I’m still in Italy, but wanted to share a fun (pre-scheduled) post full of easy marinade recipes, just in time for Memorial Day grilling out! One of my biggest pet peeves is when people think that eating healthy means eating completely plain grilled chicken. Not so! Here are some of my very favorite easy marinades, which can be used for chicken or, if you’re vegetarian or want to mix it up, for extra firm tofu that has been pressed/drained.
Marinating is a simple form of food preparation in which you let the meat (or vegetarian protein like tofu) sit in the fridge in a bath of ingredients which will make it much more tender, juicy, and flavorful when it’s cooked. You can marinate for as little as 30 minutes or as long as overnight. After marinating, simply put the marinated meat on the grill or in a pan and heat on medium high, flipping at least once, until it’s cooked through! Another option is to bake the meat after marinating.
Each recipe below will marinate about 2 chicken breasts or an equivalent amount of tofu. Even if you’re only serving yourself, go ahead and cook both and save the extra to eat the next day!
8 Easy Marinade Recipes for Chicken or Tofu
Easiest marinade ever: salad dressing! Balsamic vinaigrette and Italian dressing in particular make great marinades. I like Newman’s Own brand of salad dressing – buy the full fat/regular version because reduced fat/light dressings just have added sugar or salt.
Thai grilled chicken: 1 diced garlic clove + ¼ cup fresh cilantro + ½ Tbsp. Asian fish sauce + ½ Tbsp. low sodium soy sauce + ½ Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
Lime chicken: juice of 1 lime + 1 Tbsp. honey + 2 Tbsp. olive oil + 1 small can diced green chilis + ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro + a pinch of salt & pepper
Asian chicken: 1/4 cup honey, 2 Tbsp. fish sauce, 1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice, 2 Tbsp. chili sauce (this is spicy but not insane)
Mexican chicken: 3 Tbsp. olive oil, 2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro, 1 Tbsp. chipotle chili sauce (from can), ½ tsp. chili powder, ½ tsp. cumin, a pinch of salt & pepper
Teryaki chicken: juice from 1 orange, ¼ C low sodium soy sauce, 1 Tbsp. olive oil, sprinkle of garlic powder & pepper
Persian chicken: juice from 1 lemon + 2 tsp. olive oil + 1 tsp. cinnamon + ¼ tsp. turmeric + a pinch of salt & pepper
Balsamic chicken: 1/2 tsp. dried rosemary + 2 cloves garlic (minced) + 1 Tbsp. olive oil + ¼ cup balsamic vinegar + a pinch of salt & pepper
The Asian chicken marinade is great for stir fry!
What’s your favorite marinade recipe?