July 6, 2021

by Alyssa

Easy Balsamic Marinade (For Protein & Veggies)

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This is a delicious and easy balsamic marinade with just 5 ingredients that infuses protein and vegetables with tons of flavor. It's great for grilling, broiling, baking and more.

overhead of a glass measuring cup with balsamic marinade ingredients

Marinating meat and veggies is a great way to infuse flavor with minimal effort. And this delicious sauce is so easy to make and works for all kinds of protein (meat or plant-based) and vegetables. I'm excited to share it just in time for grilling season. But really, this is an easy recipe you can rely on all year long.

Try it for Roasted Winter Vegetables, summery Grilled Vegetable Salad, and Crispy Baked Tofu.

overhead of the ingredients for easy balsamic marinade in small bowls

How to Make Balsamic Marinade

All it takes to make this easy marinade is a bowl and a whisk. Here's what you'll need:

  • Balsamic vinegar. Choose a nice vinegar that's thick and sweet. It will coat your protein and veggies with more flavor and a sticky-sweet finish.
  • Olive oil. A good marinade needs oil to penetrate into the protein or veggies. This also helps your product crisp up on the edges when you cook it.
  • Garlic powder. You can also use onion powder for a similar allium flavor that's a bit milder.
  • Dried oregano. Feel free to mix up the dried herbs if you like! See below for some ideas.
  • Red pepper flakes. This adds a hint of spice, but you can omit the red pepper flakes if you're not a fan of heat.

measuring cup with balsamic and pepper marinade with a bag of tofu pieces

Ingredient Swaps

At the very least, you'll want to keep the balsamic in this marinade. However, you can mix up the other ingredients:

  • Use a different, more neutral-flavored oil. Avocado, canola or sunflower seed oil all work well.
  • Swap the garlic powder for onion powder.
  • Instead of dried oregano, use dried basil, tarragon, thyme, rosemary, or a blend.
  • For heat, you can use paprika, chili powder or cayenne instead of the red pepper flakes.

pouring marinade into a bag of tofu pieces

How to Use Balsamic Marinade

Here are some of my favorite ways to use this savory marinade:

  • Plant-based proteins: like tofu, tempeh or seitan
  • Seafood: like salmon, shrimp or  swordfish
  • Meat and poultry: like chicken, steaks, or pork
  • Veggies: like eggplant, mushrooms, peppers, corn, and more

tofu in a bag with balsamic and red pepper marinade

How Long does Marinade Last?

You can store unused marinade for up to four days in an airtight container in the fridge.

I recommend marinating your product for at least 30 minutes. However, most products benefit from an overnight marinade for even more flavor.

More Dressing Recipes to Try

If you make this Easy Balsamic Marinade recipe, be sure to let me know what you think with a comment below!

Easy Balsamic Marinade

This is the easiest balsamic marinade with garlic and oregano to flavor meat, plant-based proteins, and veggies.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 1 serving
Calories 299kcal
Print Pin
pouring marinade into a bag of tofu pieces
4.34 from 3 votes



  • Whisk all the ingredients together.
  • Pour over your desired protein or vegetable and allow to sit for at least 30 minutes.
  • Cook your ingredients however you'd like – grill, bake, pan, etc. – and enjoy!


Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 299kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 20g | Sodium: 21mg | Potassium: 94mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 165IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 32mg | Iron: 1mg

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About Alyssa

Hey there, I’m Alyssa Rimmer, a certified Holistic Nutritionist, yoga-lover, dog mom, and founder of Simply Quinoa. It’s nice to meet you! I created SQ as a way to provide solutions for women just like me, who were struggling to find helpful information about how to live a healthy and fulfilled life. My hope is that you will find inspiration here on SQ – in my story, in my recipes, in the hundreds of wellness articles, and in our amazing community. Welcome!

Interested in Healthy Eating? Grab our 7-Day Vegan Meal Plan!

With a week’s worth of simple and healthy meals, Eat Clean will help you see just how easy living a life full of whole foods can be. Recipe are 100% gluten-free and vegan!

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