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Greek Yogurt Chicken Marinade {with a kick!}


This spicy Greek yogurt chicken marinade is so moist and flavorful. Prep it ahead of time and then throw it on a sheet pan in the oven or toss it on the grill for a quick, healthy dinner.

*Originally published May 2019. Updated Sept 2023*

Hi friends!

Today I’m sharing a recipe for Spicy Yogurt Marinated Chicken! If it’s been a while since you marinated anything, you may be surprised just how much flavor it can add. This is one of those recipes that’s perfect for food prep because you can just toss everything into a Ziploc bag and then move it to the grill for an easy dinner.

I used chicken thighs when I made it but you could also use chicken breasts. When I want a sheet pan meal, I cooked them in the oven with some green beans on one pan and roast some sweet potato slices on another.

In the summer months, this recipe is perfect for grilling. Put the chicken on the grill with some quick veggie kabobs and boom! Dinner is served. 

How To Make Greek Marinade with Yogurt

To make this marinade, just grab a large Ziploc bag. You could also use a bowl or Tupperware container if you prefer.

Combine the yogurt, spices, lime juice and garlic in the bag, then place the chicken in yogurt mixture. Seal tightly and mix until well combined and coated.

Let marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours, up to 24 hours then cook as desired!

How To Cook Greek Yogurt Marinated Chicken

There are tons of ways to cook this chicken!

On the grill – remove from the marinade and grill.

In the oven – place on a baking sheet with some veggies and bake!

In the air fryer – place in the air fryer at 400 for 10-15 minutes depending on the thickness

On the stove top – cook in a cast iron skillet on the stove.

If you’re using a sheet pan, you may want to use some foil for a divider. The chicken is juicy and will release some liquid. I covered half my pan with foil to contain the chicken and then tossed my green beans on the other half of the pan.

If you’re not a fan of roasting two pans in the oven at once, toss a few sweet potatoes in the microwave while the chicken and beans are cooking in the oven!

Here’s how you make it:


Greek Yogurt Chicken Marinde Recipe

This Spicy Greek Yogurt Chicken Marinade is so moist and flavorful. Prep it ahead of time and then throw it on a sheet pan in the oven or toss it on the grill for a quick, healthy dinner.

Author: Lindsay
Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 20 min
Total Time: 25 minutes
Yield: serves 4-6


1.5 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (or breasts)
3/4 cup plain greek yogurt (regular works too)
1 tsp paprika
2 tsp cumin
1 Tbsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp dried oregano
4 cloves garlic, minced
juice from one lime
pinch of salt and pepper


Combine all ingredients in a large Ziploc bag.
Close tightly and use your hands to mix everything around and make sure the chicken is well coated.
Marinate in the fridge at least 2 hours. (24 hours is best!)
Remove the chicken and cook as desired, discarding the remaining marinade. I cooked mine on a sheet pan with green beans at 400 for 15-25 minutes. Time will vary depending on the thickness of your chicken. Check internal temperature until it reaches 165. You may need to remove the green beans before your chicken is done!


To cook the sweet potatoes, thinly slice, spray with oil, season as desired and bake at 400 or 425 for 20-25 min flipping once.

Did you make this recipe?

Tag @theleangreenbean on Instagram

This is so so easy and full of spice. You can dial back the cayenne if you don’t want it as spicy. You could also try a different combo of spices. Add some turmeric, swap the lime juice for lemon juice, try chili powder instead of cumin etc!

Greek Yogurt Marinade FAQs

Can you marinate meat in Greek yogurt? Is it safe to marinate chicken in yogurt?

Yes! Yogurt makes a great marinade. Yogurt is acidic, which you want in a marinade. Some marinades use lemon, citrus, vinegar etc but in this case yogurt adds acid as well.

Is Greek yogurt good for marinating? What are the benefits of a yogurt marinade?

Marinating in yogurt adds acid which helps tenderize the meat and make it nice and juicy when you cook it instead of dry and rubbery.

Is marinating chicken healthy?

Yes! Marinating is a super easy way to infuse flavor into the chicken before cooking it.

Is Greek yogurt or regular yogurt better for marinade?

It doesn’t matter. Either works great!

How long should you marinate chicken? How long can you keep yogurt-marinated chicken in the fridge?

Most marinades are suggested for 4-24 hours. Marinating any longer than 24 hours can cause the meat to start to break down resulting in a less desirable texture.

How long do you cook marinated chicken?

This will depend on your cooking method. Be sure to cook chicken to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F in the thickest part of the meat and the juices run clear.

Do you rinse off yogurt marinade? When baking do you leave it in all the marinade?

You do not need to rinse off the marinade before cooking but you can discard any marinade left in the bag after you remove the chicken.

Is there a substitute for Greek yogurt? I wonder if sour cream could be subbed for Greek yogurt in the marinade?

Yes, if you don’t have Greek yogurt, sour cream makes a great substitute. You could also use buttermilk!

Healthy Chicken Marinades

Looking for other chicken marinades? Try these:

Easy Chicken Marinade (only 4 ingredients!)

For this easy chicken marinade, combine oil, red wine vinegar, honey and garlic for perfectly juicy chicken every time. Cook it any way you want – on the grill, in the air fryer or in the oven!

Simple Chicken Marinade for Meal Prep

This simple chicken marinade for meal prep will quickly become a favorite. Easy and flavorful, perfect for batch-cooking chicken to enjoy all week long.

Honey Bourbon Chicken (Marinade and Glaze)

This Honey Bourbon Chicken Marinade is packed with flavor! Let it sit overnight, then turn the marinade into a sauce while you cook the chicken. 


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