Mojo Marinade
This Mojo Marinade is the must-make marinade of the summer and all year long. It’s intensely flavorful singing of garlic, citrus, cilantro, jalapeño, oregano, cumin, and pepper. The intoxicating blend is bright, fresh, zesty, tangy, herby, garlicky, peppery and breathes life into chicken, pork, salmon, and shrimp. You can also use the mojo marinade as a sauce on top of grilled or roasted vegetables, eggs, potatoes, etc. Best of all, this mojo marinade requires hardly any chopping and takes all but 5 minutes to whisk together. Now, just add your protein and let the marinade do all the heavy lifting. It couldn’t be any easier or more delicious!
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Mojo Marinade
  • 6cloves garlicpeeled
  • 1/2 yellow onionroughly chopped
  • 1/2cup loosely packed cilantro
  • 1-2 jalapenosdeveined, seeded
  • 2tablespoons fresh oreganoor 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/4teaspoon salt
  • 1teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2cup fresh orange juice
  • 1tablespoon orange zest
  • 1/4cup lemon juice
  • 1/4cup lime juice
  • 1/3cup extra virgin olive oil
  1. Add the garlic, onion, cilantro, jalapenos and fresh oregano (if using) to your food processor and pulse until very finely chopped, scraping the sides down as needed. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in all remaining ingredients.
  2. Reserve 1/4 cup marinade to brush on protein after cooking or to serve as a dip.
  3. This marinade makes enough to marinate 2-3 pounds of chicken, pork, fish, shrimp or beef.
Recipe Notes

Tips and Tricks

  • Scale recipe.  The mojo marinade makes enough to marinate 2-3 pounds of protein.  You can half the recipe if making 1-2 pounds of protein or scale up for a larger protein.  Alternatively, you can use unused leftover marinade on vegetables, eggs, etc.
  • Adjust to taste.  The mojo marinade should be garlicky, peppery and slightly sour.  Remember the marinade will taste 1000X stronger than your finished protein because it is concentrated.  You can adjust to taste by adding more or less of any of the ingredients.  You can make it spicier by adding additional jalapenos or reserving the jalapeno seeds and adding them to taste.
  • Don’t over-marinate. Due to high amount of citrus, don’t marinate chicken or steak longer than 12 hours. If you use chicken tenderloins or fillets, however, you will only want to marinate 2 hours because the citrus can cause the chicken to become mushy. Larger cuts or tougher cuts can be marinated for up to 24 hours.
  • Bring meat to room temperature before cooking.  You always want to let any protein sit at room temperature for 15-30 minutes before cooking (and larger cuts even longer).  The logic is that room temperature chicken will cook faster if started at a higher temperature which means the outside is less likely to overcook and less time for moisture to be released while cooking.  It also cooks more evenly and you aren’t left with an overcooked exterior and cold interior.
  • Use a meat thermometer to check for doneness.  Always use a meat thermometer so you don’t undercook OR overcook your protein.  Steak should be cooked to 145 degrees F (for medium), pork to 145 degrees F, fish to 145 degrees F and chicken to 165 degrees F.
  • Let protein rest.  After your protein is finished cooking, transfer it to a cutting board and let rest 5-10 minutes before chopping or slicing so it has time to reabsorb the juices that have pushed towards the outside of the protein. If you cut into the protein immediately after cooking, valuable, moisture-giving juices will run out.


Transfer mojo marinade to an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to one week in the refrigerator.  Transfer to the freezer if marinating any longer.


You can double the recipe or freeze half of a single batch if you plan on marinating only a small portion of protein.  Here’s how to freeze:

  • Freeze mojo marinade.  Transfer mojo marinade to an airtight container and freeze for up to three months. Defrost in the refrigerator.
  • Freeze protein in marinade.  Add the protein to the marinade and freeze.  Freeze for up to 3 months.  When you’re ready to use, the protein will marinate as you defrost in the refrigerator.