Greek Marinade for Grilled Chicken

The Greek marinade for these grilled chicken breasts is easy to make and gives so much flavour to the chicken. These are great as part of a dinner meal, but also great in a wrap, pita and so much more!

Overhead picture of a plate of grilled chicken.

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. This grilled chicken with a Greek marinade is so good and the perfect summer meal.

A platter of Grilled Greek Chicken with lemon slices.

Today’s recipe was made alongside a Homemade Greek Salad and some Greek Tzatziki. All together, this makes one amazing meal!

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

Oil and vinegar in a mason jar next to a sliced lemon and spoonfuls of oregano and thyme.

Ingredients for a Greek Marinade

Making this marinade for grilled chicken is very simple and uses ingredients I generally have in my kitchen.

  • Olive oil
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Minced garlic
  • Lemon juice
  • Dried oregano
  • Dried thyme
  • salt
  • pepper

Squeezing some lime juice through a strainer to catch the seeds.

I like to make the marinade in a mason jar. Once all the ingredients are in the jar, I put on the lid and give it a good shake to mix everything around. Make sure to use a strainer when squeezing the lemon to catch the seeds.

Jar of Greek marinade next to a tray of chicken breasts.

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 an hour. Then, put the chicken cubes on wood BBQ skewers. Great served with rice or a warmed pita.

Marinade poured over boneless skinless chicken breasts.

How to Marinate Chicken Breasts?

Place the boneless skinless chicken breasts side by side in a flat dish. Pour the Greek marinade all over the chicken breasts. Use some tongs to turn the chicken over to ensure that they are totally coated in the marinade. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and place in the fridge to marinate for 1 to 2 hours. 

Note: The recipe calls for 4 chicken breasts but there are 8 in the photos. Since we have a larger family with teenagers, I doubled the recipe.

Raw chicken on a hot grill.

What Temperature to Grill Chicken Breast?

While the chicken is marinating in the fridge, preheat the grill to medium high heat, which should be around 450F. Once the grill is nice and hot, it is time to cook the chicken. Since the chicken is in a lot of liquid, I lift one up with some tongs, and let any excess marinade drip back into the dish. Then, place the chicken on the grill, ensuring that there is some space in between all the chicken breasts to allow for even cooking. Make sure to close the lid of the grill to let the chicken cook.

Grilling chicken breasts, ready to be flipped.

After a 4-5 minutes, lift up the lid to take a look at the chicken. They should be ready to be flipped. Use the tongs and turn the chicken breasts over. Close the lid and let the chicken finish cooking.

Grilling Tip! Some grills have hotter zones than others, so when you flip them, you may want to rearrange then chicken so that the lesser cooked ones go in the hotter zones. For my grill, the back is a little bit hotter than the front, So, when it is time to flip the chicken breasts over, I also mover the back ones to the front and the front chicken breasts in the back. That way, they should all be finished at the same time.

Grilled chicken breasts on the BBQ.

Boneless skinless chicken breasts are finished grilling, once they reach an internal temperature of 165F when checked with a digital thermometer. This should take somewhere around 12-15 minutes, although this can vary depending on the size of the chicken breast.

A plate with chicken, rice and Greek salad.

This grilled chicken with a Greek marinade is so good. Every bite has a bold herb and garlic flavour and is juicy and tender. Serve this chicken with some tzatziki, greek salad, rice and pita.

More Marinade and Rub Recipes

There are so many different seasonings that are great when grilling chicken. Here are a few other marinades and rubs that are perfect for chicken.

Greek Marinade for Grilled Chicken

4.63 out of 5
35 reviews
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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.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts

Greek Marinade

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

Instructions

  • Mix all the ingredients, minus the chicken breast in a mason jar or 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.
  • Preheat grill to medium high heat, around 450F.
  • Place the chicken on a hot grill and close the lid. After the chicken has cooked for about 5 minutes, lift the lid and turn the chicken breasts over. Close the lid and let the chicken cook some more. The chicken is finished cooking when the meat has an internal temperature of 165F, when checked with a digital thermometer. Grilling boneless skinless chicken breast takes about 12-15 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.
  • Serve with tzatziki, greek salad, and rice.

Nutrition

Per serving:

Calories: 302kcalCarbohydrates: 3gProtein: 24gFat: 21gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 72mgSodium: 715mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1g

Nutrition Disclaimer

Categories

Overhead picture of a plate of grilled chicken.

Did you try this recipe?

Leave a comment and let me know how it turned out. Or, take a picture to share on Instagram and tag me @theblackpeppercorn.

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Recipe Rating




57 comments

  • 5 stars
    Fantastic recipe! I marinated boneless chicken tenders (breast meat) for 4 hours and it was moist and delicious! A new favorite….

    • Reply
    • This is one of our favourite marinades as well! So good for grilled or baked chicken.

  • 5 stars
    sooooo good.

    • Reply
  • 5 stars
    Steve,
    Have you any guidance on doing this with a whole chicken?

    • Reply
  • I’ve commented on this most excellent recipe in the past now I have a new question.?
    Steve,
    Have you any guidance on doing this with a whole chicken?

    • Reply
  • Excellent and I should also say perfect.

    • Reply
  • 5 stars
    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.

    • Reply
  • 5 stars
    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!

    • Reply
  • 5 stars
    We had worked on our Greek chicken marinade for years , ever “the best ever” until we found this recipe. Thank you. We make big batches and have it all week. My son whose 13 waits for the day we make it. I have share your web address for this recipe with everyone I know. We make a big batch of Tzatziki sauce . Couldn’t believe it the first time but 30 minutes to marinade was perfect.

    • Reply
    • Can’t spell meant never the best ever

      • Reply
  • Are the oregano and thyme measurements for fresh or dried?

    • Reply
    • Yes these are dry measurements

      • Reply
  • 5 stars
    I used the marinade with boneless pork chops. It was great!

    • Reply
    • Awesome! Thanks for sharing your feedback!!

      • Reply
  • Could I put the chicken & marinade in the freezer for a later date?

    • Reply
    • Yeah – you totally could do that. Just make sure they are fully thawed before grilling.

      • Reply
  • 5 stars
    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.

    • Reply
  • 5 stars
    Marinated for 3-4 hours and was very flavorful! Definitely a keeper!

    • Reply
  • 5 stars
    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!

    • Reply
  • 5 stars
    I don’t have a grill. How would you make this on a stove top?

    • Reply
    • 5 stars
      Skillet

      • Reply
  • 5 stars
    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.

    • Reply
  • 5 stars
    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?

    • Reply
    • 5 stars
      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).

      • Reply
      • Sounds just delicious!!!

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

    • Reply
    • Fresh is always better but I have also used dried herbs often with this marinade it still comes out great.

      • Reply
  • 5 stars
    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!

    • Reply
    • Thanks for your comment! So glad you liked it. 🙂

      • Reply
  • 5 stars
    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.

    • Reply

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