top of page

Yogurt Marinated Chicken

Prep Time:

20 Minutes

Cook Time:

15 Minutes





About the Recipe

Easy Yogurt Marinated Chicken! Made with chicken thighs (or chicken breasts) that have been soaked in a Greek yogurt based marinade that’s brimming with earthy spices, and a fresh lemon-herb flavor.


  • 2/3 cup whole milk Greek yogurt

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil

  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice + 1 tsp lemon zest

  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic

  • 1 Tbsp peeled and minced fresh ginger

  • 1 tsp each ground cumin, ground coriander, and paprika

  • 1/4 tsp each cayenne pepper and cinnamon

  • 1 tsp salt and freshly ground black pepper (can adjust to taste)

  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, plus more for serving


You can never have too many marinade recipes to really upgrade chicken. This middle eastern style chicken marinade is made with healthy ingredients that all come together so well.

It is one of my latest favorites with its perfect blend of tang, well seasoned spice flavor, touch of garlic, and a final upgrade of cilantro.

As with just about any marinade, it’s a cinch to prepare and it really takes plain chicken to a whole new level.

Perfect for a quick weeknight meal or a weekend family barbecue with all your favorite summer sides.

You may as well go through some veggies on the grill while you’ve got the chicken going too.

How to Make Yogurt Marinated Chicken

  • To make this greek yogurt marinade, all you need to do is mix all the marinade ingredients together.

  • Pour over chicken in a bag and let marinade in the fridge.

  • Grill over preheated medium-high heat about 5 to 7 minutes per side until cooked through.

How long should chicken marinate in this acidic yogurt based marinade?

  • Chicken breasts or thighs should marinate for preferably at least 2 hours to soak up some of the flavor.

  • For chicken breasts I recommend marinating no more than 8 hours.

  • Chicken thighs can marinate for up to 24 hours.


If you don’t have a grill you can also bake the chicken. To do so:

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

  • Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray.

  • Place chicken on the baking sheet then bake in preheated oven until 165 in center (approx. 20 – 25 minutes).

  • Broil near the end if desired for a little more browning and flavor.

Use Bone-In Skin-On Chicken

  • If going this route, reduce grill temperature to medium then increase grill time, it will take approximately 15 minutes per side.

  • For the oven method (with bone-in chicken), cook at about 375 for about 40 minutes.

Go for Regular Yogurt

  • If you don’t have Greek yogurt try with regular plain yogurt instead.

Helpful Tips

  • To keep the exterior of the chicken from drying out, you can baste with a little olive oil while cooking.

  • If using chicken breasts, pound them to an even thickness before beginning, or if they are very large just slice in half through their thickness (reduce cook time as needed).

  • Keep in mind cook times vary based on size of chicken pieces used, grill temp, outdoor temp, etc.

  • Use an instant read thermometer to test for doneness (to 165 in the center of the thickest portion) rather than guessing or cutting into the chicken. It’s the most accurate option.

  • Let chicken rest a few minutes off heat before cutting into it to allow juices to redistribute (I usually just plan this to be the time it takes for everyone to plate their meal).


  1. In a mixing bowl whisk together yogurt, olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander, paprika, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, salt, pepper and cilantro.

  2. Place chicken in a gallon size resealable freezer bag. Pour yogurt marinade over chicken.

  3. Seal bag while pressing excess air out. Rub marinade evenly over chicken.

  4. Let it rest in the fridge for at least 2 hours (or up to 8 hours for breasts, 24 hours for thighs).

  5. Preheat a gas grill to 425 degrees. Clean grill grates and lightly brush with oil (using a balled up oiled paper towel and long tongs).

  6. Grill chicken until cooked through (165 on an instant read thermometer in center of the thickest portion) about 5 to 7 minutes per side.


  • Note that if you'd like to keep the exterior of chicken from drying you can brush lightly with olive oil halfway through grilling.

bottom of page