Marmite: The Secret Ingredient Chefs Love

Just when you thought Marmite couldn’t get any more polarizing, it’s here to shake up the lovers and the haters with its new peanut butter. Here, in honour of the new release, we put all the Marmite-flavoured products we could find to the taste test. Will we love them or hate them? And for loyal Marmite fans, we asked some of our favourite chefs to tell us how to add the flavoursome yeast extract to your own dishes at home.

We asked three top chefs, Tom Aikens, Steve Groves and Gary Foulkes to share their favourite Marmite recipes to cook at home. Read on to feel inspired...

Tom Aikens, founder of Tom’s Kitchen  

I often use Marmite when baking sourdough, for example in a Guinness sourdough, when I’ve added Marmite to the base. It gives it a lovely rich taste that compliments the Guinness. To go with this, I make a Marmite butter – taking normal butter and whipping it up with Marmite for a lovely umami taste that complements the hot bread.  

I have also used Marmite when marinating a short rib of beef, adding it to the marinade alongside miso, treacle, malt extract and honey.  


50g malt extract 

30g Marmite  

15g miso 

15g dark treacle 

25g honey  


Mix all the ingredients together and then rub onto the beef. Marinate for a day. When it’s ready to cook, it can be slow baked at 120c for six-eight hours in a casserole dish with a tight fitting lid. Keep basting it and checking it so that it doesn’t catch or burn. You’ll know it’s ready when the bones become loose.   

Steve Groves, head chef of Roux at Parliament Square   

I use Marmite as a seasoning, it adds a real depth of flavour, especially in the absence of meat-based stocks or sauces.  

I have a great recipe, perfect at this time of year, for asparagus with scallops, Jersey Royals and Marmite. This dish is something I love to serve in the spring when it starts to warm up a little bit, it can be a lovely sharing dish and while here I have used scallops I will generally use all sorts of shellfish: prawns in the shells and crab are other favourites. I like to serve it with some crusty bread to mop up that delicious Marmite-y butter.  


20 asparagus spears  

20 small Jersey Royal potatoes, scrubbed  

8 large scallops  

150g unsalted butter, diced  

1 lemon  

1 clove garlic, crushed  

1tsp Marmite  

½ tbsp chopped parsley  


Cook the Jersey Royals in a pan covered with salted water until tender, strain and set aside. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, cook the asparagus spears until tender. In a frying pan heat a little sunflower oil over a high heat. Pat the scallops dry with kitchen paper, season with salt and place flattest side down in the pan, cook for a minute or so to get a nice golden-brown crust, turn over and reduce to a medium heat, add the butter followed by the garlic. Cook for a minute or so and remove the scallops, season the butter with a fine grating of lemon zest and a squeeze of juice, then the Marmite. Toss the potatoes, asparagus, parsley and scallops through the butter and serve immediately.  

Gary Foulkes, executive chef at Angler 

Personally I love Marmite, but my wife isn’t the biggest fan and I’m slowly getting my son on to it. It’s quite an intense, complex flavour – hence people either love it or hate it. 

To make it a little more palatable, especially for children, I normally make a toasted cheese and Marmite sandwich. 


Extra-mature cheddar 





I use an extra mature cheddar like a Montgomery and plenty of Marmite, sandwiched between some sliced sourdough and then either put it in the toastie machine or pan-fried either side in a little oil and finished through the oven until the cheese has melted. What’s not to like? 


Here, we've taste tested the best Marmite products available to shop now...

Marmite Breakfast Biscuits, £2.75

Marmite Breakfast Biscuits

Yes, we’re all used to Marmite on hot, buttered toast first thing in the morning, but these breakfast bars aroused suspicion among tasters. On first impression, it seems too unhealthy to be a breakfast choice. However, the bar was full of seeds and had a decent crunch. They went really well with a black coffee, but we did need a good glug of water afterwards since they’re rather dry. 

Score: 6/10 


Marmite Cashews, £1.80

Marmite Cashews

Would we choose these over classic plain cashews? That’s the real question. These nuts offer a nice coating of flavouring, but again Marmite was a secondary note. Still, they’re much nicer than the salted nuts you get in the pub. 

Score: 7/10 


Marmite Cheddar Bites, £1.30

Marmite Cheddar Bites

These bite-sized snacks offer a very subtle flavour of Marmite – perhaps too subtle. This is a great gateway snack for Marmite newcomers (or haters) as the flavour isn’t overpowering: it’s definitely cheddar first. However, for fans of the pungent spread the lack of Marmite-y tang was disappointing. 

Score: 4/10 


Walkers Marmite Flavoured Crisps, £1.50

Walkers Marmite Flavoured Crisps

These crunchy crisps offer a subtle tang. Again these are salty – like Marmite itself – but as a crisp the flavour is more akin to smokey bacon rather than salt & vinegar. We didn’t necessarily get the full flavour of Marmite – in a blind tasting, we’d probably have guessed they were beef and onion or roast chicken. Still, they taste great.

Score: 7/10 


Marmite Flatbreads, £2.45

Marmite Flatbreads

These have such a good crunch. The sprinkling of baked-on cheese adds a layer of umami similar to the crispy edges of cheese on toast. They also have that trademark yeasty, savoury background taste we were looking for. So dangerous, we could easily demolish the whole pack. 

Score: 9/10 


Marmite Crunchy Peanut Butter, £2.50

Marmite Crunchy Peanut Butter

Marmite’s newest product is very intense on its own and had us pulling faces due to its salty overtones. Add it to a slice of toasted sourdough and butter, however, and it really comes into its own. Offering a decent texture (thankfully, they’ve opted for crunchy peanut butter over smooth) and a real hit of umami, we can see this becoming a weekend breakfast staple. 

Score: 9/10 


Marmite Easter Egg, £4

Marmite Easter Egg

This wasn’t awful, as some in the office predicted. If you like salted chocolate, chances are this will be up your street, as it really hits the balance between savoury and sweet. However some – but not all – tasters reported a meaty aftertaste. Maybe it is one for die-hard fans after all. 

Score: 7/10 


Marmite Rice Cakes, £1.25

Marmite Rice Cakes

These were a nice colour and much more flavoursome than we expected. Expect a nice hit of saltiness on the tongue. Like salt & vinegar flavours offered by other brands, the salty Marmite elevates the lowly rice cake – and they’re only 38 calories each. 

Score: 8/10 


Joe & Seph’s Marmite Gourmet Popcorn, £4

Joe & Seph’s Marmite Gourmet Popcorn

We’ve always been partial to Joe & Seph’s gourmet popcorn, but even so this packet exceeded expectations. Unlike some of the other products on the list, these really do taste of Marmite, but offer a pleasant caramel aftertaste. Sweet and richly flavoured, this is the ultimate cinema snack. 

Score: 9/10 


Marmite, £2.70 for 250g


The original and best. Slather it on toast or crumpets, put it in a cheese sandwich, add a teaspoon to hot water for a better version of Bovril, add it to buttery pasta for a umami hit: this dark little jar never fails to add big flavour. The best thing about it? Everyone has their optimum amount – some slather it thickly, others prefer just a glint – so unlike some of the snacks above, you’ll never be overwhelmed by Marmite overkill or disappointed by lacking flavour. 

Score: 10/10 


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