This Greek Yogurt Chicken Marinade is so delicious and simple to make with only 5 fresh ingredients. Marinading chicken breasts in this Greek yogurt marinade will give you juicy, flavourful grilled chicken every time!
Calling all chicken breasts LOVERS!
This is the marinade of your life🤩
A Greek yogurt marinade is perfect for chicken breasts because it helps infuse flavour, keeps the chicken moist while cooking, and the yogurt tenderizes the chicken - even before cooking!
This was inspired by my Starbucks Chicken and Vegetables Protein Box Copycat on my site, and pairs well with this Easy Greek Dip with Feta.
Love chicken breasts a lot? ME TOO🙋♀️
Then check out one of the most popular recipes on the site: this Cast Iron Skillet Chicken Breast too. Yum😋
📝Ingredients for Greek yogurt marinade
Here's what you'll need for this easy chicken marinade:
- Plain Greek yogurt 2%
- Garlic cloves
- Kosher Salt
- Dried Oregano
And this recipe uses boneless, skinless chicken breasts (4).
See recipe card for quantities.
🙋♀️How to make Greek yogurt marinaded chicken
Marinade for 10 hours in fridge or overnight.
When ready to cook, take the chicken out of the bag. Discard the marinade.
BBQ or grill chicken on medium heat for approximately 10 minutes per side, turning once until the internal temperature reads 165 degrees F on an instant read thermometer.
See recipe card below for more details and tips.
This recipe is the simple and classic combo of lemon, garlic, oregano and salt.
But if you're looking for ways to change things up, here's what you could do:
- 🔥Spicy - like it hot? Skip the oregano and stir in some harissa sauce or cajun spice mix into the yogurt before marinading
- 🍃Fresh - instead of the dried oregano and lemon, add fresh mint or cilantro, lime juice and the lime rind for a bright and zingy flavour
- 🥘Curry - go for a flavour profile that's Indian-inspired by adding paprika, turmeric, cumin, and curry powder into the yogurt
- ❓No chicken breasts? No problem! Boneless, skinless chicken thighs work well too!
You'll get the best result by using a BBQ or grill to cook the chicken after you marinade it.
But if that's not available, you can totally cook the chicken in the oven.
Here's how you do it:
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F. In an oven safe pan, heat a little oil over medium high heat
- Sear the marinated chicken breasts in the hot oil by cooking undisturbed for about 3 minutes
- Flip and cook without moving for another 3 minutes
- Place the whole pan into the oven to finish cooking. This will take approximately 8-10 minutes. Check with an instant read thermometer to be sure chicken comes to a temperature of 165 degrees F in the thickest part.
This is based on one of the most popular recipes on my site: Cast Iron Skillet Chicken Breast!
🥡Storage and Leftovers
You can make this marinade up to 1 day ahead if needed. Store it in a jar with a tight fitting lid in the fridge.
After cooking, any marinated chicken leftovers are good for up to 3 days. Keep in the fridge.
These ingredients don't stand up well to freezing.
Another idea for leftovers: use them in lunches for the week ahead! Place the chicken in meal prep containers with cooked basmati rice and lightly steamed green beans.
Also check out this recipe for Chicken, Rice and Broccoli Meal Prep for another great meal prep recipe using grilled or baked chicken.
✅How long can you marinate chicken in Greek yogurt?
You can marinade chicken in Greek yogurt for up to approximately 20 hours, or overnight. You can also marinade for less time but do at least 6 hours. The yogurt and citric acid in the lemon will start to tenderize the chicken. It also boosts the flavour and helps keep in moisture when you cook the chicken.
More on yogurt marinating chicken from Bon Appetit here.
🍽️What to serve with yogurt marinaded chicken
This recipe is a perfect start to a healthy, gluten-free meal.
Here's a few things to serve alongside it:
- 🥒Tzatziki sauce - this grilled chicken is calling out to be dipped into a cooling and delicious tzatziki. Pick some up at the grocery store or check out my recipe for Easy Greek Dip with Feta for a spin on the traditional tzatziki
- 🌽Grilled corn on the cob - If you've got the grill or BBQ already fired up, why not get some corn on there! Grilled corn is delicious and provides some healthy carbohydrates and fibre
- 😎Corn salsa - got extra BBQ'd corn? Make this Summer Corn and Black Bean Salsa because it compliments the yogurt marinated chicken so well. Chop the chicken up, throw it over a bed of greens and top with the corn salsa. Healthy dinner is served😄
- 🥬Get those greens in - a simple green salad is perfect with this grilled chicken. Try my Simple Romaine Salad with Radish and Parmesan for a match made in heaven. Or this easy recipe for Roasted Tenderstem Broccoli🥦
- 🥗Quinoa salad - this Easy Quinoa Salad with Feta is an easy and delicious side to have with this yogurt-marinated chicken
- 🥔Roasted potatoes and broccoli - get "2 for 1 side dishes" with this recipe for Simple Roasted Broccoli and Potatoes (one pan)
- 🍑Grilled peaches - if you've got the grill on anyways, why not make some Easy Gluten Free Grilled Peaches with Walnuts to have after you all dig into the chicken! You can spoon some Greek yogurt overtop of them😋
When using Greek yogurt vs. regular yogurt to marinade chicken, you need the lemon juice to thin it out a bit. And the lemon is great because it adds so much flavour.
But if you don't have Greek yogurt, you can use regular yogurt instead. But make sure the regular yogurt doesn't have any flavour (no vanilla, etc) because that wouldn't go vey well.
And for the marinating time, keep it to 4-6 hours (minimum) to 24 hours maximum. Because yogurt and lemon juice are such great tenderizers, the enzymes in the yogurt and lemon juice do start to break down the meat. I've found past the 24 hour mark, it changes the texture of the chicken breast a little bit. Marinating about 8-12 hours seems to be the sweet spot.
Hope you love this recipe like we do.
🥣More Marinade Recipes
If you try it, please rate and comment below - I love hearing from you😄
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Greek Yogurt Chicken Marinade
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts 8oz each, about 1.5 lbs total
- 1 cup Greek yogurt 2%
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- ¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
- 2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 lemon for juice plus some rind
- Slice the chicken breasts in half lengthwise ("butterfly") so they’re thinner.
- Sprinkle chicken breast with some Kosher salt.
- Mix up Greek yogurt, minced garlic, salt and oregano in a small bowl.
- Grate in some of the rind from the lemon and then cut the lemon in half and squeeze in all the juice. Stir again.
- Place chicken breasts in large ziplock bag and pour marinade over. Seal the bag and turn to coat.
- Marinade for 6 hours or overnight in the fridge.
- When ready to cook the chicken, take the chicken out of the bag. Discard the leftover marinade.
- BBQ or grill the chicken breasts on medium heat for approximately 10 minutes per side, turning once until the internal temperature is 165 degrees F on an instant read thermometer. Serve warm.
- 4-6 hours minimum
- 8-12 hours seems perfect
- 24 hours maximum (overnight)