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Grilled Maple Balsamic marinated chicken thighs shown on a white speckled plate atop a light blue surface. The chicken is garnished with fresh herbs.

Sweet & Tangy Maple Balsamic Marinade (for Chicken, Salmon, and More!)

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  • Author: Jess Larson | Plays Well With Butter
  • Prep Time: 10 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 Minutes
  • Total Time: 10 Minutes
  • Yield: 3/4 cup marinade 1x
  • Category: Sauces & Condiments
  • Method: No-Cook, Grilling & Smoking
  • Cuisine: American


This sweet and tangy Maple Balsamic Marinade adds a touch of caramelly richness to anything you grill! Made with 4 pantry ingredients and ready in 10 minutes or less, this easy balsamic vinegar marinade is perfectly balanced and loaded with fresh aromatics and herbs.

Perfect for grilled maple balsamic chicken or balsamic steak, stuffed pork chops, summer veggies, and so much more!


  • 2 pounds meat or veggies of choice
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup aged balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed
  • ¼ cup finely chopped hardy fresh herbs, such as rosemary or thyme
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • ground black pepper or crushed red chili flakes, to season

Maple Balsamic marinade ingredients arranged on a light blue surface: olive oil, aged balsamic vinegar, pure maple syrup, garlic, fresh rosemary & fresh thyme, salt, & pepper.


  1. Mix the balsamic marinade: Add the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and maple syrup to a bowl or jar. Whisk or shake to combine. Add the garlic, chopped fresh herbs, kosher salt, ground black pepper and crushed red chili flakes, if using, and stir to combine.Maple Balsamic marinade shown in a small ball jar, sitting atop a light blue surface with sprigs of fresh rosemary in the foreground & a spring of fresh thyme in the background.
  2. Marinate: Pour the balsamic marinade over your meat or veggies of choice. Marinate for at least 6 hours or up to overnight.Chicken thighs in a large glass mixing bowl, marinating in Maple Balsamic marinade. The bowl sits atop a light blue surface.
  3. Grill as desired. Enjoy
    Grilled Maple Balsamic marinated chicken thighs shown on a white speckled plate atop a light blue surface. The chicken is garnished with fresh herbs.


  • Suggested marinade time: Marinating time will vary based on the type of protein you’d like to use. Having tested this maple balsamic marinade on a variety of different proteins with a variety of different marinating times, here’s what we suggest:
    • Seafood – at least 20 minutes and no more than 45 minutes.
    • Chicken and pork – at least 4 hours and up to 6 hours for maximum flavor.
    • Beef and lamb – at least 12 hours and up to 24 hours for maximum flavor.
    • Veggies – at least 20 minutes and up to 24 hours.
  • 10-Minute Meal Prep: If you’d like to marinate something later in the week, I suggest making the marinade in advance, whenever you’re meal prepping for the week. Store it in a jar or an airtight container for up to 5 days – the flavors meld together even more as the marinade sits. At least 4 hours before you’re ready to hit the grill, simply pour the marinade over whatever meat or veggies you’re using it on – easy peasy!