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21 Recipes to Marinate (Now!) So You Can Cook in a Jiffy Come Labor Day

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Be you dockside, mountainside, city-bound, or stuck in traffic this Labor Day weekend, there's a good chance you're looking forward to not worrying too much over what you're cooking. (Yes, even we feel this way sometimes.) In such cases—when the need to press pause, dig deep into the wiles of a good book, or simply sleep off a raucous summer night trumps the desire to spend all weekend in the kitchen—turn to the marinade.

The beauty of a marinade, all fats and acids and spices and herbs, is that it works on the ingredients while you do not. A quick flash in the skillet (or on the grill) later, and dinner is served. Here are 21 recipes to start marinating in advance for a weekend of relaxing—and quick cooking.

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If you'd prefer to marinate in advance, and then cook the day of:

Jerk Chicken Kebabs
Jerk Chicken Kebabs
Garlic-Orange-Rosemary Marinated Olives
Garlic-Orange-Rosemary Marinated Olives
Marinated Green Bean Sandwiches
Marinated Green Bean Sandwiches
Snow Pea, Cabbage, and Mizuna Salad with Marinated and Seared Tempeh

Snow Pea, Cabbage, and Mizuna Salad with Marinated and Se... by Gena Hamshaw

Tempeh Kebabs with Homemade Barbecue Sauce

Tempeh Kebabs with Homemade Barbecue Sauce by Gena Hamshaw

The Only Marinade You'll Need This Grilling Season
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The Only Marinade You'll Need This Grilling Season
Coffee-Marinated Flank Fajitas with Pico De Gallo
Coffee-Marinated Flank Fajitas with Pico De Gallo
Grilled Eggplant Agrodolce with Mint and Fresno Pepper
Grilled Eggplant Agrodolce with Mint and Fresno Pepper
Taiwanese Popcorn Chicken

Taiwanese Popcorn Chicken by cynthia | two red bowls

Garlic and Herb-Marinated Chicken Thighs

Garlic and Herb-Marinated Chicken Thighs by mtlabor

Pomegranate Flank Steak
Pomegranate Flank Steak

If you'd rather get the cooking out of the way up front:

Giardiniera (Italian Pickled Vegetables)
Giardiniera (Italian Pickled Vegetables)
Canal House's Marinated Zucchini
Canal House's Marinated Zucchini
Meg's Marinated Mushrooms

Meg's Marinated Mushrooms by hardlikearmour

Marinated Cauliflower

Marinated Cauliflower by Kayb

Zucchine alla Scapece
Zucchine alla Scapece
Escalivada (Catalan Roasted Vegetables)
Escalivada (Catalan Roasted Vegetables)

If you'd rather wait to start any marinating at all until the day of the meal:

Lemon + Olive Oil Marinated Fennel with Burrata + Mint
Lemon + Olive Oil Marinated Fennel with Burrata + Mint
Barbara Kafka's Marinated Eggplant

Barbara Kafka's Marinated Eggplant by Genius Recipes

Marinated Shrimp

Marinated Shrimp by Catherine Lamb

Shrimp Ceviche with Popcorn
Shrimp Ceviche with Popcorn

Plus, a few tips for marinade-making, should you feel need some brushing up...

Tips for Marinades: To Salt or Not to Salt

Tips for Marinades: To Salt or Not to Salt by Lindsay-Jean Hard

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How to Make Any Marinade In 5 Steps

How to Make Any Marinade In 5 Steps by Karl Rosaen

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...and a handful of bottled marinades and rubs from our Shop (we taste them all, so you know they're good!):

38 Marinades & Dipping Sauces That Are Basically Dinner-in-a-Bottle
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38 Marinades & Dipping Sauces That Are Basically Dinner-in-a-Bottle

Tell me: What's your favorite secret ingredient in a marinade? (I like a little soy sauce.)

Tags: marinating, marinade, quick weekend cooking