Why is this Recipe Awesome?

Using yogurt as a marinade is one of the tastiest tricks in a chef’s recipe book. With such a rich and zesty flavor, this easy chicken marinade is one of my favorite Greek Yogurt Recipes.

  • This simple yogurt marinade for chicken packs maximum flavor with minimum work. Even beginner chefs can whip up this authentic Middle Eastern meal in no time.
  • Transform this Greek yogurt chicken recipe into an easy weeknight dinner with just a few minutes of advanced prep time. So, go ahead and add it to your meal prep recipes collection.
  • Chicken marinated in Greek yogurt is one of the most versatile recipes you can make all year long. With one easy recipe, you can cook this healthy chicken on the grill, in the oven, or on the stovetop using any type of chicken you prefer.
a plate of Greek yogurt marinated chicken thighs on a plate from the top view


To make this Greek Yogurt Marinade, you’ll need whole milk, plain Greek yogurt, lemon zest, fresh lemon juice, and olive oil. 

ingredients for greek seasoning chicken marinade

For the seasoning, gather minced garlic, onion powder, ground cumin, dried oregano, paprika, Italian parsley, kosher salt, ground black pepper, boneless skinless chicken thighs, and vegetable oil.

More Seasoning Ideas & Substitutions

  • Chicken: Though I prepare this recipe with boneless skinless chicken thighs, you can use any type of chicken you prefer (though cooking time may vary). Whole chicken, boneless skinless chicken breasts, and bone-in chicken thighs with skin are all delicious options.
  • Yogurt: I used whole Greek yogurt to make my chicken yogurt marinade. However, any plain whole milk yogurt would work to make this authentic Greek marinade for chicken.
  • Seasoning: Want to give the Greek seasoning in my chicken marinade even more flavor? Take your marinade seasoning to the next level by adding spices like sumac, red pepper flakes, Aleppo pepper, coriander, smoked paprika, and chili powder. For earthy undertones, you can also add dried herbs, like dill, basil, and thyme.
  • Garlic: I prefer using fresh garlic in this recipe, but in a pinch, you can substitute it with a teaspoon of garlic powder.
  • Fresh herbs: If you want to infuse your Mediterranean marinade for chicken with garden-fresh flavor, fresh herbs are the way to go. Fresh oregano, fresh dill and fresh mint will also brighten every bite of this chicken dish.

How to Make Greek Marinade with Yogurt

You won’t believe how easy it is to make Greek chicken marinade with yogurt. Transform your chicken into a Middle Eastern masterpiece with a handful of simple ingredients and a whisk.

person making greek chicken with yogurt marinade
  1. Combine the marinade ingredients: Add the Greek yogurt, lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, onion powder, cumin, oregano, paprika, parsley, salt, and pepper to a large bowl. Whisk the ingredients together until thoroughly combined.
  2. Add the chicken: Add the chicken to the marinade, making sure to submerge all pieces in the mixture.
  3. Marinate chicken with yogurt: Leaving the chicken inside, cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Place the bowl in the fridge for 4-12 hours, so the chicken becomes coated in Greek yogurt and all the flavors have ample time to mingle.
person adding salt and pepper to marinated chicken thighs in yogurt
  1. Prepare chicken for cooking: Remove the soaked chicken from the marinade, place it on a plate, and scrape off the excess marinade. Lightly season the meat with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper on each side. Discard the used and excess marinade.

How to Cook Yogurt Marinated Chicken

There are countless tasty ways to cook Greek chicken marinated in yogurt. These simple instructions have everything, from Greek grilled chicken thighs to roasted chicken with Greek yogurt.

On the Grill

Preparing Greek chicken on the grill makes for a smoky, savory, and fresh meal no one can resist. Prepare your easy marinade, light up your outdoor grill, and get ready for the best-grilled chicken you’ve ever tasted.

  1. Preheat the grill: Preheat a gas grill to medium-high heat (450 degrees F.).
person making grilled chicken with Greek yogurt on the grill
  1. Prepare the grates: Clean the grill grates and brush them with a generous amount of vegetable oil.
  2. Cook the chicken: Transfer the chicken thighs marinated in yogurt to the grill grates. Grill them for 8-10 minutes—turning them once—until the thickest part of the meat reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. with a meat thermometer (affiliate link).
  3. Serve: Transfer the cooked chicken to a plate, cover it with aluminum foil, and let it rest for 5-7 minutes. Serve!

In the Oven

Baking yogurt marinated chicken is one of my cookbook’s easiest and tastiest weeknight recipes. You can set it and forget it with this hands-free chicken yogurt bake recipe.

  1. Preheat the oven: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside.
  2. Bake the chicken: Transfer the chicken thighs to the prepared sheet and bake for 18-22 minutes. When done, the thickest part of the meat should reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
  3. Serve: Remove the cooked chicken from the oven and transfer it to a plate. Cover the chicken with aluminum foil and let it rest for 5 minutes. Slice and serve!

On the Stovetop

I recommend preparing yogurt-marinated chicken on the stovetop for a quick, indoor cooking method. 

  1. Prepare the skillet: Add one tablespoon of vegetable oil to a large skillet or a grill pan and heat over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the chicken: When the oil is hot, add the chicken to the skillet, making sure not to overcrowd the pieces.
  3. Cook: Cook the chicken until one side is fully cooked, then flip each piece. In total, the chicken should cook for 10-12 minutes or until the thickest part of the meat reaches 165 degrees F.
  4. Serve: Transfer the chicken thighs to a plate, and cover them with aluminum foil. Let the chicken rest for 5-10 minutes, then serve.

What to Serve it with

What I love most about this Yogurt Marinated Greek Chicken is that it pairs well with so many dishes making it ideal for a delicious chicken meal any night of the week. Below are a few suggestions to help you build a menu around it:

How to Store & Reheat

One bite of this juicy chicken, and you won’t want a single bite to go to waste. Keep your chicken tasting fresh-off-the-grill using these easy storage hacks.

  • Store: Place leftover grilled chicken in an airtight container. It will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to two days.
  • Reheat: To reheat your chicken, heat it in the microwave until it reaches your desired temperature. You can also cook it in the oven at 300 degrees F. for 8-10 minutes.
chicken souvlaki with Greek yogurt marinade on a plate from the front view

Expert Tips

You don’t have to be a master chef to prepare this Greek Chicken Yogurt Marinade. Here are a few foolproof tips to help you succeed on your first try:

  • Use the marinade as a sauce: Equal parts versatile and flavorful, my healthy Greek chicken marinade doubles as a sauce. Just be sure to use fresh marinade—not the marinade with which you soaked raw chicken.
  • Discard leftover chicken marinade: Be sure to discard any used marinade to prevent any food-borne illnesses caused by using raw poultry.
  • Pound the chicken breasts: If you are using chicken breasts, I recommend pounding them to an even thickness before cooking. Doing so will ensure that they are cooked evenly throughout, leaving you with perfectly cooked yogurt marinated chicken breasts.
  • Brush grilled chicken with oil: If your Greek BBQ chicken dries out during the grilling process, feel free to brush it with a light layer of olive oil to restore its moisture.
  • Cooking time may vary: Depending on the thickness of your chicken, it may require more or less cooking time. To test your chicken’s doneness, the best thing to do is to use a digital thermometer, such as Thermapen One (affiliate). Simply insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken. It should be safely cooked and ready to eat when it reaches 165 degrees F.
  • Let the chicken rest: To keep your Greek chicken as succulent and flavorful as possible, let them rest for a few minutes before slicing. This resting time allows the chicken to reabsorb and redistribute its juices, ensuring that every bite explodes with flavor.


What is Greek chicken?

Greek chicken is chicken prepared using classic Greek flavors. Fresh herbs, yogurt, lemon, and olive oil are signature ingredients in Greek marinade for chicken with yogurt.

What does marinating chicken in yogurt do?

When added to a marinade, the lactic acid in yogurt gently tenderizes the meat without making it tough—something vinegar- and citrus-based marinades tend to do. As a result, marinating chicken thighs in yogurt gives them a juicy, melt-in-your-mouth texture.

How to season Greek chicken?

To season Grecian chicken, I first suggest marinating your meat in a mixture that contains both acid and fat (for example, marinating chicken in greek yogurt, olive oil, and lemon juice). Then, add common Greek seasonings like onion powder, ground cumin, dried oregano, and paprika. Finally, sprinkle your chicken with fresh herbs, such as parsley, mint and/or dill, and cook as desired.

How long to marinate chicken in yogurt?

I suggest marinating your chicken breast in greek yogurt for a minimum of four hours and a maximum of twelve hours.

Can I marinate chicken in yogurt overnight?

Yes—I even recommend it! Letting the mixture sit overnight ensures your chicken absorbs the marinade’s flavor and tenderizes properly.

Can you fry chicken marinated in yogurt?

Yes, you can fry your marinated chicken. However, I suggest scraping off any excess lemon oregano marinade and coating your chicken in an egg-and-flour mixture before frying to make your meat extra crispy.

Do you rinse off yogurt marinade?

You don’t need to wash off your Greek chicken marinade with yogurt, but I suggest scraping off any excess to make the cooking process cleaner and easier.

Other Chicken Recipes You Might Also Like:

If you try this Greek Yogurt Chicken Marinade recipe or any other recipes on Foolproof Living, please take a minute to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. It is a great help to others who are thinking of making the recipe. And if you took some pictures, be sure to share them on Instagram using #foolproofeats so I can share them on my stories.

Greek Yogurt Chicken Marinade Recipe

5 from 34 votes
Yields4 servings
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Resting Time4 hours
Total Time4 hours 30 minutes
This Greek Yogurt Chicken Marinade recipe is all you need for juicy, tangy, perfectly seasoned chicken with a Mediterranean flair. Whether you decide to cook this delicious chicken on the grill, in the oven, or on the stove, it's always bound to impress. Serve it alone or with a tasty side dish for a simple, satisfying, and healthy meal.


  • 1 cup whole milk Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ cup fresh Italian parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, more for seasoning at the last minute
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 ½ lb. skinless boneless chicken thighs, or chicken breast* – read note
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, to brush grill grates


  • Place yogurt, lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, onion powder, cumin, oregano, paprika, parsley, and salt and pepper in a large bowl*1. Whisk until fully combined.
  • Place chicken thighs in the bowl and make sure that they are fully submerged in the marinade.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least 4 hours or preferably overnight for up to 12 hours.
  • When you are ready to cook, remove the chicken from the marinade onto a plate, making sure to scrape off any excess marinade. Season chicken pieces lightly with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper on each side. Discard the marinade.

To Cook on the Grill:

  • Preheat a gas grill to medium-high heat (450 degrees F).
  • Clean grill grates and generously brush with vegetable oil.
  • Grill chicken thighs for 8-10 minutes, turning once until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees when a thermometer is inserted in the thickest part of the meat.
  • Transfer the now cooked chicken onto a plate, cover with aluminum foil and let it rest for 5-7 minutes before serving.

To Cook in the Oven

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and set it aside.
  • Place chicken thighs on the sheet and bake for 18-22 minutes or until a thermometer inserted into the meat registers 165 degrees F.
  • Remove from the oven and onto a plate. Cover with aluminum foil and let them rest for 5 minutes before slicing and/or serving.

To Cook on the Stove

  • Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large skillet (10 or 12-inch cast iron skillet or a skillet grill is ideal) over medium-high heat.
  • When it is simmering hot, place the chicken pieces in the skillet, making sure not to overcrowd the pan.
  • Cook, turning once until they are fully cooked, 10-12 minutes, or until a digital thermometer inserted in the center of a thigh registers 165 degrees F.
  • Remove the chicken thighs from the skillet and onto a plate; cover with aluminum foil and let it rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.



  • *1 Alternatively, you can place everything in a plastic bag and seal it tightly for easy and quick clean-up.
  • *2 If using boneless skinless chicken breasts, pound them one by one to flatten them out to an even thickness. Doing so will ensure that they will cook evenly throughout.
  • Store: Place leftover grilled chicken in an airtight container. It will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to two days.
  • Reheat: To reheat your chicken, heat it in the microwave until it reaches your desired temperature. You can also cook it in the oven at 300 degrees F. for 8-10 minutes.


Calories: 341kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 39g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 0.03g | Cholesterol: 164mg | Sodium: 757mg | Potassium: 587mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 938IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 103mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Chicken
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Tried this recipe?Mention @foolproofliving or tag #foolproofeats!

About Aysegul Sanford

Hello Friend! I'm Aysegul but you can call me “Ice." I’m the cook/recipe-tester/photographer behind this site.

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5 from 34 votes (30 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    So happy that I found your site! I’ve been on the search for a recipe that creates tender as well as flavorful chicken. This is it! I’ve already forwarded this recipe to at least 5 fellow foodies:). Looking forward to trying more of your recipes.
    Thanks for sharing!

  2. 5 stars
    I absolutely love this recipe. It’s my new favorite. I cook my chicken thighs at 325° for an hour…I like my chicken a little more “well done”. I also didn’t have oregano, so I subbed Italian seasoning. Thank you so much!

    1. This is music to my ears Kellie. Thanks for taking the time to leave a review. I am so happy to hear that you liked it.

  3. Tastes great!!! Probably could double spices if wanted to for extra flavour but tastes really nice as is too. Oven cooked for about 30 minutes on 220 celsius

  4. 5 stars
    Oh my goodness: so good!

    As usual, another instant favorite. Your recipes never disappoint.

    I used two chicken breasts, which I filleted and made sure to coat both sides of each fillet with marinate before letting it rest in the fridge for the day. After grilling the chicken, I diced it, and put in on salad for dinner. The chicken was so flavorful (and moist) that the salad didn’t need any dressing whatsoever.

    Never would it have crossed my mind to marinate chicken in a yogurt-based sauce, but I’m so glad you did. Thanks for another delicious recipe!

    1. Thank you SO much for your sweet words about my recipes Jennifer. I am thrilled to hear that you enjoyed this recipe.
      I love that you turned it into a delicious salad. We do that often as well.
      Thanks again.