Get ready to cook the best-tasting chicken ever with this easy Greek chicken marinade.
In just 20 minutes, your chicken will be infused with the classic Mediterranean flavors of lemon, garlic, and oregano; taking each bite to the next level.
Best Greek Chicken Marinade
Fresh lemon, garlic, and herbs make this the best Greek chicken marinade for juicy chicken with a bright flavor profile.
This recipe works wonders with any cut of chicken and only needs 20 minutes to do its magic so you can whip it up on short notice and have an incredible meal on the table tonight.
You can use dried herbs from the pantry or fresh herbs, and the recipe card below offers both options for delicious results.
Greek Chicken Marinade Ingredients
If you’re looking for a Greek chicken marinade without yogurt, this is the one. This recipe makes enough marinade for 1 ½ to 2 pounds of chicken breast or thighs, so double or triple the recipe as needed.
- olive oil: coats the chicken with lemon and herbs.
- lemon juice & zest: fresh lemon is a must! The acids in the juice cut through the olive oil, and add flavor while the zest gives the chicken a delicious aroma.
- garlic: is it a Greek chicken marinade without garlic?
- salt & black pepper: enhance the flavors of the marinade ingredients.
- dried oregano: swap for 1 tablespoon of fresh oregano.
- dried thyme: replace with 2 teaspoons of fresh thyme.
- dried rosemary: or 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary finely chopped.
Check the recipe card below for ingredient measurements for both fresh and dried herbs.
How to Make Greek Marinade
This marinade comes together quickly and I’ll show you step-by-step how to marinate and cook the chicken so it’s juicy and flavorful every single time.
- Make the marinade
Combine the olive oil, lemon juice and zest, garlic, salt, pepper, and herbs in a medium bowl or zip bag.
Add the chicken and marinate for 20 minutes or up to 4 hours.
In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken breasts and cook for 5-7 minutes on each side, until the chicken is cooked to an internal temperature of 165F.
- Let it rest
Remove the chicken and let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
Watch this video to see how this super-quick marinade comes together.
How long to Marinate Chicken
Marinades that contain citrus, only need 20 minutes to infuse the flavors into the chicken and can be marinated for up to 4-hours in the refrigerator.
The acids in the fresh lemon juice tenderize the meat very quickly, so the chicken doesn’t need to soak in the marinade for as long.
All other chicken marinade recipes can marinate for 24 hours in the fridge. Anything longer is not recommended since the raw meat texture will begin to decline.
If you want to prep ahead, learn how to freeze marinated chicken so this recipe can be made in advance without the risk of over marinating. The chicken can stay frozen for up to 2 months and it’s ready to be defrosted and cooked whenever you need a quick and healthy meal.
How to Cook Greek Marinated Chicken
You can prepare this Greek marinated chicken using any of your favorite ways to cook chicken: in the oven, pan-fried, or on the grill. It all depends on how much time you have and what cut of chicken you are marinating.
Dark meat and bone-in cuts such as drumsticks and thighs do very well in the oven, while boneless, skinless chicken breasts are great on the stove-top or grill.
The quickest, and my preferred way, is to butterfly and pan-sear marinated chicken breasts in the skillet. It gives the edges a flavorful, golden crust while keeping the meat tender and perfectly cooked through.
What to Serve with Greek Marinated Chicken
There are plenty of mouthwatering ways to use this Greek marinated chicken. You can serve it over my farro bowls recipe with fresh cucumber, tomato, and Tzatziki sauce or with one of the side dishes below:
- Greek nachos– sliced and serve with chicken as a topping.
- Roasted Summer Vegetables– a delicious summer dinner idea.
- Roasted Fingerling Potatoes– juicy chicken with tender, crispy potatoes, yes, please!
- Watermelon & Feta Salad– a fresh and light salad, all it needs is protein.
Greek Chicken Marinade
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 lemon, juiced & zested
- 3 cloves garlic, grated
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 ½ teaspoons dried oregano*
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme*
- ½ teaspoon dried rosemary*
- 1 ½ lbs chicken breasts, or thighs
- In a medium bowl or zip bag, combine the olive oil with lemon juice and zest, garlic, oregano, thyme, rosemary, salt, and black pepper.
- Add the chicken to the marinade, mix to coat, and seal. Refrigerate for 20 minutes or up to 4 hours.
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat up the olive oil. Place the chicken breasts on a skillet and cook, for 5-7 minutes on each side, until the chicken is cooked through at an internal temperature of 165F. Discard chicken marinade.
- Remove the chicken and let it rest 5 to 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
- If you’d like to use fresh herbs instead of dried ones, combine 1 tablespoon fresh oregano + 2 teaspoons fresh thyme + 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped.
- The nutritional information below includes chicken breasts.