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Greek Chicken Marinade

Updated: Mar 26, 2020

The MOST tender, juicy and flavorful chicken you’ll make. The seasoning is just the beginning on this one. The yogurt and citrus tenderize the meat with the olive oil seals in the delicious lemon, garlic and spices used to flavor.

I cook the meat on a cast iron skillet and the delicious marinade gives the meat that PERFECT char grill marks.

I always make sure to let the meat rest for 5 minutes or so before cutting into it to seal in all of those flavors and juices. The waiting is the hardest part but trust me it’s worth it. This marinade is perfect to make ahead of time and conveniently pairs perfectly with a few of our other make ahead recipes like our Homemade Tzatziki Dressing, Tomato Cucumber Salad and Quick Pickled Onions. Assemble all of sides ahead of time so when it’s dinner time you just have to heat up a soft pillowy pita and stuff it full of all of these goods for a truly delectable Greek Chicken Gyro.

Greek Chicken Marinade

4 servings | Prep time: 1 hour ahead | Cook time: 10 minutes (tenders)/30 minutes (full breasts)


  • 3 tbsp plain Greek yogurt (~2oz)

  • 1 tbsp olive oil, divided

  • 1 tbsp Mediterranean herb & salt blend (can replace with oregano, salt and pepper)

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • Juice of 1 lemon plus 1 tsp lemon zest

  • 12-16oz chicken breast (either whole or cut into 4 tenders)


  1. In a gallon plastic bag combine, yogurt, 1/2 tbsp oil, spices, garlic, lemon juice and lemon zest.

  2. Close the bag and use your hands to massage all of the ingredients together.

  3. Add chicken, squeeze all of the excess air out of the bag and massage the marinade into the chicken with your hands.

  4. Place chicken in marinade in the fridge for at least an hour, flipping the bag over halfway.

  5. Remove from fridge about 10 minutes prior to cooking.

  6. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat. For larger chicken breasts, preheat the oven to 350. If just using individual tenders (~3oz pieces) the oven is not needed.

  7. Heat remaining 1/2 tbsp oil in the cast iron.

  8. Use tongs to remove chicken from marinade and place on cast iron.

  9. Grill for 3 minutes on the first side, until you get nice grill marks.

  10. Use tongs to turn chicken and cook for another 3-5 minutes. For tenders, you can just cook them on the stove top until they’re cooked through (internal temperature of 165F). For larger for sized breasts, after the 3-5 minutes, transfer to the oven to finish cooking, about 15-20 minutes or until an internal temperature of 165F is reached.

Note: sometimes the olive oil can smoke, recommend turning the vent on over your stove to accommodate this. I will also cover the front part of my skillet to ensure any smoke goes out the back and up the vent. You may also choose an oil with a higher smoke point such as avocado oil, I just had olive oil on hand.

Nutrition facts are an estimate based on starting with 12oz of raw chicken and include all contents of marinade. Note: not all marinade is used. If you wanted to be very accurate you could weigh the remaining marinade and subtract the macros but considering the majority is protein, I simply use 14oz of chicken but use the nutrition facts for 12oz and call it even.

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