Who says “easy” can’t be delicious? Made with simple pantry ingredients, this honey mustard marinade is a snap to prepare and works well as a flavorful marinade for grilled or baked chicken, pork, beef, salmon or as a sauce for drizzling on just about anything! The best part? It works with ANY mustard – basic yellow, spicy, Dijon, whole grain, you name it!

spoon in a clear glass mason jar full of honey mustard marinade on a white background

about this honey mustard marinade

I’m always looking for new easy healthy sauce recipes to make at home and this honey mustard marinade is one of my all-time favorites!

The ingredients may look simple but don’t let that fool you – we may be using common pantry staples but this delicious marinade has every flavor base covered (from salty to sweet, savory and tangy). 

It’s no wonder this tasty marinade plays well with almost anything including chicken, pork, beef, salmon, and grain bowls.

Plus it doubles as a delicious sauce to dip fresh cut veggies or cooked chicken tenders into!

You can even use it to drizzle over roasted veggies, liven up any leftovers kicking around in your fridge, or add a boost of flavor to an otherwise plain plant-based grain bowl.

PS – I put directions for you below on exactly how I use this to marinate chicken, it works great for either chicken breasts or chicken thighs!

process & tips

The good news is that making healthy sauces & marinades at home doesn’t have to be complicated or involve lots of hard-to-find ingredients. 

The beauty of this recipe is that everything comes together in just a mason jar using simple pantry ingredients, many of which you might already have on hand.

Simply add everything to the jar, twist on the lid and shake it up (seriously, it’s that easy).

Before you know it, you’ll have a tasty sauce or marinade to use on almost anything!

clear glass mason jar filled with honey mustard marinade on a white and marbled background

why make this sauce in a mason jar

I’m a big fan of making dressings, sauce and marinades in lidded mason jars.

Since you mix up the sauce in the same jar as you store it in, you can skip dirtying extra dishes or having to clean a blender or food processor.

This sauce can also be made ahead and will keep well in the fridge for up to 3-4 days, in a sealed container.

You can also freeze it in the same mason jar and store it in a sealed freezer friendly container for up to 2-3 months and thaw it when you need it.

Sometimes homemade sauces or dressings may separate and look clumpy when refrigerated. This is because oil can solidify at cooler temperatures. If this happens, simply remove from the refrigerator, allow to come to room temperature, and shake well to recombine.

how to use honey mustard marinade and sauce

For me, it’s hard to beat this versatility of this marinade!

It works as well for grilled chicken as it does for pork, beef, salmon, or drizzled over a vegetarian grain bowl. 

As a sauce it would be great with Build Your Own Veggie Quinoa Power Bowls, DIY Greek Inspired Quinoa Bowls, or Black Bean Quinoa Bowls.

In addition to grilled chicken, I love adding chicken and this honey mustard marinade to a baking dish, allowing it to marinade overnight, then baking, for a super juicy, flavorful baked chicken.

This marinade works well for salmon, too, just brush the marinade on top of salmon filets or steaks, allow to marinade for 30 minutes in the refrigerator, then grill or bake, brushing on additional marinade halfway through the cooking process.

close up of grilled chicken breasts with sauce on top of a white plate with a striped blue napkin on the side

how long should you marinate the chicken?

This is one of those great marinades that works even if you’re short on time.

It’s still super flavorful even with a quick 30-minute fridge marinade, making throwing together a last-minute grilled chicken dinner on a weeknight totally doable.

Or if you’re looking for an overnight honey mustard chicken marinade, this recipe is still a great option, as it yields super flavorful results with a longer marinade time too.

what’s the best mustard to use?

You can use any mustard you like for this recipe, including basic yellow mustard, spicy mustard, Dijon mustard, whole grain mustard, or a combination of the above. 

For this recipe I chose to use Dijon for a bit of heat, along with whole grain mustard to offer some texture, but feel free to use whatever mustard you like or have on hand.

how to make a spicy honey mustard marinade

If you want to make this a spicy honey mustard marinade try using a spicy brown mustard, and adding ½ tablespoons red pepper flakes in this recipe.

how to make sugar-free mustard marinated chicken

If you want a more straightforward, sugar-free mustard marinated chicken, simply skip the honey and add an additional 2 tablespoons of mustard to this recipe.

close up of grilled chicken breasts with sauce on top of a white plate

ingredients & modifications

Honey: The flavor of honey works so well with the other flavors in this recipe but you could use another liquid sweetener if you like. Agave, maple syrup and coconut nectar would all be great refined sugar free or vegan friendly substitutes. If you use a granulated sweetener, make sure it dissolves fully so your sauce isn’t grainy.

Dijon mustard: One of my favorite ingredient staples to keep on hand, especially great in dressings (like this lemon Dijon dressing) and sauces/ marinade recipes like this one! I like the subtle heat that Dijon mustard brings but you could use any mustard you like.

Whole grain mustard: I also added whole grain mustard because I love the texture and flavor, but you can use any combination of mustards that you prefer. See above for more ideas on types of mustards that work well for this recipe.

Apple cider vinegar: I love keeping apple cider vinegar in my pantry, as it works for creating so many different sauce and dressing recipes! I look for a good quality raw, unfiltered 5% acidity cider vinegar (without any sugar or additional additives or color added).

Olive oil: I used olive oil for this recipe but you can also use any other neutral flavored oil in its place like avocado, vegetable or canola.

Kosher salt: Look for kosher salt with the regular iodized salt at the grocery store. It has a subtler flavor. Use less iodized salt if that’s what you have on hand.

Don’t be alarmed if your raw apple cider vinegar looks a bit cloudy or has what appears to be sediment at the bottom. Because raw apple cider vinegar is unfiltered, it contains “the mother”, comprised of naturally occurring enzymes.

this recipe is…

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spoon in a clear glass mason jar full of honey mustard marinade on a white background
5 stars (1 rating)

Honey Mustard Marinade

Who says “easy” can’t be delicious? Made with simple pantry ingredients, this honey mustard marinade is a snap to prepare and works well as a flavorful marinade for grilled or baked chicken, pork, beef, salmon or as a sauce for drizzling on just about anything! The best part? It works with ANY mustard – basic yellow, spicy, Dijon, whole grain, you name it!

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • fresh ground pepper to taste

Equipment

Instructions 

Honey Mustard Marinade and Sauce

  • In a quart sized mason jar or medium bowl, add honey, Dijon, whole grain mustard, and salt. Use a fork or small whisk to mix until combined.
  • Add the vinegar and oil, stirring again. If using a mason jar, add the lid and shake vigorously until well combined.
  • Use immediately or store, covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Allow to come to room temperature before using.

For Honey Mustard Chicken Marinade

  • To a zip-top bag or shallow baking dish, add 1/3 cup honey mustard marinade to 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts.
  • Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
  • Uncover and discard the marinade. Grill the chicken over medium heat, flipping halfway through, until the chicken thighs register 185F to 190F degrees or chicken breasts register 165F.
  • Serve with additional sauce on the side for dipping.

Notes

For more ingredients & modifications and fun ways to use this sauce, see the blog post above.

Nutrition Information:

Calories: 49kcal, Carbohydrates: 6g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 3g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Sodium: 498mg, Potassium: 21mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 7IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 7mg, Iron: 1mg
Nutrition disclaimer
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