The Best, Basic Marinade of the Summer: Dijon, Garlic and Lemon Marinade

If you make just one marinade this summer, this would be the one.

Makes 2/3 cup
Serving Size: Makes about 3/4 cup

The Best, Basic Marinade of the Summer: Dijon, Garlic and Lemon Marinade / Mia / Katie Workman /

At the end of a hot summer day, we all like to fling a piece of chicken or fish or steak on the grill, and be eating dinner with no fuss in short order.  But not a boring dinner, no that’s not for us. If you want one boilerplate marinade for the summer, this is it. With this 5-ingredient mixture you’ll be turning the most basic piece of protein into a meal you’d be happy to serve your family and just about anyone who might stop by on a warm summer night.  This will last for at least 5 days in the fridge.

This marinade is perfect for chicken, pork, shrimp, and any kind of fish.  Marinate chicken for at least 4 hours, up to 12 for bone-in pieces, shrimp for 30 minutes to 1 hour, and fish for 30 minutes max.   The mustard helps emulsify the marinade, making it thicker so it really clings to the food.  Serve with a Garlicky Garden Pasta Salad, or a Modern Greek Salad.  This is also a great salad dressing, especially if you substitute half the lemon juice with rice vinegar.  And it takes well to all kinds of add-ins, like fresh basil, or green onions or scallions subbed in for all or part of the shallots.


The Best, Basic Marinade of the Summer: Dijon, Garlic and Lemon Marinade


  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 3 lemons, zested and juiced
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1. Put the olive oil, shallots, lemon zest and juice, mustard, and salt and pepper in a salad shaker, bowl or a jar with a lid.  Whisk or shake to combine well.

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9 thoughts on “The Best, Basic Marinade of the Summer: Dijon, Garlic and Lemon Marinade”

  1. Beth says:

    How long can you leave this in the fridge for? Sounds delicious!

    1. Katie Workman says:

      easily 5 days, and I’ve probably gone over a week…..

  2. Jenna Anderson says:

    I’ve been looking and looking for a dressing with these exact ingredients to go over a kale and brussel sprout salad.

    I still plan to keep it and use for my marinating!

    Think this would work to make a light salad dressing? Thank you!

  3. Jenna Anderson says:

    Oh geez! I just noticed you said it would make a great salad dressing. THANK YOU!

    1. Katie Workman says:

      no worries at all!!

  4. Margaret Kitch says:

    How many boneless skinless thighs will this marinade cover?

    1. Katie Workman says:

      It will cover up to 3 pounds worth if you really mix it around to coat them.

  5. Dina says:

    Just FYI. I made this recipe and bought shallots (as listed in the ingredients), then peeped the picture and saw scallions, not shallots. Recipe was delish, but which was I supposed to use?

    1. Katie Workman says:

      Hi there! The recipe does call for shallots, but you can swap in green onion for all or part, and add fresh herbs (like the basil in the photo). I made it a bit clearer in the text, but suffice it to say that sometimes as we’re shooting a dish, we throw in an additionanl food item or two, which without explanation might be confusing — as it was here!

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