A healthy living blog from Marshfield Clinic Health System

Kick up your grilling with fresh marinade

Close up of chicken grilled with kicked up metabolic marinade recipe

If you make your own marinade, you control the ingredients and can make it healthier with fresh items.

Summer is the season of picnics and barbecues but are you already tired of the same old standbys?

Enter the marinade.

Marinades are a great way to flavor meats, especially chicken, and vegetables. They can spice up a dish without adding unwanted ingredients and calories.

You can find all sorts of flavor choices in ready-made store-bought marinades but they have plenty of ingredients you might not want. They also can be packed with sodium, fat and sugar, not to mention preservatives and other additives that help them last on the shelf.

If you make your own marinade, you control the ingredients and can make it healthier with fresh items. If you don’t grow your own, farmers markets can be a good source for fresh cilantro, garlic, onions and peppers, like you’d need for the recipe here which has a little bit of a kick. Cayenne pepper, cumin and cinnamon can kick up your metabolism, too.

Try this recipe

This recipe is a little higher in fat due to the olive oil. Note: nutrition information listed is for all the marinade. This will coat up to six chicken breast halves with some remaining, so calories will be less per serving.

Kicked Up Metabolic Marinade

Prep time: 15 minutes

Rest time: 60 minutes

IngredientsMake this kicked up metabolic marinade using this visual guide for the ingredients you need.

  • 1 bunch cilantro (about 1 cup)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely diced red pepper


Place all ingredients into a blender and puree until blended.

Pour marinade over meat or vegetables in a large plastic zip-top bag. Remove as much air as possible from the bag and seal. Turn the bag from side to side to evenly coat the meat or vegetables.

Place the bag flat on a small, rimmed sheet pan and place in the refrigerator. Allow to sit up to 1 hour or overnight for best results. Turning the bag every few hours helps to keep the food well coated.

When ready to cook, remove the food from the bag and discard any remaining marinade. Cook as desired.

Nutrition information

Each batch of marinade contains: 790 calories; 9.2 grams protein; 74.2 g fat; 38.5 g carbohydrates.

Source: Recipe adapted from bodybuilding.com.

Download and print recipe


Celebrate summer with more Shine365 recipes:

Homemade Ice Pops

Black Bean Burgers with Mustard Potato Salad

Herb Watermelon Feta Salad

Pudgy Pies: Quesadilla or Peanut Butter Banana

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