Sweet Italian Marinated Barbecue Chicken (Whole30)

Whole30 Chicken Marinade

One of my go-to tricks to make weeknight dinners easy is barbecuing a whole bunch of chicken at once, then using it throughout the week in different dinners and recipes.

When I was planning meals for our first week of Whole30, I knew barbecue chicken would be a must-make. But all of my favorite marinades are not Whole30 compliant marinades. Sad face. Luckily, Brian is a genius at whipping up marinades from scratch, so I gave him the task of barbecuing chicken for our Whole30 Day 1 dinner and a bunch of extra for the rest of the week.

Sweet Italian Chicken Marinade

Brian used olive oil, white vinegar, and water as a base for our Whole30 chicken marinade. He then added onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper, sea salt, and Italian seasoning for flavor — and OMG, it was amazing! I usually only eat half a chicken breast with dinner, but this Sweet Italian Chicken Marinade was so yummy that I ate a whole one!

Whole30 Barbecue Chicken with Roasted Carrots and Cauliflower Mash

Sweet Italian Marinated Barbecue Chicken

To make the Sweet Italian Marinated Barbecue Chicken, first combine all of the marinade ingredients in an airtight container. We like putting our marinades in an airtight plastic storage container so we can shake it up to really get all of the chicken breasts coated with flavor.

To get perfectly cooked chicken packed with juicy flavors every time, you’ve got to tenderize! And I mean really tenderize it. Flatten each chicken breast out, pounding it on both sides, until it is is consistent in thickness. Tenderizing the chicken not only helps it cook evenly and helps you avoid overlooked, dry chicken, but it helps the chicken really soak up the marinade.

Once the chicken is tenderized, put it in the marinade and let it soak for at least 30 minutes, ideally a few hours. When the chicken is done marinating, toss it on a preheated barbecue over medium heat.

It’s seriously, that simple.

I served the Sweet Italian Marinated Barbecue Chicken alongside Garlic And Thyme Cauliflower Mash and Garlic And Thyme Roasted Baby Carrots.

Sweet Italian Marinated Barbecue Chicken

This easy, delicious chicken marinade recipe is light, healthy, and packed with flavor.

Whole30 Chicken Marinade


  • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper
  • Onion powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Italian seasoning mix


  1. Combine all of the marinade ingredients in a plastic storage container with a lid.
  2. Trim the fat off the chicken breasts, pound them out with a meat tenderizer. Place the chicken breasts in the marinade, seal the lid, and shake to coat the chicken breasts fully.
  3. Let chicken marinate for at least 30 minutes, ideally three or more hours.
  4. Preheat the barbecue. Cook chicken over medium heat and serve immediately.


Don't skip tenderizing the chicken! You may be tempted to skip this step to save time, but if you want the best results, take the time to tenderize!

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