10 Best Substitutes For Lemon Juice In The Marinade

Do you love grilled chicken or fish, but don’t always have lemons on hand? Never fear, substitute for lemon juice in the marinade is here. There are plenty of delicious options that will add flavor to your dish. In this guide, we will explore 10 different substitutes for lemon juice in the marinade. Whether you are looking for a citrusy flavor or something a little more savory, we have you covered. Let’s get started.

What is Marinating?

Before we dive into the substitutes, let’s first talk about what marinating is. Marinating is the process of soaking food in a seasoned liquid before cooking. This helps to tenderize the meat and infuse it with flavor. The key components of a good marinade are acid, fat, and seasoning. The acid helps to break down the tough fibers in the meat, while the fat keeps it moist. The seasoning is what gives the dish its flavor.

Different types of marinade

-Citrus marinade:

This type of marinade is made with citrus juice, like lemon or lime. It also typically includes olive oil, garlic, and herbs.

-Savory marinade:

This type of marinade is made with ingredients like soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and vinegar.

-Sweet marinade:

This type of marinade is made with ingredients like honey, pineapple juice, and brown sugar.

10 Best substitutes for lemon juice in the marinade

Lemon juice is a popular choice for marinades because it is acidic and has a bright, citrusy flavor. However, it’s not the only option. There are plenty of other ingredients that you can use to create a delicious marinade. Here are 10 substitutes for lemon juice in the marinade:

– Vinegar:

 White vinegar, apple cider vinegar, rice vinegar, and balsamic vinegar are all great options. Marinating with vinegar helps tenderize and break down the Meat retaining all its juices and removing extra fatty residue from chicken. According to USDA, You can safely marinade chicken with vinegar for up to 48 hours.  You can also experiment with different types of vinegar to find one that you like best.

– Tomato juice:

Tomato juice is a great option in place of lemon juice to add a little acidity to the dish. The acidic things in tomato juice soften the tough meat, help enter the oil and other spices into the meat and increase its flavor.  It is also a good source of antioxidants and vitamins.

– Yogurt:

Plain yogurt can be used as a substitute for lemon juice. Unlike other types of marinade, it tenderizes meat slowly and ensures juiciness of it. As a result, you can separate meat by hand effortlessly.  It will add creaminess and tanginess to the marinade. It also adds a unique flavor and texture. Apart from that, yogurt contains probiotics which are good for gut health.

– Coconut water:

If you want to add a bit of sweetness to your marinade, coconut water is a great option. You can also use it to add moisture and tenderness to the meat.

– Verjus:

This is a type of juice made from unripe grapes. It is tart and acidic, making it a perfect substitute for lemon juice. Its acidic properties make the meat tenderized and savory.  Apart from that, it also contains antioxidants and vitamins.

`- Dry sherry:

Dry sherry can be used in place of lemon juice to add flavor to the dish. It is a good source of antioxidants. It also adds a bit of sweetness to the marinade.

-Lime Juice:

As its name suggests, lime juice can be used as a substitute for lemon juice. It will add a tart and citrusy flavor to the marinade.

– Orange Juice:

Orange juice is another great substitute for lemon juice. It will add sweetness and acidity to the dish.

– Grapefruit Juice:

Grapefruit juice is a delicious substitute for lemon juice. It is tart and acidic, making it perfect for the marinade.

– Lemon zest:

If you want to add a lemon flavor to the marinade without the acidity, lemon zest is a great option. Simply zest one lemon and add it to the marinade.


There are many different substitutes for lemon juice in the marinade. Each one will add its own unique flavor to the dish. You have already known all of the different substitutes for lemon juice in the marinade; it’s time to get cooking. Experiment with different combinations to find your favorite.


Hi, I'm Shawon Emdad, a chef, by profession. Definitely, I'm lucky enough that I can share my 7 years long juicing experience with you. And I have got a specialized team of experienced chefs as well and we all share our expertise when we review a juicer or share any juicing tips to help you out taking the best decision. let's juice for a happy and healthy life together.

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