10 Easy Marinade Recipes

I love marinades!  The investment of a few minutes to prepare a marinade pays huge dividends at the dinner plate.  The ordinary become extraordinary.  Give these a try and let me know your thoughts.

Red or White Wine and Herb Marinade     wine

This is a basic recipe for a classic French marinade.  Vary the herbs according to the wine and the meat, poultry, or seafood that you are using.  Try oregano, rosemary, marjoram, or chives.  This marinade is particularly well suited to poultry, lamb or beef.

1 cup olive oil
1 cup good red or white wine
1/4 cup red or white wine vinegar, optional
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 medium red or yellow onions, sliced
2 shallots, sliced
1 carrot, sliced
1/4 cup chopped parsley
2 tbsp. chopped fresh thyme, or 2 tsp. dried
1 tsp. black peppercorns

1 bay leave
4 whole cloves, crushed

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.  Use or cover and store in refrigerator until ready to use.  Makes 2 1/4 cups liquid.

Spicy Peanut Marinade     peanut

This marinade is similar to the sauce used with Indonesian satay.  Use with pork, beef or chicken.

1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 tbsp. lime juice
1 tbsp. bottled fish sauce
1 tbsp. brown sugar
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp., packed, minced fresh ginger
1/2 to 1 tsp. red pepper flakes, or to taste
1/2 tsp. salt

Place all ingredients in a saucepan and slowly bring to a boil, whisking until smooth.  Lower the heat and simmer the marinade for 5 minutes. Transfer to bowl to cool.  When cool, use or cover and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.  Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

Honey Mustard Marinade     honey mustard

This marinade keeps well for about two weeks in the refrigerator.  Add some garlic or cayenne or Tabasco  for a spicier marinade.  Add chopped fresh herbs such as chives, parsley, thyme or tarragon.  Use with lamb, chicken, pork or salmon.  When cooked, the marinade forms an appetizing crust.

1/2 cup Dijon-style mustard
1/2 cup grainy mustard
1/2 honey
1/3 cup lemon juice
freshly ground pepper to taste
Whisk all the ingredients together in a bowl.  Use or cover and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.  Makes 1 3/4 cups.

Lemon Marinade      lemon

This is a delicious marinade with a Greek flair.  Try on fish, poultry, veal, or pork tenderloin.  Change the herbs as you like, or add lots of coarsely ground black pepper for a lemon-pepper marinade.

1 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup drained capers, optional
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
1 tbsp. dried oregano
1 tbsp. grated lemon zest
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix with a fork or whisk.  Allow to sit at room temperature for about 1/2 hour before using; this will develop the flavors.  Use or cover and store in refrigerator until ready to use.  Makes 1 1/4 cups.

Indian Yogurt Marinade      yogurt

This is a variation of a typical tandoori marinade.  Use with boneless chicken breasts, shrimp, or pork tenderloin.

1 piece fresh ginger, about two inches long, weighing about 1 ounce, peeled and cut into chunks.
2 cloves garlic
3/4 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. ground cardamom
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
pinch of ground clove
Place the ginger and garlic in a bowl of a food processor and pulse a few times to break up the pieces.  Add all the remaining ingredients and process until the ginger and garlic are almost pureed.  The marinade will have a grainy texture.  Use the cover  and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.  Makes about 1 1/4 cups.

Teriyaki Marinade     teriyaki

In Japanese cooking, teriyaki refers to a sweet soy sauce-based sauce that is applied during the last stages of cooking seafood, chicken, pork or beef.  Teri means gloss, which describes the sheen of the dish.  This effect, or glazing, is achieved during the broiling (yaki) of the food.  Here we are using the sauce as a marinade.

You may buy commercially prepared teriyaki sauce, but this is such a simple, quick preparation, it’s best to make it yourself so you can keep the amount of sugar to a minimum.  This sauce will keep indefinitely in the refrigerator, covered in a glass jar.  Use as a marinade for beef, pork, chicken, or seafood, particularly salmon, tuna, or bluefish.  You may also use as a dipping sauce for dumplings, tempura, shrimp, chicken fingers, or spoon over rice or noodle dishes.

1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup mirin (sweet Japanese rice wine or sherry)
 1/2 cup sake (rice wine)
 2 tsp. sugar, brown or white
 Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix with fork to dissolve the sugar.  Use or cover and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.  Makes 1 1/2 cups.

Balsamic-Basil Vinaigrette       balsamic

Using a vinaigrette or salad dressing as a marinade is a simple method to impart big flavor to foods.  Let your imagination go and create your own special combination.  Try red wine vinegar instead of the balsamic and use minced red onion and thyme with it.  Use raspberry vinegar and add some sweet onions, or sherry vinegar and grated orange zest.

1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp. salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil, or 1 tbsp. dried
1 tbsp. minced shallot
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Combine the vinegar, salt, pepper, basil and shallot in a small bowl and whisk to dissolve the salt. Slowly whisk in the oil until smooth.  Use or cover and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.  If storing before use, whisk again just before marinating to mix the vinegar and oil.  Makes about 1 cup.

Jalapeno-Lime Marinade jalapeno

You may increase the spiciness of this marinade by using more jalapeno chile or replacing them with the spicier serrano chile.  Use this marinade with chicken, seafood, pork or beef.

1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup lime juice
1 small onion, chopped
2 jalapeno chile, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
freshly ground black pepper
Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl.  Allow to sit at room temperature for about 1/2 hour before using to let the flavors to develop.  Use or cover and store in refrigerator until ready to use.  Makes 1 1/4 cups.

Barbecue-Pineapple Marinade       BBQ

This is an instant marinade that adds a unique flavor to smoky-sweet barbecue sauce.  If you have the time, make your own barbecue sauce.   Use this marinade on pork or beef ribs, chicken, or lamb.

1 cup barbecue sauce of your choice
3/4 cup pineapple sauce
Place all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk until smooth.  Use or cover and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.  Makes 1 3/4 cups.

Soy-Ginger-Sesame Marinade     Chinese

This is a powerfully flavored marinade with all the classic Chinese ingredients.  Use on pork, beef, poultry and lamb.

6 Tbsp. dark sesame oil
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 scallions, sliced
1 Tbsp., packed, minced fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. honey
Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and stir to mix well.  Use or cover and store in the refrigerator until ready to use. Makes about 1 cup.

One thought on “10 Easy Marinade Recipes”

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