14 Best Rub, Sauce, and Marinade Recipes for Grilling Season

Enhance even the most bland meats and veggies with these flavor-packed additions.

Grilled whole butterflied chickens
Photo: Luchezar/Getty Images

It's grilling season! The most important part of grilling is what happens before and after your food hits the fire: Rubs, marinades, and sauces. Whether you're a fan of pre-seasoning your meat, prefer to baste it while cooking, or just flavor everything after, these recipes add a major flavor boost to anything that hits your barbecue this season.

To kick things up a notch, try mixing and matching rubs and sauces or marinades with all of your favorite proteins and veggies. We promise you won't regret it!

01 of 14

BBQ Remoulade

BBQ Remoulade Recipe
Jennifer Causey

It's tangy, it's creamy, it's spicy, and goes with pretty much everything! Use this remoulade as a dip or a spread for your barbecue sandwiches for an extra burst of flavor.

02 of 14

Ultimate Multitasking Barbecue Sauce

Ultimate Multitasking Barbecue Sauce
Roland Bello

This recipe starts with your favorite barbecue sauce, which is then punched up with some vinegar and aromatics. Use it as a marinade, glaze, or dressing for any food that typically calls for a BBQ boost.

03 of 14

Quick Barbecue Sauce

Quick Barbecue Sauce
Anna Williams

You know what's super impressive at a cookout? Making your own barbecue sauce! Just a handful of ingredients helps you whip up a signature sauce that will be the star of every grill night.

04 of 14

Southwestern Marinade

Southwestern Marinade
Marcus Nilsson

Orange juice and jalapeños give anything you marinade in this sauce a beautiful kick. Try it with everything from turkey legs to shrimp.

05 of 14

All-Purpose Spice Rub

All-Purpose Spice Rub Recipe
Victor Protasio

This mix of spices, plus orange zest, is perfect for all types of meat! Keep it fresh all summer in a glass jar, or package it nicely to share as a host gift.

06 of 14

Sesame Lemon Rub

Sesame-Lemon Rub
Raymond Hom

Perfect for quick-cooking pieces of fish, chicken, or pork cutlets, this sesame lemon rub brings texture and acid to any grilled meal.

07 of 14

Mediterranean Herb Rub

Big Batch Barbeque & Mediterranean Herb Rubs
Ka Yeung / Tinkerbox Studio Inc

Take your grill on a journey to the Mediterranean with this rub that emphasizes bold flavors, like fennel and sage.

08 of 14

Chimichurri Sauce

Steak With Chimichurri Sauce
Charles Masters

Herbacious and fresh, chimichurri is the perfect topping for all grilled meats, especially steak or sausage. It can also dress up a plant-based grill night and add some brightness to charred eggplant or even tofu.

09 of 14

Garlicky Hoisin Sauce

Garlicky Hoisin Sauce
Anna Williams

Sweet but punchy, this dressed up hoisin sauce is best used as a baste towards the end of your grilling, or as an accoutrement with ribs, chicken wings, or other bone-in meats.

10 of 14

Walnut Gremolata

Walnut Gremolata Recipe
Jennifer Causey

An all-purpose topping for any entree or side dish, this nutty herb combo is perfect for thick cuts of meat, as well as veggie dishes.

11 of 14

Curry Coconut Sauce

Curry-Coconut Sauce
Natasia Hanratty

Spice up your meats or veggies with this creamy sauce that is perfect for drizzling or dipping. Serve with rice or another grain to help soak up all the sauciness and grilled bits.

12 of 14

Fried Herb Salsa

Fried Herb Salsa Recipe
Victor Protasio

If you want your BBQ guests to leave talking about something, make them this easy salsa! It's crispy and flavorful in all the right ways, and is as versatile as it is delicious. Throw it on everything from grilled veggies to shrimp or steak.

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Fresh Tomatillo Salsa

Fresh Tomatillo Salsa
Marcus Nilsson

Nothing hits quite like a cool, fresh salsa verde on a warm summer night. You'll want to drench all of your straight-off-the-grill goodies in this sauce, plus have chips for dipping. For an easy meal, serve this with warmed tacos and a big hunk of grilled meat, like a whole chicken, bone-in fish, or ribeye.

14 of 14

Go-To Vinaigrette

Greg DuPree

This super quick and simple recipe makes a perfect marinade, whether you're pre-soaking for an hour or overnight. You can also use it to dress an easy green salad to serve with your grilled meal.

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