This Greek Marinated Chicken is packed with flavor from oregano, lemon, basil, coriander, and of course - a healthy amount of garlic and olive oil.
You may think this recipe is strictly summertime fare, but I've got news for you. This chicken is seriously my go-to marinated chicken recipe 365 days a year. It is so dang flavorful and can be cooked outside over a flame, or indoors using a grill pan.
If you've been around here for a while, then you probably know that Greek-inspired recipes are some of my all-time favorites. (check out my Greek Meatballs!) I am obsessed with how it can be jam-packed with flavor, but still, feel light and fresh.
Is your mouth watering just thinking about it or is that just me?
The ingredients for this Greek Chicken Marinade are very simple and generally things that are easy to find and many you will likely already have in your pantry.
- Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs
- Plain Greek Yogurt
- Olive Oil
- Dried Oregano
- Dried Coriander
- Dried Basil
- Lemons (Zest and Juice)
- Salt and Pepper
See the recipe card for quantities, and be sure to keep reading for possible ingredient substitutions.
Tip: Save time and use garlic paste (pictured above) in place of mincing whole cloves.
When I say that this marinade couldn't be any easier I really mean it! Simply combine all of the ingredients in a large zip-top food bag or a large food storage container with a lid and allow it to marinate for up to 24 hours.
When you are ready to cook remove the chicken from the marinade and discard the remaining marinade.
For cooking on a grill pan, heat the pan to medium-high heat. Coat the pan in a thin layer of oil. If you are cooking the chicken on an outdoor grill set it to medium-high or about 400° Fahrenheit.
Cook the chicken for approximately 6 minutes on each side or until it reaches a minimum internal temperature of 165° Fahrenheit.
Hint: If you are cooking on an outdoor grill, let the grill run for 4-5 minutes after removing the chicken to burn off any remnants, then clean it. I like to use this bristle-free barbecue brush (affiliate link) for cleaning the grill.
Luckily this recipe is very forgiving if you are like me and like to use recipes as "suggestions" versus rules! Below I have listed some possible alternate ingredients to account for common substitutions and also to make this a dairy free recipe.
- Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs can be swapped with bone in chicken thighs or breasts as well as boneless skinless chicken breasts.
- You can use sour cream, buttermilk, or even dairy free plain yogurt in place of plain Greek yogurt.
- I don't suggest swapping the Olive Oil for anything else (this is GREEK marinated chicken, after all, 😉) But in a bind, any mild flavored oil will work.
- You can use 2 teaspoons of garlic powder or one tablespoon of dried minced garlic in place of fresh garlic.
- If you don't have lemons, you can simply use bottled lemon juice and skip the lemon zest.
While I didn't put substitutions for the herbs in the list, if you are missing an herb from the recipe you can add in a bit of greek seasoning to make up the difference. Just be mindful of the salt if the blend you are using has added salt.
This chicken can be cooked on an outdoor grill, an electric indoor grill (like a George Forman), or on a grill pan.
I love using a grill pan because of the way that it distributes heat you get a result similar to outdoor grilling and it can be used all year round, no matter the weather.
When you are using a grill pan it is super important that you get one that is of good quality and one that has a heavy bottom. You can find the pan that I used here. (affiliate link)
In addition to a grill of some sort, the only other equipment that you will need is either a large zip-top food storage bag or a large food storage container with a lid.
How long should I marinate the chicken?
If you are using chicken thighs, I suggest keeping the chicken in the marinade for at least 8 hours and no more than 24 hours. Typically chicken breast shouldn't marinate for more than 8 hours.
Does the Greek Yogurt make the chicken tender?
YES! While the greek yogurt doesn't add much in the way of flavor, it does make for the most tender and juicy chicken. The lactic acid and calcium in the yogurt break down the proteins in the chicken and the result is out of this world.
Do I need to remove the marinade from the surface of the chicken before cooking?
Not really. Some folks will say to remove it, some will leave it. I generally remove some of the marinades, but I certainly do not go to any great length to wipe the chicken thighs clean before cooking.
You do, however, need to be sure to discard any of the marinade remaining after the chicken has been removed.
How should I store this marinated chicken?
While the chicken is marinating it must be stored in the fridge. It is still raw chicken and it will spoil if it is left at room temperature for an extended amount of time.
Once the chicken has been fully cooked, you can store any leftovers in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months!
To reheat leftovers I suggest cooking them in a lightly greased skillet of medium heat until the chicken is fully heated through. You can also microwave it, but this will slightly alter the texture of the chicken.
You can prep a lot of this chicken at once and freeze it in the marinade. Then, when you are ready to cook simply allow the chicken and marinade to thaw in the refrigerator. After it has completely thawed, cook the chicken following the directions in the recipe card below!
Greek Marinated Chicken
- Grill or Grill Pan
- Large Zip Top Bag OR a Large Storage Container with a Lid
- Place the chicken thighs in a large zip-top bag or a food storage container with a lid.10 Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs
- Add all of the remaining ingredients to the chicken.½ cup Plain Greek Yogurt, ⅓ cup Olive Oil, 2 tablespoon Garlic, 2 tablespoon Dried Oregano, 2 teaspoon Dried Coriander, 2 teaspoon Dried Basil, 2 Lemons, 2 teaspoon Salt, 1 teaspoon Black Pepper
- Mix all of the ingredients and ensure that all of the chicken is thoroughly coated.
- Allow the chicken to marinate in the fridge for at least 1 hour, or up to 24 hours maximum.
- After marinating, remove the chicken from the marinade and discard the marinade.
- For cooking on a grill pan: Heat the pan to medium high heat. Coat the pan in a thin layer of oil. Cook the chicken for approximately 6 minutes on each side or until it reaches a minimum internal temperature of 165° Fahrenheit.
- For cooking on a grill: Heat the grill to 400° Fahrenheit. Lightly oil the grates, then grill the chicken for approximately 6 minutes on each side or until it reaches a minimum internal temperature of 165° Fahrenheit.
The nutrition information listed here is only an estimate and is simply provided as a courtesy. It nor any other information within this post should constitute medical or nutritional advice. Be sure to read all packaging and ingredient labels for potential allergens.
- Always cook chicken to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (62.8 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with a high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds and prevent burning
- Always have good ventilation when cooking with gas