Greek Yogurt Chicken

Greek Yogurt Chicken

One of my favorite all-purpose recipes is Greek Yogurt Chicken. It has an easy marinade and is great on the grill or in the oven. So many uses!

I find myself cooking in large batches these days. As we are eating most of our meals at home during the COVID quarantine, I want a meal that I can repurpose for a few meals in different ways. This Greek Yogurt Chicken is the perfect example. Make a big batch of it and use it for multiple meals in salads and sandwiches!

Normally, I would want to grill this chicken to get some nice char on it, but it’s also great baked in the oven. Either way, the Greek yogurt chicken is very flavorful.

The marinade for this chicken is flexible. I’ve made it a few times over the years, sometimes leaving out a thing or two or substituting something if I don’t have it handy. The most important ingredients are the yogurt, obviously, loads of garlic, and lemon.

Greek Yogurt Marinade

Yogurt isn’t often used as a marinade here in the states but it’s really popular in India and other countries.

And let me just say that those people know what’s up. Yogurt is a perfect base for a marinade. It keeps the chicken really moist and also gives it this kind of subtle tangy flavor that’s irresistible.

This marinade also has garam masala, ginger, and cilantro.

You can either pulse the marinade in a food processor or just chop everything up and stir it together. Then add your chicken! On this day I used chicken breasts, but I’ve also done this recipe with a whole chicken.

Greek Yogurt Marinating Chicken

Cooking the Greek Yogurt Chicken

This marinade is best if it can sit overnight or at least six hours. That said, I’ve made it a few hours before cooking and the results are still pretty good.

When you are ready to cook, remove the chicken from the marinade and shake off any extra marinade. It’s okay if some is stuck to the chicken though.

Ready to cook Greek Yogurt Chicken

Grilling the Chicken

If you’re using the pounded boneless skinless breasts, grilling is easy. Just heat your grill to medium-high heat and rub it with some oil so the chicken doesn’t stick. Then toss on your chicken and cook it for 6-7 minutes per side. Done deal.

If you went the whole chicken route, it’s a bit more complicated. You need to start the thighs about 20 minutes before the breasts. Also, you need to set up your grill with a section for indirect heat cooking. The thighs will need probably 35-40 minutes to cook through. If you cooked them over medium-high for that long, you’d have a completely charred exterior.

So cook the thighs and legs for about 5-6 minutes per side over high heat and then move them to the low heat/indirect heat area to finish cooking.

Nice marks man.

Baking the Chicken

If you don’t have easy access to a grill, baking is a great option. Just lay the chicken out on a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper. Better yet, I like to place my chicken on some racks slightly raised off the baking sheet so the chicken cooks evenly.

Bake the chicken at 425˚ F. for about 30 minutes. This baking time can vary wildly depending on the cut of chicken you are using. I always recommend checking the chicken with a thermometer to make sure it reaches a safe 170˚F in the thickest part.

Baked Greek Yogurt Chicken

Optionally, you can crank up the broiler for the last few minutes of cooking time and broil the chicken under high heat to get some good char on it.

How to serve the Greek Yogurt Chicken

This chicken is great on so many things once you slice it up.

Sliced Greek Yogurt Chicken

I like to slice up some of the chicken and serve it over a salad for a really healthy and delicious meal.

For a hearty lunch, stuff a few slices of chicken into a pita with veggies and a smear of yogurt! So delicious!

Greek Yogurt Chicken in a pita

Storing the Chicken

This chicken will keep well for 5 days in the fridge. Reheat it in the microwave for 30-second bursts and use however you would like.

Greek Yogurt Chicken

Greek Yogurt Chicken

Yogurt makes a great marinade for chicken, but can be a bit flavorless. Adding a bunch of spices and grilling the chicken solves the problem!
4 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Main Dishes
Cuisine Mediterranean
Servings 8 Servings



  • 3 pounds chicken either a whole chicken or chicken breasts


  • 2 Cups plain yogurt
  • 1 Cup cilantro stems and all
  • ½ large onion chopped
  • Cup olive oi
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 Tablespoons garam masala
  • 2 Teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 Teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1 2-inch piece of fresh ginger

For Sandwiches:

  • Pita bread
  • Lettuce
  • Greek yogurt
  • Sliced peppers
  • Sliced tomatoes


  • Roughly chop marinade ingredients and add to a food processor.  Pulse until smooth.
  • If you using chicken breasts, slice them longwise so they aren’t quite as thick.  You can also just use a whole chicken, cut into pieces.
  • Pour marinade over chicken and rub it in well.  Let it sit for at least 6 hours in the fridge.  Overnight is even better.
  • Shake off extra marinade from chicken before cooking.
  • IF grilling: Heat grill to medium-high heat and, if you’re using a whole chicken, prepare a spot for indirect heat. Cook breasts for about 15-20 minutes total.  Thighs and legs will take much longer, maybe 35-40 minutes.  Start them on high heat and then move them to the indirect area to finish cooking.
  • If baking: Preheat oven 425˚F. Lay out chicken breasts on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil. You an place the chicken on a rack slightly raised for more even cooking. Bake the chicken for 30-35 minutes until it’s charred in spots and reaches an internal temperature of 170˚F. Optionally, broil the chicken for 3-4 minutes at the end of cooking to get some nice char on the chicken.
  • Greek yogurt chicken is great sliced over a salad or stuffed in a pita. Leftover keep great in the fridge for 5-6 days.


Serving: 1sandwichCalories: 572kcalCarbohydrates: 21gProtein: 37gFat: 37gSaturated Fat: 10gPolyunsaturated Fat: 7gMonounsaturated Fat: 18gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 136mgSodium: 881mgPotassium: 485mgFiber: 1gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 436IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 126mgIron: 2mg
Keyword Grilled Chicken, Yogurt Chicken

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Here are a few other easy weeknight chicken recipes!

9 Responses to “Greek Yogurt Chicken” Leave a comment

  1. Yum! This is exactly what I am going to make for 4th of July.

    Um, can you show us how to cut up a whole chicken? I have tried in the past and it is not a pretty sight.

  2. This is very similar to the tandoori chicken my mom has made for years. Phenomenal on the grill and always a huge hit! I'll have to try your variation. Thanks Nick.

  3. May I just say…(outside of my daughter's blog: stylish,stealthy & that you are my "go to" guy for all things "recipe". I have had the yogurt/chicken thing on my "to do" list forever. I now know why I waited to make my chicken! I needed your recipe first.

    Seriously, many folks start a good thing, but you, my friend, truly know how to put on the finishing touches. Hats off to you!!!

  4. This marinade or just the thought of it makes my mouth water. Nice cross hatch marks on your chicken too. Obviously your cast iron grates were pre-heated correctly to get those sear marks, were they standard with the grill that you got or are they aftermarket?
    My recent post Fire Roasted Beef Tenderloin

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