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This Greek Chicken is incredibly flavorful thanks to a simple Greek chicken marinade made with yogurt, lemon juice, garlic and seasonings. It’s an easy dinner idea that you’ll be glad to have in your recipe collection!
The Best Greek Chicken
This Greek chicken is one of our very favorite chicken breast recipes. It’s so quick and easy to prep and the result is a truly delicious meal that your family will request again and again.
What makes this recipe so special is the Greek chicken marinade. It’s made with Greek yogurt and lemon juice, which work together to make the chicken mouthwateringly tender. I’ve also added a generous amount of fresh garlic and spices to the marinade to ensure that every bite of this Greek chicken is packed with flavor.
I like to serve the chicken with a few other favorite Mediterranean-inspired dishes, including Tzatziki Sauce, Roasted Potatoes and a Greek Salad or Mediterranean Orzo Salad. The Greek chicken is also delicious served wrapped in pita bread (try this Healthy Pita Bread recipe), with tzatziki, cucumber, red onion, tomatoes, kalamata olives and feta cheese.
Greek Chicken Marinade
Like our everyday Chicken Marinade recipe, this Greek chicken marinade is a cinch to make. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Plain Greek Yogurt: Using yogurt in the marinade makes the chicken especially tender. I used full fat Greek yogurt, but lowfat or nonfat will also work fine. Just be sure to buy plain, not flavored yogurt.
- Lemon Juice: Use fresh lemon juice for the best flavor. The lemon juice both adds flavor and helps to tenderize the chicken.
- Olive Oil: Olive oil helps to transfer the flavors of the other marinade ingredients to the meat.
- Garlic: Use 4 medium to large sized garlic cloves for plenty of zippy garlic flavor.
- Seasonings: Dried oregano, ground cumin, ground coriander, salt, black pepper and cinnamon bring the best flavor to this Greek chicken.
How to Make Greek Chicken
I usually make this recipe with boneless skinless chicken breasts, but you can also use chicken thighs and adjust the cook time as needed.
Make the marinade. Whisk together the marinade ingredients in a small bowl.
Pound the chicken. Place the chicken breasts in a large zip-top plastic bag. Use a meat mallet or rolling pin to pound the chicken to an even thickness, about 1/2-inch thick.
Marinate the chicken. Pour the marinade into the bag with the chicken. Seal the bag and then squish it to coat the chicken with the marinade. Marinate the chicken in the refrigerator for 2-12 hours.
Cook the chicken. Heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a large skillet, such as a cast iron skillet, or grill pan over medium heat. Add the chicken to the pan and cook for about 5-7 minutes per side, or until the internal temperature registers 165° F on an instant read thermometer.
Can you Bake or Grill the Chicken?
You can bake or grill the chicken, but I much prefer to cook it on the stove in a skillet or grill pan. While the chicken is delicious grilled, the yogurt marinade can make a bit of a mess on an outdoor grill. I prefer using a skillet over the oven for this recipe because the hot skillet better browns the outside of the chicken.
If you decide to cook the chicken in the oven or on the grill, here’s what I would recommend:
- Baked Greek Chicken: Line a baking sheet or baking dish with parchment paper or foil to minimize clean up. Add the marinated chicken to the pan and bake at 425° F for 15-26 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. The cook time will depend on the size of the chicken breasts. See my Baked Chicken Breast recipe for more tips.
- Grilled Greek Chicken: Grill over medium heat for 5-10 minutes per side, until the chicken is cooked through. See my Grilled Chicken Breast recipe for more tips.
- I highly recommend that you don’t skip the step of pounding the chicken to an even thickness. This helps it to cook evenly and it also tenderizes the meat.
- If you don’t have time to marinate the chicken for 2-12 hours, even a quick 30 minute soak in the marinade will flavor the chicken.
- For food safety, discard any used marinade after marinating the chicken.
- When cooking the chicken in the skillet, cover the pan as needed. The trapped heat can help the chicken to cook through, especially if your chicken breasts are on the larger side.
Perfect for Meal Prep
This Greek chicken is a favorite meal prep recipe because it’s so versatile. You can cook the chicken ahead of time and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Then it’s easy to put together quick lunches or dinners by serving the chicken in a wrap or pita bread, adding it to a green salad or pasta salad or enjoying it with a few simple side dishes such as rice, potatoes or roasted vegetables.
More Easy Chicken Recipes
Greek Chicken Recipe
- ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
- 6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, or bone-in or boneless chicken thighs
- serve with tzatziki, chopped fresh parsley, or as desired
- In a small mixing bowl, combine the plain Greek yogurt, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, dried oregano, cumin, coriander, salt, pepper and cinnamon. Whisk to mix.
- Place the chicken breasts in a zip-top plastic bag, seal the bag, and use a meat mallet or rolling pin to pound the chicken to an even thickness, about ½-inch thick.
- Pour the marinade into the bag with the chicken. Reseal the bag, squish to coat the chicken with the marinade, and place in the refrigerator to marinate for at least 2 hours and up to 12 hours. (If you are short on time, even a quick 30 minute marinade will flavor the chicken.)
- When you are ready to cook the chicken, heat the olive oil in a large skillet or grill pan over medium heat. Once hot, add the chicken breasts to the pan and discard the marinade in the bag.
- Cook chicken for about 5-7 minutes per side, or until the internal temperature registers 165° F on an instant read thermometer. Cover the pan as needed while the chicken cooks; the trapped heat can help the chicken to cook through if your chicken breasts are on the larger side. Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes before slicing or serving.
- Serve chicken with tzatziki sauce (if desired) and any desired side dishes, such as roasted potatoes, Greek salad, pita bread, etc.
- Store leftover cooked chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
- While I prefer to cook this chicken in a skillet on the stove, you can also bake or grill it if desired.
- To bake: Line a baking sheet or baking dish with parchment paper or foil to minimize clean up. Add the marinated chicken to the pan and bake at 425° F for 15-26 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. The cook time will depend on the size of the chicken breasts.
- To grill: Grill over medium heat on an outdoor grill or grill pan for 5-10 minutes per side, until the chicken is cooked through.