Marinade Recipes & Easy Meal Ideas

Marinades are flavored liquids used to enhance and complement the flavor of many foods. Each marinade recipe here is paired with a different food, and with suggestions for easy accompaniments to round out the meal.

The pairings and menu ideas are suggestions, not rules. Marinades are like condiments, rubs, and sauces -- they can be mixed and matched with a variety of entrees. While a recipe may call for pork, the marinade may also be great on poultry or fish. Be bold -- experiment!

Lynn's Best Herb-and-Garlic Pork

Lynn's Best Herb-and-Garlic Pork Lynn's Best Herb-and-Garlic Pork

"I like the flavor that grilled foods take on," says Lynn Blanchard, Director of the Better Homes and Gardens Test Kitchen. She prepares her pork roast with garlic, plus fresh herbs straight from her garden.


Menu Suggestions

  • Grilled corn on the cob
  • Chopped tomato salad: Toss tomatoes with lemon zest, chopped red onion, salt, and pepper.
  • Grilled angel food slices: Brush cake lightly with melted butter or spray with cooking oil and grill. Serve with shaved chocolate and coconut.

Beef Steak in Thai Marinade

Beef Steak in Thai Marinade Beef Steak in Thai Marinade

Fiery red curry paste mixes with sweet coconut milk and tangy citrus, bringing the flavors of Thailand to your dinner.


Menu Suggestions

  • Grilled vegetables: Toss bell pepper quarters and scallions with oil, salt, and pepper; grill to desired doneness.
  • Shrimp puff snacks purchased from an Asian market
  • Prepared vanilla rice pudding served with mango slices dusted with cardamom or cinnamon

Szechwan Chicken Salad

szechwan chicken salad Szechwan Chicken Salad

Jicama, a root vegetable usually associated with Central and South American cooking, is used here to great advantage. It adds moistness, crunch, and freshness to the salad.


Menu Suggestions

  • Fried rice, from Chinese take-out
  • Iced tea
  • Orange sherbet or sorbet sprinkled with chopped crystallized ginger

Curried Yogurt Marinade

Curried Yogurt Marinade Curried Yogurt Marinade

This spicy, golden marinade, with a splash of sweet honey, is equally delicious as an enhancer for pork, chicken, lamb, or beef. You should grill long-cooking meats over indirect heat, so the honey doesn't burn during cooking.


Menu Suggestions

  • Grilled pocket-less pita brushed with olive oil and a whisper of cinnamon
  • Creamed spinach
  • Lassi, an iced mango-yogurt smoothie-like drink

Low-Fat Grilled Vegetables on Focaccia

Grilled Vegetables on Focaccia Low-Fat Grilled Vegetables on

A blend of goat cheese and fat-free cream cheese is spread over focaccia and filled with a colorful mix of grilled red sweet peppers, zucchini, and eggplant in this vegetarian sandwich.


Menu Suggestions

  • Crackers with low-fat cream cheese topped with hot pepper jelly
  • Green salad with toasted nuts
  • Passion fruit sorbet