This super easy Greek Chicken Marinade combines lemon, olive oil, Greek yogurt, and oregano for an amazing Mediterranean flavor in tender and moist chicken! Incredibly tasty Greek chicken takes just minutes to mix up and start marinating and uses only a handful of common ingredients!
Greek Chicken Marinade Recipe
If you love super-fresh, super-tasty chicken, then you'll love the flavors of this quick and easy Greek chicken marinade! It's a family favorite in our household, and it's REALLY easy to understand why!
One of the best parts of this marinade, other than it's crazy delicious flavor, is that it uses only a few ingredients. Not only are the base ingredients really common staple items, they're also easily substituted or swapped for what you have in the fridge!
Ingredients You'll Need
These are really basic ingredients that combine to create a truly flavorful chicken. With only 5 ingredients other than your standard salt and pepper seasoning, this marinade is quick, easy, and packs a whopping punch of flavor!
- Yogurt - i'm using Greek yogurt for the amazingly tangy and rich flavor. You can use plain yogurt as well, and any level of fat percentage that you prefer.
- Olive Oil - helps to distribute the marinade ingredients evenly over the chicken and help it coat the chicken for a great marinade flavor! The oil also adds that wonderful Mediterranean flavor, plus keeps the chicken moist!
- Lemon - is part of this classic combination that adds delightfully bright and tangy flavor! Zest your lemons before juicing and use both the fresh squeezed lemon juice and lemon zest for an addictive 'WOW' chicken marinade!
- Garlic - fresh, minced garlic is a great addition and adds depth of flavor to this fresh, vibrant marinade! If you need to use garlic powder, a generous teaspoon will substitute for the fresh garlic.
- Oregano - another of the classic Greek flavors that makes this marinade so super! Use 2 tablespoons fresh oregano or 2 teaspoons of dried oregano. Add more herbs like thyme, rosemary, and/or parsley if desired!
- Salt & Pepper - the basic spices for all seasoning! Salt and pepper highlight all of your tasty Greek marinade ingredients, bringing out their very best flavors. Freshly ground coarse black pepper is best!
How To Make Your Greek Chicken Marinade
You can mix the marinade in a bowl and add the chicken to marinate. However, using a plastic storage or freezer bag will help the marinade cling to all surfaces of the chicken.
This will distribute your marinade flavor evenly and yield the best marinated Greek chicken. So I highly recommend this method if you can marinate your chicken for more than a few minutes!
- In a small bowl, mix the lemon juice, Greek yogurt, olive oil, lemon zest, minced garlic or garlic powder, salt, and pepper until smooth.
- Place the chicken and marinade in a ziploc plastic storage bag or freezer bag. Squeeze out any excess air while sealing securely.
- Massage the marinade into the chicken by squishing the marinade throughout the bag until the chicken has been evenly coated.
- Refrigerate for at least 4 hours to marinate. Freeze for up to 3 months.
Pro Tip: If you will be grilling whole chicken breasts, it is best to flatten the chicken breasts for quick and even cooking. Place your chicken breasts between two sheets of plastic cling film and pound with a meat mallet or tenderizer ( the flat side ). Start at the center of the chicken breast and work your way toward the edges.
Marinating the Chicken
Your chicken needs to marinate for at least 15 - 20 minutes before cooking. The longer you can let the chicken marinate, however, the more flavorful it will be!
I would usually recommend at least 4 hours, or overnight ( 8 hours ) for optimal marinating. However, you can marinate the chicken for up to 2 days refrigerated. This is the maximum amount of time that I would marinate the chicken in a citrus-based marinade.
While frozen chicken pieces can usually be stored in the freezer for 6 months or more, I recommend a maximum of three months. Allow the frozen marinated chicken to thaw in your refrigerator overnight.
The delicious Greek chicken marinade will slowly seep into your chicken while it thaws, making it seriously addictive! You need this marinade in your life 🙂
Check out all of my super yummy and incredibly easy chicken marinades in one place! The marinade flavors are absolutely perfect for grilled, pan-fried, or oven-baked chicken breasts, thighs, wings, kabobs, tenderloins, and more!
Greek Chicken Marinade
- ½ cup lemon juice (roughly 4 lemons or 3 large lemons)
- ¼ cup Greek yogurt
- ¼ cup olive oil (extra virgin)
- 2 Tbsp oregano
- 1 Tbsp lemon zest
- 1 Tbsp garlic (minced)
- ½ tsp each, salt & pepper
- In a small bowl, combine the lemon juice, Greek yogurt, olive oil, oregano, lemon zest, garlic, salt, and pepper. Mix until smooth.
- Transfer the chicken and marinade into a plastic storage bag or freezer bag. Close and seal the bag securely while squeezing out excess air.
- Massage the marinade into the chicken by squishing the contents around the chicken.
- Refrigerate and marinate for at least 4 hours. Freeze for up to 3 months.
If you will be grilling whole chicken breasts, it is best to flatten the chicken breasts for quick and even cooking. Place your chicken breasts between two sheets of plastic cling film and pound with a meat mallet or tenderizer ( the flat side ). Start at the center of the chicken breast and work your way toward the edges.
Angela is an at home chef that developed a passion for all things cooking and baking at a young age in her Grandma's kitchen. After many years in the food service industry, she now enjoys sharing all of her family favorite recipes and creating tasty dinner and amazing dessert recipes here at Bake It With Love!