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Grilled mojo chicken thighs on a speckled white plate atop a light blue surface. The chicken thighs are garnished with orange & lime wedges & zest.

Mojo Marinade

  • Author: Jess Larson
  • 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: Cuban
  • Diet: Vegetarian


Citrusy & bright Cuban-inspired mojo marinade made with the best combination of citrus zest, freshly squeezed citrus juice, plenty of garlic, & a few simple spices. The perfect homemade mojo marinade for Cuban-style chicken, pork & steak!


  • 2 pounds meat or veggies of choice
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 orange, zested & juiced
  • 1 lemon, zested & juiced
  • 2 limes, zested & juiced
  • 8 cloves garlic, grated
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepperMojo marinade ingredients arranged on a light blue surface: oranges, lemons, limes, zest of all 3, garlic, cumin, salt, pepper, honey, & olive oil.


  1. Mix the mojo marinade: Add the olive oil, orange, lemon & lime zest & freshly squeezed juice to a medium bowl or jar with the garlic, honey, oregano, ground cumin, kosher salt & ground black pepper. Whisk or shake to combine. Set aside, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Mojo marinade shown in a small jar atop a light blue surface. A halved lime & orange wedge in the foreground, & a halved lemon in the background.
  2. Marinate: Pour the mojo marinade over your meat or veggies of choice. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for the recommended marinating time (see Recipe Notes, below).Chicken thighs in mojo marinade in a large glass bowl atop a light blue surface.
  3. Grill as desired. Enjoy!Grilled mojo chicken thighs on a speckled white plate atop a light blue surface. The chicken thighs are garnished with orange & lime wedges & zest.


  • Suggested marinade time: Marinating time will vary based on the type of protein you’d like to use. Because of the amount of fresh citrus juice used in the marinade, it’s important not to marinate for too long, as it will really negatively affect the texture of meat. Having tested this mojo garlic marinade on a variety of different proteins with a variety of different marinating times, here’s what we suggest:
    • Seafood – at least 20 minutes & no more than 45 minutes.
    • Chicken & pork – at least 4 hours & up to 6 hours for maximum flavor.
    • Beef & lamb – at least 12 hours & up to 24 hours for maximum flavor.
    • Veggies – at least 20 minutes & 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!
  • Easy vegan substitution: If you’d like to make a vegan version of this mojo marinade, simply swap the honey for an equal amount of pure maple syrup or agave nectar. The marinade will be awesome on veggies, cauliflower steaks, or even grilled tofu!

Keywords: mojo marinade, marinade recipe, easy, no-cook, grilling & smoking, gluten-free, vegetarian, easily vegan