Baked Greek Yogurt Chicken

4.80 from 5 votes

Fresh, light, and tasty, my recipe for Greek yogurt chicken is easy to prepare and even easier to eat! Tender chicken is marinated in a sauce made from Greek yogurt, garlic, herbs and plenty of lemon, then baked to perfection.

closeup view of greek yogurt chicken

There’s just something special about Mediterranean food! It’s filled with light and refreshing flavors, plenty of fruits and vegetables, and yummy proteins. This Greek-inspired chicken recipe is the epitome of Mediterranean cooking. It’s so simple to make and is so versatile — you have a wide choice of side dishes that can go with it! I like the idea of pairing it with rice or seafood and some roasted veggies. It’s a well-balanced meal that will fill you up without weighing you down.

If you like Greek food as much as I do, I definitely suggest that you check out recipes like this Greek chicken souvlaki, fasolakia (Greek green beans), and Greek stuffed peppers

But wait, I’m getting ahead of myself! I know you’re all here for my Greek yogurt chicken recipe. It involves marinating chicken in a yogurt-based sauce filled with citrus and herbs and spices. Then, all you have to do is pop it in the oven for a while, and before you know it, dinner (or lunch) is served!

side view of greek yogurt chicken on plate

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

  • Chicken – You can use boneless chicken thighs or breasts, whatever is your preference. You can also choose between skin on or off — it doesn’t matter for this recipe! If using chicken breasts that are on the thicker side, you can cut them in half horizontally and pound them out so that they become thinner.
  • Greek Yogurt – This is the base of your marinade! I love the subtle flavor of this type of yogurt.
  • Olive Oil – You also need a bit of oil in your marinade.
  • Garlic – Use 6 cloves here! The garlic flavor marries wonderfully with the yogurt, lemon, and other herbs and spices.
  • Lemon – You’ll use both the juice and zest for a bold citrus taste.
  • Red Pepper Flakes – For just a touch of heat.
  • Oregano & Parsley – Use fresh for the best results!
  • Salt & Pepper – For the finishing touches of flavor!
chicken being dipped in yogurt mixture

How to Make Greek Yogurt Chicken

  1. Make The Marinade. Whisk together all of your marinade ingredients in a bowl. Place the chicken in a gallon-sized plastic bag or a large food-safe plastic container. Marinate the chicken for at least 30 minutes to 8 hours in the refrigerator can infuse it with flavors and help tenderize the meat.
  2. Bake The Chicken. Preheat your oven to 375° F and coat the inside of a baking dish with olive oil or cooking spray. Remove the chicken from the marinade, making sure to shake off any excess. Place the chicken in the dish in a single layer and bake uncovered for 45 minutes. You want your chicken to be golden brown and to have an internal temperature of 165°F.
  3. Garnish & Serve. If desired, sprinkle a bit of extra lemon juice over the yogurt chicken once it has finished baking. Serve with couscous and warm pita so that you can soak up all of those extra yummy juices!
  4. Leftovers? Whenever I make a big batch of this I do so with the intent of making my Greek chicken orzo soup the next evening. Go ahead and save yourself some time for another meal!

Tip From Kevin

Marinate Time

The longer you marinate chicken, the more time the acidic components (like vinegar or citrus) or enzymes (like those found in pineapple or papaya) have to break down the proteins. This can result in a more tender texture. However, there’s a fine line because if left for too long, particularly with acidic marinades, it can start to “cook” the chicken, making it mushy or tough. Extended marination times, especially with acidic marinades, can lead to the breakdown of the chicken’s structure, resulting in a mushy or stringy texture.

cooked greek yogurt chicken

Frequently Asked Questions

What Does Greek Yogurt Do To Chicken?

Not only do I love Greek yogurt’s flavor, but it’s also a very powerful food item. When you use it in a marinade, it helps to tenderize whatever protein you pair it with. Chicken is naturally more tender than, say, beef, which is why you shouldn’t let the marinade sit for longer than 1 hour. The citrus from the lemon also helps to ensure a perfectly tender baked Greek yogurt chicken!

Do You Rinse Yogurt Marinade Off?

With all of this talk about not letting your marinade sit for too long, you may be wondering if it’s necessary to rinse your yogurt chicken before baking it. Don’t worry — you don’t have to for this recipe! You simply need to shake off any excess yogurt-based marinade before you pop the chicken in the oven. If you rinse it completely, you’ll get rid of some of that delicious flavor that you worked so hard to develop with your marinade!

Should I Poke Holes In Chicken Before Marinating?

It’s up to you! Typically referred to as scoring, poking holes in the meat before marinating is known to help the protein soak up the flavors a bit better. I find that chicken soaks up a marinade a lot easier than beef, so scoring isn’t necessarily required. That said, if you’re concerned that the flavors won’t be strong enough, score it up!

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plate topped with greek yogurt chicken

Baked Greek Yogurt Chicken

4.80 from 5 votes
This Greek yogurt chicken recipe is made with juicy chicken that has been marinated in Greek yogurt and baked with garlic and lemon.
Servings: 4
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Marinate Time: 8 hours
Total: 9 hours

Ingredients 

  • 1.5-2 lbs (8) boneless chicken thighs or breasts (skin on or off)

Chicken Marinade

Serving

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 375°F. In a bowl, whisk together all marinade ingredients.
  • Place chicken into gallon size plastic food storage bag or large plastic container. Pour marinade over chicken pieces, close bag or cover container with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for minimum 30 minutes or up to 8 hours (overnight).
  • Use cooking spray or olive oil to coat the inside of a baking dish. Shake excess marinade from chicken and place the pieces in a single layer into dish. Bake uncovered for 45 minutes or until golden brown and chicken reaches 165°F internal temperature (See Note 1).
  • Serve with couscous and warm pita to soak up juices.

Notes

  1. If boneless chicken breasts are very thick or weigh more than 6 ounces, slice them in half horizontally, place between sheets of plastic wrap, and use flat side of meat mallet to gently pound them to an even thickness.
    For best results, use an instant read thermometer. The chicken is cooked when it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.

Nutrition

Calories: 467kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 17g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 168mg | Sodium: 727mg | Potassium: 476mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 553IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 112mg | Iron: 3mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

Course: main dishes
Cuisine: Greek
Author: Kevin
Have You Made This Recipe? Let Me Know on InstagramTag @keviniscooking or tag me #keviniscooking!
ready to serve greek yogurt chicken

Kevin

I was bitten by the cooking bug as a kid cooking and baking along side my mom. After an ROP restaurant course in high school, I went to work in restaurants and catering. My love of travel and food has led me across the world and I love to share those foods with family and friends.

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Recipe Rating




10 Comments

  1. 4 stars
    This chicken is packed with flavour. If I make this recipe again I would check the chicken after 35-40 mins. Mine was slightly overdone and the sauce was all browned around the edges of the chicken. Thanks for a delicious, quick, and healthy weeknight recipe.

  2. 5 stars
    Got back from Mykonos a few days ago and wanted to try to make some greek-inspired meals. The marinade worked great! I added some bell peppers, onions, cherry tomatoes, white wine, feta and a little bit of butter in the baking dish under the chicken as well, which resulted in a tasty sauce for the chicken as well. Thanks!