Zesty Greek Chicken Marinade
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!
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.
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)
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.
Whisk well in the dish.
Get the Complete (Printable) Greek Chicken Marinade Recipe + VIDEO Below. Enjoy!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Looking for More Great Grilling Recipes? Be Sure to Also Try:
- The Best Grilled Vegetables Marinade
- How to Grill Salmon
- Grilled Greek Pizza
- Grilled Maple Mustard Chicken
- Pollo Asado (Mexican Grilled Chicken)
Zesty Greek Chicken Marinade Recipe + VIDEO
- 3 – 4 pounds boneless chicken breasts or thighs
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 lemons zested and juiced
- 4 – 5 cloves garlic minced
- ¼ cup chopped parsley
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¼ – ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper optional
- 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.
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This is my new go-to marinade recipe. It’s so easy to make and crazy delicious!
love this marinade, feels like the acid in the lemon definitely helps tenderize and add flavor along with the other marinade ingredients, thank you!
This marinade is absolutely perfect! I added more garlic because we love it. The chicken was juicy and so flavorful!
We loved this chicken marinade! So delicious!!
This greek chicken marinade looks so delicious, and the instructions are easy to follow as well.