Greek Lemon Chicken

July 12, 2015

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 Greek Lemon Chicken – bursting with fresh lemon flavor and is so easy to make! Chicken breasts are soaked in a bright, garlicky herb marinade and grilled to lightly charred perfection. A recipe the whole everyone will love! 

Greek Lemon Chicken

Grilled Greek Lemon Chicken

One of my all-time favorite chicken recipes is this marinated Greek Lemon Chicken. It’s so flavorful and I love that it’s healthy. And when you grill it, you just add that much more flavor.

This recipe is so easy and it’s perfect for a weeknight meal. You end with perfectly tender Greek grilled chicken, a vibrant lemon flavor and perfect pairing of herb flavors to enhance the lemon.

It’s likely going to be one of those recipes you’ll turn to time and time again. I’m already making them again today for company!

The other great thing about this chicken recipe is that even kids love it!

Healthy, check. Flavorful, check. Easy to make, check. A recipe everyone can agree on, check! Sounds like a winner right?

Greek lemon chicken soaking in marinade in a bag.

Greek Lemon Chicken Ingredients

For the Greek chicken marinade and grilled chicken, you’ll need:

  • Olive oil
  • Lemon zest and juice
  • Garlic
  • Dried herbs (oregano, basil, thyme, rosemary)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Chicken breasts
  • Fresh parsley, for serving

How to Make Greek Lemon Chicken

  1. Whisk together lemon chicken marinade ingredients and pour over chicken breasts in large zip-top bag.
  2. Let the chicken marinate in the fridge for 2 to 5 hours.
  3. Grill chicken on preheated grill until cooked through (about 4 minutes on either side).
  4. Garish with chopped parsley and serve.

Close up image of grilled chicken breasts with herb topping and char marks.

Can I Use Chicken Thighs for This Recipe?

You can use any cut of chicken you’d like in this recipe, although you’ll have to adjust the grill time depending on the size and cut of the chicken.

Can Greek Chicken Marinate Overnight?

I don’t recommend letting this chicken marinate for more than 5 hours. If the chicken sits in the acidic marinade for too long, it’ll toughen up and become chewy when grilled.

Greek lemon chicken with a side salad on a serving plate.

Tips for the Best Greek Lemon Chicken

  • Just be sure to preheat your grill so you get a nice sear on the chicken breast. Plus, it will help keep the chicken from drying out.
  • Another thing to prevent dry chicken is always use a instant read thermometer to check the internal temperature of the chicken breasts. If you get much past 165 degrees F, you end up with dry chicken.
  • If possible, flip the bag of marinating chicken over halfway through to redistribute the marinade.
  • Pound the thicker parts of the chicken breasts with a mallet to ensure the meat cooks evenly on the grill.
  • Let the grilled Greek lemon chicken rest for 5 minutes before serving it. This gives the juices time to redistribute throughout the meat.

More Grilled Chicken Recipes You’ll Love:

Greek Lemon Chicken
5 from 12 votes

Grilled Greek Lemon Chicken

This Grilled Greek Lemon Chicken is bursting with fresh lemon flavor and is so easy to make! Chicken breasts are soaked in a bright, garlicky herb marinade and grilled to perfection. A recipe the whole family will love! 
Servings: 4
Prep15 minutes
Cook10 minutes
Marinating2 hours
Ready in: 2 hours 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 (6 oz) boneless skinless chicken breast halves*
  • 1/3 cup olive oil , plus more for brushing grill
  • 1 Tbsp lemon zest
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 4 cloves garlic , minced (1 1/2 Tbsp)
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary , crushed
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Chopped fresh parsley , for serving

Instructions

  • Using the flat side of a meat mallet, pound thicker parts of chicken to even thickness. 
  • In a small mixing bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, oregano, basil, thyme, rosemary and season with salt and pepper (about 1 tsp salt 1/2 tsp pepper).
  • Place chicken in a gallon size resealable bag, pour in olive oil mixture. Seal bag while pressing air out. Rub marinade over chicken. Transfer to refrigerator and allow to marinate 2 - 5 hours (rotate bag and move chicken around halfway through if possible). 
  • Preheat grill over medium-high heat (to about 425 - 450 degrees F).
  • Brush grill grates lightly with olive oil. Place chicken on grill, close lid, and grill about 4 minutes per side, or until chicken registers 160 - 165 degrees F in center of chicken on an instant read thermometer. 
  • Let chicken rest 5 minutes, garnish with fresh parsley then serve immediately.

Notes

  • *You can also use boneless skinless thighs here as well, just add additional grilling time.
  • Recipe source: Cooking Classy

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47 Comments

  • Margaret Johnson

    Grilled chicken would be fine if I had a grill. I do have an oven however, but surprise surprise, I don’t find any info on oven-cooking my chicken. So, I’ll
    Just forget the marinade(which did sound tasty) and fry my chicken.

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      You can pan pan sear or bake in the oven but the oven option doesn’t brown the chicken. 400 for around 20 minutes or to 165 in center.

  • Christine @ myblissfulmess.com

    This delicious, healthy entrée is so easy to make. Everyone at the table loved this recipe and I will definitely have to make this again! I actually let our marinate for 24 hours before grilling it. It had so much delicious flavor. It’s even better if you have some tzatziki sauce for dipping. You don’t need the tzatziki sauce, but if you have some… GO FOR IT! I served this chicken with simple Greek green salad with a Greek vinaigrette dressing and some steamed broccoli for a deliciously healthy meal.

  • Janie

    Thank you for sharing this delicious recipe. I followed the recipe exactly. The only difference was I didn’t grill it because it’s freezing cold here in Northern NJ and an ice storm is about to start. So I made it in a skillet and it is delicious and tender. It’s very flavorful. Thank you again!

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      I don’t recommend it. I’ve tried letting it sit just a little while and it’s not near as flavorful.

  • Shelly

    If you marinade it overnight WITHOUT the lemon juice and add the lemon juice say an hour or so before cooking, that should be okay right?

  • Alison

    My favourite Greek chicken recipe – so much flavour! My children love it too. When the weather is unfriendly, I cut up the chicken in bite-sized pieces to marinate and pan fry them – perfect for souvlaki wraps or pitas!