A Spicy Perspective

Zesty Greek Chicken Marinade

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Easy Greek Chicken Marinade Recipe – This marinade is zesty with lemon, garlic, and delicious Greek spices. It makes the most juicy and flavorful grilled or baked chicken in under an hour!

Close view pieces of marinated grilled chicken with lemon.

Why We Love this Marinade Recipe

There is no better way to add big flavor to the humble chicken breast (or thigh) than with a vibrant marinade. You only need a handful of ingredients and a bit of patience. Then place it in the fridge and let the magic happen!

This Greek Chicken Marinade recipe makes a great marinade for classic grilled (or baked) chicken with zesty herbs and spices. The meat needs to sit for as little as 30 minutes or up to four hours. Quickly prep when you get home in the evening, and you can still have dinner on the table in under an hour.

The specific combination of olive oil, lemon juice, zest, and herbs gives it a Greek flavor, so it’s perfect to put on Greek salads or use in Gyro-style wraps. However, this grilled chicken can be served with any side dish for healthy and flavorful main dish protein.

Top down view grilled marinated Greek chicken with lemon.

Marinade Ingredients Checklist

  • Chicken – boneless skinless breasts or chicken thighs
  • Extra virgin olive oil – preferred, but you can sub with avocado oil for a similar taste
  • Lemons – zested and juiced
  • Fresh garlic – minced
  • Parsley – chopped
  • Spices – dried oregano, salt, dried thyme, ground black pepper, crushed red pepper (optional)
Spices in a white baking dish.

How to Make Greek Marinade for Chicken

Set out a 9 x 13-inch baking dish or large shallow bowl. In the dish, combine the olive oil, 1/4 cup of lemon juice, 2 teaspoons lemon zest, minced garlic, parsley, oregano, salt, thyme, black pepper, and crushed red pepper, if using.

Adding oil in baking dish with spices.

Whisk well in the dish.

Get the Complete (Printable) Greek Chicken Marinade Recipe + VIDEO Below. Enjoy!

Greek marinade.

Then place the chicken pieces in the marinade and flip to coat. Cover the baking pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, and up to four hours.

Pro Tip: When it comes to marinating, longer is better! So if you have the time I highly suggest waiting for the full four hours.

Raw chicken breasts and thighs marinating in a baking dish with spices.

When ready to cook, preheat the grill to medium heat, approximately 350°F to 400°F. When the grill is hot, grill the chicken for 5 minutes per side.

Grilled marinated chicken in a white baking dish.

How to Bake Greek Chicken

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and placed the chicken pieces on it, making sure they do not touch.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the thickest piece is cooked through.

Side view pieces of marinated grilled Greek chicken with lemon.

Serving Suggestions

Let the chicken rest for several minutes before slicing and serving with fresh chopped parsley and lemon wedges.

Grilled or baked Greek chicken is delicious with simple Mediterranean sides, like fluffy white or brown rice and Roasted Greek Lemon Potatoes.

For a lighter low carb option serve with Roasted Cauliflower Rice or Oven Roasted Broccoli Rice!

We always love to include a salad on the table, like Horiatiki (Greek village salad). Or load marinated chicken onto fresh greens for a salad with Greek Salad Dressing and a side of Hummus.

You can also use tender pieces of chicken to make satisfying Gyros-style wraps or sandwiches with homemade Tzatziki Sauce!

Close view pieces of marinated Greek grilled chicken with lemon.

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes a great marinade?

Combination of 3 essential components: Acid, oil, and aromatics. In this recipe, we use zesty fresh lemon, extra virgin olive oil, garlic, and a combination of vibrant spices for a light but flavorful grilled chicken.

Can you make this recipe with bone-in chicken?

Yes, you can also use this marinade for a bone-in chicken recipe! Grill bone-in chicken over medium heat for approximately 40 minutes, flipping once.

Is chicken done at 165 or 180 degrees?

Chicken is considered done when it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.

How long does Greek marinade keep well?

The marinade itself will stay fresh for up to a week in the fridge.

But only marinate the chicken for up to 4 hours in the fridge. Discard the marinade immediately after removing the chicken.

How long do grilled or baked chicken leftovers last?

Let the Greek grilled chicken cool completely before transferring it to an airtight container. Keep cooked chicken in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Close view pieces of marinated Greek grilled chicken with lemon.

Looking for More Great Grilling Recipes? Be Sure to Also Try:

Close view pieces of marinated grilled chicken with lemon.
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Zesty Greek Chicken Marinade Recipe + VIDEO

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Marinate Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
This easy chicken marinade recipe is zesty with lemon, garlic, and delicious Greek spices. It makes the most juicy and flavorful grilled or baked chicken in under an hour!
Servings: 10 pieces

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Set out a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. In the dish, combine the olive oil, 1/4 cup of lemon juice, 2 teaspoons lemon zest, minced garlic, parsley, oregano, salt, thyme, black pepper, and crushed red pepper, if using. Whisk well in the dish. Then place the chicken pieces in the marinade and flip to coat. Cover the baking dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, and up to four hours. (Longer is better).
  • When ready to cook, preheat the grill to medium heat, approximately 350°F to 400°F. When the grill is hot, grill the chicken for 5 minutes per side.
  • To bake the chicken, preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and placed the chicken pieces on it, making sure they do not touch. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the thickest piece is cooked through.

Video

Notes

You can also use this marinade on bone-in chicken. Grill bone-in chicken over medium heat for approximately 40 minutes, flipping once.
The marinade itself will stay fresh for up to a week in the fridge.
But only marinate the chicken for up to 4 hours in the fridge. Discard the marinade immediately after removing the chicken.
For leftovers: Let the chicken cool completely before transferring to an airtight container. Keep cooked chicken the fridge for up to 3 days.

Nutrition

Serving: 1pc, Calories: 465kcal, Carbohydrates: 2g, Protein: 68g, Fat: 19g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 10g, Trans Fat: 0.04g, Cholesterol: 203mg, Sodium: 836mg, Potassium: 1210mg, Fiber: 0.4g, Sugar: 0.2g, Vitamin A: 250IU, Vitamin C: 9mg, Calcium: 34mg, Iron: 2mg
Course: Main, Main Course
Cuisine: Greek, Mediterranean
Author: Sommer Collier

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5 comments on “Zesty Greek Chicken Marinade”

  1. This is my new go-to marinade recipe. It’s so easy to make and crazy delicious!

  2. love this marinade, feels like the acid in the lemon definitely helps tenderize and add flavor along with the other marinade ingredients, thank you!

  3. This marinade is absolutely perfect! I added more garlic because we love it. The chicken was juicy and so flavorful!

  4. We loved this chicken marinade! So delicious!!

  5. This greek chicken marinade looks so delicious, and the instructions are easy to follow as well.