Greek Chicken with garlic, lemon, and oregano is delicious, versatile, and so easy to make. Jump to Recipe keyboard_arrow_down
Easy chicken recipes are always a favorite and this Lemon Greek Chicken with oregano and garlic is at the top of the list. It can be used for everything from Greek salads to wraps to grain bowls and has so much flavor in every bite. We also love these easy Greek Chicken Gyro with Tzatziki.
If you love Greek flavors, you need to make this chicken as soon as possible. The tender chicken thighs soak up all the garlic, lemon, and oregano in the recipe and each bite is bursting with flavor. Plus since you can make it in the slow cooker, Instant Pot, or stove-top, it's a recipe that will work for everyone.
At least once a week, I like to prep a meal that I know I can use more than once. Whether I use the leftovers for lunch or am able to squeeze out some extra dinners, it makes meal prep and meal planning so much easier.
I love this Greek chicken for that. The first night we almost always eat it with toasted pita bread, a cucumber tomato salad, and homemade tzatziki. Then a couple of nights later, I will make a Greek inspired pasta dish with roasted red peppers and spinach with feta for the adults and Parmesan for the kids. Leftovers also work for lunches in everything from Greek salads to wraps to rice bowls. Easy, healthy, and super tasty.
The other thing I love about this recipe is that you can make it with any type of chicken you have on hand. It works with chicken breasts, thighs (our favorite since they are so tender), drumsticks, and more. Marinate your chicken and toss it on the grill, make it in the crockpot, bake it in the oven - this works for all of it.
How to make Greek Chicken Marinade?
To make a really amazing Greek marinade, you need a few critical ingredients. After that, you can mix and match depending on your personal preferences.
- Olive oil: Choose a quality olive oil that tastes good. It can be a Greek olive oil, but it doesn't have to be, it just needs to taste good.
- Lemon juice: You want fresh lemon juice and you can also add lemon zest for even more flavor. The acid in the lemons helps to tenderize the chicken and adds tons of flavor.
- Garlic: You can't make this chicken without garlic and fresh garlic is the best option. It adds more flavor than garlic powder and will infuse the chicken as it marinates.
- Oregano: Oregano is the main component that makes this a Greek style chicken. Since it can be hard to find fresh oregano, I always use dried oregano for this. Make sure to choose dried oregano not ground oregano. Also, quality matters here, pick a dried spice that is flavorful.
- Red wine vinegar: To add a touch of tang to this chicken and also help it stay tender, you want some red wine vinegar.
- Salt and Pepper: Season everything with salt and pepper to finish it up.
To that, you would be smart to add some Greek yogurt. The Greek yogurt ensures super tender chicken every time since the enzymes in the yogurt help to tenderize the chicken. You could also increase the herbs with either dried or fresh parsley, thyme, rosemary, or marjoram. For a spicy version, you could add some red pepper flakes to add just a touch of heat. Another option for adding a subtle smoky flavor is to add some paprika or cumin.
Why don't I have to marinate the slow cooker or Instant pot versions? Since the chicken cooks for at least 4 hours in the slow cooker, you don't need to marinate it as well. It will soak up all that flavor as it cooks. A similar thing happens in the Instant Pot since pressure cooking infuses the chicken more rapidly.
How to Serve Greek Chicken
There are endless ways to serve this chicken dish but in my opinion, it all starts with the toppings.
- Tzatziki: This creamy cucumber yogurt dip is the perfect complement to Greek chicken and what is traditionally served on the side. You can buy store bought or we have a recipe below to make your own at home,
- Greek or Israeli Salad: Naturally, Greek salad goes really great with this chicken made with tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, red onions, and feta. We also like it with Israeli salad, which is a great option for folks who aren't big fans of feta or olives.
- Olives: Whether you choose classic Greek Kalamata olives or reach for olive tapenade, olives add so much flavor to this dish with their salty, briny flavor.
- Feta: It's hard not to immediately think about feta cheese when you are making Greek food. This dish is no different and tastes amazing with some feta cheese crumbled on top.
Will this work with chicken breasts? Drumsticks? Bone-on chicken?
This recipe will work with any kind of chicken from boneless, skinless chicken breasts to drumsticks and bone-in chicken thighs. For boneless and skinless chicken breasts, monitor the breasts closely to make sure they don't overcook. They will take about 4 hours on low in most slow cookers and about 6 minutes in the Instant Pot, letting it naturally release after cooking.
For drumsticks, I find they come out best if you marinate the chicken first and then cook it on the grill or in the oven. You can also cook them in the slow cooker or Instant Pot, but consider removing the skin so it doesn't get soggy. Use the same concept for skin-on chicken thighs or chicken breasts.
Can I turn this into Chicken Souvlaki?
If you want to make chicken souvlaki, the Greek chicken skewers, this recipe will work. Cut the chicken into smaller pieces and marinate it with the remaining ingredients for at least 3 hours. Then thread onto the skewers and grill until cooked through. You can include the red onions on the skewers or leave them out for a more traditional souvlaki.
Ways to Use Leftovers
This recipe makes the best leftovers and there are so many different ways to use them. We recommend making a double or triple batch since it freezes well.
- Greek salad or Greek Salad Wrap: Naturally you want want to toss this in a salad with crunchy Romaine, cucumbers, tomatoes, black olives, red onions, and feta cheese.
- Greek Tostadas: We love this Greek spin on tostadas, just substitute the leftover Greek chicken for the turkey.
- Grain Bowls: Grab some cooked quinoa or farro, add the chicken, roasted red peppers, black olives, greens, feta cheese, and some Greek dressing for a delicious grain bowl. Great for meal prep.
- Lettuce Wraps: For a low carb option, wrap the chicken up in lettuce wraps with all your favorite Greek-inspired toppings.
- Greek Pasta Salad: Grab some cooked pasta, leftover chicken, and all the traditional Greek salad components and toss with store-bought or homemade Greek dressing.
How to make tzatziki?
Tzatziki the traditional Greek yogurt sauce that is served with chicken gyros. It’s made with yogurt, cucumber, lemon juice, garlic, and dill. Here is a simple recipe for making tzatziki at home.
- 1/2 cup plain lowfat yogurt
- 1/2 English cucumber (or Persian cucumbers)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 lemon, juice and zest
- 1 tbsp. dill, chopped
- Salt and pepper
- Directions: Grate the cucumber and use a paper towel or cheesecloth to squeeze out all the extra moisture. Make sure to squeeze out as much water as possible. Stir the cucumber into the yogurt along with the lemon juice, lemon zest, dill, salt, and pepper. Refrigerate for 1 hour or more.
Looking for more Greek recipes?
Easy Greek Chicken (Instant Pot, Slow Cooker, or Stovetop)
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- 2 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs (or breasts)
- 1 U red onion, sliced thin
- 4 U garlic cloves
- 1 tbsp olive oil (optional)
- 1 tbsp oregano
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
Instant Pot: Add all the ingredients to the Instant Pot and stir. Cook for 7 minutes and let naturally release. Shred the chicken using two forks and let it soak up the sauce for 5 minutes before serving.
Slow Cooker: Add everything to the slow cooker and cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8 hours. Shred the chicken using two forks and then let the chicken soak in the sauce for 10 minutes before serving.
Stovetop, oven, or grill: Marinate the chicken in the remaining ingredients for at least three hours before cooking. For extra tender chicken, add 1/4 cup of Greek yogurt to your marinade. Shake off excess marinade before cooking. For stovevop, heat a touch of olive oil in a pan and add the chicken thighs in a single layer. Cook 4-5 minutes until browned. Flip over and cook for 3-5 minutes until cooked through. Repeat if needed. For the grill, cook for 4-5 minutes per side. For the oven, bake at 425 degrees for 18-25 minutes, depending on thickness.
Make it crispy: This last step is optional but highly recommended to get the delicious crispy bits. Once your chicken is cooked and shredded, use a slotted spoon to place it on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray or covered in foil. Broil until browned and crispy, about 4-5 minutes.
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.
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