While it's a myth that marinades penetrate deep into meat (they mostly remain on the surface), they’re still excellent flavor enhancers. Toss your steak in a marinade, like lemon and garlic or a basic balsamic vinaigrette, while you cut vegetables and then throw everything on the grill. You can also tenderize your meat in a marinade with ingredients such as pineapple, which contains an enzyme that breaks down meat’s tough fibers over time. Use Food & Wine's guide to marinades for recipes with all of your favorite flavor combinations.

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Pineapple-Soy Marinade

That canned pineapple juice isn’t good for just piña coladas. Here it’s combined with soy, vinegar and garlic in the tastiest marinade for pork, chicken, beef and even swordfish and salmon. Slideshow: More Marinade Recipes 

Gin-and-Lemon Marinade

This boozy gin-and-lemon marinade is a dream on chicken and pork, and also good on shrimp for a quick 15-minute marinade. Slideshow: More Marinade Recipes 

Tomato-Fennel Marinade

Fresh tomatoes and tomato paste combine to make an ultra-tomato-flavored marinade. It’s great on shrimp, fish and pork. Slideshow: More Marinade Recipes 

Sauce Verte

This fantastic herb sauce from Seattle chef Renee Erickson is delicious on so many things, like canned sardines, grilled or poached fish, roast chicken and smashed and fried potatoes. Slideshow: Cooking with Herbs

Piri Piri Marinade

Chef JJ Johnson of The Cecil in Harlem, New York marinates the chicken thighs for his fried chicken sandwich in Piri Piri, a spicy Portuguese sauce, for an extra layer of flavor before breading and pan frying.


These recipes—from a Puerto Rican-style marinade to a Sicilian lemon marinade—work on everything from seafood to chicken.

More Marinades

Alternative Oils

From spiked mayonnaise with chile sauce to walnut oil sautéed mushrooms, here are alternative oils to use in dressings and marinades.

Barbecue Sauce

Artisanal and smoky, these delectable gravies are best drizzled over your favorite grilled eats.

Greek Marinade

With lots of ouzo, fennel and dill, this marinade packs great anise flavor. Melissa Rubel Jacobson says to leave it on for 30 minutes for a mild taste or up to 4 hours for more intensity.Plus: Chicken Recipes and Tips