This 3-ingredient agave-lime marinade will change how you view vegetables

This sweet, punchy marinade pairs beautifully with carrots, sweet potatoes and red onions

By Ashlie D. Stevens

Published March 26, 2022 4:30PM (EDT)

Sweet potato fries (Getty Images/Winslow Productions)
Sweet potato fries (Getty Images/Winslow Productions)

Most vegetables don't need any help to taste good, especially in the spring. Give me a plate of thinly-sliced radishes and some sugar snap peas, lightly oiled and salted perhaps, and I'm a really happy girl. That said, some vegetables are absolutely exceptional when treated with only a little bit of extra care. 

One of my current favorite recipes (though it isn't much of a recipe, more like an assembly job) involves brushing root vegetables like carrots and sweet potatoes, red onions and mushrooms with a simple agave-lime marinade, tossing them on a sheet pan and letting them roast, low and slow, until tender, a little caramelized and slightly frizzled at the edges. 

Related: A 3-ingredient marinade for the juiciest chicken breasts ever

What's really fun about this marinade — other than the fact that it only has 3 ingredients, excluding salt and oil — is that it's endlessly riffable. No agave? Feel free to sub in honey. Not a fan of lime? Orange or lemon zest would be absolutely delicious. I know that not everyone is a huge fan of cilantro, so you have the option of adding in or completely substituting in scallions. 

It's also a great base to add in other flavors. Get creative! Minced garlic, smoked paprika, a little adobo sauce or a splash of your favorite hot sauce would all be great additions. 


Recipe: Agave-Lime Vegetable Marinade 

1 serving
Prep Time
5 minutes
Cook Time


  • 1/4 cup neutral oil 
  • 2 tablespoons agave 
  • 1 lime, zested and juiced 
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro or scallions (or a mixture of both) 
  • Salt and pepper to taste 


  1. In a large bowl, combine the neutral oil, agave, lime juice and zest, cilantro and/or scallions and salt and pepper to taste. 
  2. Brush the mixture over the vegetables, then transfer them to a sheet pan. Roast low and slow until tender and the sugar from the agave is just a little caramelized.

More simple 3-ingredient recipes: 

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Ashlie D. Stevens

Ashlie D. Stevens is Salon's deputy food editor.

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