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3-Ingredient Steak Marinade

4.79 from 19 votes
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This easy 3-Ingredient Steak Marinade recipe enhances the flavors of your cut and makes the perfect steak every time. It’s the solution if you’re looking for a simple, low-cark, keto-friendly recipe. It’s full of flavors, brings a terrific taste to your steak and it’s ridiculously easy to make. I’m can guarantee that this easy steak marinade recipe is the last one you’ll need.

Why This Easy Steak Marinade?

This marinade is a sauce made of three components that is used to slowly flavor meat or large pieces of fibrous vegetables. I’ve been making it for many, many years. In fact, it’s a recipe I got from my mum who inherited it from my grandmother. I like to believe it’s a recipe we have been transmitting from generation to generation for ever.

I absolutely love marinating meat. While meat all by itself is tasty, there’s nothing better than marinating it in a sauce full of flavors. It brings out the best in your steak. From dry rubs to marinades, I absolute am a true fan of turning a piece of meat into a restaurant-quality meal.

The three necessary parts of a marinade are an acid, an oil, and flavorings. You can’t call marinade something that misses one of these. As a result, you can’t make a marinade with less than 3 ingredients. This 3-ingredient marinade, however, packs a lot of taste in a simple and easy recipe. I wanted to create a 3-ingredient marinade to create this cooking standard. The basic of the basics. The alpha of meat flavoring.

How To Make 3-Ingredient Steak Marinade

All you need to make this easy steak marinade are simple, healthy ingredients.


  • Olive Oil – Prefer extra-virgin olive oil. You can use flavored olive oil for a little twist, like truffle olive oil. It makes it super-fancy!
  • Vinegar – you can choose from many options depending on the flavor you are after. Balsamic vinegar adds a light sweet flavor to the meat, while red wine vinegar has a tangier flavor without.
  • Soy Sauce or Worcestershire sauce – both have a strong Unami flavor that marries very well with beef.

To make your steak marinade, simply combine all ingredients in a small jar. Then, shake the jar vigorously to emulsion the oil.

Pouring the 3 ingredient Steak Marinade on uncooked meat.

Marinating Steak

You can place the steaks in a zip-lock bag with the marinade, close the bag and let them marinate in the fridge for a few hours. Another option is to use a shallow bowl, place the steak in the bowl, pour the marinade over, and film the bowl with plastic wrap.

Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to overnight, but no more than 24 hours as an absolute maximum. I’ve found the sweet spot to be about 4 hours for classic pieces of meat, 8 hours for really thick ones. The longer you marinate the meat, the more flavor it will have. For food safety, always marinate meat in the fridge. Don’t marinate meat at room temperature to avoid bacteria proliferation.

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Of course, a beef marinade shouldn’t be limited to 3 ingredients, and there are some delicious additions you can make to this recipe to further enhance its taste like:

  • Minced garlic or garlic powder
  • Pepper – black pepper or white pepper.
  • Italian herbs
  • Paprika – or other similar spices
  • Onion powder
  • A touch of lemon juice

Cooking The Meat

Once the meat has been marinated, you can cook it to the steak cooking level you prefer. It’s a marinade that brings most of its flavors with a medium-rare or medium steak because that’s when the meat juice will blend with the sauce and the muscle fibers are still intact for a better taste.

The longer you cook the meat, the more the fat particles in the marinade will degrade and lose their flavor. The cooking time of your steak will depend on the level you desire (from rare to well-done) but also on the thickness of your cut.

My cooking guide has a detailed table of cooking times per thickness, as well as the precise temperature you need inside the steak if you use a meat thermometer.

Best Side Dishes for Marinade

While a steak cooked with this 3-ingredient steak marinade will be the piece de resistance, it is best served with a side dish that will balance and complement it.

I recommend a salad or a roasted dish like any of the following side dishes:

Why Should You Marinate Meat

Marinating meat is absolutely a question of preference. Some people prefer the raw taste of cooked (who said burnt?) meat, while others love the flavors of herbs, spices, and oil impregnating the fibers of your piece of meat.

There are many reasons why marinating is a fantastic solution:

  • For Flavors – Unflavored meat tastes, well, like meat. So depending on the piece you are working with, it can be more or less strong, but it will always taste like meat. With a marinade, you can bring a different flavor, turn you steak Mediterranean with oregano, Mexican with spices, Asian with some herbs, etc.
  • For Texture – The acidic ingredient in a marinade (here the vinegar) completely transform the texture of the meat, similar to what you can get by using a tenderizer. When the meat is left to marinate for enough time, it penetrates the meat, making it super tender and juicy.
  • Protecting against Overcooking – the layer of oil and the tenderizing of the meat helps protect it from overcooking and burning.
  • Crusting – Some marinades allow the surface of the meat to form a thin caramelized crust that brings out the flavors.

Now marinating is not always the best option, first and foremost because you need to give it time. So you always have to plan ahead. There’s no such thing as a last-minute marinade. This marinating process can also turn into a double-edged sword (kitchen knife?) as the meat can start “cooking” with the acidic ingredient, in particular is there’s too much of it. That’s why it’s important to not leave it for more than 24 hours in the marinade.

Storage Instructions

This 3-ingredient marinade is made with very simple, plant-based ingredients.

As a result, it has the same shelf life as the earliest of its ingredients. Typically, you should be able to keep it in the fridge for several weeks in an airtight container.

Meat marinating in the 3 ingredient Steak Marinade

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the 3 basic components of marinating?

The 3 necessary parts of a marinade are an acid (here the vinegar), an oil (olive oil), and flavorings (the Worcestershire sauce).
You can’t call marinade something that misses one of these.

Should I Add Salt To The Marinade?

It’s actually not recommended to add salt too early in your beef cut.
In fact, salt absorbs the meat moisture and can dry out the meat. It’s better to add salt just before cooking.

Do Steaks Need To Be Marinated?

You don’t have to marinate steaks, but it has many benefits to marinate your cut of beef.
It adds flavor to the meat, but it also tenderizes it as the marinate breaks the meat fibers.
It results in a softer meat texture.

What Is The Best Type Of Steak For This Marinade?

You can have the best steak marinade. It’s only ever as good as the piece of meat you use it on.
This marinade is fantastic with most pieces of beef. It is best with a flank steak or an eye fillet that tend to release more juice and are more tender.

Can I Cook A Marinated Steak On A Barbecue?

Absolutely! Using a bbq or a charcoal grill to cook a steak brings even more flavors as the flames tend to caramelize the outside faster.
This might just require a bit more cleaning than unmarinated meat.

Is it OK to marinate a steak overnight?

The longer you marinate your steak, the tastier it will become. In particular, if your cut is quite thick.
Marinating for several hours leave the oil time to penetrate inside the muscle fibers, deep into the cut.

What’s The Best Marinade For Chicken?

This marinade is the best for steaks, but if you want to marinate chicken, try my Lemon Pepper Chicken Marinade or my Greek Chicken Marinade.

Meat marinated with 3 ingredient Steak Marinade on a black plate.

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3 ingredient Steak Marinade

3-Ingredient Steak Marinade

3.4gNet Carbs
This easy 3-Ingredient Steak Marinade is the perfect combination of ingredients to enhance any cut of beef.
Prep: 5 minutes
Total: 5 minutes
Yield: 2 steaks
Serving Size: 1 serving
4.79 from 19 votes



This recipe may contain Amazon or other affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


  • In a small bowl, whisk all the marinade ingredients together.
  • Place the meat in a shallow bowl or in a zip-lock bag and pour the marinade over it.
  • Film the bowl with plastic wrap or seal the bag firmly.
  • Place the meat in the fridge for at least 30 minutes and no more than 24 hours. 4 to 8 hours is the sweet spot. The longer you marinate the meat, the more flavorsome it will be.
  • Remove from the marinade and place on a hot grill or barbecue.
  • Cook your beef following our steak cooking level instructions.


Herbs: You can add herbs to the marinade, like Italian Parsley, Oregano, or even Dried Basil.

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Nutrition1 serving
Yield: 2 steaks


Serving: 1 servingCalories: 254.5 kcal (13%)Carbohydrates: 3.6 g (1%)Fiber: 0.2 g (1%)Net Carbs: 3.4 gProtein: 0.1 gFat: 27 g (42%)Saturated Fat: 3.7 g (23%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 2.8 gMonounsaturated Fat: 19.7 gSodium: 222.3 mg (10%)Potassium: 145.5 mg (4%)Sugar: 1.7 g (2%)Vitamin A: 21.9 IUVitamin C: 2.3 mg (3%)Calcium: 26.9 mg (3%)Iron: 1.3 mg (7%)Magnesium: 3.9 mg (1%)Zinc: 0.1 mg (1%)
Carine Claudepierre

About The Author

Carine Claudepierre

Hi, I'm Carine, the food blogger, author, recipe developer, published author of a cookbook and many ebooks, and founder of Sweet As Honey.

I have an Accredited Certificate in Nutrition and Wellness obtained in 2014 from Well College Global (formerly Cadence Health). I'm passionate about sharing all my easy and tasty recipes that are both delicious and healthy. My expertise in the field comes from my background in chemistry and years of following a keto low-carb diet. But I'm also well versed in vegetarian and vegan cooking since my husband is vegan.

I now eat a more balanced diet where I alternate between keto and a Mediterranean Diet

Cooking and Baking is my true passion. In fact, I only share a small portion of my recipes on Sweet As Honey. Most of them are eaten by my husband and my two kids before I have time to take any pictures!

All my recipes are at least triple tested to make sure they work and I take pride in keeping them as accurate as possible.

Browse all my recipes with my Recipe Index.

I hope that you too find the recipes you love on Sweet As Honey!

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    5 Thoughts On 3-Ingredient Steak Marinade
  1. 5 stars
    I used this recipe for my family dinner last sunday, it turned out amazing! The meat was soo delicious with this.

  2. 5 stars
    Great, easy, and tasty. I’d normally not comment on recipes, especially simple marinade, but I can’t believe this one is not everywhere, it’s a keeper


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