Healthy marinades and rubs for a delicious BBQ

Summer is the perfect time to roll out the barbecue, but it doesn’t need to be an unhealthy meal. Instead, try using our five easy heart-healthy marinades.

These marinades have been designed to be lower in salt and sugar than typical marinades. Choose lean cuts of meat to keep the saturated fat content down, or go for fish or vegetarian options such as tofu. To use the marinades and rubs, just mix up the ingredients and brush or rub over your uncooked food. Leave in the fridge for between two hours and two days, depending on how strong a flavour you'd like. Then fire up the barbecue!

Herby lemon marinade

Chicken marinated with fresh herbs and served with a vegetable kebab

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced 

This is great with chicken, and goes well with our chargrilled vegetable salad too.

Ginger orange marinade

Orange juice for the orange and ginger marinade 

  • Juice of 1 small orange
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

This works well with salmon or tuna steak. Make it a meal with our easy egg fried rice.

Italian basil marinade

Italian herb marinade

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 finely diced spring onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

This marinade works particularly well with pork, chicken or mackerel. Serve it with our three-bean pasta, a perfect picnic or barbecue dish.

Tandoori yoghurt marinade

Tandoori marinade

  • 300ml low-fat Greek yogurt
  • large piece of ginger, finely grated
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • ¾ tsp garam masala
  • ¾ tsp ground cumin

This is particularly delicious with chicken or tofu, served with our mint yoghurt dip.

Peppery rub for steak

Steak with a healthy peppercorn marinade

  • 1 tablespoon black or pink peppercorns
  • 1 crushed garlic clove
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Sprig of thyme or rosemary to garnish

Combine all of the ingredients in a small food processor or pestle and mortar so that the peppercorns are broken up. Try using the marinade for steak or large flat mushrooms, with a salad garnish and some potato wedges or sweet potato wedges.

More useful information