30 Basic Marinade Recipes for Every Protein (Including Tofu)

Want to give dinner an extra pop of flavor? All it takes is a simple marinade. I was reintroduced to marinating meat and tofu a few months ago, and was quickly reminded that it takes little extra effort (just some forethought and a few pantry ingredients) and results in a whole lot of extra flavor.

There are some marinades that do their best work with mild-mannered chicken, pork, or tofu, while others work best with fish. Some need a strong flavor, such as steak, to hold its own. But on the whole, most marinades are wildly versatile and can be used interchangeably with practically any type of protein you’re cooking.

But remember: The most important ingredient in a marinade is time. While dinner will pick up extra flavor from just 10 minutes in a marinade, I like to give it at least 30 minutes to an hour, and sometimes overnight when I can really plan in advance.

No matter what’s for dinner, these 30 easy marinade recipes will help get more flavor on your plates, and ward off dinner boredom.

Chicken, Pork, and Tofu Marinades

  • Ultimate Marinade for Juicy Chicken
  • 3-Ingredient Yogurt Marinade
  • Pork Chop Marinade
  • Maple Mustard Marinade
  • Lemon Pesto Marinade
  • Yogurt Garam Masala Marinade
  • Sweet and Sour Marinade
  • Magic Summer Sauce
  • 3-Ingredient Roasted Lemon Sauce
  • Brown Butter Vinaigrette Sauce
  • Quick Ranch Dressing
  • Sweet & Tangy BBQ Sauce

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Beef Marinades

  • Flank Steak Marinade
  • The Ultimate Marinade for Tender Grilled Steak
  • Korean BBQ Marinade

Fish and Shrimp Marinades

  • Salmon Marinade
  • Miso-Marinated Salmon
  • Lemon Garlic-Marinated Salmon
  • Teriyaki-Marinated Salmon
  • Shrimp Marinade

All-Purpose Marinades

  • Garlic & Herb Marinade
  • All-Purpose Fajita Marinade
  • Chili Garlic Marinade
  • Balsamic Vinaigrette
  • Italian Salad Dressing
  • 3-Ingredient Honey-Lime Sauce
  • Curry Yogurt Marinade
  • Easy Miso-Citrus Dressing
  • Chimichurri Sauce
  • Classic Greek Vinaigrette

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