This grilled Greek chicken recipe celebrates the bold, fresh flavors of the Mediterranean. Chicken breasts are marinated in a vibrant mix of olive oil, lemon, garlic, and herbs, then grilled to perfection. Great for summer entertaining and foolproof weeknight dinners!
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: chicken is, hands down, my favorite protein. It’s essentially a blank canvas to infuse with infinite flavors, such as saffron, honey mustard, lemon pepper, and so much more. And this Greek chicken recipe is no exception!
The Greek-inspired marinated chicken breasts are soaked in a tangy, zesty, and herbaceous marinade before they’re grilled until tender and lightly charred. The prep is completely foolproof and the chicken is ready to eat after less than 10 minutes of grilling!
Serve this easy chicken dinner as the main protein with Greek salad, couscous, over a Mediterranean bowl, or slice up the breasts for mezze-style small plates with yogurt sauce and warm pita bread. It’s a must-have recipe for a Mediterranean feast!
Table of Contents
Why this recipe works
- Minimal ingredients; big flavor. The Greek chicken marinade in this recipe only calls for a few more ingredients than my 4-ingredient chicken marinade, but transports you to the sunny streets of Greece with every bite!
- Budget-friendly. Like grilled chicken drumsticks, this recipe is made with no-nonsense, budget-friendly ingredients.
- Versatile main course. You can easily serve this chicken as the star protein paired with a wide range of Mediterranean sides. However, this recipe comes with endless uses! Slice it for chicken gyro, stuff it into Greek grilled chicken wraps, make it a part of a mezze platter, and more!
Greek cuisine is all about celebrating the fresh, vibrant flavors of the Mediterranean, but you can easily mimic these same classic flavors using budget-friendly ingredients from your local grocery store. Here’s what you need to make Greek chicken:
- Chicken breasts. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are best for this recipe. If your chicken breasts are larger, consider slicing them in half and pounding them to an even thickness to help them marinate and cook faster.
- Olive oil. It’s used as the base of the marinade. The oil adds flavor, tenderizes the meat, and prevents the chicken from sticking to the grill.
- Lemon juice and zest. To brighten up the marinade.
- Garlic. Use freshly minced or grated garlic cloves.
- Oregano. Adds the distinct aromatic and herbaceous elements of classic Greek cuisine.
- Salt and pepper. To taste.
- Melted butter. Brushing the chicken with melted butter after cooking improves the overall taste and gives it a more tender texture.
- Fresh parsley and lemon slices. Both of these garnishes elevate the final flavor of the dish.
How to make Greek chicken
Follow these step-by-step instructions to learn how to make a platter of mouthwatering Greek marinated grilled chicken:
Step 1 – Make the marinade
Stir the olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper in a large bowl or ziplock bag.
Step 2 – Marinate the chicken
Submerge the chicken breasts in the marinade. Cover the bowl with plastic or seal the ziplock bag, then leave the meat to marinate in the fridge.
Step 3 – Grill
Cook the marinated chicken breasts on a medium-high preheated grill until they’re cooked through.
Step 4 – Garnish and serve
Take the chicken breasts off of the grill and rest for 5 minutes. Garnish with a sprinkle of parsley and lemon slices, then serve. Enjoy!
Tips for success
- The quality of your ingredients matters here. Try to use the best quality olive oil and the freshest lemon, garlic, and herbs you can get your hands on.
- Brush any extra marinade over the chicken as it cooks. This will impart more flavor and make the chicken extra moist and juicy.
- Cook until the internal temperature reaches 165°F. Use a meat thermometer to test for doneness or cut into the middle of the breasts to ensure the meat is no longer pink and the juices run clear.
- Let the chicken rest. Let the grilled chicken rest for 5 to 10 minutes off of the heat after cooking. This gives all of the juices time to settle and redistribute back into the meat, giving you extra juicy and flavorful chicken.
- No grill at home? After marinating the chicken, you can bake, air fry, or sear the marinated chicken breasts instead.
What to serve with Greek chicken
Serve this Greek chicken as the centerpiece of a mezze platter accompanied by classic Greek sides and small plates, such as grilled veggies, couscous salad, orzo salad, lamb meatballs, marinated olives, feta cheese, hummus, eggplant dip, falafel, stuffed grape leaves, sauteed potatoes, tzatziki sauce, and warm pita bread.
Slice up the leftover chicken and serve it gyro-style on pita with tzatziki sauce, sliced onions, tomatoes, and lettuce. Or, try serving it on top of a colorful Greek salad with mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, Kalamata olives, and crumbled feta cheese.
To store: Store cooled leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.
To freeze: Let the chicken breasts cool, then transfer them to an airtight container or freezer-safe bag and freeze for up to 6 months. Thaw in the fridge before reheating.
To reheat: Place the chicken in a baking dish and heat in a 350°F oven until heated through. You can also reheat it in the microwave in 30-second intervals.
Recommended tools to make this recipe
- Large mixing bowl. You need a bowl or container big enough to hold the marinade and chicken breasts at the same time.
- Grill. To cook the chicken. A grill pan also works!
- Meat thermometer. To check that the chicken breasts are cooked to 165ºF.
- Silicone brush. To brush the grilled chicken breasts with melted butter.
More chicken recipes from around the world
- Peri Peri Chicken
- Huli Huli Chicken
- Persian Chicken
- Tandoori Chicken
- Chicken Adobo
- Peruvian Chicken
- Chicken Yakitori
- Chicken Caprese
Frequently asked questions
Boneless and skinless chicken breasts can marinate for a minimum of 30 minutes but for the best results, leave them for 2 to 4 hours or even overnight (24 hours max). Remember, if you marinate the chicken for more than 24 hours, you may end up with mushy meat.
Freezing the chicken breasts directly in the marinade is a convenient way to have flavorful Greek marinated chicken ready when you need it. Simply place the chicken and marinade in an airtight container or bag, seal it tightly, and freeze it for 2 to 3 months. When you’re ready to cook, transfer it to the fridge and let it thaw overnight.
- Marinate the chicken in the mixture of olive oil, lemon juice, and zest, garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper in the fridge for at least 10 minutes or overnight.
- Preheat the grill to medium-high heat and brush the grates with oil. Once hot, Grill for 3-4 minutes per side, until fully cooked.
- Remove the chicken from the grill and let it rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
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