How To Marinate Chicken With Teriyaki Sauce


So, you’re ready to learn how to marinate chicken with teriyaki sauce? That’s fantastic, because this is one delicious pairing. The marinade for this chicken recipe has a sweet and tangy flavor that is just delicious! Have you ever had teriyaki chicken? If so, you will love the way it tastes when it is grilled.

Easy Teriyaki Chicken Marinade

Check out our go-to teriyaki chicken marinade that takes 5 minutes to put together and only requires 7 ingredients.

This teriyaki chicken marinade recipe will leave your chicken tender and flavorful. You’ll never use another store-bought marinade again!

shredded teriyaki chicken

Best Teriyaki Chicken Marinade

This delish teriyaki chicken breast marinade is something you need to keep on hand at all times! It was created based on our famous healthy teriyaki sauce, but as a marinade instead!

It’s salty and sweet and made with the perfect amount of garlic and ginger. This chicken marinade is…

  • kid-friendly
  • 7-ingredients
  • ready in 5 minutes
  • gluten-free friendly
  • refined-sugar free
  • made without fillers

What You Need

All you need is 7 total ingredients for this staple marinade. Check it out —

  • soy sauce soy sauce is a teriyaki chicken staple. Feel free to use regular or reduced-sodium.
  • fresh ginger – there is something about fresh ginger that makes my tummy so happy! I like to keep a tube of ginger paste in my fridge at all times.
  • sriracha – sriracha adds a little kick to your teriyaki chicken marinade. As much or as little as you wish.
  • garlic – do not skimp on the garlic! I keep a tub of minced garlic in my fridge to have on hand at all times.
  • maple syrup – maple syrup is our preferred sweetener for teriyaki chicken. It has a magical warm flavor and it’s also refined sugar-free!
  • green onion – green onion adds a fantastic flavor once it’s cooked.
  • rice vinegar – every Asian need a little rice vinegar to balance out all the flavors.


  • Tamari – want to make this recipe gluten-free? Tamari is an easy 1:1 swap for soy sauce!
  • Dried Herbs – don’t have fresh ginger or garlic? Try subbing 1/2 the amount of garlic powder and ginger powder.
  • Honey – honey is a great alternative to maple syrup and equally as delicious!
teriyaki chicken ingredients

How Long to Marinate Teriyaki Chicken

The biggest piece of advice we have when marinating chicken is to let it marinate for at least 30 minutes to 2 hours for full juiciness! The optimal amount of time is 2-4 hours, but 30 minutes works too.

a few tips

  1. Feel free to use either a baking dish or gallon-size plastic bag to marinate your chicken in.
  2. Make sure your chicken is fully submerged in the marinade. If you’re using a baking dish, flip your chicken halfway through.
  3. Make sure to marinate your chicken in the fridge and not on the countertop to prevent foodborne illness.
2 chicken breasts marinating in sauce

Ways to Cook Teriyaki Chicken

  • Oven – follow our easy baked chicken tutorial for directions on how to bake the most perfect marinated chicken!
  • Grill – use our Grilled Teriyaki Chicken recipe as a source
  • Instant Pot – plop your chicken and marinade right into your Instant Pot and in no time, you’ve got dinner!
  • Slow Cooker – easy whip up our Crock-Pot teriyaki chicken recipe for the most tender Asian shredded chicken recipe!
  • Sous Vide – want super tender chicken? Use your sous vide to get perfect marinated chicken every time.

Baking Instructions

Baking marinated teriyaki chicken breast is super simple.

  1. Simply transfer the marinated chicken plus the excess teriyaki chicken marinade into a baking dish.
  2. Bake at 375ºF for around 20-25 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165ºF. We suggest using a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of your chicken instead of eyeballing it.
meat thermometer

Thermoworks Thermapen

We swear by using a meat thermometer when cooking any cut of meat. The Thermapen is our go-to meat thermometer that works every time.

Freezing Instructions

One of my favorite things to do with chicken marinades is to batch produce them and freeze for later! For example, you can make 3 or 4 batches of this teriyaki chicken marinade and freeze it for later. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Place the teriyaki chicken marinade along with 1 to 1.5 lbs. of chicken chicken breast into a freezer-safe gallon-size bag.
  2. Remove as much air as possible and then seal.
  3. Write “Teriyaki Chicken” on the front of the bag along with the date. Freeze up to 3 months.

How long does frozen chicken last? Your frozen teriyaki chicken will last up to 3 months in the freezer.

Grilled Teriyaki Chicken (+The Best Teriyaki Sauce)

Grilled Teriyaki Chicken is easy, authentic, and big on flavor. The teriyaki sauce is like magic, and works wonders for any protein. This prep-ahead recipe is perfect for weeknight dinners as well as casual gatherings.

Grilled Teriyaki Chicken over rice


We’re here to divulge one of our all-time, all-star favorite dishes ever.  There are few dishes we adore as much as a really great Teriyaki Chicken that marries tenderness with succulent flavors.  Not many dishes can compare to the sweet, savory, tender goodness of grilled Teriyaki Chicken done right.

During cooler months, we do Baked Teriyaki Chicken in the oven with absolutely delicious results. But summer is synonymous with grilling, and even burgers get their teriyaki fix.  Case in point:  This Hawaiian Burger with teriyaki sauce is irresistibly mouthwatering.  As are these tender Steaks marinated in Teriyaki sauce. The time has come to proudly serve up the best chicken to meet your grill this summer.

The aroma of this Teriyaki Chicken cooking in your outdoor space will make your neighbors suddenly voraciously hungry.  They’ll either be a little jealous or they’ll come knocking on your door.  In fact, this grilled teriyaki chicken recipe is featured in our Gather Menu for good reason. It’s always popular with friends and family at backyard cookouts.

Grilled Teriyaki Chicken with rice on plate


Your friends and family will devour this tender and flavorful cookout favorite. The saucy marinade works magic on the chicken; the charring produced by the grill takes it over the top.

Everything in this recipe can be prepared ahead of time. Mix the sauce up to several days ahead and keep chilled until ready to use. Marinade the chicken overnight (up to 2 nights ahead) for incredible flavor and tenderness. All that’s left is to throw the chicken onto hot grill while your guests munch on edamame hummus and chips.


  • If you’re tempted to use chicken breasts, may we suggest sticking with fresh boneless, skinless thighs here. They turn out so much more tender and flavorful, as thigh meat is significantly more forgiving than breast meat.
  • Always towel-dry chicken pieces to remove excess moisture prior to marinading.
  • Do marinade chicken overnight for tenderness and flavor. We recommend having extra marinade to keep in the fridge, as it keeps well and is fabulous over steak and shrimp on a whim.
  • Baste while cooking; throw out any sauce that has come into contact with raw chicken. Heat up clean, reserved marinade for serving as a sauce.


This Teriyaki Chicken is easy, authentic, and big on flavor. The sauce is like magic, and works wonders. Be sure to let chicken marinate overnight. 

  • Prep Time: 30 min
  • Cook Time: 10 min
  • Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 6 1x



  • 3 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 T cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 cups regular strength soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 3/4 cups brown sugar
  • 3/4 cups mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine; not rice vinegar)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 T freshly grated ginger
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • Chopped scallions and toasted sesame seeds for garnish, optional


  1. In a medium bowl, combine cornstarch with soy sauce. Thoroughly dissolve the cornstarch, whisking until any bits of white cornstarch no longer visible. Add soy sauce, both sugars, mirin, garlic, ginger, and pepper. Whisk sauce until ingredients are well combined. Set aside.
  2. Dry: Thoroughly dry chicken thighs with paper towels, and trim. Working one at a time, place each piece on a cutting board and top chicken with cling wrap. Pound chicken evenly to about 1/2 in. thick.
  3. Poke: Remove cling wrap. Using a fork, poke lots of holes all over chicken pieces.
  4. Marinade: Place chicken in large mixing bowl or large baking pan. Whisk marinade again and pour in just enough to completely cover every chicken piece front and back – reserve remaining sauce. Cover and let sit in fridge overnight, turning chicken pieces over once while marinading. Pour unused clean marinade in an airtight container and keep chilled.
  5. Cook: One hour before cooking, remove chicken from fridge. Grease and preheat outdoor grill (or indoor stovetop cast iron grill) until surface is smoking hot. Remove chicken from marinade, discarding used marinade. Grill chicken on medium-high heat until just-cooked, basting generously and frequently; approximately 5 minutes per side, but actual cook time varies depending on heat of your grill.
  6. Season: While chicken is cooking, pour desired amount of remaining, unused/clean sauce in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring 1 minute until slightly thickened. If desired, add a bit more sugar to taste. Set aside. 
  7. Serve: Slice cooked chicken into strips. Serve over your white rice, brown rice, or a bed of fresh greens.  Drizzle with teriyaki sauce. Sprinkle with chopped scallions and toasted sesame seeds, if desired.


Mirin is a Japanese sweet rice wine that can be found at Asian supermarkets, as well as regular grocery stores in their Asian or ethnic aisle.


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 202
  • Sugar: 21.9 g
  • Sodium: 692.4 mg
  • Fat: 3.2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 25.6 g
  • Fiber: 0.2 g
  • Protein: 16.4 g
  • Cholesterol: 70 mg
  • Category: main
  • Method: Grill, Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Asian American
  • Diet: Low Fat


This super tasty Teriyaki Chicken Marinade combines soy sauce, rice vinegar, ginger, brown sugar, garlic, and green onions for a wonderfully flavorful chicken! All of the sweet and savory flavors combine to make this a family favorite dinner that everyone loves!

Teriyaki Chicken Marinade ingredients ready to mix.

This super-simple teriyaki chicken marinade is easy to put together and is always raved about (between delighted bites of chicken)!


Teriyaki has always been a kid-safe flavor in our home. It is one of those flavors that everyone agrees on as a family!

My teriyaki chicken marinade is easy to whip up, bag the chicken, and let it marinate. This leaves time to wash and slice veggies, make some rice, or fry some tasty noodles!


All you need are these six staple ingredients to make this quick and easy marinade! Grab a ziploc plastic storage bag or a freezer storage bag to really help the marinade cling to your chicken and work its magic!

  • Soy Sauce – has that salty, umami flavor that is such a tasty marinade component! You can swap out low-sodium soy sauce if desired.
  • Rice Vinegar – adds a mild and slightly sweet flavor that is a wonderful addition to any Asian cooking! If you don’t have rice vinegar on hand, the best substitute to use is apple cider vinegar. White wine vinegar and sherry vinegar are also good rice vinegar alternatives.
  • Brown Sugar – to add some sweetness and depth of flavor in this fabulous teriyaki marinade!
  • Ginger – has such a fantastic warm flavor that it’s another must-have in all of our Asian cooking! If you only have ground ginger on hand, remember to reduce the amount. Use 1 teaspoon dried or ground ginger for each tablespoon of fresh ginger or ginger paste.
  • Garlic – just a touch of garlic to really highlight all of the amazing flavors in the marinade. Again, use 1 teaspoon of garlic powder if you need to swap it out for the fresh, minced garlic.
  • Green Onion – some fresh, chopped green onions add their unique flavor and some texture to the marinade. The green onions are optional but highly recommended!


This simple 6-ingredient marinade can be mixed in a bowl, or simply squish it all together directly in your plastic storage bag. Either way, it’s going to be one of the easiest dinners you’ve ever prepared!

  1. In a small bowl add the soy sauce, rice vinegar, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, and chopped green onions. Mix until well combined and the brown sugar is dissolved.
  2. Transfer the marinade into your ziploc plastic storage bag or freezer storage bag, then add the chicken. Seal the bag securely while squeezing out any excess air.
  3. Massage the marinade into the meat by squishing the marinade throughout the bag.
  4. Place the marinating chicken into the refrigerator for 4 hours to overnight for best results. Freeze for up to 3 months.

Your chicken needs to marinate for at least 20 minutes before cooking. The longer you can let the chicken marinate, the more flavorful it will be!

I would usually recommend at least 4 hours, or overnight ( 8 hours ) for optimal marinating. However, you can marinate the chicken for up to 2 days refrigerated. This is the maximum amount of time that I would marinate the chicken in a soy sauce-based marinade.

While frozen chicken pieces can usually be stored in the freezer for 6 months or more, I recommend a maximum of three months. Allow the frozen marinated chicken to thaw while refrigerated overnight.

The marinade will slowly seep into your chicken while it thaws, making it just delicious!


Yes! It will need to be reduced down to a more concentrated sauce, so taste while it reduces. Once the reduction reaches your desired consistency and flavor, remove it from heat. *Do not TASTE until the marinade ( that was with your raw chicken ) has cooked!

If you need to thicken the sauce, but you’re happy with the flavor, add a cornstarch slurry. Combine 1 tablespoon each of cornstarch and cold water, and mix thoroughly.

Whisk your slurry into the sauce while still warm. Remove from heat when the sauce has thickened.

tall image of bagged and ready to freeze teriyaki chicken marinade.

This is one of my favorite marinades for making skewers or kabobs with! Go ahead and cut your boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs up into chunks. This will REALLY let the marinade soak into the tasty bite-sized pieces of chicken!

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