Grilling Marinades

Ahhh summer. Time for simpler meals cooked and eaten outdoors with friends and family, lingering into the later evening hours to enjoy that extra daylight. It’s also a time for prep-ahead less fuss meals, which makes meat and veggies, marinated overnight, some of my favorites for summer cooking.

Chicken marinated in a mix of yogurt and some sort of herb or spice blend is a favorite. Yogurt makes the chicken super moist and flavorful.

Fage yogurt

One of our dinners last week was just that, chicken breasts marinated overnight in a mix of Fage 0%, the only Greek yogurt I use these days, and salt-free dill seasoning.

yogurt marinade

Because I marinated it for over 24 hours, the chicken was super tender and absorbed a lot of the dill flavor. I didn’t grill, was too last to clean the grill pan. Instead, I cooked it in a frying pan and topped with thawed butternut squash at the end. It was a random combination, but I wanted something healthy, and it worked.

yogurt marinated chicken

Here are a few other great ideas for marinating meat or veggies this summer!


Plain old Italian dressing! It can easily liven up the most boring chicken.

Lime and cilantro: It’s fat free and helps to tenderize the meat. Just don’t put it on too early. Citrus can “cook” proteins (as in ceviche).

Cider vinegar, brown sugar, and tomato paste: A quick BBQ sauce, use some as a marinade and reserve some for dipping later.

Olive oil and garlic: Another simple one, and a favorite for marinating and grilling strips of fresh summer zucchini and shrimp.

As far as beef goes, you know I don’t make it that often, but below is a marinade recipe that has really been a crowd hit in the past. It makes people think I know what to do with beef.

Whether it’s fish, veggies, chicken, pork, or beef, what is your favorite homemade (or store-bought!) marinade or rub for grilling?

Mouthwatering Steak Tips Marinade

Free range, grass fed steak tips

1 cup Jacob’s Creek Cabernet Sauvignon

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Juice of one whole lemon

4 cloves garlic, minced

pinch of rosemary

liberal sprinkle of freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup brown sugar

marinated steak tips

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Tags: cooking, dinner, Food, grilling, recipe, summer

  1. Kristi Rimkus’s avatar

    What a terrific idea. I often use buttermilk, but I’ll give yogurt a try. Sounds fantastic.


  2. Emily @ A Cambridge Story’s avatar

    Greek yogurt is my new favorite ingredient. And I love the idea of marinating chicken in it. Did your turn out crispy or pseudo-poached? I like a little crisp, char on mine…


    1. traveleatlove’s avatar

      It was more poached/saucy since I kept all of the yogurt in the pan and brought it to a bubbling boil. But I bet you could brush on the yogurt as opposed to using a ton like I did so that it is drier and gets crispy when grilled.


    2. MelissaNibbles’s avatar

      I love the idea of using yogurt. I’m going to try that. Thanks!


    3. Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic’s avatar

      Yum! I love how versatile Greek yogurt is. I sometimes marinate steaks in a blend of soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, olive oil, garlic, chili pepper flakes, and salt and pepper. It’s my go-to marinade but I also like experimenting with other flavors. Yogurt is great, but haven’t tried it with dill yet, thanks for the idea!


    4. Megan’s avatar

      I definitely love doing some sort of yogurt marinade too.


    5. Michelle Collins’s avatar

      I love yogurt marinades, especially for Indian dishes!


    6. Terri’s avatar

      I love dill~will definitely try the dill and yogurt one!


    7. Michelle’s avatar

      This has absolutely nothing to do with marinades but this morning, I opened one of my Fage yogurts…and it was moldy. It wasn’t close to the expiration date either! Major bummer.


    8. alicia’s avatar

      Using greek yogurt in a marinade makes the meat SO moist. I love it….Yogurt is so versatile.


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