Kalyn's Kitchen

Savory Low-Carb Marinade for Grilled Chicken, Pork, or Beef

This Savory Low-Carb Marinade for Grilled Chicken, Pork, or Beef will add amazing flavor to whatever meat you’re cooking on the grill.

PIN the Marinade to try it later.

Savory Low-Carb Marinade for Grilled Chicken, Pork, or Beef photo of cooked chicken breasts on plate

Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of grilling season, right? So for Friday Favorites this week I’m reminding you about this Savory Low-Carb Marinade that’s equally good on chicken, pork, or beef, and it’s  the perfect solution to keeping the meat moist and adding flavor no matter what you’re cooking on the grill. This is a marinade I’ve used often and always had great results no matter what type of protein I’ve used it on. And the recipe makes enough marinade for several types of meat and this will keep in the fridge for a week or two, so I recommend making the whole amount and trying it on different types of meat.

What is marinating?

Marination or marinating is a process where food is soaked for a period of time in a liquid that usually includes oil and an acidic ingredient like lemon juice, lime juice, vinegar, wine, or fruit juice. Marinades can also include fresh or dried herbs, spices, and often have onion or garlic. Use plastic storage bags or glass or plastic food storage containers to hold the food while it marinates; don’t ever marinate in containers that are metal. If you’re not familiar with this technique, here are some great tips for marinating from What’s Cooking America and Jessica Gavin.

How long should you marinate foods for the grill?

For this savory low-carb marinade recipe I recommend marinating chicken at least 6-8 hours, and pork or beef for 8-10 hours if possible. Marinating times slightly longer than this won’t hurt.

Does marinating meat need to be refrigerated?

Always refrigerate the chicken, pork, beef, or other types of meat that you’re marinating to be cooked later on the grill. That prevents the growth of harmful bacteria. 

What ingredients do you need for this recipe?

Why do I like this marinade so much?

I think this marinade has a perfect combination of savory ingredients for adding flavor to chicken, pork or beef. One ingredient that adds  flavor is Worcestershire sauce, and I use one tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce when I’m making this for chicken, but when you try it on pork of beef, I’d double the Worcestershire sauce to two tablespoons.. Be sure to use Gluten-Free Worcestershire Sauce (affiliate link) if you need this to be gluten-free. The small amount of mayo really keeps the meat moist, and the lemon juice, dried spices and herbs, and garlic all add flavor.

Savory Low-Carb Marinade process shots collage

How to make the marinade and use it for food cooked on the grill:

(Scroll down for complete recipe with nutritional information.)

  1. Combine marinade ingredient in a glass measuring cup and whisk together. (Or you can shake it in a jar if you prefer.) Don’t worry if there are some beads of mayo that don’t mix in.
  2. I always prepare my chicken using the Tips for Juicy Grilled Chicken Breasts. See that post if you’re not experienced cooking chicken breasts.
  3. For pork or beef I would also trim the fat and make little scores in the meat or cut it into cubes if you’re using the marinade for kabobs.
  4. Let the meat or poultry marinate in the fridge 6-8 hours (or longer is fine.)
  5. Then drain the chicken, pork, or beef in a colander placed in the sink when you’re ready to cook. (Marinades should never be re-used because they contain bacteria.)
  6. Let chicken, pork, or beef come to room temperature while you preheat the grill to medium temperature.  
  7. When you’re ready to put chicken on the grill, brush it on both sides with olive oil (or use another neutral-flavored higher smoke-point oil if you have one.)
  8. To get criss-cross grill marks, lay meat or chicken diagonally across grill grates and cook until you see grill marks (about 3-4 minutes for chicken).
  9. Rotate the meat so it is diagonal on the grill grates going the opposite way and cook 3-4 minutes.
  10. Turn over and cook until it reaches desired level of doneness, about 2-4 minutes more for chicken. For all types of meat or poultry, I using an Instant Read Meat Thermometer (affiliate link) to tell when it’s done. Here’s a good chart with safe temperatures for grilled food.
  11. Serve hot and wait for compliments!

Savory Low-Carb Marinade for Grilled Chicken, Pork, or Beef photo of marinated and grilled chicken breasts

Make it a Meal:

In the photo the chicken is served with Green Bean, Tomato, Onion, and Basil Summer Salad. Any type of vegetables cooked on the grill would also make a great side dish for this.

More Tasty Ideas for Low-Carb Grilling:

Ten Low-Carb Grilling Recipes Your Family Will Love ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
101 Best Keto Grilling Recipes ~ I Breathe I’m Hungry
Low-Carb Kabobs of Skewers for the Grill ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
The BEST Low-Carb Chicken Thigh Recipes ~ All Day I Dream About Food
Amazing Low-Carb and Keto Beef Steak on the Grill ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen

Savory Low-Carb Marinade for Grilled Chicken, Pork, or Beef

Savory Low-Carb Marinade for Grilled Chicken, Pork, or Beef

Yield 8 servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes

This Savory Low-Carb Marinade is great for Grilled Chicken, Pork, or Beef. This recipe makes enough marinade for 2 or 3 batches of protein to marinate for the grill.


  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 3 T full fat mayo
  • 1 T Worcestershire sauce (see notes)
  • 1 T lemon juice, preferably fresh squeezed (see notes)
  • 1 tsp. Veg-Sal or salt
  • 1 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 T Poultry Seasoning
  • 1 T garlic puree or garlic powder
  • 1 T sweet paprika, preferably Hungarian paprika
  • 1/2 T onion powder
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme (optional, but recommended)


  1. Put all ingredients in a bowl or glass measuring cup and whisk together, or you can combine ingredients by shaking in a jar. (Don’t worry if there are some beads of mayo that don’t combine; they will dissolve when you’re marinating the meat.)
  2. If I’m using this on chicken I follow my Tips for Juicy Grilled Chicken Breasts. No matter which types of meat I’m using, I like to make shallow score marks on the surface of the meat to make a little more surface area, which helps it cook more evenly.
  3. Put the chicken, pork, or beef in a Ziploc bag or a plastic container with a tight-fitting lid. Pour over just enough marinade to cover the meat, then let it marinate in the fridge for 6-8 hours or longer.
  4. To cook, preheat gas or charcoal grill to medium heat. (You can hold your hand there for only about 3 seconds at that heat.) Lay the pieces of chicken or meat diagonally across the grill grates and cook until you start to see grill marks (3-4 minutes for chicken and maybe slightly longer for meat).
  5. Then rotate the chicken or meat until it’s diagonally going the opposite way on the grill grates and cook until you see good grill marks going the other way.
  6. Turn over and cook until it’s firm, but not hard to the touch for chicken (just a few minutes more unless the chicken is really thick.) For beef or pork I would use an Instant Read Meat Thermometer (affiliate link) to cook to your preferred level of doneness. Here's a good chart with safe temperatures for grilled food.
  1. If you’re cooking just a few piece of meat, just store the extra marinade in the fridge and use it later on some other type of meat
  2. Extra marinade will keep in the fridge for at least a week (or maybe longer, but I’ve never managed to keep it around for more than a week.)


I used my fresh-frozen lemon juice for this recipe. I used 1 T Worcestershire sauce for chicken but when I used it on pork or beef I increased it to 2 T. Be sure to use Gluten-Free Worcestershire Sauce (affiliate link) if needed.

Nutritional information is for the marinade only.

This recipe is one Kalyn has made for so long, she can't remember where she got it.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 168Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 129mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 0g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.

If you make this recipe I'd love to hear how it turns out. Leave a star rating or share on social media with the hashtag #KALYNSKITCHEN, thanks!

Savory Low-Carb Marinade for Grilled Chicken, Pork, or Beef square thumbnail image

Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Chicken, pork, or beef marinated in this would be perfect for any phase of The original South Beach Diet or other low-carb or low-glycemic diet plans.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Grilling Recipes to find more recipes like this one.Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

Historical Notes for This Recipe:
This recipe was first posted in 2005, and Kalyn had been using it for years at that point. It was last updated in 2021.

Pinterest image of Savory Low-Carb Marinade for Grilled Chicken, Pork, or Beef

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    68 Comments on “Savory Low-Carb Marinade for Grilled Chicken, Pork, or Beef”

  1. What a great marinade!! I placed chicken breasts & the marinade in a ziplock this morning. Just finished grilling it now. Hubby keeps saying ‘I can’t believe  how moist this chicken is’! Thanks for a great, easy, keeper of a recipe!! 

  2. Loving this marinade.  I have made it twice already.  Is there a way to calculate or add the macros from the marinade to chicken thighs or pork chops? (I am trying to do an accurate job of tracking my macros and calories)

    • If you look after the recipe itself, I give two links (where it says “Nutritional Information”) for suggestions of two ways to get that information. But I am not sure how you’d calculate that for a marinade like this, where very little of the marinade is actually consumed. I’d estimate that maybe only about 10% of the marinade is actually eaten.

      I’m not able to provide nutritional information for the recipes for several reasons, including the additional time it takes, the difficulty in doing it accurately, and the sheer number of recipes on my site. I have over 2000 recipes here and spend 6-8 hours most days working on the blog. I just can’t edit over 2,000 recipes to add that info, and I know once I do it on one recipe people will expect to see it on every recipe. Thanks for understanding.

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  5. Love this marinade.  The chicken was fabulous.  Quite by accident I found it is  an equally flavorful sauce for dipping the meat.  I had made extra to keep in the refrigerator and decided I wanted to taste the sauce,  I dipped a piece of pork chop in it and WOW it is awesome.  Can’t wait to try this on beef.

    • So glad you enjoyed it. Also glad you enough you didn’t use sauce the chicken had been marinated in for dipping; that would contain bacteria from the chicken. It sounds like you know that, just mentioning it for other people. I guess I need to save some marinade out and try it as a sauce!

  6. I don't have Hungarian paprika. How important to the recipe is it? Regular paprika would spoil the marinade?

  7. This marinade is the best I have ever had on pork loin roast! A definite keeper! I hate the smell of wine vinegar but as it's cooking in the oven, it smells like heaven and turned out really tender. Thanks for sharing this low carb recipe, I often cannot have marinated meat for too much sugar added. You're awesome Kalyn!

  8. I just tried this marinade yesterday (after letting the chicken marinate overnight). It was sooo succulent and flavorful! I used vegan mayo, instead of whole mayo and it was still so tender and juicy. I also subbed hot Hungarian paprika, because we like our food on the spicy side. Oh, and your suggestion to score the chicken was so spot on! I will do that from now on. Thank you!

  9. How many carbs are in this?

    • I don't count carbs, but there's nothing here that has many carbs in it. If you need specific information, I recommend a site called Calorie Count where you can enter the ingredients and it will calculate it for you.

  10. Can you use this marinade for baked chicken?

    • I haven't tried it, and my only concern is whether the chicken would dry out if it was baked. Love to hear what you think if you try it.

  11. What is "poultry seasoning"?

  12. Kalyn, I am interested in making this for dinner tonight but I am having a hard time with what sides would go well with this chicken. Could you help me out? Mashed Potatoes, Rice, Salad, etc… Thank you

    • Erin it's really hard for me to make suggestions because I don't know what your food preferences and dietary requirements are. But I'd love this with Southwestern Quinoa Salad and just a green salad on the side.

    • We are not picky and have no allergies so anything goes around this house but the Southwestern Quinoa Salad sounds really good. Thank you for your response!

  13. Stephanie, I would say no, but it's hard for me to be sure because I like mayo so it doesn't have a strong taste to me.

  14. Can you taste the mayo in it?

  15. If you like the flavor of wine, I'm sure that will be good. No reason this couldn't be cooked on the stove, either on a stove-top grill pan with ridges or just in a frying pan.

  16. I thought I had white wine vinegar and I didn't so I used 1/8 cup whit wine and 1/8 cup white vinegar and hope it will be good! Can I cook on stove instead of grill?