Easy Yogurt-Marinated Chicken made with grilled chicken thighs (or chicken breasts) made in a Greek yogurt marinade for the most tender chicken.
These grilled Yogurt-Marinated Chicken thighs (or breasts) are so juicy and delicious thanks to this easy yogurt marinade. This quick yogurt marinade is flavored with lots of garlic, oregano, red vinegar and turmeric and takes only minutes to whip up. I love marinating my chicken with yogurt because it makes the chicken so incredibly tender! I like to make this a meal by serving it with a Greek salad using tzatziki as the dressing, or make it a rice bowl with rice pilaf and some cucumbers. You can also make this in a skillet or air fryer!
Frequently Asked Questions
What does marinating chicken in yogurt do?
Greek yogurt marinades slowly tenderize the chicken to make it juicy. Yogurt is a gentle and effective way to tenderize meat. While acidic chicken marinades can toughen the meat and make it rubbery, yogurt slowly breaks down the proteins in the meat resulting in the most tender texture.
How long can chicken marinate in yogurt?
The longer you marinate the chicken, the more flavorful and tender it will become. I recommend at least an hour, but you can do it for as long as eight hours. Since the marinade has vinegar, you don’t want to do it for too long.
Do you wipe off yogurt marinade?
You want a thin, even layer of yogurt on the meat because that’s where all the flavor is. If there’s too much, it will stick to the grill and burn.
How long does it take for yogurt to tenderize chicken?
Yogurt marinade starts working in as little as an hour, but you can continue to marinate the meat for up to eight hours.
Greek Yogurt Chicken Marinade Ingredients
Here is everything you’ll need to make this healthy Greek yogurt marinade for two pounds of boneless, skinless chicken thighs or boneless skinless chicken breasts:
- Greek Yogurt: I use 1% plain Greek yogurt, but full fat or nonfat will work too.
- Olive Oil and Red Wine Vinegar to thin the yogurt so it evenly coats the chicken and adds flavor.
- Garlic: Finely chop five garlic cloves.
- Seasoning: Dried oregano, turmeric, salt, red pepper flakes (optional)
How to Make Yogurt-Marinated Chicken
- Whisk all the marinade ingredients in a large bowl.
- Add the chicken and stir to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap or transfer to a large resealable plastic bag and marinate in the refrigerator for at least an hour or up to eight hours.
- Grill the Chicken: Preheat an outdoor grill or grill pan to medium-low heat. Oil the grill grates or grill pan, and sprinkle the chicken with salt and red pepper. Grill the chicken on each side for 5 to 7 minutes, until the juices run clear. Check that they are cooked through with a food thermometer. If you don’t have a grill you can cook it in a cast iron skillet, air fryer or griddle.
- Garnish with parsley and serve with lemon wedges.
What to Serve with Yogurt-Marinated Chicken
This Greek yogurt-marinated chicken would be great in a bowl, pita wrap, salad, or as a main with any of the sides below.
How to Store Leftover Chicken
This chicken is great for meal prep. Leftover grilled chicken lasts up to four days in the refrigerator. You can eat it cold or microwave it until warm. To freeze, store it in an airtight container in the freezer for up to three months and thaw it in the fridge.
- Chicken: Swap boneless chicken thighs for boneless chicken breasts. For bone-in chicken, adjust cook time as needed.
- Herbs: Sub dried thyme or rosemary for oregano or fresh dill or mint for parsley.
- Spices: Play around with the seasoning, add paprika, cumin, cayenne pepper, black pepper etc.
- Vinegar: If you don’t have red wine vinegar, white wine, apple cider vinegar or lemon juice will work.
- Cooking Method: You can also bake this yogurt-marinated chicken in the oven at 400°F for about 20 minutes.
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Yield: 4 servings
Serving Size: 2 boneless thighs
In a large bowl, whisk together the yogurt, oil, vinegar, garlic, oregano, turmeric, salt, and red pepper flakes.
Add the chicken and stir to coat. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or up to 8 hours.
Preheat an outdoor grill or grill pan to medium-low heat (a cast iron skillet works too). Oil the grates or grill pan and sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper, to taste.
Grill the chicken about 5 to 7 minutes on each side until golden brown and cooked through in the center of the thickest part of the chicken.
Garnish with parsley and serve with lemon wedges.
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Serving: 2 boneless thighs, Calories: 314 kcal, Carbohydrates: 4 g, Protein: 46 g, Fat: 11.5 g, Saturated Fat: 3 g, Cholesterol: 215 mg, Sodium: 584 mg, Fiber: 0.5 g, Sugar: 1.5 g