Greek Yogurt Chicken Marinade

Greek Yogurt Chicken Marinade is an easy to way to add flavor to chicken without a ton of work. Greek yogurt, lemon, garlic, and a few seasonings is all you need!

Perfectly grilled chicken on a blue plate with lemon slices.

Greek Yogurt Chicken Marinade

4.3 from 42 votes
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Author: Kim
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Additional Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 4 Servings


  • 1 pound chicken breasts, boneless skinless
  • 1 ½ cups Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 ½ tablespoons lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  • Trim away any excess fat from the chicken and pat dry with a paper towel. Place the chicken into a gallon-size plastic zip bag or an airtight container. Set aside.
    1 pound chicken breasts
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the yogurt, lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, oregano, thyme, salt, and pepper.
    1 ½ cups Greek yogurt
    ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
    1 ½ tablespoons lemon zest
    1 tablespoon garlic cloves
    1 teaspoon dried oregano
    ½ teaspoon dried thyme
    Salt and pepper
    Ingredients for greek yogurt chicken marinade in a glass bowl.
  • Pour the marinade over the chicken, ensuring all the chicken is evenly covered. Zip the bag shut or seal the container. Transfer the chicken to the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight (12 hours).
    Ziploc bag filled with chicken and marinade.
  • When you’re ready to cook, preheat the grill or griddle (over medium heat) just before removing the chicken from the refrigerator. Lightly brush the grill or griddle with a light coating of cooking oil (canola, vegetable, or avocado oil works great).
  • Use tongs to remove the chicken from the container and allow any excess marinade to drip off. Place the chicken onto the hot pan and cook for 8 to 10 minutes on each side. The chicken is done when the thickest part reaches 165°F on an instant read meat thermometer and the juices run clear.
    Two pieces of grilled chicken on a blue plate.
  • Remove the chicken from the pan to a waiting plate and cover loosely with foil. Allow the chicken to rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
  • For tips, storage information, substitutions, variations, and comments scroll to the post below.


*The calories listed are an approximation based on a 4-ounce grilled chicken breast. However, due to some of the marinade not being used, the actual calories will vary. Please use an online calculator of your choice to determine the exact amounts based on the amount of marinade consumed.
*Skip to Substitutions.
*Skip to Storage.
*Skip to Tips.


Serving: 0.25poundCalories: 184kcalCarbohydrates: 5gProtein: 32gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.5gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.02gCholesterol: 76mgSodium: 159mgPotassium: 560mgFiber: 1gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 60IUVitamin C: 11mgCalcium: 105mgIron: 1mg
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Two pieces of grilled chicken on a blue plate.

Substitutions and Variations

  • Use your favorite type of chicken. This marinade works well on chicken breasts, chicken thighs, bone-in chicken, or boneless varieties.
  • Try spices to add extra flavor like cumin, paprika, or a dash of cayenne pepper.
  • We already use lemon juice and lemon zest, but you could add some red wine vinegar and olive oil to add tang and acidity.


Refrigerator: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. 

Reheat: Reheat over low heat on the stovetop or in the oven until warmed through.

Grilled chicken with lemon slices and parsley.


  • Use a plain yogurt that you and your family like. There’s no sense in buying a yogurt that you don’t like, because it’s going to add that flavor to the chicken. Again, make sure it’s plain and not vanilla, lemon, or blueberry, etc.
  • Make sure the grill, griddle, or pan is nice and hot before adding the chicken. Hot griddle or grill grates will help give the chicken those nice grill marks. We use this stove top grill pan and griddle and both are great for this recipe!
  • A chicken breast with Greek yogurt marinade should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165°F according to the USDA Safe Minimum Internal Temperature Chart. An instant read thermometer is a great way to ensure the chicken is cooked thoroughly.

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