Argentinian Marinade Recipe with Saffron, Olive Oil, and White Wine Vinegar

Argentinian Marinade

Argentinian Marinade Recipe with Saffron, Olive Oil, and White Wine Vinegar
Region / culture: Argentina | Preparation time: 20 minutes | Servings: 4


Argentinian Marinade
Argentinian Marinade

The Argentinian Marinade is a vibrant and flavorful concoction that brings a touch of South American flair to any dish. Infused with the exotic aroma of saffron, the tanginess of white wine vinegar, and the freshness of parsley and thyme, this marinade is perfect for elevating the taste of meats, vegetables, and even tofu. Its origins trace back to the rich culinary traditions of Argentina, where marinades play a crucial role in grilling, known locally as "asado". This recipe is a testament to the country's love for bold flavors and fresh ingredients.


The history of Argentinian marinades is deeply intertwined with the country's cultural and culinary heritage. Argentina's cuisine is a melting pot of influences, primarily from its European immigrants, which is reflected in its diverse range of flavors and techniques. The use of saffron and olive oil can be traced back to Spanish cuisine, while the incorporation of vinegar and herbs showcases the Italian influence. This particular marinade recipe has evolved over time, with each generation adding its own twist to the classic preparation.


How to prepare

  1. Powder the threads and steep them in lemon juice for 20 minutes.
  2. Combine all the ingredients with a whisk and store them in a covered jar.


  • For a spicier version, add a teaspoon of red pepper flakes or a finely chopped chili pepper to the mix. If you prefer a sweeter marinade, a tablespoon of honey or brown sugar can balance the acidity of the vinegar. For a citrusy twist, replace half of the vinegar with orange or lime juice.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

To maximize the flavor of this Argentinian Marinade, it's essential to use high-quality virgin olive oil and fresh herbs. Powdering the saffron threads before steeping them in lemon juice helps release their color and aroma more effectively. For best results, marinate your choice of protein or vegetables for at least a few hours, or even overnight, to allow the flavors to fully penetrate.

Serving Suggestions

This marinade pairs exceptionally well with grilled meats, such as beef, chicken, or lamb. It can also be used to marinate vegetables like bell peppers, zucchini, and eggplant before grilling or roasting. For a lighter option, try using it as a dressing for fresh salads.

Cooking Techniques

While this marinade can be simply whisked together, for a more homogenized texture, consider blending all the ingredients in a food processor or blender. This method ensures that the flavors meld together more cohesively, creating a smoother marinade.

Ingredient Substitutions

If saffron is not available, turmeric can be used as a substitute to achieve a similar color, though the flavor will be slightly different. Apple cider vinegar can replace white wine vinegar for a milder acidity. Fresh oregano or basil can be used in place of thyme for a different herbal note.

Make Ahead Tips

This marinade can be prepared in advance and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. In fact, allowing it to sit for a day or two can enhance the flavors, as the ingredients have more time to infuse.

Presentation Ideas

Serve the marinade in a small bowl or jar alongside your main dish, garnished with a sprig of parsley or thyme. For a rustic presentation, use a wooden spoon or brush to apply the marinade to your dishes.

Pairing Recommendations

This Argentinian Marinade goes well with a robust Malbec or a crisp Chardonnay, complementing the bold flavors of the marinade. For non-alcoholic options, consider a sparkling water with a squeeze of lemon or lime to refresh the palate.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Any unused marinade should be stored in the refrigerator and used within a week. As this marinade contains no ingredients that require reheating, it can be used straight from the fridge. However, letting it come to room temperature before use can enhance its flavors.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

A single serving of this Argentinian Marinade contains approximately 150 calories. The majority of these calories come from the olive oil, making it a relatively high-energy condiment in moderate amounts.


This marinade is relatively low in carbohydrates, with the primary sources being the onion and garlic. The total carbohydrate content is approximately 10 grams per serving, making it a suitable option for those following a low-carb diet.


The virgin olive oil constitutes the main source of fats in this recipe, contributing to the majority of its caloric content. However, these are predominantly healthy monounsaturated fats, which are beneficial for heart health. The total fat content is around 14 grams per serving.


This marinade contains minimal protein, as it is primarily used for flavoring rather than as a protein source. The protein content is negligible, less than 1 gram per serving.

Vitamins and minerals

Thanks to the fresh parsley, lemon juice, and garlic, this marinade is a good source of vitamins C and K, as well as minerals like iron and manganese. These nutrients play vital roles in immune function, bone health, and metabolism.


This recipe is free from common allergens such as nuts, dairy, gluten, and shellfish, making it suitable for individuals with food sensitivities or allergies.


Overall, the Argentinian Marinade is a healthy addition to any meal, offering a rich blend of flavors without significantly impacting your daily caloric intake. Its high content of healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals, coupled with its low carbohydrate and protein content, make it a nutritious choice for enhancing your dishes.


The Argentinian Marinade is a versatile and flavorful addition to any culinary repertoire. Its rich history, combined with the health benefits and diverse serving suggestions, make it a must-try for anyone looking to add some excitement to their meals. Whether you're grilling meats, marinating vegetables, or looking for a vibrant salad dressing, this marinade is sure to impress.

How did I get this recipe?

I remember the thrill of stumbling upon this recipe for the first time. It was a warm summer day and I was visiting my friend Maria, who had recently returned from a trip to Argentina. As we sat in her cozy kitchen sipping on mate tea, she began to tell me about the delicious flavors she had experienced during her time there.

Maria's eyes lit up as she described the tangy and slightly spicy marinade that was used to flavor everything from steak to vegetables in Argentina. She explained that it was a simple yet flavorful combination of ingredients that brought out the best in any dish.

As she spoke, I found myself becoming more and more intrigued by this mysterious marinade. I begged Maria to share the recipe with me, and after a moment of hesitation, she finally relented.

The ingredients were simple: red wine vinegar, olive oil, garlic, paprika, cumin, and a touch of honey for sweetness. Maria explained that the key to making the marinade was to allow the flavors to meld together for at least a few hours before using it.

I couldn't wait to try it out for myself, so as soon as I returned home, I gathered the ingredients and got to work. The aroma of garlic and spices filled my kitchen as I mixed everything together, carefully measuring each ingredient to ensure the perfect balance of flavors.

I marinated a flank steak in the mixture for several hours, allowing the flavors to penetrate the meat and tenderize it. When it was time to cook, I grilled the steak to perfection, savoring the aroma that wafted through the air.

As I took my first bite, I knew that I had stumbled upon something truly special. The tangy vinegar, the earthy cumin, and the slight sweetness of the honey all worked together to create a symphony of flavors that danced on my taste buds.

From that moment on, the Argentinian marinade became a staple in my kitchen. I used it on everything from chicken to vegetables, each time marveling at how such simple ingredients could transform a dish into something truly extraordinary.

Over the years, I shared the recipe with friends and family, each time passing on the story of how I had come to discover it. It became a beloved tradition in our household, a reminder of the power of food to bring people together and create lasting memories.

Now, as I sit in my kitchen, surrounded by the aromas of garlic and spices, I can't help but smile as I think back to that fateful day when I first learned how to make the Argentinian marinade. It's a recipe that has brought me joy and satisfaction time and time again, and one that I will always hold dear to my heart.


| Argentine Appetizers | Argentine Recipes | Saffron Recipes | Thyme Recipes | White Vinegar Recipes |

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