How to Make Marinades with Kitchen Staples

Pork Chops with Pepper Jelly Sauce
Photo: Jennifer R. Davick

We love a good marinade. What we don't love is languishing in the marinade aisle at the grocery store, unsure of the ingredients and the flavors that will come out of the many multicolor bottles. Where do you begin? As it happens, at home. We found a solution to the marinade conundrum: Make it yourself. With just a few kitchen staples and the tiniest bit of elbow grease, you'll find it so easy to mix up a delicious marinade to complement your dinner dishes, from beef to pork to fish. Our easy recipes for kitchen-made marinades use minimal ingredients (just two!) to great effect. All you need to do is add a splash of a neutral cooking oil (like canola oil or olive oil) to equal parts of the kitchen stalwarts described below, and you will have yourself a few show-stopping 2-ingredient marinades. These are great to have in your culinary arsenal for upgrading busy weeknight dinners.

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Perfect on Pork

Peach Preserves and Grainy Mustard Marinade
Robbie Caponetto

One part peach preserves plus one part grainy mustard makes for a great marinade for pork. You can even use it as a condiment. The sweetness of the peach and the savory tartness of the mustard blend beautifully. It's an intriguing blend that will keep guests coming back for more.

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Toasty Fish

Soy Sauce and Sesame Oil Marinade
Robbie Caponetto

One part soy sauce plus one part sesame oil, this marinade adds a savory and toasty flavor to fish. It's the perfect complement to any fish dish. Soy sauce adds a satisfying tanginess, while the sesame oil offers the delicate, toasty touch. The flavor is so complex that you won't believe it only uses two ingredients.

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Spiced Up Beef

Dijon Mustard + Sriracha Chili Sauce Marinade
Robbie Caponetto

One part Dijon mustard plus Sriracha chili sauce gives spicy flavor to a lean cut of beef, like flank steak. A hearty beef dish demands simple but stunning spices. The Dijon elevates the flavor to somewhere near fancy, while the Siracha chili sauce adds the kick that every dinner guest craves.

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Tangy Both Ways

Apple Cider Vinegar and Honey Marinade
Robbie Caponetto

One part apple cider vinegar plus one part honey, this tangy marinade will add loads of flavor to salmon or pork tenderloin. This is arguably the easiest marinade of the bunch, and you'll find yourself mixing it up constantly. It's that good.

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