Greek Beef Marinade for Roasts, Steaks, and Kebabs

Greek Beef Marinade for Roasts, Steaks, and Kebabs

The Spruce / Christine Ma

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 5 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Yield: 1/2 cup
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
124 Calories
14g Fat
0g Carbs
0g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 124
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 14g 17%
Saturated Fat 2g 9%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 2mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 0g 0%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 0mg 2%
Calcium 6mg 0%
Iron 0mg 2%
Potassium 12mg 0%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

One of the best kitchen tricks in your arsenal should be a versatile marinade that you can use on poultry, fish, and beef with consistently succulent results. Our Greek marinade might just be all that and more, as it is easy to make, budget friendly, and can double as a dressing for fresh salads or roasted vegetables. This Greek-inspired recipe uses simple and easy-to-find ingredients to add a ton of flavor to your favorite meats, from steaks to kebabs of cubed beef or chicken, to beef or pork roasts. It's also great on fish fillets and chicken breasts—the herby flavor from rigani is spot on and not overwhelming. It pairs well with any kind of side dishes you're planning to serve, such as potatoes, salads, rice, or pasta.

Although many think that marinades are mainly used to tenderize meat, the number one goal of a good marinade is to add flavor to all sorts of meat and poultry cuts. The key is to have a balance of flavors and use them wisely, as overly marinating can, in fact, toughen the meat instead or turn it mushy. It's important to keep the acidic ingredients to a minimum, and this Greek steak marinade does just that. It's a simple oil and vinegar mixture flavored with herbs and garlic that is enough to transform cuts that are meant to be roasted, grilled, or pan-fried. You'll end up with tender, flavorful meat with very little effort.

Plan ahead when making this marinade. Our suggestion is to allow the meat, poultry, or fish to marinate for a good amount of time: 2 to 4 hours for beef and 2 hours for chicken or fish. This recipe makes enough marinade for about 1 to 1 1/2 pounds of meat. If you're making more, simply double or triple the recipe. The mixture keeps well in the fridge, so you can make bigger batches and keep it at hand for when you need an injection of flavor. Be mindful to never reuse marinades or sauces that have been in contact with raw cuts of meat, poultry, or fish.


  • 4 tablespoons red wine vinegar

  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 clove garlic, minced

  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

  • 1/4 teaspoon dried Greek rigani, or dried oregano

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Greek Beef Marinade for Roasts, Steaks, and Kebabs ingredients

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  2. In a small bowl, combine all of the ingredients and whisk well to incorporate.

    Combine the red wine vinegar, olive oil, garlic, thyme, oregano, and pepper in a bowl

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  3. Pour the marinade slowly over your preferred cut of meat, making sure to cover it completely. Alternatively, pour the marinade in a resealable bag and place your meat or chicken in it.

    Marinate the beef in the bowl

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  4. Refrigerate the meat, and marinate for at least 4 hours before cooking. Cover with plastic wrap before refrigerating to avoid cross-contamination. Cook according to your preferred method.

    Greek Beef Marinade for Roasts, Steaks, and Kebabs in a bowl with beef

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  5. Enjoy.

What is rigani?

You might think all oregano is the same, but there are actually many types of aromatically beautiful oregano. Greek oregano is one of the most available types of Origanum vulgare, or common oregano. Known in Greece as rigani, Greek oregano, alongside Italian oregano, is the one that's often used in making pasta and pizza sauces, and it's widely available in its dried form. Simply double-check that the brand you are using is Greek. Greek oregano is very bright and delicious, which makes it ideal for this marinade.