Greek Marinade for Grilled Chicken

It was day 2 for the kid’s Kilometre Club prior to school and the weather was miserable. The temperature was right at the freezing point and it was windy with a mix of light snow and rain. There was a big turnout and all the kids were great troopers as they kept on running. My three were happy with their performance and I was a proud dad. It is nice to know that the rest of the week is supposed to have much nicer weather.

Grilling chicken is a classic summertime tradition for us and I am always on the lookout for a new marinade or spice rub for chicken.

Here are a few other marinades and rubs that work really well with chicken:

Today’s recipe was made alongside the Lemon Roasted Potatoes I shared yesterday. The marinade for the chicken is full of Greek flavours that I use when making Greek salad and souvlaki.

If you are looking for a few other Greek recipes, check out some of these:

There is a wonderful combination of garlic and herbs in the marinade that comes through clearly with each bite. The red wine vinegar, lemon juice and salt work together in the marinade to tenderize and brine the chicken. I use this marinade for chicken mostly but it works great with pork and lamb. Souvlaki anyone???

If you want to make souvlaki with this, simply cut the chicken breast into cubes and let them marinate for a good hour. Then, put the chicken cubes on wood BBQ skewers. Great served with Greek pita bread.

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4.9 from 19 votes

Greek Marinade for Grilled Chicken

Chicken marinade with olive oil, garlic, oregano, thyme, lemon juice and red wine vinegar. Perfect for grilling or for souvlaki. Great with pork or lamb also.
Course Main
Cuisine Greek
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 290kcal
Author Steve Cylka


  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 4 garlic cloves , minced
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 2 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper


  • Mix all the ingredients, minus the chicken breast in a bowl. Place the chicken breasts in a dish and pour the marinade over them, turning them in the marinade to ensure that they are completely coated. Cover the dish with a lid or plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least an hour.
  • Place the chicken on a hot grill and cook, turning once, until the meat has an internal temperature of 165F. Grilling boneless skinless chicken breast takes about 15-20 minutes, but can vary depending on the size and thickness of the meat. Remove from the grill and let the chicken breast rest for a few minutes before serving to allow the juices to draw back into the centre of the meat.


Calories: 290kcal

About Steve Cylka

Steve is the author of The Black Peppercorn. He is a recipe developer and food photographer. His recipes have been featured on websites like Bradley Smoker, Times Picayune, Buzzfeed, and Basil & Salt. He has also authored and co-authored a couple cookbooks.


  1. Thank you Steve! I’m a Grecophile at heart, so I’m very happy indeed to see this post, as well as your recent Greek Potatoes! 🙂

  2. I love a good marinated chicken breast and this looks moist and delicious!! Great flavors and I bet it complimented your potatoes from yesterday wonderfully! 🙂

  3. Its a joy for a parent seeing your kids liked what they do. After the activity this is a great food to eat. I can smell the delicious chicken. Yum! =)

  4. Regarding the club, it is amazing that your kids endured and did not give up. Most kids would have with much complaining as well. You should be proud.
    The key to cooking chicken breasts is making sure they do not dry out. Your chicken here does look like the marinade was very helpful in that respect. In addition, I am sure it made an excellent meal paired with those potatoes. Well done Steve!

  5. itsgoodtobethecook

    YUM! My boyfriend loves greek flavors, I never know what to use. Thank you!

  6. oh this sounds delicious – i love marinated grilled chicken!

  7. I think these are some of my favorite flavors for grilling..meats or veggies, Greek flavors are the best!

  8. Made this tonight and it was a big hit! Just right on the balance of herbally to sour. And tenderized. Great for grilling and so simple–will add this to the regular rotation–thank you!

  9. This is exactly what I’ve been looking for. Trying it out tomorrow. Thanks!

  10. I made this for a get together yesterday and paired with tzatziki, Greek salad and fresh pitas it was a hit! The only change I made was decrease the salt to 1/2 tsp and I marinated the chicken overnight. Thanks so much! I’m already planning on making it again. 🙂

    • So glad that it turned out well Laurie! It is a great marinade that goes great with all those other greek dishes you made! I sometimes cut the chicken into cubes and make souvlaki with the marinade

  11. OMG this was brilliant, the second time I made this I left the skin on the chicken breasts & put a tspn of garlic butter under the skin after marinating them. Great tasty, tender chicken…yummmm

  12. This was fantastic!
    We enjoyed flavourful, juicy chicken breasts for two meals.
    With or without tzatziki… wouldn’t change a thing!
    Thanks Steve.

  13. what if you don’t have a bbq? can you just put in oven? if so, what temp and for how long?

    • Saw your comment and thought I could help… Put in oven around during 350-375 F, and depending on how big the breast is 15-20 minutes for a med to larger piece. When you prick the chicken the juice should run clear not pink, and when u touch the chicken it should not feel squishy, it should bounce back when pressed. Hope this helps some!

  14. Love this recipe! I use it to marinate chicken cubes for kebobs.

  15. Our family absolutely loves this marinade! We use it with chicken, pitas and tzaiziki for homemade gyros. The leftover chicken is wonderfully moist and flavorful and great in a salad the next day! Thanks for the greay recipe!

  16. I was going to try this marinade with a boneless leg of lamb for Easter. Can I use this marinade with the lamb and put it in the crockpot as my oven will be occupied with other dishes? Also, any idea how long it will need to cook in the crockpot? The lamb is just over 4 pounds.

  17. Wow – this was fabulous! Great flavor .. thanks so much for posting this.

  18. An absolutely wonderful recipe which is true to the authentic Greek Souvlaki.
    All I added for a bit of color was 1/2 Tbsp of paprika. My husband, who is difficult with food (he has a “super taster” palate – they are a minority of the population…lucky me!) also really loved it!
    I will be making this recipe over and over again since I love Greek food! Thank you!!

  19. I ended up doing a variation of this, but it wasn’t grilled, rather oven baked and also we used plain yogurt for the marinade. Have a look see and maybe do a comparison!

  20. The only thing that would make this better would be a little atm!

  21. onehundredroads

    Simple, tasty, and perfect. I made half this recipe with two large chicken breasts, and it was delicious. I also cut the chicken breasts in half before marinating and grilling so I had four 5 ounce pieces – perfect for lunch.

  22. Like everyone else who made this, mine turned out really well – the sign of a good recipe. Served with chopped tomatoes, cucumber and olives, shredded lettuce and tzatziki, stuffed in whole wheat pitas, with Greek potatoes on the side. Thanks so much!

  23. Anne in Carolina

    We are making this tonight with pesto risotto and grilled eggplant. Should I use fresh or dried herbs for the marinade?

  24. I have marinated chicken breasts over night in the refrigerator to oven roast tonite along with Greek potatoes. Can I roast the chicken in the marinade safely?

    • We had this for lunch, cubed and skewered with the marinade poured over the top before baking in a tray in the oven, so long as the chicken itself is cooked, the marinade will also be cooked (and therefore perfectly safe), it was delicious. We had it with feta red onions and tomato salad, with no additional dressing, in pitta withTzaziki (and for me sriracha sauce for a bit of spice).

  25. Tried the marinade this past weekend. The chicken came out delicious. I got the timing right too, (which for me is a challenge) so it was so juicy and tender. The flavor was fabulous and even my 11 year old picky eater loved it. I doubled the batch and have lots of wonderful chicken slices left to eat cold, in a salad, or in a sandwich. This is my new go to chicken recipe.

  26. I don’t have a grill. How would you make this on a stove top?

  27. Made this 2 weeks ago with the lemon roasted potatoes. Have to admit this is THE best marinade I’ve made. Chicken was so juicy. Baked them in the oven. Making this again this weekend. Marinaded for 9 hours. Thanks you. Even my pickiest daughter loves it!

  28. Marinated for 3-4 hours and was very flavorful! Definitely a keeper!

  29. Made this marinade last night and let hough I just browned chicken in cast iron pan it was amazing! Served it with home made pita bread, tatziki, fried fresh cucumbers, tomatoes and feta …. I guess a chicken gyro of sort! Thank you for the great recipe, I look forward to making this again for my husband who although loves my Traditional Southern Cuisine makes no complaints when I experiment with the Italian and Greek recipie’s he grew up with.

  30. Could I put the chicken & marinade in the freezer for a later date?

  31. I used the marinade with boneless pork chops. It was great!

  32. Are the oregano and thyme measurements for fresh or dried?

  33. This was pretty spectacular! I gently pounded each breast so that each was exactly the same thickness. This is important I think to the overall cooking process. I did use a Jaquard meat tenderizer to poke holes in the chicken so the marinade would penetrate inside the meat better. I also marinaded it in the fridge for a couple days in a gallon Ziploc freezer bag. Every marinade I’ve ever used really doesn’t give much flavor unless it’s marinated for at a minimum a day, but usually I like to do 2 days. We loved it. I grilled it, cut it up and served it over Ceasar Salad. It would also be really good for Chicken Souvlaki. It just might possibly replace my current recipe for that…. We shall see.

    Thank you Steve for a great recipe!

  34. This is a great marinade! For extra flavor I used my jaquard meat tenderizer to poke holes into the meat and let it marinade for 2 days in the fridge. Wow, it was packed with delicious flavor. We grilled the first 2, cut into bite size pieces and put over a Caesar Salad. The second 2 we grilled and served with our favorite pasta side. I will definitely be using this marinade in the future! we LOVED IT!! Thank you for an awesome recipe.

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