Greek Chicken Marinade

Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 4 servings

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This Greek Chicken Marinade is perfectly seasoned with aromatic garlic, warm oregano, and parsley. Packed with so much flavor, this delicious marinade will take your grilled chicken dinners to the next level!

Top view of green chicken marinade dish on a teal plate with a salad next to it.

When it’s warm out, grilled chicken is one of our favorite dinners to enjoy (especially if we can eat it outside while the sun is shining!).

This easy Greek chicken marinade recipe is perfect for making a healthy meal for the whole family with minimal fuss.

Made with very simple ingredients, in under an hour, it’s perfect for a busy weeknight dinner! Serve it with some store bought naan, this Greek Pasta Salad or this Instant Pot Jasmine Rice or Greek Pasta Salad with homemade Lemonade.

Because we’re marinating the chicken in yogurt, which is a foolproof method for making it creamy, juicy, and richly flavored, this Greek chicken is juicy and delicious every time.

It’s a great recipe to meal prep for later in the week because you can make extra marinade and store it to use in another meal a few days later (you can even freeze it — more on that later!).

Top view of chicken on a platter that has had a Greek chicken marinade on it.

This Greek marinade recipe is versatile, so you can use fresh herbs instead of dried ones, or change them up to suit your preference.

You can also cook your chicken any way you like — on the stove, in the oven, in the slow cooker, but we love it grilled!

For more Greek-inspired meals, check out my Spicy Baked Feta (Mpougiourdi), and this Feta Pasta with Dill. Alternatively, try another of these Grilled Chicken recipes or this Hawaiian Chicken Recipe for more grilled chicken goodness.

Ingredients Needed:

Top view of ingredients needed to make Greek chicken marinade in small bowls on the worktop.
  • Oil: since this is my interpretation of a Greek-style marinade, we are definitely using olive oil. Olive oil does add significant flavor, but you can swap this for another oil you have if you need to.
  • Yogurt: only plain yogurt will do here, either Greek-style or Natural yogurt, but you can use any fat percentage: from 0% to ultra thick and rich.
  • Lemon: use fresh lemon zest and fresh lemon juice for the best flavor. The acidity will help tenderize the meat.
  • Seasoning: use classic Greek flavors with fresh garlic, dried oregano, dried parsley, kosher salt, and black pepper.
  • Sugar: white granulated sugar will add a bit of sweetness to the marinade, to counteract the acidity.
  • Chicken: I tend to use boneless, skinless chicken breasts, but chicken thighs or chicken with the skin on will work too. You can use chicken with the bone in, but the cook time may vary.
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How to Make Greek Chicken Marinade

This recipe is simple to make! Full instructions are included in the recipe card below.

  1. Make marinade: Combine marinade ingredients in a Ziploc bag or airtight container.
  2. Add chicken: Place chicken in the bag or container, seal it, and shake it to coat the chicken.
  3. Marinate: Let the chicken marinate in the refrigerator.
  4. Cook chicken: Grill or bake the chicken until fully cooked. Let it rest before serving. 

Greek Chicken Marinade FAQs

What does marinating chicken in Greek yogurt do?

Yogurt will tenderize the meat gently, and also adds a creamy flavor to the chicken. The yogurt will also cook to make a flavorful, crisp layer on the outside of the chicken.

How do I store this Greek Chicken Marinade dish?

Store cooked chicken in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3 days. You can store the uncooked Greek marinade for chicken in the fridge for up to 4 days, providing it has not already touched any raw chicken.

Can I freeze chicken in marinade?

Yes! This is a great way to meal prep. You can make the marinade and toss in some fresh or frozen (uncooked chicken breasts), then store in the freezer up to 3 months. To cook, simply thaw at room temperature for 3-4 hours before cooking as desired.

Tips and Notes

  • Type of Oil. It’s best to use an oil that best compliments the type of food you’re making. Olive oil is best for Greek, Italian, and Mediterranean dishes.
  • Fresh Herbs: Got fresh herbs? Wonderful! Use 3 times the amount of fresh herbs (finely chopped) than you would dried ones. 
  • Double it up: Make a double batch of this marinade, divide it, and store the excess marinade in an airtight container or jar, in the refrigerator, for up to 3 days to use on another meat later in the week!

Greek Chicken Marinade Variations

  • Add some heat. Add some red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, or hot sauce to the marinade, or sprinkle some on top before you cook your chicken to add a spicy kick to the meal.
  • Chicken. You can use this marinade with any cut of chicken, or even another meat. It’s one of those great recipes you’ll use again and again for all sorts of foods!
Top view close up of greek chicken marinade dish on a teal plate.

Serving Suggestions

Serve this Greek Chicken Marinade dish with your favorite sides to make a complete meal.

It’s perfect for making Greek chicken gyros and wraps, or try it in one of these Pasta Salad Recipes!

If you’re using an outdoor grill to cook your chicken, you may want to pair it with this Southwest Potato Salad with tomatoes and Corn on the Cob, Easy Pasta Salad with Italian dressing, or another one of my BBQ Sides for Summer!

If you’re cooking it in the oven, or fancy something a bit different, try these Air Fryer Green Beans and Air Fryer Broccoli with this Cream Cheese Mashed Potatoes recipe.

More Easy Chicken Recipes to Try

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Greek Chicken Marinade

5 from 3 votes
This Greek Chicken Marinade dinner is rich, creamy, and perfectly seasoned with aromatic garlic, warm oregano, and parsley. Packed with so much flavor, this delicious marinade will take your grilled chicken dinners to the next level!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Chilling time 30 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Cuisine Greek
Course Main Course
Servings 4 servings
Calories 356cal

Ingredients

  • cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 lemon (zested and juiced)
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 lbs chicken (I usually use breasts, but thighs or bone-in chicken will work just fine)

Instructions

  • Combine all ingredients in a zip-top plastic bag or a container just big enough to hold your chicken and marinade (too big, and the marinade doesn’t surround the chicken).
  • Refrigerate for 30-60 minutes (with the pieces of chicken, I don’t like to let it go longer because the acid can break down the meat too much).
  • Use your preferred method of cooking the chicken. Grill or bake at 400 degrees F for about 20 minutes, until a meat thermometer reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
  • Let the cooked chicken rest, covered, for 10 minutes before serving.

Notes

*The nutrition information is difficult to estimate on this recipe, as most of the marinade will be discarded.
Stovetop: you can cook this chicken on the stove top in a covered skillet over medium-high heat, flipping once. It will take roughly 5-8 minutes per side depending on the thickness of your chicken.
Slow cooker: you can also cook this chicken in the slow cooker on low for 3 hours-4 hours. 
Storage: Store cooked chicken in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3 days. You can store the uncooked marinade in the fridge for up to 4 days, to use on other meat, providing it has not already touched any raw chicken.
Freezer: you can freeze cooked chicken in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to 3 months. You can also freeze uncooked chicken right in the marinade for 3 months as well — it will marinate as it thaws!
 

Nutrition Information

Calories: 356cal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 50g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 0.03g | Cholesterol: 146mg | Sodium: 850mg | Potassium: 922mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 98IU | Vitamin C: 18mg | Calcium: 57mg | Iron: 2mg
Keywords greek chicken marinade

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Meet Ashley

My name is Ashley Fehr and I love creating easy meals my family loves. I also like to do things my way, which means improvising and breaking the rules when necessary. Here you will find creative twists on old favorites and some of my favorite family recipes, passed down from generations!

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Comments

  1. Marleen says

    Dear Ashley,
    Can you leave the chicken in the marinade overnight? Do I have to leave the salt out?
    Thank you 🙏
    Love your recipes
    Marleen

    • The Recipe Rebel says

      Hi Marleen! No, I do not recommend letting it sit in the marinade overnight. The longest I recommend is 1 hour. Enjoy!

  2. Mrs. J. C. says

    First off, I always look forward to your recipes. Now my questions:
    1. Anytime I have tried to freeze something with yogurt in it it has curdled. Any suggestions?
    2. You mention it can be cooked in a crock pot. Do I just place the marinated chicken in the crock pot? Or do I include the marinade with the chicken?
    3. Would this marinade work as a baste when slow roasting a whole chicken in the oven?

    Looking forward to hearing from you. Happy Mother’s day!

    • The Recipe Rebel says

      Hi! For this recipe, I haven’t had any problems with it curdling. For the slow cooker, you can include all of it. It should work for chicken as well! Enjoy!

5 from 3 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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