Low-Fat Chicken Marinades

by Sara Ipatenco ; Updated April 18, 2017

Chicken that's been marinaded and baked is presented on a table top in a white dish.

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Marinades are typically a combination of oil, vinegar or citrus juice, and herbs or spices. They can easily infuse chicken with flavor, but they can also be high in fat. Incorporate low-fat oils in your favorite marinade recipes, so you can cut the fat without sacrificing the flavor.

Broth is Better

Replace the oil you would normally use in a chicken marinade with fat-free broth. Chicken broth is an obvious choice, or alter the flavor a bit by using beef or vegetable broth. Unlike oil, broths can contain large amounts of sodium, so look for low-sodium versions to keep the dish healthy.

Jazz It Up With Juice

Substitute vegetable juice for oil in a chicken marinade recipe. Like broth, however, vegetable juice can be high in sodium, so look for low-sodium options. Use citrus juice when you want to impart a bold flavor and help tenderize the meat. Add orange, grapefruit, lemon or lime juice to the broth.

Dive into Dairy

Dairy foods add flavor to a chicken marinade and also help tenderize the meat. Dairy products may be more effective than acidic ingredient as a tenderizer. according to "Fine Cooking" magazine. Combine low-fat plain yogurt or low-fat buttermilk with herbs and spices to create a flavorful marinade that can yield a moist and juicy piece of chicken.

A Few Final Tips

If you don't like the results of a marinade without oil, leave it in but use less of it. Use just a tablespoon or so of oil instead of the 1/2 to full cup called for in many marinade recipes call for. This will give the meat the flavor of the oil without adding a great deal of fat to the recipe. Because raw chicken can harbor bacteria that can lead to illness, discard the marinade once you remove the meat. Marinate chicken in the refrigerator, not at room temperature.

Photo Credits

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About the Author

Sara Ipatenco has taught writing, health and nutrition. She started writing in 2007 and has been published in Teaching Tolerance magazine. Ipatenco holds a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in education, both from the University of Denver.