Greek Chicken Marinade

Greek

The Best Greek Chicken Marinade

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Prep

5 minutes

Yield

1 for 1 1/2 lbs of meat

This is the best Greek Chicken Marinade that can be made in only 5 minutes and is going to be one of your go-to marinades for any protein. Bonus! I've included other variations of delicious chicken marinades to add to your recipe box.

One of the best parts of Greek cuisine is the chicken souvlaki. The translation of souvlaki means “meat on skewers”, but you’ll find it all over Greece and in Greek homes described as an actual meal that consists of warm pita, savory meat, fresh veggies like cucumbers and red onion, and tzatziki sauce. The best part about souvlaki is that it’s so easy to recreate at home and I’m going to show you how with this easy Greek Chicken Marinade.

Greek chicken marinade in a jar

❤️ Why You’ll Love This Greek Chicken Marinade

  • Easy: It’s wild how easy this Greek Chicken Marinade is and it’ll turn a boring piece of chicken into a flavor bomb. All you’ll need is 8 simple ingredients to whip up this marinade
  • Quick: Make this marinade in only 5 minutes, of course, if you have the time, you’ll want to leave it to marinade on your chicken for a couple hours to really get the most of the flavors in the marinade
  • Versatile: You can easily use this chicken on pitas, in a Mediterranean-inspired bowl, on top of salad, or eat it on its own

🍲 Ingredients

Garlic – Fresh garlic is essential in this Greek Chicken Marinade. Garlic powder or salt will not replicate the level of flavor you’ll want in it. Garlic also holds so many fantastic health properties, including being a natural immune booster

Greek Yogurt – Greek yogurt is such an underrated, versatile ingredient to have in your fridge. It is protein-packed, and it can be a substitute for unhealthier things like mayo or sour cream. In this recipe, it’s essential to help marinade all the flavors together and give the souvlaki the perfect taste

Ingredients for Greek chicken marinade on a counter

👩‍🍳 How to Make Greek Chicken Marinade

  1. Whisk together salt, pepper, minced garlic, dried oregano, lemon juice, mustard, greek yogurt and olive oil
  2. Add your protein (chicken, pork, or beef) into a container or plastic bag with the marinade
  3. Let sit in the fridge to absorb all the flavorful goodness for anywhere from 30 minutes to overnight

🪄 Tips and Tricks

  • Marinade Time: Only marinade for maximum of 24-hours, however, the closer you can get to that 24-hour mark, the better because it’ll be the most flavorful
  • Use a Bag or Container: Add the protein with your marinade in a bag or a Tupperware container for the marinade time. Make sure the whole piece of protein is fully covered
  • Cut Holes: Cutting little slits or stabbing your meat with a fork before adding the marinade can help the meat get all the goodness from the marinade

🗒 Variations

There are a few variations you can do to make delicious chicken marinades if you prefer a different spin than Greek.

Roasted Lemon Chicken Marinade

Sumac Chicken Marinade

Zataar Honey Mustard Chicken Marinade

Black Garlic Tahini Chicken Marinade

  • 3 black garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp water


🗒 Substitutions

There are a couple substitutes you can use in this Greek Chicken Marinade recipe but since the recipe only uses 8, simple ingredients, there isn’t too much you want to swap out here without really altering the flavor.

  • Oregano: You can swap dried oregano with fresh. You’ll want to use 1 tbsp fresh for every 1 tsp dry and note that the flavor of fresh herbs is different, so it will alter the flavor a bit, but not in a bad way
  • Olive Oil: I love good quality olive oil but you can also substitute it for avocado or vegetable oil


🗒 Best served with

👝 How to Store Leftovers

You can make this marinade ahead and store it in the fridge for up to 2-days, but you can also make it, use it on your protein, and let your protein marinade for up to 24-hours.

🤔 Common Questions

What is the marinade on Greek chicken?

The marinade that you often find on chicken souvlaki is made up of olive oil, Greek yogurt, oregano, and garlic.

What should you eat with chicken souvlaki?

Serve chicken souvlaki on a pita with tzatziki, cucumbers, tomatoes, and red onions. You can also eat it on its own, dipped in tzatziki, or topped on a salad.

What is the longest you can marinate chicken?

Up to 24 hours is the longest I’d go with marinating chicken. Certain ingredients, like lemon juice, can start to make your chicken feel rubbery if you leave it on too long before cooking.

What does yogurt do in a chicken marinade?

It tenderizes the meat, keeping it juicy and never rubbery. You’ll often find yogurt in many Greek chicken marinades.

Greek Chicken Marinade

5 from 4 votes
This is the best Greek Chicken Marinade that can be made in only 5 minutes and is going to be one of your go-to marinades for any protein. Bonus! I've included other variations of delicious chicken marinades to add to your recipe box.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course 10 Ingredients or Less
Cuisine Greek-Inspired
Servings 1 for 1 1/2 lbs of meat
Calories 482 kcal

Ingredients
  

Instructions
 

  • Make the marinade by whisking together salt, pepper, minced garlic, dried oregano, lemon juice, mustard, greek yogurt and olive oil. Use to marinate chicken, pork or beef. Our favourite way to use it is making our Greek Chicken Souvlaki!
  • Make the marinade ahead of time and store in the fridge for up to 2 days.

Variation: Roasted Lemon Chicken Marinade

  • In a cast iron or heavy-bottomed frying pan heat a drizzle of olive oil over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add the lemon slices along with a pinch of salt on pepper onto the slices. Turn to medium heat and cook for 3-5 minutes each side until browned nicely. Remove from the pan and let cool. Once slices are cooled down, remove any seeds from the lemon slices and chop finely.
  • To make the marinade add the finely chopped lemon to a bowl and whisk together with the garlic powder, onion powder, olive oil, dried oregano, salt, pepper, lemon juice, red wine vinegar and pressed garlic cloves. Use to marinate 1 lb of chicken breasts or thighs. Make the marinade ahead of time and store in the fridge for up to 1 day.

Variation: Sumac Chicken Marinade

  • To make the marinade whisk together sumac, olive oil, lemo mjuice, salt, pepper, pressed garlic cloves, dried oregano and red pepper flakes. Use to marinate 1 lb of chicken breasts or thighs. Make the marinade ahead of time and store in the fridge for up to 1 day.

Variation: Zataar Honey Mustard Chicken Marinade

  • To make the marinade whisk together the zataar, pressed garlic cloves, honey, dijon mustard, olive oil, salt and pepper. Use to marinate 1 lb of chicken breasts or thighs. Make the marinade ahead of time and store in the fridge for up to 1 day.

Variation: Black Garlic Tahini Chicken Marinade

  • To make the marinade use a fork to crush the 3 black garlic cloves in a bowl and then add the tahini, olive oil, salt, pepper, lemon juice and whisk. Then add 3 tbsp warm water, whisk until combined and the marinade is a bit looser. Use to marinate 1 lb of chicken breasts or thighs. Make the marinade ahead of time and store in the fridge for up to 1 day.

Video

Notes

  • You can make this marinade ahead and store it in the fridge for up to 2-days, but you can also make it, use it on your protein, and let your protein marinade for up to 24-hours.
  • One of our favourite ways to cook chicken thighs with the Roasted Lemon, Sumac, Zataar Honey Mustard or Black Garlic Marinades is in a deep casserole dish with veggies, potatoes or beans.  Cook at 400F for 15 minutes and then lower the temperatures to 375F to cook for 45 more minutes or until cooked through. 

Nutrition

Calories: 482kcal | Carbohydrates: 27.3g | Protein: 14.5g | Fat: 35.9g | Saturated Fat: 7.6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3.8g | Monounsaturated Fat: 23.1g | Cholesterol: 18.5mg | Sodium: 3159.8mg | Fiber: 2.4g | Sugar: 12g
Review This Recipe Let us know how it was!
Clara Price

5 stars
I ran straight for this recipe when it was posted and it did not disappoint. So tasty and the chicken is so tender because of the yogurt!

Maria Koutsogiannis

YES!!! I love this for you so much!

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