by Olena

Greek Chicken

Olena's image
Olena Osipov
5 from 9 votes

This Greek Chicken infuses the flavors of the Mediterranean in a simple 30-minute Greek chicken marinade made up of lemon, garlic, rosemary, and oregano. Once marinated, you can bake, grill, fry, or even air fry your chicken and enjoy hot or cold!

Using my Greek chicken kabobs method, you can turn this Greek chicken into kebabs. You could also slice it up to add to this Greek salad or souvlaki/wraps.

Greek Chicken on a plate garnished with rosemary

Lemon and Herb Greek Marinated Chicken

When it comes to marinating chicken, I am obsessed with a ‘quick marinade.’ I’ve already shared recipes for chili lime chicken and basic baked chicken breast, but now it’s time to take things to the Mediterranean with this recipe for Greek chicken!

This Greek marinade for chicken infuses the dish with the fresh, bright flavors of lemons, garlic, rosemary, oregano, and olive oil (most of which are probably already in your kitchen). Just like our favorite Mediterranean quinoa salad. Once you take a bite into the tender, flavorful chicken, you’ll be practically transported to a Greek Island get-away, which I, for one, fully endorse.

Best of all, this Greek lemon chicken can be enjoyed warm or cold – making it a great meal-prep option for the entire family. Plus, this recipe is also super versatile; you can use the marinade with various chicken cuts and cook it several ways.

If it’s warm outside, I beg you to get out the grill/BBQ for an extra chargrilled flavor that is out of this world. Alternatively, if it’s too cold (or rainy), then feel free to pan-fry, oven-bake, or air fry the Greek chicken to perfection.

And all of this without hours and hours of marinating. As a busy mother (and person in general), I don’t often have the time to prepare for days of marinating. That’s why my list of 30 minute meals is continually growing! Though this takes longer than 30 minutes, the actual hands-on time isn’t long at all!

Grilled Greek Chicken garnished with pepper and rosemary

Ingredients for Marinated Greek Chicken

My easy 30-minute Greek chicken marinade comprises just 5 simple ingredients, most of which are probably sitting in your pantry right now!

The Greek Marinade for Chicken:

  • Olive oil: Usually, I’d offer substitutions, but this is Greek chicken, so olive oil really is the best option for flavor and authenticity!
  • Lemon: Will tenderize the meat quickly due to the acid, which is why a long marinade isn’t necessary. Use fresh lemon juice and optionally extra sliced lemon pieces to grill/bake with the chicken. We love lemon chicken around here!
  • Rosemary and oregano: I use dried herbs as they’re more concentrated in flavor and work well at coating the chicken pieces.
  • Fresh garlic: I prefer using young garlic that isn’t as bitter. Use fresh garlic cloves, not pre-packaged minced, for the best results.
  • Salt and pepper: To season.

Optionally, this marinade can easily be adjusted into Greek yogurt chicken. Just add some Greek yogurt to the marinade (I love adding it to guacamole). It not only tenderizes the chicken practically within minutes, but it also holds the flavors of the Greek chicken marinade well and yields really tender chicken every single time!

The Meat:

  • Chicken: I recommend using chicken breast or thighs for this Greek chicken recipe as these cuts have plenty of meat on to absorb the chicken marinade. I usually buy a whole, locally source farmer’s/organic chicken that I then cut into pieces. You can use chicken bone-in or boneless, skin-on or skinless; really, it’s very versatile.

Top Tip: You don’t need to pound or tenderize the meat; poke it a few times with a fork or knife to provide holes for the marinade to cling to.

Optional Extras & Variations:

To adapt this Greek lemon chicken into a one pan meal, you can easily add in some veggie/starchy additions, including:

  • Red onion: Sliced and added to the pan.
  • New potatoes: Or baby red potatoes. You can add these raw (quartered) or par-boil them as the chicken marinades (halved).
  • Other vegetables: Green beans, sprouts, broccoli, asparagus, etc., can all be added to the oven tray with the chicken and leftover Greek chicken marinade.

Note that certain veg will take slightly less/longer time to bake depending on your preferred texture (tender vs. crispy vs. crunchy)

Kalamata olive and feta cheese both make for great additions to the already-cooked chicken too.

ingredients greek chicken

How to Make Greek Chicken

Remember that the size of your chicken pieces, whether it includes the skin and/or bone, will all affect the cooking time. For that reason, all the below methods are just guidelines and will differ.

  • First, marinate the chicken: In the Greek marinade. You can do this in a shallow dish or within a Ziplock bag. Marinade the chicken for 30 minutes.

You can marinade the Greek lemon chicken for up to 48 hours- the longer it marinates, the more flavorful it will be, but it tastes delicious at just 30 minutes. Once marinated, it’s time to cook the Greek-style chicken.

chicken thighs in Greek Chicken marinade in a bowl
  • Baked Greek Chicken: Baking chicken on high heat uncovered yields a tender center and kind of crispy outside. At 400F/200C for 25-35 minutes or until the chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165F/74C. Optionally, turn on the broiler for a few minutes at the end until golden brown and slightly charred.

You can bake the chicken with or without the excess marinade (and use it as a ‘baste’). Without will yield crispier results.

  • Grilled Greek Chicken: You can grill lemon rosemary chicken using an outdoor BBQ or indoor grill. I used an indoor grill/press, which cooks the top and bottom at the same time. If using an outdoor BBQ, you probably know your grill best – I suggest cooking for around 4-5 minutes on both sides. Make sure the internal temperature reaches 165F.  If it’s close enough, letting the meat rest for 3-5 minutes will finish the meat.

When grilling, I love to also grill some lemon slices to serve with the Greek chicken – delicious!

  • Pan fried Greek Chicken: I like to use a ceramic non-stick skillet for less greasy and yet crispy chicken. Pan-fry until cooked through- depending on the chicken’s thickness, this can take up to 20 minutes.
  • Air fryer Greek Chicken: This isn’t a method I’ve tried yet. However, I recommend cooking it at 355F/180C for 14-15 minutes, then flipping it over and cooking for a further 6-8 minutes. You can optionally increase the heat for another 2-3 minutes to crisp the Greek chicken further. Times will vary based on the size of the chicken and will need to be cooked in batches.
Greek Chicken grilled on an indoor grill

How to Serve Greek Lemon Chicken?

There are several ways you can serve this Greek marinated chicken, whether you’re enjoying it warm or cold.

When creating a healthy lunch or dinner, I love to use the following formula: lean protein + whole grain + veggies. Here are just a few grain or veggie dishes that pair well with this marinated Greek chicken.

Greek Chicken with quinoa and grilled zucchini on a plate

How to Store?

Storing: Allow the chicken to cool entirely before transferring it to an airtight container and storing it in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

Freezer: Store in an airtight container and freeze for up to three months. Thaw in the refrigerator before eating/reheating.

Can You Make Greek Chicken Ahead?

Yes, this dish is perfect for making ahead and meal prep, especially since, once cooked, it can be enjoyed hot or cold. The various elements can be made-ahead too:

The Greek chicken marinade: Once prepared and mixed, the lemon oregano marinade will last, covered, in the refrigerator for up to a week.

The Chicken: Combine the raw chicken and marinade and freeze immediately. A day before you wish to eat it, defrost the chicken in the fridge (this can take up to 24 hours). During this time, it will marinate and can be cooked once fully thawed.

More Tips and FAQs

  • Don’t re-use the marinade: Unless you boil it first. Once it’s been used to marinate any raw chicken, it will contain harmful bacteria, so it needs to be boiled if you plan to use it again. Personally, I suggest making extra or keeping some aside if you want to use extra as a sauce or for some other reason.
  • This lemon & oregano Greek marinade works perfectly with salmon, too: You can then cook it baked in tin foil, broiled, or grilled.
  • All the cooking methods are for guidance only: As this recipe works well with several different chicken cuts, including the skin on/off and with/without bone, the cooking times will vary. Just make sure that the internal temperature of the chicken is 165F/74C.

More Easy Healthy Chicken Recipes

If you enjoyed this Greek lemon chicken, you may also be interested in my list of 5 chicken marinades, or pop over to peruse through all my chicken recipes for tons more ideas!

Greek Chicken

Easy Greek Chicken {30 Minute Marinade}

This Greek Chicken infuses the flavors of the Mediterranean in a simple 30-minute Greek chicken marinade made up of lemon, garlic, rosemary, and oregano. Once marinated, you can bake, grill, fry, or even air fry your chicken and enjoy hot or cold!
5 from 9 votes
Print Save Rate
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Greek
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Marinating Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 311kcal
Author: Olena Osipov

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs chicken thighs or breasts boneless & skinless
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large lemon juice of
  • 1 tbsp oregano dried
  • 1 tbsp rosemary dried or fresh
  • 2 garlic cloves grated
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Ground black pepper to taste
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes

Instructions

  • In a medium bowl, add olive oil, lemon juice, oregano, rosemary, garlic, salt and pepper. Whisk with a fork.
  • Add chicken to the bowl, poking and tossing with a fork. This will allow marinade to penetrate the meat. Cover and refrigerate for 30 mins – 48 hours. The longer you marinate, the deeper the flavor.
    Greek Chicken
  • To pan fry: Preheat large ceramic non-stick skillet on medium heat and swirl a bit of oil to coat. Add chicken, cover and cook for 5-6 minutes. Flip and cook for another 5-6 minutes or until the thickest part juices run clear when poked with a knife or fork. Discard marinade.
  • To grill: Preheat grill on medium-high (450-500 degrees F) and rub with oiled paper towel. Place chicken on the grill, close the lid and grill for 8-10 minutes turning once. Do not overcook. Discard marinade.
    Greek Chicken
  • To bake: Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Rub bottom of large baking dish with oil and lay chicken breasts in a single layer. Bake uncovered for 25 minutes (thinner) to 35 minutes (2″+) or until 150 degrees F internal temperature. Discard marinade.
  • For all methods: Make sure you let chicken rest. Place cooked chicken into a baking dish and cover with tin foil, silicone lid or paper towel. Let rest for 5 minutes. This step helps juices settle back into the meat.
    Greek Chicken

Storing: Allow the chicken to cool entirely before transferring it to an airtight container and storing it in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

    Freezer: Store in an airtight container and freeze for up to three months. Thaw in the refrigerator before eating/reheating.

      Make ahead Greek chicken marinade: Once prepared and mixed, the lemon oregano marinade will last, covered, in the refrigerator for up to a week.

        Make ahead Greek chicken: Combine the raw chicken and marinade and freeze immediately. A day before you wish to eat it, defrost the chicken in the fridge (this can take up to 24 hours). During this time, it will marinate and can be cooked once fully thawed.

          Notes

          • Olive oil: Usually, I’d offer substitutions, but this is Greek chicken, so olive oil really is the best option for flavor and authenticity!
          • Lemon: Use fresh lemon juice and optionally extra sliced lemon pieces to grill/bake with the chicken.
          • Rosemary and oregano: I use dried herbs as they’re more concentrated in flavor and work well at coating the chicken pieces.
          • Fresh garlic: I prefer using young garlic that isn’t as bitter. Use fresh garlic cloves, not pre-packaged minced, for the best results.
          • Don’t re-use the marinade: Unless you boil it first. Personally, I suggest making extra or keeping some aside if you want to use extra as a sauce or for some other reason.
          • Marinade works perfectly with salmon: You can then cook it baked in tin foil, broiled, or grilled.
          • One pan meal: you can easily add in some veggie/starchy additions, including:
            • Red onion: Sliced and added to the pan.
            • New potatoes: Or baby red potatoes. You can add these raw (quartered) or par-boil them as the chicken marinades (halved).
            • Other vegetables: Green beans, sprouts, broccoli, asparagus, etc., can all be added to the oven tray with the chicken and leftover Greek chicken marinade.

          Nutrition

          Calories: 311kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 49g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 145mg | Sodium: 652mg | Potassium: 874mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 99IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 38mg | Iron: 1mg
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          olena osipov in the studio

          Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

          My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys, a wife to Alex and we reside on magical Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. This is our healthy family recipes blog. Originally from Ukraine, I grew up on real food. As an adult, I struggled with diets for years because none worked long-term. Now for over 10 years, I cook easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

          19 comments on “Greek Chicken

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          1. Did so enjoy your “story” and plan to make above recipe this week. Am 85 in years but 45 in my passion fr all things culinary!
            Greetings to u on yr beautiful island from sunny Cape Town !

          2. 5 stars
            This chicken is soooooo good! Had it tonight with Mediterranean Quinoa Salad and some Greek yogurt, the perfect combination!

          3. 5 stars
            This was delicious! I loved the texture of the chicken; I have never baked it at such a high temperature before, and it was perfect! I didn’t know where to add the chilli flakes, so I just threw them in the marinade. Next time I would decrease the oregano and rosemary just slightly (used to plain flavours). This will be my new “go to” chicken recipe! Thank you!

          4. 5 stars
            Delish! Forgot to add the red pepper flakes, but still, oh, so yummy & juicy!! Thank you for sharing your awesome recipe!!!! 🙂

          5. This marinade looks and smells fantastic. I’m using a cut-up whole chicken which is now marinating in the fridge. Would you please tell me how long you think it should cook in the oven?

            Thank you

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