This is my favorite garlic marinade and I am so psyched to share it with you today so you can add tons of yummy garlicky flavor to your grilled poultry, meat, seafood or tofu all summer long. And then you’ll also be able to use it to marinate everything and cook indoors once the weather gets cooler. You’ll love the simplicity of the method- no chopping required and the clean-up is so easy!

garlic marinated grilled shrimp kebabs, marinated tofu, garlic marinated chicken seen overhead on a gray table with a jar of garlic marinade

Marinating is such a great way to add tons of flavor to grilled meat and even really lean cuts like chicken breast, pork tenderloin or even tofu. Whatever you add to this marinade– it will come out packing a garlic flavor punch!

This technique is maybe not so unfamiliar if you’ve been around here for a while. This garlic herb marinated chicken is pretty similar. And so is the technique for the chicken on this Fajita Salad. But this recipe is like the master recipe for all garlic marinade because it works for all the proteins. It is an equal opportunity marinade.

A platter of garlic marinated pork and chicken on a woven placemat

And you you can cook the meat inside too. It’s not just for grilling. Try a pork loin roast!

A jar of garlic marinade from the side

How To Make My Favorite Garlic Marinade

    1. Start by peeling cloves of garlic and set them inside a re-sealable plastic bag. Then using the flat side of a meat mallet, crush the garlic until it is completely pulverized. If you don’t have a meat mallet, you can use a rolling pin or the smooth bottom of a skillet.
    2. Open up the bag and add the other marinade ingredients: vinegar, salt, oil and herbs. Those will give the “two” in the one-two punch for your garlic marinade. {In case it isn’t obvious, the garlic is the number one punch.} Then just sort of mix that all together a bit by shaking the bag around.
    3. Then add in the protein. This marinade is very potent stuff, so it goes a long way. One batch will marinate up to 1 1/2 pounds of meat. See below further details. Seal the bag and agitate it up to get the marinade all over the surface of the chicken, meat etc.
    4. Then refrigerate for 30 minutes (for seafood) or up to 8 hours (for meat.)
    5. Drain the protein, and discard the marinade. Then proceed with cooking to juicy perfection.

garlic marinated grilled shrimp kebabs, marinated tofu, garlic marinated chicken seen overhead on a gray table with a jar of garlic marinade

Steps To Make Garlic Marinade 



If you love this recipe, then you’ll want to know about my Island Spice Marinade! This marinade is worthy of the name The Best Chicken Marinade for a reason!

If you are a garlic lover, then you’ll have to try this Garlic Lemon Pork Tenderloin this summer too. 

Once you marinate a grillable with this recipe, you’ll need a few side dishes too. May I suggest this Panzanella Salad or my Italian Pasta Salad to go with it?

Peach Maple Barbecue Sauce is a fun twist for the BBQ grill! 

White Bean Bruschetta with Garlicky Greens- this is great for casual entertaining at this time of year!

A jar of garlic marinade from the side

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A platter of garlic marinated pork and chicken on a woven placemat

My Favorite garlic marinade


My Favorite Garlic Marinade | Toss any protein you like into this simple marinade and prepare to be wowed! No chopping, no mess- try this technique (all made in a bag) and you’ll never need another marinade recipe again! It works with tofu, shrimp, fish, beef chicken and pork!


  • 3 whole cloves garlic
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tespoons Italian seasoning, Greek seasoning or herbs de Provence
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper


  1. Press garlic cloves with the side of a chef’s knife to crush slightly. Remove papery skin and transfer to a large re-sealable bag. Remove as much air from the bag as possible, seal closed and lay on work surface. Smash garlic with the smooth side of a meat mallet until completely pulverized. Open bag, add oil, vinegar, herbs, salt and pepper. Agitate to combine. Then add in poultry, meat, seafood or tofu. Seal bag shut.
  2. For poultry and meat marinate for 30 minutes or up to 8 hours. For seafood, marinate 10 to 30 minutes. Drain and discard marinade. For tofu: marinate 30 minutes to 8 hours (and it is okay to use the marinade to brush over tofu while cooking.)


For the best garlic flavor and most nutritious results, use fresh garlic instead of jarred garlic. Jarred garlic contains Phosphoric Acid which is a phosphate, and according to the Center For Science in the Public Interest, we should “cut back” phosphates in our diets.

If you do not have a meat mallet, you can use the flat bottom of a heavy skillet or a rolling pin to smash the garlic.

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Category: sauces and marinades
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 1/6 batch
  • Calories: 42
  • Sodium: 146
  • Fat: 5
  • Carbohydrates: 0
  • Protein: 0

Keywords: garlic marinade,best garlic marinade,tofu marinade,chicken marinade,pork marinade,shrimp marinade

a jar of garlic marinade with a spoonful in front

collage of Garlic Chicken