This Greek chicken marinade is so easy and bursting with Mediterranean flavors, it's simply the best! With dill, lemon, and garlic you really can't go wrong. It's also fast and healthy. What more could you want?
Greek food is hands down my favorite food. All that lemon, dill and garlic...mmmmm...sign me up! I created this simple Mediterranean-inspired marinade one afternoon when I was craving those 3 awesome flavors. It's a really simple recipe-only 4 ingredients--and it proves you don't need a big amount of ingredients to get a big amount of flavor.
But here's my problem when it comes to marinating meat, I'm terrible at planning in advance.
Me ☝️ when I realize at 5 o'clock that I should have been marinating my meat for the last 8-12 hours.
So I looked into, is it really that important to let it sit for hours? What will be the difference if I just let it marinate for 20 minutes. I was really excited about what I found.
🐓 Marinating Chicken Tips
I've always believed that there were 2 reasons for a marinade:
1) To tenderize the meat.
2) To give the meat more flavor
Turns out that with chicken, a long marinade time accomplishes neither of those goals.
- Chicken tenderness is determined by how long it is cooked, not by a marinade. If you want your chicken to be tender and juicy make sure not to overcook it!
The best way to make sure it is not over cooked is to invest in a meat thermometer*. Chicken is done and safe to eat when the thickest part reaches 165 degrees. Once it has reached this temperature, STOP COOKING IT! Otherwise it will get rubbery or chewy.
- Chicken does not absorb marinade, so soaking it for a long time does not result in more flavor. The only flavor you will get from a marinade is what sticks to the outside of your chicken. So if you're looking for a lots of flavor on your chicken, make sure to use a flavorful marinade.
- I've shared with you the basics of what I've found, but if you'd like to dive in deeper on how marinades effect chicken, check out this very informative article, "4 Essential Tips for Marinating (Or Not Marinating) Chicken."
So what does that mean for us, moving forward with our chicken marinade? It's OK if you forgot to make it in the morning! Make your marinade 10 minutes before cooking. The result will be the same. Wahoo!
*As an Amazon affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases, at no cost to you. Thanks for supporting The Incredible Bulks.
- You can use fresh or dried dill for this recipe. Just remember that 1 tablespoon of fresh herbs is the equivalent of 1 teaspoon dried herb. So you'll need either 2 tablespoons of fresh dill, or 2 teaspoons of dried dill. I've made it will both and the end result is the same.
- You can also use fresh garlic or garlic powder. 1 garlic clove is the equivalent to ¼ teaspoon garlic powder. If you like your chicken a little more spicy, add more garlic than the recipe calls for.
- If I am using really thick chicken breasts, I like to cut them in half to cut down on cooking time.
- This recipe says to use the grill, but the chicken could also be baked or pan fried with this mediterranean marinade.
🥗 Side Dishes
Grilled Greek chicken can be served in so many ways. I love to cut up the chicken after it's been grilled and serve it over a green salad with feta cheese and a Greek vinaigrette.
It's also perfect for a chicken gyro! Just wrap it up in a pita with lettuce, onions, tomatoes, cucumbers and feta cheese. Don't forget to dip it in Tzatziki sauce.
Here are some other side dishes that would go perfectly with this recipe:
This lemon-dill chicken marinade is allowed on the Whole30 and Keto diets. Most of the side dishes I shared, however, are not.
It is also gluten-free.
I used Very Well Fit's recipe analyzer to calculate the nutritional information found on the recipe card below.
Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoy this Greek Chicken recipe with all its delicious garlic, lemon and dill vibes.
Greek Chicken Marinade
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- ⅓ cup lemon juice
- 2 cloves garlic (or ½ teaspoon garlic powder)
- 2 tsp dried dill (or 2 tablespoon fresh dill leaves)
- In a large bowl, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and dill. Stir to combine. Add in chicken breasts and toss to completely coat.
- Cook chicken on the grill for about 10 minutes, turning once half way through. (Actual time will depend on the thickness of chicken. Chicken is done when internal temperature reaches 165°).