This honey mustard marinade strikes a balance between tangy and sweet, combining dijon mustard, honey, garlic, and cinnamon to create a versatile marinade for both chicken and pork. Made in just 5 minutes, it’s easy to put together with ingredients you likely already have in your kitchen. Use it to bake or grill your favorite protein for a delicious family dinner!
You may not know, but marinades are my thing. I’ve developed over a dozen different marinades and while they’re all great, this one was a surprise hit.
For a honey mustard marinade, it of course has honey and dijon mustard in it, as well as some garlic. But the surprise comes in the form of the ground cinnamon.
I tested this recipe both with and without the cinnamon and the version with was the clear winner. And you don’t have to worry about the cinnamon making the marinade (or your protein) overly sweet, as my husband isn’t a big sweets guy and still preferred the version with the cinnamon.
My family’s favorite way to use this marinade is to grill up some marinated chicken breasts, but it works with pork as well.
Scroll down to see the step by step pictures and instructions, as well as helpful tips, to get the most out of this honey dijon marinade.
Grab these ingredients
(Note: the full ingredients list, including measurements, is provided in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.)
- Dijon mustard – any brand will do, just make sure it’s dijon and not another type of mustard. The brands I use most often are Annie’s Organic Dijon Mustard or Organicville Dijon Mustard.
- Honey – don’t use your fancy honey here, just whatever comes from the grocery store will work. If your honey has hardened you will want to warm it slightly in a microwave-safe dish before putting it in with the other marinade ingredients.
- Garlic – you want fresh garlic, not garlic powder. I like to use a garlic press instead of mincing it to get the most flavor. If you love garlic be sure and use large cloves, or even increase the amount used to 3 cloves.
- Oil – you want a mild oil for the marinade that won’t impact the flavor. My preference is avocado oil as it’s both mild and has a fairly high smoke point.
- Ground cinnamon – I used Saigon cinnamon, which I bought at Costco and is very common in America. You could also use Indonesian or Ceylon cinnamon, though I would not use Chinese cinnamon. For more about the different types, check out this article about ground cinnamon from Bon Appetit.
- Kosher salt – This recipe uses Diamond Crystal kosher salt. It is less salty by volume than many other salts, so if you are using a different type of salt (kosher or otherwise), you’ll want to use this salt conversion chart from Epicurious to determine how much salt to use.
What are the components of a marinade?
All marinades should have the following 4 components:
- salt to season the meat,
- fat to coat the meat,
- acid to help break down the protein fibers, and
- spices, herbs, or other flavors.
In this marinade, the oil is the fat, both the mustard and honey act as an acid (in addition to adding flavor), there’s kosher salt, and the garlic and cinnamon are additional flavors.
How to make a honey dijon marinade
(Note: please see the recipe card at the end of this post for the complete written instructions.)
This marinade, like most, is pretty easy – you just place everything in a measuring cup and stir until it’s combined!
Recommended marinating times
You’ll want a different marinating time for different types of proteins. Here are my recommendations.
- For chicken: 1 to 1.5 hours for boneless or bone-in cuts.
- For pork: 1 to 1.5 hours for all cuts of pork (tenderloin, pork chops, etc).
Cooking with this honey mustard marinade
You can either grill or bake proteins with this marinade. The cooking time and temperature is going to depend on the cut of meat you’re cooking.
In all cases, you want to cook until the meat reaches the right internal temperature. I’ve listed them out below, but be sure and check out this guide on internal temperatures for meat – it’s written for grilling but is applicable for all cooking methods.
- Chicken: cook to 165 degrees F
- Pork: cook to 165 degrees F
Make it into a glaze
This marinade also works as a glaze!
- After you’re done marinating your protein, pour the marinade into a small saucepan and heat it over high heat, stirring frequently with a whisk, until it starts to thicken (between 10 and 15 minutes).
- Then use a basting brush to brush it on top of the protein once it’s done cooking.
Use it sparingly as it will be salty, but it really adds flavor to the meat!
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If you make this honey dijon marinade for chicken & pork, then don’t forget to leave a star rating and let me know how it went in the comments below!
5 Minute Honey Mustard Marinade for Chicken & Pork
- 2 tbsp avocado oil
- ¼ cup dijon musard
- ¼ cup honey
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 2 large garlic cloves pressed or minced
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- Measure out the oil into a measuring cup (or other container).
- Measure out the remaining ingredients and add those into the cup as well.
- Use a small whisk or other utensil to stir everything together, making sure to scrape the bottom as the honey will want to stick there.
- If your honey is hard, you will want to warm it slightly in a microwave-safe dish before putting it in with the other marinade ingredients.
- It’s best to use the marinade immediately so the honey doesn’t harden again. It can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days in an airtight container. If using later, the marinade will need to be stirred again to incorporate the ingredients.
- This marinade makes enough for 1.25-1.5 pounds of meat (roughly 2 chicken breasts, 5 to 6 boneless skinless chicken thighs, or 3 to 4 boneless pork chops, depending on size).
- Both chicken and pork marinade times are between 1 and 1.5 hours.
- Use this marinade for grilling or baking your protein of choice.