This Yogurt Marinated Greek Chicken recipe has the easiest marinade and makes for the most tender, juicy chicken breasts!
It's naturally gluten-free and uses simple ingredients like Greek yogurt, lemon, garlic, olive oil & dried herbs.
about this yogurt marinated Greek-inspired chicken recipe
I'm a big fan of easy, healthy chicken marinades - especially this Yogurt Marinated Greek Chicken!
This Mediterranean style marinade comes together in just a matter of minutes with simple good-for-you ingredients.
While it does take a few hours to fully let the flavors infuse into & tenderize the meat, the hands-on prep time is very minimal.
All you need to do is stir together some dried herbs & spices (that I'm betting you already have on hand in your pantry!) and combine with olive oil, freshly squeezed lemon juice, red wine vinegar & tangy Greek Yogurt.
Pour over the top of some chicken in a large plastic bag, seal it all up, stash it in the fridge, and let those flavors go to work.
We love to enjoy this recipe grilled but I've included oven directions for you too to help keep your options open.
There's something about a yogurt-based marinade that creates the most juicy, tender chicken - once you try it, you'll be a believer too!
why use yogurt to marinate chicken breast
Mediterranean is our go-to for takeout, the grilled chicken kebabs at our favorite restaurant down the straight are downright delicious!
It's the kind of food I crave every time we drive past the store front, so I knew I had to find a way to enjoy it at home.
One of the things that makes kebabs SO delicious and moist (I know, I know, but sometimes there’s just no way around the dreaded “m” word!) is that the meat is marinated in yogurt.
If you've never used yogurt as a meat marinade, just a reminder that some of the best fried chicken is marinated in dairy bases. Namely, buttermilk with spices.
As I learned from this Epicurious article the active bacteria (the GOOD-for-your-gut kind!) in yogurt + the lactic acid (present in dairy) help gently break down protein (which in turn, tenderizes the chicken breast).
With the help of some classic Mediterranean herbs & spices, a little lemon juice, red wine vinegar, and olive oil, that yogurt gets thinned out to just the right marinade consistency and infuses amazing flavor into this recipe.
ways to serve this greek-inspired grilled chicken breast
In my opinion, grilled chicken goes with almost anything.
But it's especially delicious on top of a fresh salad with loads of fresh, crunchy veggies.
It could be my California roots, but I'm a sucker for that pairing of hot & cold ingredients together on one plate.
If you're looking for something heartier, you could create your own savory bowl by serving it with any of your favorite cooked grains (white or brown rice, quinoa would all be great choices), canned chickpeas and cooked vegetables (like this easy roasted broccoli, baked asparagus or pickled red cabbage).
For lunch, this would be delicious served inside a simple wrap with hummus, romaine lettuce, shredded carrots and thinly sliced red onion.
how to store leftover grilled (or baked) chicken breast
Grilled chicken is a great weekly meal prep staple because it's easy to marinate and grill big batches all at one time, relatively quickly.
This recipe makes enough to stock your fridge with several pounds of already grilled chicken for you to dig into all week long.
If you wanted to make a bigger batch, you could easily double or triple this recipe to marinate multiple bags at once.
This recipe keeps well refrigerated in a tightly sealed container (or clean, zip top bag) for up to 3-4 days.
It also freezes well, in a freezer friendly container (like a large gallon zip top bag) for up to 2-3 months.
TIP: If you know you'll be using it throughout the week on salads or bowls, chop it up before storing it away in the fridge for easy meal prep all week long!
how to bake yogurt-marinated Greek-inspired chicken
If you don’t have a grill, don’t worry - you can use this same marinade to make oven-baked chicken instead.
Just note that it does longer to cook in the oven than it does on the grill (45 min in the oven as compared to just 12 min on the grill).
Oven-baked is the original way I made this chicken (during the many-years-long stretch where we couldn't have a barbecue at our apartment)!
The recipe card below has instructions for both methods.
No matter what method you choose, I hope you make this recipe soon - if you do I'd love to see it, you can find me @freeyourfork over on instagram!
Yogurt Marinated Greek Chicken
- 6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- extra virgin olive oil for greasing
- ¾ c Greek yogurt
- juice of 2 lemons
- 1 tbs red wine vinegar*
- 1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
- ¾ tbs dried oregano
- ½ tbs dried basil
- ½ tbs garlic powder
- ½ tbs dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon dried coriander
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- MIX THE MARINADE: Stir together all marinade ingredients in a small bowl until well combined.
- MARINATE CHICKEN: Place chicken breasts in a large 1 gallon ziplock bag. Pour marinade over and make sure marinade gets coated evenly over chicken. Seal and put in fridge to marinate at least 4-6 hours.
- COOK CHICKEN: Take out the chicken from the fridge. If you have any chicken breasts that are much thicker in the center or on one side, pound lightly with a meat mallet or heavy bottomed jar. This will ensure slightly more even thickness and more even cooking. Do this while they are still in the bag for easy clean-up. To grill, preheat the barbecue and make sure the grates are clean. Grease the grates lightly with some olive oil. Use tongs to place the chicken breasts on the grill grates. Cook on one side for 5-6 minutes or until just browned. It should release easily from the grates. Turn over and cook for another 4-6 minutes. Check internal temperature using a meat thermometer. Flip and continue cooking as needed until internal temperature reads at least 165. Pull off grill and let chicken rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing.