’ll ever need for perfectly juicy and flavorful chicken thighs. It’s made with just 5 ingredients: fresh garlic, olive oil, coconut aminos, salt, and lime juice. This easy chicken marinade is soy-free, dairy-free, and AIP/paleo compliant.

Gluten Free Chicken Thigh Marinade Recipe (1)

I love chicken thighs because they’re the most naturally flavorful chicken cut and a budget-friendly protein. However, many chicken marinades often include gluten in the form of soy sauce or dairy via buttermilk or yogurt. So, I wanted to share this super quick and easy, dairy-free and gluten-free marinadeto bring out the best flavor of yourchickenthighs.

Table of contents

  • Gluten Free Chicken Thigh Marinade Recipe
    • Ingredients
    • Instructions
    • Frequently Asked Questions

Gluten Free Chicken Thigh Marinade Recipe

Whether you’re grilling chicken thighs for a summer barbecue or baking them for a quick weeknight dinner, the key to a good chicken thighs recipe is a great marinade! The basic marinade ingredients are simple: an oil for moisture and to distribute the flavors, an acid to break down the meat proteins, and salt to enhance flavor. Various aromatics, herbs, spices, and condiments are great additions to achieve the desired flavor.

With these core components, I’m making the easiest chicken thigh marinade that’s ready in 5 minutes! It combines savory, umami, salty, and sweet flavors with a bright pop of citrus, resulting in super flavorful and tender, juicy chicken thighs. Like my marinade for grilled asparagus, you likely already have these staples on hand.

You’ll only need a small amount of olive oil for this recipe since chicken thighs are naturally fattier than other chicken cuts. Lime juice tenderizes the chicken and adds a fresh, tangy zip. Salt is a must, and fresh garlic adds an aromatic depth of flavor. The coconut aminos add a savory, umami flavor with some sweetness and a touch of saltiness. As a gluten-free alternative to soy sauce, this ingredient packs a punch in terms of the flavor profile.

This gluten-free marinade is easy, quick, and versatile — the only thing you’ll need for summer grilling!

Looking for more flavorful chicken recipes? Try my BBQ Lime Chicken, Peach Ginger Chicken Wings, or Balsamic Glazed Chicken Wings.

Ingredients

See the recipe card below for ingredient quantities.

  • coconut aminos
  • sea salt
  • garlic cloves
  • olive oil
  • lime juice – use freshly squeezed lime juice for the best, brightest flavor.
  • chicken thighs – I used bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs.
Gluten Free Chicken Thigh Marinade Recipe (2)
Gluten Free Chicken Thigh Marinade Recipe (3)

Ingredient Substitutions

  • Coconut aminos: You can use tamari instead and omit the salt. Note that your marinade will have a similar umami and savory flavor but not the sweet notes that the coconut aminos lends.
  • Fresh garlic: Using fresh garlic is ideal but in a pinch you can use garlic powder, about 1/2 – 1 tsp.
  • Olive oil: You can substitute with avocado oil or another neutrally flavored oil that fits your dietary requirements.
  • Lime juice: Or substitute with another citrus juice like orange or lemon juice, noting there’ll be a slightly different flavor.
  • Chicken thighs: You can use this marinade with any cut of chicken, including boneless, skinless chicken thighs, chicken breasts, wings, legs or even the whole chicken. This marinade makes enough for 1 lb of chicken thighs; increase the marinade accordingly.

Instructions

To Make Gluten Free Marinade for Chicken Thighs

Step 1. Make the Marinade

Add coconut aminos, sea salt, crushed or minced garlic, olive oil, and lime juice to a jar and shake well to combine. Or, whisk the marinade ingredients together in a small bowl.

Gluten Free Chicken Thigh Marinade Recipe (4)
Step 2: Marinate the Chicken Thighs

Add chicken thighs to a large bowl, container, or resealable plastic bag. Pour the marinade over the chicken, tossing or flipping the thighs over a few times to ensure they are well coated.

Then, cover the bowl or container with plastic wrap or a lid, or seal the bag, squeezing all of the air out. Place in the fridge for at least 1 hour or overnight, to allow the flavors to meld and penetrate the chicken.

Gluten Free Chicken Thigh Marinade Recipe (5)

How To Cook Chicken Thighs

In the Oven

Step 1: Prep

Preheat the oven to 400F and line a large baking dish with parchment paper.

Step 2: Bake the Chicken Thighs

Place the marinated chicken thighs in the baking dish skin side up or smooth side up if using skinless thighs. Discard the marinade.

Place in the middle rack of the preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165F. No flipping or basting required!

Gluten Free Chicken Thigh Marinade Recipe (6)

On the Grill

Step 1: Preheat Grill

Preheat your grill to medium high heat and oil the grill grates.

Step 2: Grill the Chicken Thighs

Use tongs to remove the chicken thighs from the marinade, allowing excess to drip off. Place the chicken thighs skin side down on the oiled grill, or smooth side down if using skinless thighs. Discard the marinade.

Grill for about 5-10 minutes or until the skin gets crispy and has grill marks. Avoid moving them too much so they get a nice sear. Flip the thighs and cover the grill. Cook for another 10-20 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165F.

If the chicken begins to char too quickly, you can move the chicken to a cooler side of the grill and turn occasionally.

Step 3: Rest and Serve

Remove the chicken thighs from the grill and let them rest for 5-10 minutes. Serve warm!

Gluten Free Chicken Thigh Marinade Recipe (7)

Tips & Tricks

Preparing the Garlic

If you don’t have a garlic press to crush the garlic you can mince the cloves or grate them with a rasp-style grater or on the smallest side of a box grater.

Experiment with Flavors

This marinade is well balanced and flavorful on its own, especially when you have limited time and ingredients. Feel free to experiment with additional fresh or dried herbs and spices to suit your taste.

If you tolerate nightshades, red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, or paprika would be a great addition for a touch of heat without being too spicy. Add complexity with freshly chopped or dried herbs including thyme, oregano, rosemary, or keep it simple with some black pepper. If you’re using tamari and missing the sweet notes, add a touch of honey or coconut sugar.

Check for doneness

Use a food thermometer to check that the chicken is ready. The internal temperature should be at least 165F. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken, near to but not touching the bone.

Gluten Free Chicken Thigh Marinade Recipe (8)

Frequently Asked Questions

How long can I marinate chicken thighs for?

Since this marinade doesn’t have a large amount of lime juice, you can marinate these chicken thighs for up to 24 hours in the fridge. Beyond that, the acid will break down the chicken too much and it will become mushy. I like to marinate them overnight to allow enough time for the meat to tenderize and the flavors to soak into the chicken.

If you’re really squeezed for time, you can marinate the chicken thighs for 30 minutes.

Can I freeze marinated chicken?

Yes! Place uncooked chicken and marinade together in a freezer-safe container or bag and freeze for 2-3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight and then cook as desired. The marination will only begin when the chicken and marinade defrost in the fridge.

Can I reuse chicken marinade?

Never reuse any marinade that has touched raw meat, always discard it. However, you can boil used marinade to destroy bacteria if you want to use it as a sauce.

What else can I use this gluten-free marinade with?

You can use this marinade with any cut of chicken. Try it with other meats like flat iron or flank steak, fish or shrimp, or even veggies like portobello mushrooms.

What can I serve with these chicken thighs?

Grilled Asparagus, Grilled Sweet Potato Wedges, and Grilled Cauliflower Steaks are great veggie sides for baked or grilled chicken thighs. Other complementary sides include Vegan Potato Salad or Paleo Pasta Salad. And of course, greens like this Cauliflower Salad or a Shaved Vegetable Salad always go well with chicken.

Make chicken wraps or sandwiches by pairing baked or grilled chicken thighs with Gluten-Free Tortillas or Sourdough Bread.

Storage & Reheating Instructions

Gluten Free Chicken Thigh Marinade

  • Fridge: Store the marinade in a jar or food-safe resealable plastic bag in the fridge for up to 3 days. If the oil solidifies, leave the marinade out at room temperature for about 20 minutes or until it re-liquefies before using. You can also run it under hot water first to speed up the process.
  • Freezer: Store the marinade in a freezer-safe container or bag for up to 6 months. Thaw it in the fridge overnight and allow it to re-liquefy at room temperature.

Chicken Thighs

  • Fridge: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat in the oven at 350F or in the microwave.
    • Store marinated, raw chicken in the fridge in a sealed container or plastic bag for up to 24 hours.
  • Freezer: Freeze in an airtight freezer-safe container or bag for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge and reheat in the oven at 350F or in the microwave.
    • Freeze marinade and uncooked chicken together in a freezer-safe bag or container for up to 3 months.

Print

Gluten Free Chicken Thigh Marinade Recipe (9)

Gluten Free Chicken Thigh Marinade Recipe

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

No reviews

  • Author: Nicole Charles
  • Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
  • Yield: 34 servings 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free
Print Recipe

Description

The easiest Gluten Free Chicken Thigh Marinade to make perfectly juicy and flavorful chicken thighs every time! It’s made with 5 simple ingredients: fresh garlic, olive oil, coconut aminos, salt, and lime juice. This chicken marinade is soy-free, dairy-free, and AIP/paleo compliant. Use it for grilling or baking!

Ingredients

Units Scale

Gluten Free Chicken Thigh Marinade

  • 1/2 cup coconut aminos or 2 TBSP tamari*
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 2 TBSP lime juice

For cooking

  • 1 lb bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs

Instructions

Gluten Free Chicken Thigh Marinade

  1. Pour coconut aminos or tamari, sea salt, crushed garlic, olive oil, and lime juice into a jar and shake well to combine. Or, pour the ingredients into a small bowl and whisk together to combine.
  2. In a large bowl, container, or resealable plastic bag, add the chicken thighs. Then pour in the marinade. Toss or flip the chicken thighs over a few times to ensure they are well coated with the marinade. Cover the bowl or container with plastic wrap or a lid, or tightly seal the bag, squeezing out the air.
  3. Refrigerate to marinate for at least 1 hour or overnight, noting that the longer the chicken marinates the more flavorful and tender it will be.**
  4. Once marinated for the desired length of time, remove the chicken from the fridge. Cook as desired.***

Grilling Instructions

  1. Preheat grill to medium high heat and liberally oil grill grates.
  2. Use tongs to remove the chicken thighs from the marinade, allowing the excess to drip off.
  3. Place chicken thighs on the grill, skin side down. Discard the marinade.
  4. Grill for about 5 – 10 minutes or until the skin becomes crispy and gets grill marks. Don’t move it around too much so that it sears well.
  5. Flip the chicken thighs and cover the grill. Cook for about 10-20 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches at least 165 F.*** If the chicken starts to char too quickly or to prevent burning, you can move them to a cooler part of the grill and turn the thighs occasionally. This will cook them through indirect heat, which will take longer than if they stay on the direct heat.
  6. Remove from the grill. Rest for 5-10 minutes.
  7. Serve warm.

Baking Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F and line a large baking dish with parchment paper.
  2. Place marinated chicken thighs in the baking dish skin side up, spacing them out so they are not crowded in the dish to avoid steaming.
  3. Place in the middle rack of the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until internal temperature is 165F.*** No flipping or basting needed.
  4. Remove from the oven.
  5. Serve warm.

Notes

*If using tamari, omit the sea salt.

**You can marinate in the fridge for up to 24 hours.

***Use a food or meat thermometer to check that the chicken is ready. Internal temperature should be 165F.

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Marination Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Mains
  • Method: Grilled, Baked
  • Cuisine: American
Gluten Free Chicken Thigh Marinade Recipe (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Foster Heidenreich CPA

Last Updated:

Views: 6042

Rating: 4.6 / 5 (56 voted)

Reviews: 95% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Foster Heidenreich CPA

Birthday: 1995-01-14

Address: 55021 Usha Garden, North Larisa, DE 19209

Phone: +6812240846623

Job: Corporate Healthcare Strategist

Hobby: Singing, Listening to music, Rafting, LARPing, Gardening, Quilting, Rappelling

Introduction: My name is Foster Heidenreich CPA, I am a delightful, quaint, glorious, quaint, faithful, enchanting, fine person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.