This balsamic chicken marinade is made using ingredients you probably have on hand. It will become a favorite for both grilling and baking in the oven!

Two grilled portions of chicken on blue rimmed white plate, garnished with chopped parsley.

I know the “interwebs” are full of pumpkin spice everything at this point, but we’re still keeping the grill going strong. If you’re not, make sure to bookmark this one for next grilling season, OR try it in your oven or a nice hot skillet on the stove. Have an air fryer? This marinated chicken is so good air fried.

I made this recently for a Labor Day family barbeque. One of the reasons I chose to make this marinade and not one of my usual ones (like this Greek marinade or my personal favorite shish tawook marinade), is because I was embarking on Whole 30. I must be out of my mind, right? NO POPCORN FOR 30 DAYS. Guys, I can do this. Right?

One question I keep getting from people when I tell them I’m doing Whole 30 is “WHY?”

And I get it. Beans are a friend of mine. Whole grains, too. And I don’t think dairy is the devil, obviously (I actually think it’s pretty great) — you’ll see a wealth of cheese, milk and butter here on Rachel Cooks.

I don’t think there is anything wrong with eating these foods. My diet isn’t overly sugary to begin with and I really only drink alcohol if we go out for dinner on the weekends or have guests over. So that part of it will be easy.

Well, not easy, but not impossible. Or at least that’s what I’m telling myself. I am writing this on day 1 though, so check back in 10 days and see if I still say it’s “easy.”

One of the main reasons I want to do Whole 30 is to retrain my brain in terms of food. So often if we’ve had a stressful bedtime with the kids, I come downstairs and I tell myself that I “need” a bowl of popcorn. No, I do not! I’m not hungry, I’m just stress eating. Or eating it because I like to unwind and watch TV with a bowl of butter-laden popcorn.

So, my mom is going to babysit my air popper (she threatened to sell it — what a meanie!) and I’m going to stay away from purchasing a new air popper on Amazon Prime.

I also want to see how I feel with the absence of these foods in my life. I’m pretty stubborn and strong-willed so it’s more a test of me than anything else. I want to put myself to the test and see how I fare with this exercise of willpower and discipline. Anyone done it? I know you’re out there! I’d love to hear your tips — could you leave them and any favorite Whole 30 recipes in the comment section?

Overhead of two portions of grilled chicken on small plate, with blue plaid cloth underneath.

Anyways, verrrrry long story short, I was hoping there would be some of this chicken leftover for me to eat once I started Whole 30, so I didn’t want to use yogurt in the marinade like I normally do. But there wasn’t any left. That’s a good sign that it was a success and I’ll definitely be making this balsamic chicken marinade time and time again.

PS: This site is not turning into all Whole 30 recipes for the next 30 days, or ever. I have lots of great content to share with you while I’m enjoying all my meat and vegetables. Don’t you worry! However, if you are looking for Whole30 inspiration, check out my list of easy Whole30 recipes. The recipes on this list are delicious wholesome eating whether you’re on Whole30 or not.

Front view of grilled chicken.

If you don’t want to grill this, it would be great broiled, baked, air fried, or cooked in a grill pan too. It would be absolutely fantastic on top of a salad or pasta.

The balsamic chicken marinade is very simple — without salt and pepper, it’s only 4 ingredients. You whisk together olive oil (I know you have some of that!), balsamic vinegar, Italian seasoning, and garlic powder. Add some salt and pepper and it’s chicken marinade perfection.

Tip: If you prefer, you can use a couple of cloves of minced garlic. I have family members who are sensitive to garlic so I often opt for garlic powder. Both will work great in this recipe!

I’d recommend marinating this chicken for at least 2 hours, but you can leave it in the marinade (in the fridge, of course!) for up to 24 hours. 

Love balsamic vinegar?

So do I! Here’s a few more recipes you may want to try:


Two portions of grilled chicken on small blue rimmed white plate.

Balsamic Chicken Marinade Recipe

Yield: enough for 1-4 pounds of chicken
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Additional Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 5 minutes

A marinade made with ingredients you probably have on hand, it's going to become a favorite for both grilling and baking in the oven!


  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1-4 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast


  1. In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.
  2. Place chicken in a bowl or a zip-top bag and pour marinade over chicken. Move chicken around to make sure it's all coated with marinade. Place in fridge and let marinate for at least 2 hours up to 24 hours before grilling.
  3. Cook until internal temperature reads 165 degrees Fahrenheit on an instant read thermometer.


  • I like to use white balsamic vinegar so I don’t discolor the chicken, but traditional balsamic vinegar will work too. Note: This is my favorite thermometer!
  • Nutritional information is a very rough estimate, given that much of the marinade is thrown out.
Nutrition Information:

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 118Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 51mgSodium: 98mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 19g sometimes provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as they are not calculated by a registered dietician. Please consult a medical professional for any specific nutrition, diet, or allergy advice.

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