This Balsamic Steak Marinade can be made using simple ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen. There is no need to measure anything precisely, so it couldn’t be easier!

A cooked, sliced flank steak that has been marinated in steak marinade, on a speckled platter, with rosemary garnishing the steak.

This is the Best Steak Marinade

It’s probably a Midwest thing, but I grew up eating flank steak marinated in bottled Italian salad dressing. And honestly, it was so so good. 10/10 would eat again.

Recently I wanted to grill flank steak and wanted to marinate the steak first. I was kind of craving something along the lines of that Italian dressing, but didn’t want to run to the store for a bottle of dressing.

I did have a bottle of balsamic vinegar on hand after making my balsamic glaze recipe, so I started there. Using that, along with some other things I had around, I was able to whip this marinade up in just a few minutes.

Use this Balsamic Steak Marinade for flank steak, skirt steak, or any other cut of beef you would like to marinate before cooking.

Why You’ll Love this Balsamic Steak Marinade

  • The natural acidity of the vinegar helps tenderize the meat, meaning your cooked steak will be super succulent and tender.
  • The flavor of the vinegar will also add complexity and a touch of sweetness, enhancing the flavor of the steak.
  • You don’t need to dirty a single measuring cup or spoon – just eyeball everything and it will turn out great.
Ingredients needed for a marinade for the steak, laid out on a textured baking pan, including vinegar, oil, brown sugar, mustard, lemon, garlic, soy sauce and spices.

Balsamic Marinade for Steak Ingredients

  • olive oil – I like the flavor of olive oil paired with balsamic vinegar, but you could also use vegetable oil for a cheaper alternative.
  • garlic – you will need 3 cloves of garlic for this balsamic marinade for steak. Give them a quick chop but don’t worry about it being perfect.
  • balsamic vinegar – the superstar of this marinade! Just 1/4 cup of this pungent vinegar adds a ton of flavor.
  • soy sauce – there’s no salt in this balsamic vinegar steak marinade, as all of the salt comes from the soy sauce. Don’t skip it!
  • lemon juice – you can actually use ANY citrus juice here. I had a lemon, but if you have limes or oranges, use those.
  • light brown sugar – this adds sweetness to the marinade. If you have dark brown sugar, you can use that instead.
  • Dijon mustard – this adds a little bit of heat to the marinade.
  • red pepper flakes – another little kick of heat!
A cooked, sliced flank steak on a speckled platter, with rosemary garnishing the steak.

What cuts of beef work with this Steak Marinade Sauce?

I usually use this balsamic marinade for flank steak (as shown in these photos), skirt steak or hanger steak. Any cut of meat that has nice marbling works well in a marinade. Feel free to experiment!

While they don’t necessarily NEED to be marinated, ribeye, New York Strip and tenderloin steaks all work well in this balsamic vinegar steak marinade also, to add extra flavor to the meat.

Flat iron steak is another cut suitable for this balsamic marinade for steak. I also have a separate flat iron steak marinade recipe where the highlights are orange juice and cumin.

Home Chef Tips for this Marinade for Steak

  • While I’ve given measurements in the recipe card below, go ahead and just eyeball every ingredient. Life is too short to have to clean a bunch of measuring cups and spoons for a marinade. Precision measurements are just not necessary here.
  • As long as the general proportions are correct, the end result will be delicious.
  • Use a glug of oil, a few squeezes of lemon, and a spoonful of brown sugar. Becoming a skilled home cook is all about trusting your instincts.
A piece of beef in a oval pan, with a hand pouring balsamic steak marinade with flecks of garlic in it over the meat.

How long should I marinate steak in this Steak Marinade Sauce?

It’s best to marinate steak for at least four hours so that the flavors can start to soak into the meat, and the acidity in the balsamic vinegar steak marinade can tenderize the steak.

For a more pronounced taste, you can also marinate overnight! However, try not to marinate longer than 24 hours if you can help it.

After TOO long, the acid in this balsamic steak marinade recipe will start to “cook” the beef, and the steak will be a little tough once you grill it.

A speckled bowl filled with a brown sauce mixture, with a metal whisk in it.

Other ways to use Balsamic Vinegar Steak Marinade

This steak marinade is a versatile and flavorful concoction that can be used for much more than steak. Make a double batch (never re-use marinade that has touched raw meat) and use it in a variety of ways throughout the week:

  • GRILLED VEGGIES – Give your favorite veggies like bell peppers, zucchini, onions and mushrooms a quick marinade before grilling.
  • CHICKEN AND PORK – While it’s called a “steak marinade,” the balsamic flavor here works just as well with chicken breasts or pork chops, too.
  • SALAD DRESSING – This steak marinade is also a ready-to-go salad sweet and savory salad dressing! Serve it over a caprese or mixed greens salad.
A cooked, sliced slab of beef on a speckled platter, with rosemary garnish.
A piece of beef in a oval pan, with a hand pouring balsamic steak marinade with flecks of garlic in it over the meat.

Balsamic Steak Marinade Sauce

Yield: About 1-1/2 cups
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

This Balsamic Steak Marinade can be made using simple ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen. There is no need to measure anything precisely, so it couldn't be easier!


  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes


  1. Place all ingredients in medium bowl and whisk until smooth. Makes about 1-1/2 cups marinade - enough for about 1-1/2 pounds of meat. Place steak in shallow baking dish or zip-top bag and pour marinade over steak. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or up to overnight, turning once if possible.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 193Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 656mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 0gSugar: 5gProtein: 1g

This website provides estimated nutrition information as a courtesy only. Nutrition information does not include any optional ingredients or toppings. You should calculate the nutrition information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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