Top 10 Turkey Marinade Recipes

pineapple marinade

Claire Cohen

Marinating turkey sounds a little strange, but this is a great way to add flavor and moisture to a large piece of poultry. A marinade gets into all those places that a ​dry rub can't and it brings a layer of moisture that helps prevent drying and helps produce a golden and flavorful skin.

These marinade recipes are perfectly suited to turkey, whether it is the big holiday bird, or for any reason. Remember, with a marinade, there is no need to brine or add a dry rub, so this is only one step before cooking.


Watch Now: Our Top Chicken (and Turkey) Marinade Recipes

  • 01 of 11

    Grilled Turkey Marinade

    Grilled turkey marinade
    The Spruce

    This basic turkey marinade is perfect for turkey because it doesn't overpower the flavor of the bird, but adds flavor and a protective layer for the grill.

  • 02 of 11

    Lemon Pepper Marinade

    Bowl of Lemons
    Hero Images/Getty Images

    This light and easy marinade recipe uses the power of lemon juice as the acid to help tenderize and flavor meats. This marinade is particularly good on poultry like rotisserie or grilled turkey.

  • 03 of 11

    Deep Fried Turkey Marinade

    Deep fried turkey marinade ingredients
    Claire Cohen

    When you make a deep fried turkey you want to get as much flavor as you can into the bird before it goes into the oil. This classic Cajun-inspired injection marinade will tenderize the turkey as it adds flavor.

  • 04 of 11

    Chinese Five Spice Marinade

    How to make five-spice powder
    Yagi Studio Getty Images

    If you want to add Chinese flavors to anything you're grilling, then this is a great marinade. Make this marinade a day in advance to get the most out of the flavors. It's perfect of beef and poultry.

    Continue to 5 of 11 below.
  • 05 of 11

    Pineapple Marinade

    pineapple marinade

    Claire Cohen

    This sweet, fruity marinade has the power of pineapple and cider vinegar to work its way into the meat. Add to this a collection of flavors that turn any cut of pork or chicken into something truly great.

  • 06 of 11

    Sun-Dried Tomato Marinade

    Sun-Dried Tomato Marinade
    Westend61/Getty Images

    Using sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil is a great way to start a marinade. The oil has already taken on the tomato flavor and ready to pass it to whatever you choose to marinate.

  • 07 of 11

    Jamaican Jerk Marinade

    jamaicain jerk turkey marinade
    Claire Cohen

    You've heard of ​jerk seasonings and jerk rubs, well this is a jerk marinade that gets that great jerk flavor deep into the meat. You can use this marinade on all kinds of meat and poultry.

  • 08 of 11

    Lemon and Rosemary Marinade

    lemon and rosemary marinade
    The Spruce

    This is a great marinade recipe for turkey. Similar to the marinades you find in those rotisserie chickens at the store, but much better.

    Continue to 9 of 11 below.
  • 09 of 11

    Balsamic Marinade

    Balsamic Vinegar
    Charles Schiller/Dorling Kindersley/Getty Images

    This marinade uses the power of balsamic vinegar to tenderize and flavor meats. This marinade works well on poultry and pork. I would particularly recommend it for any grilled or smoked turkey.

  • 10 of 11

    Smoked Turkey Marinade

    dried versus fresh herbs
    Credit: alle12

    This is a 24-hour marinade, guaranteed to please every time. The chicken or turkey is always moist and tender. Use 1/2 recipe for chicken or a full recipe for a turkey of any size. Everyone will clamor for this turkey marinade recipe.

  • 11 of 11

    Honey Mustard Turkey Marinade

    Honey Mustard Barbecue Sauce
    Krosnick Studio/Getty Images

    This marinade is thick enough to stick to the surface of the turkey. Slather over the surface and make sure that the turkey is evenly coated and the sweet, mustard flavor will sink in giving a mild, but definite flavor.