Say goodbye to boring steak. The best steak marinade is made with balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, rosemary, and garlic for tons of flavor. A must for easy weeknight dinners!
The Best Steak Marinade Recipe
Marinades are a lifesaver on busy nights or when I just don’t feel like cooking – Monday, I’m looking at you! Our local butcher always has some great selections of marinaded meats, but it’s also super easy to make your own recipe for steak marinade.
This rosemary balsamic marinade is hands down the best steak marinade I’ve ever made. Balsamic vinegar and fresh rosemary enhance the beefiness of steak without overpowering it. Plus the sugars in the marinade caramelize as the steak cooks, giving you an amazing charred crust with super tender meat.
The marinade does most of the heavy lifting when it comes to infusing a piece of meat with tons of flavor. All you have to do it heat it up and make an easy side dish to go along with it.
Roast cauliflower with lemon and pomegranate or roast acorn squash are both great options. If I’m really feeling lazy, I also love the frozen butternut squash cauliflower risotto from Trader Joes. Or you can use the marinaded meat to make a skillet meal, like the steak tips recipe with fall vegetables pictured above.
If you spend five minutes mixing up an easy marinade on Sunday night, you’ll have a stress-free Monday night dinner ready to go. Or freeze your meat in the marinade for an easy dinner whenever you feel like it. We already have taco Tuesday and pizza Friday – I think we should make marinade Monday a thing! Who’s with me?
What is a marinade?
Marinades are more than just an easy way to boost the flavor of your favorite meat. They also contain acidic components that tenderize meat by weakening its muscle structure. This means you can cook tougher cuts of meat more quickly!
Common acids are fresh citrus juices, wine, vinegar, or cultured milk products like buttermilk, yogurt, and sour cream.
This steak marinade uses balsamic vinegar.
How to make a marinade
Marinades are similar to vinaigrettes, and you can actually use your favorite vinaigrette as a marinade!
To make your own recipe for steak marinade, you’ll want to use 1 part acid to 2 or 3 parts oil. Then add seasoning to taste.
Mix everything together and give it a taste – before you add the meat – to make sure it tastes good to you. The smaller your garlic and herbs are chopped, the more flavor they’ll impart! In general, you’ll need about ½ cup marinade for every pound of meat.
To make the best steak marinade, you’ll need:
- Balsamic vinegar
- Olive Oil
- Brown Sugar
- Soy sauce
- Fresh rosemary
- Minced garlic
- Crushed red pepper flakes
How long to marinate beef
How long you need to marinate your meat depends on the size of the meat and what you’re looking to achieve.
If you simply want to add flavor to small pieces of stir fry meat, you might only need 15 minutes. To tenderize the meat, you’ll need to marinate the meat for 6 to 24 hours for the best results.
Be sure to marinate your steak in the fridge – don’t leave it on the counter. You’ll also want to use a non-reactive container like glass or plastic.
You can also freeze the meat in the marinade for longer-term storage. With a freezer filled with different options, you’ll always have something easy to throw on the table! Just defrost it the night before and make grilled steak, or throw the frozen steak in your slow cooker or instant pot.
Best Steak Marinade Recipe
- ½ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 large pinch crushed red pepper
- Black pepper to taste
- 1 and 1/2 pounds steak
- Combine the oil, vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, rosemary, garlic, and red pepper in a large zip-top freezer bag. Season to taste with black pepper.
- Add the steak. Seal the bag and give it a good shake to coat the steak with marinade. Refrigerate for 6-24 hours, turning occasionally.
- Before cooking, remove the steak from the marinade and pat dry with a paper towel.
- For longer-term storage, transfer the bag to the freezer.