Yogurt Marinated Chicken

Yogurt Marinade for Chicken

A tangy yogurt marinade is a beautiful thing. The yogurt tenderizes whatever marinates, thanks to the acid in the yogurt. But it works more efficiently and gently than more traditional acidic ingredients in marinades, like vinegar or citrus juices. You’ll want to let whatever you are marinating take some time to get all of the benefits of a yogurt marinade. The soft results will be worth your while.

How Long to Marinate Chicken in Yogurt

The answer is that it depends a bit on the size of your pieces of chicken, whether you are marinating dark meat or white meat, and whether it’s boneless and skinless, or otherwise. The soft acidity of the yogurt in the marinade will tenderize the chicken with the appropriate marinating time (nothing super exact, just a window you should pay attention to).

Using other more harshly acidic ingredients in a marinade and leaving the food in the marinade for too long may mean that the cooked chicken can become either tough, or mushy, weirdly. However, over marinating the chicken may make it start to get mushy when it’s cooked. The lactic acid in the yogurt works more slowly and delicately.

Yogurt Marinated Chicken Thighs

But you don’t have to sacrifice a crispy exterior for a tender interior. Look at this crust – pretty gorgeous, right? Skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs are one of my favorite cuts of chicken, with their juicy dark meat, appealing price, and ability to become rich and tender inside, with cracklingly crisp skin on the outside.

I roasted these chicken thighs in an oven, but they would be great on the grill. If you want to use other pieces of bone-in-skin on chicken, go right ahead. I actually am now thinking that these would make amazing wings for a party.

Yogurt Marinated Chicken

Mediterranean Yogurt Chicken

A bit of lemon juice loosens the yogurt up nicely helps speed up the tenderization process, and along with the zest provides a tart citrus punch. Oregano, cumin and allspice give it a kind of Greek-meets-Middle East vibe.

Oregano, cumin and allspice give this super moist, crispy skinned chicken a kind of Greek-meets-Middle east vibe.

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Sharing the plate is Bulgur Wheat with Caramelized Onions and Parsley, Roasted Carrots with Tapanade Dressing, and Frisee, Radicchio and Escarole Salad with Citrus Dressing. Loads of color here, because of the mixed lettuce salad and the multi-colored carrots.

Yogurt Marinated Chicken

More Roasted Chicken Recipes:

Yogurt Marinated Chicken

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Yogurt Marinated Chicken

Oregano, cumin and allspice give this super moist, crispy skinned chicken a kind of Greek-meets-Middle east vibe.
Yield: 4 People
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Marinating Time 8 hours
Total Time: 9 hours


  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves or 1 ½ teaspoons dried
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ½ teaspoon coarse or kosher salt plus more to taste
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper plus more to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 ½ pounds (6 to 8 pieces) chicken thighs


  • In a large bowl, combine the lemon zest and juice with the yogurt, garlic, oregano, cumin, allspice, salt, and pepper. Place the chicken in the marinade, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 8 to 12 hours.
  • Preheat the oven to 425°F. Roast the chicken for about 45 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and the skin is nicely browned.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 665kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 52g | Fat: 47g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 280mg | Sodium: 528mg | Potassium: 699mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 337IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 141mg | Iron: 3mg

The nutrition values are provided as an estimate. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a qualified healthcare professional.

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  1. Very easy recipe. We did roast the chicken (boneless), but only needed to for about 25 minutes and the chicken was finished. My chicken looked more liquid-y than your pictures, but ultimately the flavor was very good.

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