Memorial Day Paleo Grilling Marinades

Memorial Day Paleo Grilling Marinade | The Paleo Diet
With Memorial Day just around the corner, it’s time to start planning your menu.  What better way to prepare a Paleo-approved feast than to cook your meats over an open flame, just like our Paleolithic ancestors may have done?

While a simple, grass-fed rib eye works perfectly, it’s fun, tasty and healthy to add some zest by way of marinades, too.

Commercially available preparations that are suitable to a Paleo, clean-living approach are few and far between.  Most are laden with corn syrup, stabilizer gums and artificial sweeteners, coloring and flavorings. Another common offender found in bottled marinades is soy.  High in antinutrient content, soy is often added because it contains glutamic acid, which acts a chemical tenderizing agent.  A definite must-skip!

Making marinades at home is the way to go.  Cost effective, quick and easy to execute, it can be as simple as throwing a few of your favorite ingredients into your food processor and whizzing up a delightful flavor profile.

Here are a few Paleo grilling marinade ideas that will cater to everyone, whether you prefer fish, savory meat or a hint of sweetness with your protein.

No need to choose just one for your holiday barbecue; since they’re so fast to prepare, you can serve all three!



The key to marinating fish is that less is more; plan on a maximum of half an hour for most fillets and possibly up to an hour for hearty steaks like salmon.  Even though we avoid acid such as vinegar when following a Paleo diet, even citric acid found in lemon, limes and oranges could actually cook the fish before it even hits the grill!


  • 1 cup coconut oil, melted
  • Juice from ½ freshly squeezed Meyer lemon
  • 1 1⁄2 
tablespoons honey
  • 1” fresh ginger root
  • 3⁄4 
teaspoon paprika*
  • 1⁄2-1 
teaspoon fresh ground black pepper*
  • 1 
pinch crushed red chili flakes*
  • 6 
garlic cloves
  • 4 
scallions, finely chopped


1. Combine all but scallions in food processor

2. Whiz to combine until uniform consistency is reached

3. Allow cool to room temperature then spread onto flesh side of skin-on wild fish

4. Place in bowl and allow to rest for 30 minutes prior to cooking in grill basket

5. Scatter scallions on top and enjoy!


Memorial Day Paleo Grilling Marinade | The Paleo Diet

While olive oil is clearly one of the healthiest fats we can consume, cooking it at a high temp such as on the barbecue can cause it to oxidize, creating free radicals.  Rather than risking it, swap it out for a Paleo grilling friendly fat like duck fat, which can sustain higher temps!


  • Juice from two freshly squeezed limes
  • 3 Tablespoons duck fat
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice, preferably fresh squeezed
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper*
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 4 cloves fresh garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon Hungarian paprika*
  • 2 shallots
  • 1 teaspoon thyme


1. Combine all ingredients in food processor and combine until a uniform consistency is reached.

2. Spread throughout over grass fed meat of your choosing, cover, and allow to marinate 12 – 24 hours.

3. Be sure to bring to room temperature by removing from the fridge 30 minutes prior to cooking time; cooking proteins that are too cold will result in uneven cooking.


Memorial Day Paleo Grilling Marindates | The Paleo Diet
Looking for a little bit of sweet with your savory?   No need to smother on the ketchup or dollop on the jelly. This marinade does the trick all on its own, thanks to a little bit of orange!


  • 1 navel orange, juiced, plus one teaspoon zest
  • 1 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh oregano
  • Juice from one freshly squeezed lime
  • 1 jalapeno fresh, seeds removed*
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves


1. Combine all ingredients in food processor and combine until a uniform consistency is reached.

2. Spread throughout over grass fed meat of your choosing, cover, and allow to marinate 12 – 24 hours. Also works well with pasture raised pork.

3. Bring to room temperature before cooking.

*Pepper and pepper products should be avoided by anyone following a Paleo Autoimmune Protocol

About Nell Stephenson, B.S.

Nell Stephenson, B.S.Nell Stephenson is a competitive Ironman athlete, personal trainer, and a health and nutrition consultant. She has an exercise science degree from the University of Southern California, a health/fitness instructor certification from the American College of Sports Medicine, and over a decade in the health, fitness and nutrition industry. To support her training for the Ironman Triathlon, Nell has tried many different nutritional plans and has found that the Paleo Diet is superior to all other ways of eating. She’s found that she’s leaner, faster, and fitter than ever before and uses her own experience to teach clients how to achieve optimal nutrition and health. Visit her website at Download meal plans tailored to you here.

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