A 24-hour marinade infuses this Greek chicken recipe with perfect Mediterranean flavor!
Of all my crowd-pleasing chicken recipes, this Greek chicken recipe is a go-to meal in my dinner rotation. I’ve been making this Mediterranean chicken for decades, and my family still clamors for it! The beauty lies in simple ingredients that transform plain chicken into succulent bites of culinary magic.
Grab some flatbread and wrap it up gyro style! Just remember that you’ve got a 24-hour marinade to plan for — but trust me, it’s worth every minute!
Any dish that my family asks for by name is a winner in my book — and this Greek chicken recipe is requested so often, I have the steps memorized!
- Cooking takes 35 quick minutes
- Simple, impactful ingredients
- The marinade does all the heavy lifting!
- Great with rice, flatbread, and more!
How To Make Mediterranean Chicken Recipe
While this recipe is super simple, you’ll have to remember to allow ample time for the marinade! The end result really isn’t the same without it. Twenty-four hours is the “magic number” to infuse the chicken with that deep, prominent lemon-and-herb flavor.
24 hours before cooking: Whisk together the ingredients for the marinade. Pour it into a Ziplock bag and add the chicken. Seal it and move the chicken around to coat evenly. Refrigerate for 24 hours.
When it’s time to cook, preheat the grill. Remove the chicken from the bag and discard the leftover marinade. (Remember food safety when grilling chicken! It needs to reach 165° which usually takes about eight minutes on each side.)
This recipe translates into chicken bake as opposed to grilled. See the recipe notes for instructions! You can also easily saute it on the stovetop.
With such easy ingredients, there’s little room for error! Let me help you get the most out of your chicken recipe.
Greek Lemon Chicken Ingredient Notes
When you take a bite of this chicken, what’s the first flavor you expect? That’s right – citrus! I’m here to help you make sure every bite is Greek lemon chicken heaven.
Lemon Zest: Lemon zest contains high levels of the essential oils that give lemons so much of their bite. To get the zest without hitting the bitter pith (the white part of the peel), use a micro planer (sort of like a really fine grater). You can also dry and store zest to have on hand for later recipes!
Lemon Juice: In lemon-based recipes, the question is always, “How many lemons will I need?” The trick is really the size of the lemons you buy. If you buy small lemons, you can expect four of them to produce about 1/3 cup of lemon juice. With larger lemons, you can probably get by with two or three.
Herbs: This recipe does just fine with dried herbs. I know many people preach the values of fresh, but there are a time and a place for dried herbs. Especially in marinades, dried herbs slowly release their stored flavors, so you get fully realized tastes in your final dish.
Sugar: Don’t skip out on the sugar! It seems like such a small amount, and you may be tempted to omit it. But the sugar enhances the flavor of the lemon by tempering the acidity, giving you a fully rounded citrus taste.
Tzatziki: And, of course, I love making good tzatziki to go along with my Greek chicken recipe! This tangy yogurt-based sauce is a great complement to the citrus notes in your chicken. Here’s a great recipe for tzatziki!
Baking: This recipe calls for the chicken to be grilled, but baking it can be just as delicious. Here are the baking instructions:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Remove the chicken from the marinade and shake off any excess. Discard the used marinade.
- Lay the chicken in a 9×13 baking dish and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through to 165 degrees.
With such simple ingredients and steps, what’s storing like? You’ll be happy to know that storage of this recipe is also super simple!
Can You Freeze This?
Yes! You can freeze your fully cooked chicken easily. Let it cool, then store it in an airtight container. Once frozen, you’ll get up to four months out of your leftovers!
Make Ahead Tips
Once you get to the actual cooking part of this recipe, there’s no room for shaving off time — because it all comes together in 35 minutes!
If you see the marinade time and think 24 hours is way too long, I promise you, it’s actually super easy. Once you get your chicken marinading, you just pop it in the fridge and forget it! This recipe requires only a day ahead of prepping, and the results are well worth it.
How Long Can You Keep This In The Fridge?
I love having Greek chicken on hand to whip up tasty lunches! Portion out the results of your chicken recipe into individual-sized containers, and store safely in the fridge for up to four days.
Greek Chicken and rice or a simple side salad are a couple of quick and easy combos. If you want something a little fancier, try my Antipasto Salad and Mediterranean salad. Greek Pasta Salad always is a classic side to a grilled main dish.
This recipe leaves tons of room for delicious additions!
- Want to carry on that lemon flavor, but with an Italian twist? Try chicken Milanese (with regional inspirations from Milan!) or chicken Florentine (from, you guessed it, Florence). Or for something different but no less Mediterranean and delicious, chicken Murphy will wow you!
- Balsamic chicken is another great way to get that pop of flavor! Balsamic chicken breast or balsamic chicken thighs are just as versatile as this recipe — great with rice and flatbread!
- Putting some al dente noodles under this chicken recipe calls to mind Tuscan chicken pasta — sensational! Chicken primavera is another favorite, full of fresh, bright flavors.
- Having a BBQ party? Get ready for a full chicken spread with recipes like a chicken gyro and Greek chicken kabobs. Your guests will gobble them down!
- 6-8 chicken breast boneless skinless, trimmed of any fat
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon garlic cloves minced
- 1 teaspoon dried dill
- 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano crumbled
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley chopped
- In a small bowl, whisk all the marinade ingredients together.
- Place chicken breasts in a 1 gallon Ziplock. Pour marinade into bag, seal bag and lay flat in a rimmed baking dish and refrigerate for 12 hours minimum to 24 hours maximum.
- Remove from marinade, shaking off any extra, and cook on the preheated grill, about 8 minutes per side, depending on the temperature of your grill, and the thickness of your chicken, or until cooked through and registers 165 degrees with an instant-read thermometer
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The ingredients in Mediterranean chicken recipes may be simple, but there’s no end to their deliciousness!
- Greek Chicken Salad – Use rotisserie chicken to whip up this eat-like-a-meal salad!
- Prosciutto Wrapped Chicken – Prosciutto makes everything better!
- Tuscan Chicken – Get swept away with the flavors of Tuscany!
- Chicken Cacciatore – This family favorite is easy and tasty
Whether you eat it on flatbread or nestle it in couscous, whether you fluff some rice or sear some veggies, this Greek chicken recipe pairs with any and all dinner preparations! What’s your favorite way to eat Greek chicken? Let me know in the comments!