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Greek BBQ chicken recipe

Greek BBQ chicken recipe

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A deliciously light BBQ chicken recipe bursting with Greek flavours. I serve it with sliced tomatoes, feta cheese and pitta bread.

415 people made this

IngredientsServes: 8

  • 110ml olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 1 whole chicken, cut into pieces

MethodPrep:15min ›Cook:30min ›Ready in:45min

  1. In a glass dish, mix the olive oil, garlic, rosemary, thyme, oregano and lemon juice. Place the chicken pieces in the mixture, cover and marinate in the refrigerator 8 hours or overnight.
  2. Preheat barbecue for high heat.
  3. Lightly oil the cooking grate. Place chicken on the barbecue and discard the marinade. Cook chicken pieces up to 15 minutes per side, until juices run clear. Smaller pieces will not take as long.

BBQ tips

Check out our BBQ how-to guides and videos for easy tips on how to BBQ to perfection!

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(477)

Reviews in English (348)

by Staceybru

I am a caterer and made this for a wedding rehearsal dinner a few months ago. It was a huge hit! I used boneless, skinless chicken breasts and pounded them so that they were uniform in thickness. I marinated the chicken for 2 days & grilled them about 3 1/2 minutes per side. I garnished the platter with lemon halves, roasted heads of garlic & sprigs of fresh rosemary. My only suggestion is to be careful with the fresh is very pungent, so don't get carried away!!-31 Aug 2005

by Navy_Mommy

This is incredible! I used boneless skinless chicken breasts and placed them in the marinade before I froze them. I then thawed over night. I grilled the chicken and it came out perfect. I used a teaspoon each of the dried herbs. The chicken had a great strong lemony taste, plus the hint of the garlic and herbs gave it great kick. I cooked my chicken about 10 minutes per side and they turned out perfect. I can't wait to make again.-28 Mar 2003

by Cherries

Very delicious. I cooked mine in the oven 400 degrees about 45 to 50 min. I would definetly make again. I also added potatos in with my dish and they were so good!!!!!!-28 Oct 2006

Greek Chicken

A yogurt marinated chicken that’s beautifully tenderized and infused with terrific garlic and oregano flavours! If you’re new to the magical powers of yogurt marinades, this baked Greek Chicken is going to convert you for life! Brought to you in partnership with Farmers Union Greek Style Yogurt.

Welcome to GREEK WEEK! Every now and then, I like to do themed menus where I share all the recipes for a feast, and this week it’s all about the bright fresh flavours of the Mediterranean. Think – lemons, oregano, yogurt, lemons and plenty of garlic!

Are you ready to see what I’ve got in store for you for Greek Week?? Here you go….

Greek Chicken Marinade Ingredients

Technically, this Greek chicken marinade is only 5 ingredients, if you don’t count the salt and pepper.

  • Greek yogurt: This is a new addition to my regular Greek marinade. I added the yogurt after making my easy chicken gyros where the yogurt tenderizes the chicken for a very nice, juicy bite.
  • Lemon juice + zest: The acid from the lemon also helps break down the tough fibers of the chicken as it adds a flavorful zip to each bite. Adding the zest of one lemon to the marinade amps the flavor up even that much more.
  • Garlic: Because hello, garlic.
  • Olive oil: Olive oil adds a bit of fat and helps create a barrier while the chicken is on the grill. However, you’ll still want prepare your grill with additional oil and rotate your skewers so the chicken doesn’t become too charred or burn.
  • Oregano: Because dried herbs are stronger in flavor than fresh, I’ve found that dried oregano works best for this marinade, and a healthy dose of it is definitely required.


  • Swap lemon juice: use red wine vinegar instead of lemon juice.
  • Swap balsamic vinegar: use red wine vinegar instead of balsamic vinegar.
  • Swap seasonings: add more or less of your favorite spices. You may swap the fresh garlic for 1 teaspoon garlic powder in a bind.
  • Swap sugar: use equal amounts of honey instead.
  • Make it spicy: Add ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes for a kick.


Absolutely! This Greek chicken marinade will work with any cut of chicken including chicken thighs, chicken tenderloins, chicken drumsticks, chicken legs or chicken wings. You will just need to adjust the cooking times if you swap out the cut of chicken, so keep that meat thermometer handy!


This recipe will marinate 1 pound (16 oz.) of chicken, however, it is easy to scale up or down to suite your needs. 4 oz. of chicken is the recommended single serving portion of chicken, but this varies depending on the individual and what sides are being served. I would say 6-8 ounces is closer to realistic.

11 Greek BBQ Recipes to Make Your Backyard Feel Like the Mediterranean

With coronavirus making travel a tricky and even potentially dangerous prospect this year, we’re embracing the summer staycation. All week (and all summer) long, we’ll bring you transportive flavors and travel-inspired ideas from around the world, so you can take your tastebuds on a trip and give your mind a mini vacation while you’re still at home. Here, some great Greek recipes for your next BBQ.

Most of us don’t have a tradition of serving foods with Greek flavors at a cookout, but we should. Greek food, with all its bright, fresh, and simple ingredients—lemon, salty fish, vivid cheeses, and olive oil chief among them—makes the perfect candidate for outdoor, summer feasting

For a simpler nod to Greece, you could always grill burgers and serve them with Greek fries. (And if you need to feed vegetarians? This Greek falafel burger recipe is easy, delicious, and only takes about 20 minutes!)

But if you want to go all out, try one (or more) of these 11 summer Greek recipes for your next outdoor dinner—just try not to break any plates. And don’t forget the ouzo.

1. Rotisserie Leg of Lamb

A Mediterranean dry rub of paprika, cumin, and coriander gives this boneless roast leg of lamb a lovely perfume. The flavorful juices drip on potatoes, onion, and fennel as the lamb cooks on the spit. Get our Rotisserie Leg of Lamb recipe . (The same flavors will work for smaller lamb chops too.)

Bone-In Australian Leg of Lamb, $74.99 from D'Artagnan

A serious piece of meat for sure.

2. Spanakopita

Predictable maybe, but when the grill’s heating up there’s nothing better to reach for than a flaky, buttery, feta-salty, oniony, and spinach-rich phyllo triangle. Get our Spanakopita recipe.

3. Dolmathes with Avgolemono

The filling for these stuffed grape leaves starts out pretty conventionally, with ground beef, rice, and mint, but the terminal addition of avgolemono sauce (eggs, lemon juice, and some of the grape-leaf cooking liquid) makes these perfect for snacking outdoors on a hot day. Get our Tangy Dolmathes recipe.

4. Garlic-Mint Yogurt Dip

Serve it as a dip for pita chips, raw and lightly blanched vegetables, or grilled shrimp. As a spread, it smears beautifully inside split pitas, before they’re stuffed with diced roasted chicken or lamb. Get our Garlic-Mint Yogurt Dip recipe.

5. Flying Fig Cocktail

Not strictly Greek, but perfect to serve with the tangy, salty, and animal-rich food of your backyard BBQ. Fresh figs are muddled with elderflower liqueur, then mixed with vodka, lemon juice, and agave. Get our Flying Fig Cocktail recipe.

6. Whole Grilled Bass with Oregano and Olives

Stuff a whole striped or black bass with oregano, thyme, and lemon and top it with a relishy sauce of grilled olives, onion, and artichokes. Get our Whole Grilled Bass recipe.

7. Baby Artichoke Pasta Salad

Blanched fresh artichokes, cherry tomatoes, and crumbled ricotta salata cheese marry with cold pasta, tossed with garlic and good olive oil. Get our Baby Artichoke Pasta Salad recipe.

11. Skordalia

Francesco Sapienza (Lamalo)

If you alter the proportions this nutty, creamy, garlic-heavy dish can be either a dip or a hearty summer side. Ease up on the garlic and add a little more boiled potato to the food processor and this is like garlic mashed potatoes made especially for warm weather. Get the Skordalia recipe.

9. Grilled Greek Salad

Everything is charred on the grill and served warm with a drizzle of oregano marinade. We like it best when all the elements are chopped up and tossed with the dressing, so each bite is loaded with halloumi cheese, veggies, and herbs. Get our Grilled Greek Salad recipe.

10. Honey and Cheese Tart

In Greece, this would contain fresh myzithra cheese (hard to find in the U.S.), but manouri, a fresh, lightly salted Greek cheese, complements the sweet honey and lemony crust. Get our Honey and Cheese Tart recipe.

11. Almond Biscuit Shortcake with Roasted Figs

The addition of almond flour gives these buttery biscuits character. Served with roasted fresh figs sweetened with honey and flavored with orange zest, they make a delicious shortcake dessert out on the patio. Get our Almond Biscuit Shortcake with Roasted Figs recipe.

Grilled Greek Chicken Recipe

Without a doubt, this is a must-make Greek inspired marinade you won’t soon forget. Our Grilled Greek Chicken Recipe is so easy and foolproof, it will be a favorite with the whole family.

With plenty of lemon juice, fresh herbs, silky olive oil and tons of garlic, this yogurt-based marinade infuses all your favorite chicken pieces with the intense Greek flavors we love.

Use this marinade to make grilled Greek chicken skewers with onions and peppers, or grill whole boneless breasts and thighs. You can even use this marinade for our slow Oven Roasted Greek Chicken Breasts recipe too. Choose your favorite chicken pieces and your favorite cooking method and start marinating!

Grilled Greek chicken skewers cook quickly making them great for entertaining.

Skewers are a great choice for casual get togethers on the weekend. These chicken bites are marinated for up to 24 hours so all the prep work is done well in advance.

A few hours before grilling thread the chicken and vegetables onto skewers. Place the skewers on a small sheet pan, cover and refrigerate until ready to grill. The chicken cooks quickly so nobody has to wait too long for dinner to be served.

These delicious bites of chicken are also great as a heavy appetizer, or a small plate dinner party. Mix it up with green or yellow peppers, cherry tomatoes and plenty of onion. Onions are so sweet when grilled, so they’re usually a favorite with guests.

One of my favorite ways to serve these grilled Greek chicken skewers is on fresh homemade Whole Wheat Pita Bread.

Whether you fold the pita like a sandwich or enjoy it pizza style, you’ll find the combination of flavors and textures enticing. Layered with a little fresh arugula, cherry tomatoes and red onion, our Grilled Greek Chicken Recipe is a blank canvas for your next Greek party.

Try drizzling each pita sandwich with Tzatziki or a simple yogurt lemon sauce for a nice acidic bite. Crumbled Feta cheese, Kalamata olives and a smear of hummus are all great additions to this fantastic creation too.

Host a Greek themed party!

Make this Grilled Greek Chicken Recipe part of your next Greek inspired dinner party and enjoy compliments from all your happy guests!

For starters, assemble our easy Greek Layered Hummus Dip and serve with homemade pita chips made from our Whole Wheat Pita Recipe. A crispy and fresh Greek Salad is always a welcome addition to any meal. Enjoy!

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Grilling Essentials – our favorite SKEWER!

Wooden skewers are great, especially for big parties or groups. However, when grilling for the family I prefer these stainless steel skewers. You won’t have to worry about soaking the wooden skewers or worry that the wood will burn before the meat is cooked. They have a flat, wide, smooth metal surface making it easy to slide food on and off. The flat surface helps keep the food from rotating on the skewer and turn easily for even cooking on all sides. And, they’re very inexpensive! Click on the photo for more information.

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I earn a small commission, at no additional cost to you, which I use to pay for web hosting and services for this blog. Thanks for supporting SRFD!

Frequently Asked Questions

Depending on the cut of meat, you should marinate it for as little as 30 minutes or as long as 8 hours. Typically speaking, the tougher the cut of meat (such as a flank steak), the longer the ideal marinate time. On the other hand, if you’re working with a tender boneless piece of chicken, you don’t need more than 30 minutes or so.

We recommend direct heat (which is when the food is directly on top of the fire) for relatively small pieces of food that are more tender. This would include anything that cooks in 20 minutes or less.

If you are grilling a tougher cut of meat that requires more than 20 minutes, we suggest indirect heat which is when the fire is on either side of the food but not directly under it.

It’s best to pre-heat your grill for 10-15 minutes before you plan to cook your food, or until it reaches a temperature of 500F degrees.

Without further ado, here are my twenty most popular recipes for you to enjoy at your next backyard BBQ or summer cookout!

Grilled Greek Chicken

Ingredients US Metric

  • 1 (3 to 4 pound) whole chicken, neck and giblets removed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Greek Marinade
  • Oil for the grill rack


Place the bird, breast side down, on a cutting board. Using kitchen shears or a large knife, cut along one side of the backbone from tail to neck. Pull open the bird, then cut along the other side of the backbone and discard the backbone or save it for stock. Turn the chicken breast side up and open it as flat as possible, as you would a book. Press down firmly on the breast to break the breastbone—you will hear and feel popping—and flatten the chicken.

Season the chicken generously on both sides with salt and pepper. Place the chicken in a large resealable plastic bag so that it lies flat or place it in a baking dish or other large container. Add the marinade and seal the bag, squishing the marinade around the chicken or turning the chicken to coat. Refrigerate for at least 24 hours and up to 48 hours—the longer the more flavorful. Be sure to turn the bag or chicken several times during marinating.

At least 30 minutes before you’re ready to grill, remove the chicken from the refrigerator. Drain and discard the marinade. Pat the chicken dry.

Prepare a charcoal or gas grill for indirect grilling over medium heat. If using charcoal, pile the lit coals on one side of the grill and place a drip pan in the area without coals. If using gas, preheat the burners, then turn off 1 or more of the burners to create a cooler zone. The temperature inside the grill should be 350º to 375ºF (180º to 190ºC). Brush and oil the grill grate.

Place the chicken, skin side down, over direct heat. Cook for 12 to 15 minutes. Turn and continue cooking until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a thigh registers 170ºF (77ºC) or the juices run clear when a thigh joint is pierced with the tip of a sharp knife, usually 15 to 25 minutes more, depending on the size of your chicken. If at any point the chicken begins to burn, move the chicken to the indirect heat area of the grill and give it a few extra minutes.

Transfer the grilled chicken to a cutting board, tent it loosely with aluminum foil, and let it rest for 10 minutes. Cut the chicken into serving pieces and serve at once.

Recipe Testers' Reviews

This grilled Greek chicken was gorgeously browned and perfectly delicious! Add grilled corn on the cob and sliced tomatoes from the garden with feta cheese and dinner is finished.

The instructions were easy to follow about removing the backbone. The Greek marinade gave a subtle, herby, tangy flavor to the chicken. I will marinate it next time for the full 48 hours This recipe will be around for years to come!

I want to kiss Fred Thompson. That’s how good his Greek grilled chicken is.

Really, I’m not kidding. From the first line of his recipe to the last, his instructions are crystal clear and easy to follow. Some may wince a bit at the prospect of cutting out the chicken’s backbone, but it’s a technique that, once mastered—it’s not difficult—pays huge dividends by allowing you to uniformly cook an entire bird in one fell swoop. It makes for a pretty cool platter presentation as well.

The marinade is vibrant and fresh and infuses the bird with the flavors of a Mediterranean sunset. I was lucky enough to have fresh oregano, parsley, rosemary, and thyme from my garden. I had to buy only the basil. The recipe calls for 24 to 48 hours of marinating time and I split the difference, giving my bird about 36 hours in the lovely lemon and herb soak. This amount of time was sufficient to season the meat through to the bone, and sprinkling the meat with salt and pepper prior to marinating meant that no additional seasoning was required at the table.

The bird was perfectly seasoned, tender, juicy, and flavorful right from the grill. The only challenge to cooking this recipe was regulating the heat on my four-burner Weber gas grill. My bird was slightly larger than called for at about 4 1/2 pounds and took just shy of 40 minutes to cook to juicy perfection. Ten minutes of resting time while I put the finishing touches on the balance of our meal was just enough to allow the juices in the flesh to redistribute. The bird looked so beautiful on the cutting board, all splayed out and lightly charred, that I decided to carve it at the table for all to see. The lip smacking was audible. This recipe was loved by all and will certainly become a staple in our summer grilling rotation.

The Greek marinade makes for a delicious and tender chicken. All of the fresh herbs make such an impact on the flavor and the lemon juice adds an extra punch of acidity, rounding out the earthy tones and smokiness from the grill.

I added onions that I also marinated and cooked alongside the chicken for some sweetness and found it to be a great addition to the meal.

The Greek marinade was simple to put together and the ingredients readily available. Removing the backbone of the chicken was also easy. The resulting chicken was moist and had lemony notes, but I was hoping for more robust flavor from the marinade (I did 24 hours, but can see that 48 would be better). I don’t really like cutting up and serving a whole cooked chicken so I will try the marinade on boneless breasts since I think the flavor would be great in a salad.

This grilled Greek chicken is a perfect way to cook chicken on the grill for a delightful dinner. I used a gas grill and found this recipe to be quick, easy, and delicious—one that I will certainly make many times over the summer. The Greek marinade was simple to make and one that could be used on all sorts of grilled meats.

Most folks have at least one tried-and-true recipe for a roasted-style chicken. They think, “Why should I ever try anything new, I already make a good chicken?” This recipe is why.

The marinade was very easy to throw together. We did the suggested 48 hours of marinating. I like using free-range chicken. The smallest one I could find was 5 pounds and it only took a few minutes more than the suggested cooking time for the thigh meat to register 170°F. The result was a very moist, juicy, succulent bird with great yet subtle flavor. Ooh. The skin was also really wonderful. Too good to resist.

This grilled Greek chicken recipe is a wonderfully bright, juicy, and flavorful preparation. Grilling chicken on the bone always creates a richness that cannot be duplicated in boneless skewed pieces. I also love that buying a whole chicken is so much more economical than buying an already separated chicken.

Loved this Greek grilled chicken. The marinade was simple to make and fresh. I bought a 3.8-pound chicken, though after dinner I was wishing I’d had a bigger hen. I think this would be a great dish to make for entertaining as the grilling was simple and the chicken needed very little attention once I got the grill regulated to 350°F. I will make this again soon. We also had a Greek salad with an artichoke and spinach mac and cheese and it was a great dinner.

Wow! The combination of herbs is great, and the chicken was moist and delicious. I’ll definitely be making this again this summer. It took about 45 minutes for the chicken to cook through. It was a little time-consuming to split the chicken, but yielded great results.

I've always wanted to grill a whole chicken and this recipe was a great intro. The 24- to 48-hour marinating time ensures that the chicken stays moist and that all the prep work is done well in advance.

I marinated this chicken for about 36 hours. I used a charcoal grill and added an additional 5 minutes for each side.


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How To Grill A Juicy & Tender Chicken Breast

  • Use a marinade that contains some type of acidity to tenderize the meat. Like vinegar, wine, or like used in this recipe, lemon juice.
  • Butterfly the chicken aka slice it open to be evenly thick all over. If you cook a chicken breast as is, then the thinner parts will get dry until the thicker parts get cooked.
  • Preheat well. Make sure your grill, grill pan, or griddler is very hot when you are about to add the chicken. This creates an instant sear, securing the juices inside the chicken.
  • Sear, sear, sear before you flip. If you flip the chicken too soon, before it makes that nice seared crust it will start to release its juices and drain. So once you add the chicken leave for a few minutes usually 4-5 depending on temperature and wait until it gets brownish in color before you flip it to its other side. If you are afraid that it will burn on the outside and remain uncooked on the inside, then once it has the right color all over (deep brownish and charred), drop the temperature to medium, medium-low until it cooks on the inside.
  • Use an instant-read thermometer to be 100% sure. The internal temperature should be 165°F 74°C. That’s the right temperature for perfectly juicy and tender chicken every time!


Juicy chicken skewers with veggies with the most flavorful Greek yogurt marinade. Drizzled with Ladolemono (Greek Olive Oil & Lemon Meat Dressing).

How To Make Chicken Souvlaki

1 → Get some skewers. In this recipe, I’m using small wooden ones. You need 2-3 of them for a portion, they’re more convenient for gatherings, they’re dispensable, and easier to handle really. You can though use larger metal ones. One is enough for a portion and you can wash again and again. They’re not that easy to handle though, as they get heated and you have to be careful handling them (not very ideal for gathering).

2→ Prepare the marinade. To make this Greek yogurt chicken marinade, take a small blender and toss in all of the ingredients for the marinade (Greek yogurt, mustard, olive oil, paprika, oregano, lemon juice & zest, onion, garlic) then blend until smooth & creamy paste forms. That’s it!

3→ Marinade overnight. Cut chicken into small pieces (3cm / 1.5 inch), add in a food container, and season with salt and pepper. Add the marinade and mix well to spread all over the chicken. Cover and refrigerate overnight (ideally, otherwise, for at least 2 hours before cooking).

4→ Prepare the veggies. Take 1 tomato, 1 onion, and 1 green bell pepper. Remove the tomato inside and cut the skin to small square pieces as well (3cm / 1.5 inch). Cut the onion and pepper in the same fashion.

5→ Thread the skewers. Start by threading a piece of pepper, then 1-2 pieces of chicken, 1 piece of tomato, 1 piece chicken, 1 piece onion, 1 piece chicken. Overall use 1 piece of each vegetable and 5-6 pieces of chicken.

6 → Grill the Souvlaki (3 Ways). You can either use an outdoor grill, a griddle, or a grill pan (what I used in this recipe). Whatever you use, grease well with olive oil. Preheat on high heat so they won’t stick on the grates and then drop the heat to medium-high. Add the Souvlakis and turn them every 3 minutes (approx.) so they will cook evenly on all sides. Overall it takes about 12-15 minutes. The internal temperature of the meat should read 80°C / 176°F on an instant-read thermometer.

7 → Finish Off Greek Style. Drizzle with the Ladolemono dressing and oregano. Preferably get yourself some proper oregano like this wild Greek one. It makes a HUGE difference in flavor. And really you can’t expect to taste some real Greek grilled meat flavor without these two. We also add an extra squeeze of fresh lemon right on the meat but you might find it too sour if you’re not used to that much lemon!

What To Serve Souvlaki With →

Most of the time, Souvlaki is served with these Greek classics: Tzatziki Dip -As Made In Greece , A Mouthwatering Greek Salad, And Pita Bread (try my Healthy, Homemade Pita Bread With Greek Yogurt).