Master the Art of Homemade Marinades with Olive Oil

Marinades are a simple way to add flavor and moisture to meats and vegetables. And when it comes to making homemade marinades, olive oil is a great choice as a base ingredient. It not only adds flavor but also helps to tenderize the meat and vegetables. In this article, we will explore how to use olive oil in homemade marinades to take your dishes to the next level.

Using Olive Oil as a Base Ingredient

Olive oil is an excellent base ingredient for marinades because it is full of flavor and has a light texture that allows other flavors to shine through. When making a marinade, start by mixing olive oil with acidic ingredients such as lemon juice, vinegar, or wine. This will help to tenderize the meat and vegetables by breaking down their fibers. The ratio of olive oil to acidic ingredients depends on personal preference, but a general rule of thumb is to use three parts olive oil to one part acidic ingredient.

Using Olive Oil with Herbs and Spices

Herbs and spices are key to creating delicious marinades, and olive oil is an excellent carrier for them. Some of the most popular herbs for marinades include rosemary, thyme, oregano, and basil. To infuse olive oil with herbs, heat it gently in a pan and then add the herbs. Let the mixture cool and strain out the herbs before using the oil as a marinade.

When it comes to spices, there are endless options to choose from. For example, cumin, coriander, and paprika are great additions to marinades for meats, while turmeric and ginger work well with vegetables. When using ground spices, it's a good idea to mix them with a little olive oil to help them dissolve before adding them to the marinade.

Marinating Time

The amount of time you marinate your meats and vegetables will depend on the ingredients you are using and the desired outcome. As a general rule, meats can be marinated for anywhere from 30 minutes to 24 hours. Vegetables, on the other hand, should only be marinated for a few hours as they can become mushy if left too long.


Olive oil is a versatile and flavorful ingredient that can take your homemade marinades to the next level. By using it as a base ingredient and combining it with herbs, spices, and acidic ingredients, you can create marinades that will make your meats and vegetables burst with flavor. Remember to experiment with different ratios and combinations of ingredients to find the perfect marinade for your taste buds.