Mason Jar Marinades – Minimal Cleanup & No Plastic

Say goodbye to excess cleanup and wasting plastic baggies…


This post is a method/hack post more than an actual recipe. This is how I often prep quick dinners for myself and wanted to share it with the rest of you. This method eliminates the need to clean a food processor or a blender, and also eliminates the need to use a ziplock bag that would otherwise just end up in a landfill. Washing an immersion blender under a faucet and soaking a mason jar is about as easy as it gets. If you don’t have an immersion blender or large wide-mouth mason jars yet, consider this the gateway post that will change your kitchen. 

What you need:

How you do it (this is so easy):


1) Roughly chop larger items such as onions to fit into the jar, and juice citrus directly into your jar if called for…



2. Really, just put all of the ingredients you would normally blend or food process right into the jar…



3. Stick your immersion blender down into your jar and pulse until your marinade is liquified to an even consistency…



5. Add your meat to the jar. Typically about a pound to a pound and a half will fit. Cover your jar tightly, shake to coat the meat, and stick in the fridge until ready!



It really is that easy. I cook this way at least twice a week, and feel good about skipping the plastic.

In case you were wondering, this in the throw-together marinade I used in the picture to marinate a pound and a half of chicken tenderloins for grilling:

  • Juice of one small lime
  • Juice of half of a medium orange
  • Handful of cilantro, leaves and stems
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/3 cup of olive oil

I hope you enjoy this premise. Would you like to see more mason jar marinades as recipe posts here?



  1. AJ says:

    how long do you think this would hold in the fridge? is it something that could be done in batches for the week or half the week?

    1. Jason says:

      I only do these for meat I intend to cook within 24 hours. They are so simple that you can whip them up whenever!

    2. Phil says:

      Meat tends to break down from the acid. You wouldn’t want to hold meat in a marinade for more than 24 hrs, often even shorter times, and WAAAAY less time if you are doing seafood because the acid actually chemically cooks the meat. (think ceviche)

      1. Jason says:

        Good point. When I use citrus in a marinade it is usually for an hour or so opposed to overnight. The ceviche is a great example.

  2. Sharyn says:

    Do you know what? Those jars cost you $10 in America. In UK they are £58 including delivery on Amazon. How can they charge GBP40 plus £18 delivery against USD10? Brits are totally ripped off pricewise.

    Won’t stop me trying your recipe idea though Jason. I’ll improvise.

    1. Jason says:

      I’m sorry Sharyn, prices on mason jars are high in Australia too. My suggestion would be to look around locally (even at thrift shops) for similar jars that will get the job done. Hope you find something that works out for you.

    2. Karen says:

      Try reusing jam jars?

      1. Jason says:

        Yup, saving any large jars that will fit the head of your immersion blender will work as well.

    3. Cathy D says:

      I bought some really cute jars at Tesco on one of my visits. Maybe you can watch for the jars to come to your local shops around canning season. But really, re-using a pasta sauce jar or another type of larger sized jar would be perfect! You don’t need to use the ‘mason’ jar brand. Asda would probably have some too, you could try there as well. Anyway, re-using jars from other food products is a perfectly good thing! 🙂

  3. Diane says:

    This sounds so yummy!! Your title reads, “Easy Mason Jar Marinades” is it just one marinade recipe? Am I just not seeing the others.

    1. Jason says:

      Just the first recipe for now, I wanted to share the method of the post more than anything. I was hoping to show people my kitchen shortcuts, and I will be soon to post more recipes of this sort too!

  4. Daniel says:

    First off, this is a magnificent marinade idea. Kuddos to your simple approach! I wonder if allowing the marinade to absorb and blend its flavors for a night before using would make a difference.
    If Mason Jars are not within your reach, may I suggest using old quart size jars from anything you have bought in the past. The need for a BPA lid or otherwise can be worked around by using a squarish piece of baking parchment or small square of re-purposed sandwich baggie (these makeshift seals can be washed time and time again, whether in whole or snipped to useable squares).

  5. Tracey says:

    Lovely and simple AND guilt-free! Fantastic! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  6. Maryalice Leister says:

    Excellent idea. Be careful when using citrus with chicken. It is my personal favorite, but if you make it too strong or leave it in the marinade too long, the citrus begins to “cook” or alter the meat, breaking it down. So, I use it all the time but never marinate more than a hour or two. Will watch for more marinades – mine always include garlic too (grin).

    1. Jason says:

      Yeah, I should add note that citrus marinades I usually only let sit for an hour or two tops. Thanks for brining it up for others to read as well..

    2. redSoares says:

      good call on the citrus chicken mixing. citrus is a delight to create a good shrimp or seafood no heat cook/cure, but yes as a chicken or other meat length marinate it does easily overpower and change the meat texture in my experience.

  7. Marty says:

    Dishwashers are more efficient than washing by hand from a water perspective. I think Ikea has mason jars in Australia, planning on buying some to use for marinating, great idea!

  8. Sherri says:

    I use ziplock bags to marinate. So nice because you can squeeze them and move the marinade around. When you are done, throw it away. No clean up.

    1. Phil says:

      You’re kind of missing the point. It is so you don’t have to throw away a zip top bag. It’s about creating less waste.

  9. redSoares says:

    Ingenious. since going Paleo/Primal I cannot but appreciate the fascinating ideas found. Having up to gallon size Mason jars from home Kombucha brewing, I see a plethora oncoming of meal prep potential. Many thanks!!

  10. John Mack says:

    Such a great idea!

  11. Cat says:

    I love the idea of using the jar for blending (the jar that comes with your immersion blender would work too)!

    For bigger items (like things with bones) that won’t fit in a jar, just dump it all into a glass casserole dish with a lid. Plastic bags are so not necessary!!

  12. Ayanita says:

    Awesome idea. The only time I use a ziplock bag is when I do some marinades to freeze and I split the big batches up into smaller ones for each the people living in my house. Otherwise I use containers that I have. Hadn’t ever thought of using my mason jars for blending and then marinading for a few hours. Definitely will be using it more often.


  13. Callie says:

    I L-L-Love a good hack. And this is one is off the chain!

    Dude. I think I love you.

  14. Julia says:

    This is a great idea for those of us who don’t like using plastic. Plus it looks like a delicious marinade! I may add in some grilled radicchio as it has a mellow flavor but being a superfood it has amazing health benefits. Thanks again for sharing this recipe, I plan to try it out soon!

  15. Salad in a jar was an amazing discovery for me. I bought a case of Mason Jars and made a week’s worth of salads for lunch. Each day I opened a jar onto a plate, the lettuce was still crisp and it was a quick way to have a healthy lunch. For those of you who may have heard of these but never tried them, I urge you to buy some jars and spend and hour on the weekend making your lunches for a week. Knowing those go-to lunches are always there during your work week will alleviate the stress of wondering what you will eat at the office and you can add any ingredients you like to your salad.

  16. Garfield371 says:

    I am just getting ready to start Paleo. Looking through lots of books, recipes,etc and came across Paleo pot marinade. I love it! I have just bought mason jars for storing to get away from plastic storage containers. I love your idea of marinating in a jar as I don’t own a food processor but do have an immersion blender. I save all kinds of glass jars especially if they have wide mouth. This seems like a great idea & glad I came across it. I definitely against wasting things instead of reusing. By the way I am older than probably most of your readers, but my mother made us rewash plastic bags when I was a child & we dried them all over the house. I hated it so much I swore I would never do that when I got older. I have to say that my daughter is into reduce, reuse, recycle! We wash plastic bags when I go to her house. Yeah for reducing,reuse, and recycle across the generations!

  17. Ava says:

    Sheer Brilliance!

    Now I have a real need for an immersion blender.

    I do wash and reuse plastic bags. 😉

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