Balsamic Marinade

A Balsamic Marinade is a classic for a reason: it’s downright delicious! Deep, flavorful balsamic vinegar is the star of the show in this simple marinade. The flavor that infuses the meat or vegetables is full, round, slightly sweet and perfectly tangy from the vinegar. A great marinade for any occasion!

What KJ Loves about this Recipe

One of my absolute favorite things about cooking with balsamic vinegar is the way it caramelizes into such a deep, wonderful flavor, and this marinade is no different! It infuses the meat or vegetables with such great flavor, and then caramelizes perfectly as it cooks. How great is that? I also love how versatile this marinade is. Use it for chicken, beef, steak, fish, vegetables… it all turns out scrumptious!

Ingredients Needed

All you need is a few simple ingredients to bring this Honey Mustard Marinade to life:

  • Balsamic vinegar – this is the star of the show! Choose your favorite balsamic vinegar, or one that is very deep in color and flavor. 
  • Light olive oil – I like to use light olive oil so that it doesn’t overpower the flavors of the marinade. 
  • Brown sugar – this helps add a wonderful sweetness to the marinade and balances out the vinegar. 
  • Dijon mustard – adding this to the marinade helps give it a slight tang and earthiness. It really balances it out!
  • Garlic – you can never have too much garlic!
  • Salt – the easiest way to add flavor. 

How to Use Balsamic Marinade

After you have the marinade whipped up, there are endless ways that you can use it! From different meats, veggies, to different cooking applications. Let’s break down all the ways you can use this Balsamic Marinade:

Meats:

  • Chicken: breasts, tenders, thighs, legs or a whole chicken! Marinate the chicken, or sauté it in the sauce! The marinated chicken is also perfect on the grill or roasted in the oven.
  • Steak: skirt steak or flank steak love marinades! Grill or pan-sear it afterwards.
  • Beef: roasts glazed and roasted in the marinade.
  • Pork: pork chops, pork tenderloin or thinly sliced pork marinated and then sautéd or grilled.
  • Seafood: shrimp, cod, salmon or halibut. Instead of marinating the seafood, sauté or glaze the seafood with the marinade while cooking!

Vegetables:

  • Roasted or grilled vegetables: zucchini, broccoli, green beans, potatoes, carrots, onions, asparagus and more!
  • Portabella mushrooms: glaze with the marinade before grilling.

Cooking Methods:

  • Sauté – add the marinated meat into a large skillet and sauté, or don’t marinate the meat and use the marinade as a sauce that you pour into the skillet instead (use about half of the sauce).
  • Grill – add the marinated meat or vegetables straight onto the grill, discarding the leftover marinade.
  • Roast – add the marinated meat into a baking dish and roast, or don’t marinate the meat and use the marinade as a sauce that you pour over the meats/vegetables in the dish and roast instead.
  • Slow Cooker – pour the marinade over the meat in the slow cooker and cook low and slow.
  • Smoke – add the marinated meat straight from the marinade on to the smoker, discarding the leftover marinade.

Marinade FAQ’s

How long should I marinate chicken or steak?

 A general rule of thumb, don’t go over 24 hours. Anywhere from 1 hour to 8 hours is prime marinating time! Another thing to keep in mind is the toughness of the meat you are marinating. Chicken will marinate faster than a flank steak since it is not as dense and tough as a flank steak.

What do I do with the leftover marinade from the meat? 

Unfortunately, it will need to be discarded. Since it has been infusing with the meat and vice versa, you don’t want to risk any cross-contamination issues.

How do I sauté with a marinade and use it as a sauce? 

If you are wanting to use the marinade more as a sauce, then skip the whole marinating process. Here’s an example of how you can do this: cut boneless, skinless chicken breasts or tenders into 1-inch pieces, sauté the chicken until golden brown and then add in  about half of the marinade to create a saucy, balsamic chicken recipe. This application can be applied to shrimp, or thinly sliced pork and steak as well.

How long does the marinade last in the refrigerator?

Un-used marinade will keep in the refrigerator for 5 days in an air-tight container. The olive oil may harden and thats ok. Lightly shake it and bring it to room temperature to help this if necessary.

Looking for other Marinade Recipes? Check these out!

Honey Mustard Marinade

Teriyaki Marinade

Italian Marinade

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Balsamic Marinade


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  • Author: KJ & Company - Kate Poskochil
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 1/4 cups 1x

Description

A Balsamic Marinade is a classic for a reason: it’s downright delicious! Deep, flavorful balsamic vinegar is the star of the show in this simple marinade. The flavor that infuses the meat or vegetables is full, round, slightly sweet and perfectly tangy from the vinegar. A great marinade for any occasion!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup light olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Combine all of the ingredients together in a bowl, glass or Mason jar. Use marinade as desired.

Notes

  • How to use as a marinade: marinate the chicken, steak or pork for 1 hour minimum to 8 hours maximum. Discard leftover marinade prior to cooking the meat. Marinate seafood for 1-3 hours.
  • How to use as a sauce: sauté the desired meat or vegetables and add in about half of the marinade to create a sauce. If you want a really saucy outcome, add in all of the marinade.
  • How to use as a sauce: place chicken in a slow cooker and pour the marinade over. Cook for 6-8 hours.
  • Serving ideas: grilled meats and veggies, roasted veggies with the marinade, roasted meat with mashed potatoes and veggies, kabobs, salad toppings, pasta toppings.
  • Nutritional information for this recipe is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Category: Sauces
  • Method: Marinate

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/4 cup
  • Calories: 178
  • Sugar: 6.1g
  • Sodium: 326mg
  • Fat: 16.9g
  • Carbohydrates: 7.2g
  • Fiber: 0.1g
  • Protein: 0.3g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg

Keywords: Balsamic Marinade

Recipes for the home cook.

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