The Everything Marinade Recipe - Skillful Cook
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The Everything Marinade

7 reviews / 4.3 average

The Everything Marinade! All you need is a few pantry ingredients and a jar, and you've got heavenly, smokey-sweet, savory flavor that goes with just about any vegetable or protein.

Hello! Welcome to the land of deliciousness where all you need is a few pantry ingredients, a jar, and your choice of anything to marinade in heavenly, smokey-sweet, savory flavor.

In our house we are now calling this The Everything Marinade!

The flavor is incredibly adaptable to whatever it is that you're serving it with - but my favorite is the most simple. I love just using it to make the main thing SING with smokey sweetness (even if the main thing is as humble as a block of tofu or some mushrooms), and serving it up with sides of green salads, mashed or roasted potatoes, and crusty no-knead bread.

Prefer To Watch Instead Of Read?

Here's what you put in your jar that makes the base of this happen:

  • maple syrup (SWEET)
  • olive oil (SILKY)
  • soy sauce (SALTY)
  • balsamic (TANG)
  • smoked paprika (SMOKE)

And then finish with a few ingredients that make you go, gosh, that's good, what is that? Such as:

  • cumin
  • Italian seasoning
  • onion and garlic powder
  • salt and pepp
Everything Marinade in a jar.

Get a lid on that jar and mix er up - takes all of about 5 minutes to measure and shake.

Now... just use it to marinate stuff you love to eat.

Everything Marinade in a bowl.

Like chicken. pork. veggies. portabello mushroom caps or a block of tofu (both my personal favorites). Dinner is almost done.

Everything Marinade with chicken, mushroom caps, and pork chops.

We've tried just about every marinade-able thing several times in our kitchen, and we put some timing and cooking notes (including notes about what we didn't like - looking at you, beef) in the recipe notes section so you know how long to marinate and how long to cook these guys.


Marinated chicken, mushroom caps, and pork chops.

The Everything Marinade is the thesis for why sauce week exists. One sauce, minimal energy, big flavor, all resulting in a beautiful, joy-bringing, proud-of-it meal. ♡

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A picture of The Everything Marinade

The Everything Marinade

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


The Everything Marinade! All you need is a few pantry ingredients and a jar, and you've got heavenly, smokey-sweet, savory flavor that goes with just about any vegetable or protein.


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and black pepper (to taste)


  1. Whisk all ingredients or shake in a jar until combined.
  2. SO MANY OPTIONS. See notes for all the ways to use this magic.



Pork: We used pork chops and loved it. Marinate for at least 1 hour, up to overnight. Grill, pan fry, do your thing, brushing the pork with a little reserved sauce during cooking to make it extra juicy and yummy.

Chicken: We used chicken thighs and loved it. Marinate for at least 1 hour, up to overnight. Pan fry, bake, or cook in the Instant Pot for 15 minutes. Shred or chop the chicken for a salad or add-in to another recipe, or just... eat the chicken thighs!

Tofu: We used extra firm tofu and loved it. For best results, squeeze all the water out of the block of tofu and then marinate the intact block of tofu overnight. The next day, cut the block into cubes and pan-fry, brushing with reserved marinade.

Portobello Mushroom Caps: My personal favorite! Marinate for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Grill or pan-fry until nice and roasty and sticky and juicy. 

Veggies: Works great with just about any veggies, no instructions needed. 

Beef: This was the only thing we tried that we didn't love with this marinade.

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Category: Sauce
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: everything marinade, marinade for everything, easy marinade recipe

One More Thing!

19 sauces that make everything better.

This recipe is part of our Sauces That Make Everything Better roundup. Check it out!

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      1. Skillful Cook Logo

        Will this work on lamb? A friend gave me some lamb breast and I have no clue what to do with it. 😓

          1. Skillful Cook Logo

            Turned out amazing on lamb! I didn’t have balsamic vinegar so I used apple cider vinegar. Wish I could post a picture. My only complaint is it was greasy, next time I’ll cut back on the olive oil.

  1. Skillful Cook Logo

    Sounds delish and easy, with things I have on hand, which I love! How long would it last refrigerated–thinking of making a big batch

  2. Skillful Cook Logo

    Hi, thanks for the recipe, I will be trying it soon. But, a question first. If I make a double or treble quantity, will it keep , how should I keep it – fridge or freezer? How long will it keep?
    Thanks, PPaul

  3. Skillful Cook Logo

    I got off the couch and made this the minute I was done reading it…it’s marinading some chicken right now.
    Beware…1/2 t. of kosher salt as S/P at the end of the recipe is TOO much (I used hi-octane soy sauce…). I added about a tablespoon of honey, and it balanced it out…okay. I also chose avocado oil over EV olive oil. The former has little or no flavor and we’ve used it so much, we prefer NOT to use OO when large quantities are required.
    Thanks for posting!

  4. Skillful Cook Logo

    I so badly wanted to like this recipe! But after mixing everything together, I found that the soy sauce just overpowered all of the other flavors. I couldn’t taste any of the dry seasonings. I had to re-add all of the dry seasonings (by a lot) in order to finally taste anything else besides the soy sauce. I would also reduce the amount of olive oil next time too since the end product came out a little too oily. I used this as an overnight marinade for tofu

  5. Skillful Cook Logo

    So .. I made up the base of this – adding a splash of Worcestershire sauce — and for the spices, the remainder of a tin from William Sonoma of a smoky rub – totally missed that you didn’t love beef. We had it tonight and we thought it was almost Korean bbq like (the rub had brown sugar in it). I would totally do this again with steak. Loved it with grilled summer squashes/ peppers and a brown rice quinoa blend.

  6. Skillful Cook Logo

    “Everything Marinade” is right! We had it on beef, chicken and Portabello mushrooms. Grilled veggies w/ is awesome. The hubby mentioned EVERY TIME we had it that it was delicious…a real winner.
    Simple, delicious, ‘mysterious’ and a real crowd pleaser. Will use this over and over again.
    Thanks for sharing!!!

  7. Skillful Cook Logo

    This marinade is fantastic! I use it on tempeh and it’s delicious. Thanks so much!

  8. Skillful Cook Logo

    Omg, I love this marinade! So far I’ve done mushrooms and bone-in pork chops, both ahhh-mazing. Thank you for sharing this game changing recipe 🙂

  9. Skillful Cook Logo

    Hi!! I love these sauce ideas and would love to have them on hand, how long would they stay in the fridge for?

  10. Skillful Cook Logo

    So good! We’ve made this twice now to marinate chicken thighs and then grill them. I think it was the best chicken I’ve ever had in my whole life. I said that several times while eating, because it is true! I can’t wait to try it with other things too!

  11. Skillful Cook Logo


    Delicious recipes!

    I have a question about the last marinade recipe called the everything marinade.

    How long does it last for? What is the shelf life? Does it need to be refrigerated?

    Many thanks
    Craig Frank

    Cape Town south africa

  12. Skillful Cook Logo

    I make this recipe all the time and finally decided I ought to leave a review! I meal prep chicken for my work lunches and this is my go-to marinade so I eat it five times a week, most weeks. It’s especially good on the grill but I usually use the instant pot especially in winter. I often sub another less expensive oil, and I’m pretty loose with the spice measurements. So delicious!