Greek yogurt marinated chicken is the KEY to incredibly moist, tender and juicy chicken!!! Infused with lemon, garlic with just a touch of mint, this yogurt marinade also doubles as an incredible yogurt sauce for the chicken!
Greek Yogurt Marinade For Chicken:
This lemon, garlic
- Chicken: I used
bone inchicken breasts, but this recipe works with thighs, drumsticks or even a spatchcocked chicken. I like using bone inchicken for grilling, but skinless and boneless breasts or thighs also work!
- Yogurt: I used plain greek yogurt (since that is always in my refrigerator!)
but youcould also use plain yogurt or lebneh(strained greekyogurt).
- fresh lemon juice: Nothing beats the flavor of fresh lemon juice. You can use bottled juice, but fresh juice definitely tastes better!
- Garlic: I regularly use bottled garlic in my kitchen but for this yogurt chicken recipe, you really need to use fresh garlic!
- Fresh Mint and Parsley: If you're not a fan of mint, feel free to use all parsley. But I
highyrecommend trying this yogurt marinade with fresh mint. The flavor is subtle and brightens all the other flavors!
- Olive oil, salt
andpepper - nothing fancy or special about these pantry staples!
Greek Yogurt Marinade:
Why Marinating Chicken in yogurt is brilliant!
Acidic ingredients like lemon juice, buttermilk, and yogurt break down cell walls - making food more tender AND allowing them to absorb more moisture. Yogurt also a fabulous carrier of flavor -infusing the chicken with all those lemon and garlic flavors!
How Long Should I Marinate the Chicken?
The beauty of this marinade is that you can marinate the chicken for as little as 3 hours or up to 24 hours! I usually marinate the chicken overnight, but if time is short, 3 hours will do the trick!
What Else Can I Use this Marinade For?
As I mentioned, the marinade also makes a fabulous yogurt sauce ! After making the marinade, reserve a half cup or so and serve it with the grilled chicken. Sometimes I make a double batch of the marinade and make a salad with the leftovers.
How to Make Lemon Garlic Chicken:
- Combine the yogurt, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, parsley, mint, salt, and pepper in a nonreactive bowl and whisk to combine. TIP: You can make the marinade a day ahead of time but don't add the mint until you are ready to marinate the chicken since it will turn black!
- Set aside ½ cup of the marinade for sauce!!! Add the chicken and thoroughly coat with the marinade. For easier storage you can transfer the chicken to a ziplock bag.
- Refrigerate for 2 - 3 hours or overnight.
- Preheat your grill to medium-high heat. TIP: to prevent sticking, CLEAN AND OIL your grate!
- Remove the chicken from the refrigerator 30 minutes before you grill it.
- Scrape off excess marinade and place the chicken on the grill. Cook, turning frequently until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees - about 15 minutes depending upon the size of your breasts.
- Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes before serving to let the juices migrate back to the center of the chicken.
Other Chicken Recipes you should try!
- Moroccan Chicken - lemon and olives flavor this easy, one pan chicken!
- Chicken Tikka - chicken marinated in a mildly spiced yogurt marinade
- Chicken Marbella- the Silver Palate classic!
- Madras Chicken- THE gateway indian curry!
- Coconut Chicken Curry - luscious and creamy!
I hope you love this recipe as much as I do! If you do, I would love for you to leave me a comment and rate the recipe!!!
Greek Yogurt Marinated Chicken
- 2 cups Laban or plain greek yogurt
- ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons grapeseed or vegetable oil for the grill
- 2 ½ - 3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 6 garlic cloves mashed to a paste
- 2 Tablespoons fresh parsley finely minced plus 1 Tablespoon for garnish
- 2 Tablespoons fresh mint finely minced plus 1 Tablespoon for garnish
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 6 chicken breasts bone in chicken breasts
- 1 lemon sliced for garnish
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the yogurt, ⅓ cup olive oil, 3 tablespoons lemon juice, crushed garlic, parsley, mint, and salt. Transfer half the mixture to another bowl, cover and refrigerate.
- Transfer ½ cup of the marinade to another bowl, cover and refrigerate.
- Add the chicken breasts to the bowl slather with the marinade, making sure to coat the chicken thoroughly.
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours or overnight.
- To cook:
- Remove the chicken and the reserved marinade from the refrigerator.
- Pre heat the grill to medium high heat. When the grill is hot, brush the grill with the 2 Tablespoons of oil.
- Remove the chicken breasts from the marinade, letting the excess drip off.
- Add the breasts to the grill and cook, turning often, until the breasts are evenly grilled on both sides and the internal temperature is 160 degrees.
- Remove the chicken from the grill to a clean platter, cover with foil, and allow to rest for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Serve with the reserved marinade and enjoy!
Katie Lesko says
Looking forward to trying this! It looks delicious - I have an aunt on my dad's side who is Lebanese and she has a great cookbook that I love cooking out of!
I love lebanese food!! This chicken is seriously good and it's so easy! Definitely make extra - it's terrific cold in a salad or on a sandwich!!!
Simple but tasty offering.
Diana Johnson says
I just love the texture and flavor of chicken marinated in yogurt. And I'm a huge fan of Lebanese cooking. Such a great grilled chicken recipe!
You are my kindred spirit! I love using yogurt based sauces and this one (packed with GARLIC) is right up my alley! I can't wait to try it. Bravo!
You described this as juicy and tender. You weren't kidding. Some different flavors than I usually use but they sure come together beautifully.
Karen (Back Road Journal) says
Yogurt sauces really do make for a juicy and flavorful chicken. Yours looks great.
Thanks Karen!!!This one is definitely a winner- honestly one of the best grilled chicken recipes I've ever made- it's on constant rotation here during the summer!!!
Hi! Can the marinade be stored before using? I have the ingredients to make it up but don't intend to use it for a few days - will it keep?
Absolutely! I would reduce the garlic by half since it will get stronger the longer it sits! Also the mint will turn black so I’d add it just beige marinating the chicken. My apologies for any typos- I’m on the road so doing this on my phone- LOL!!