Greek Lemon Chicken
Updated Aug 23, 2023
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This lemon chicken recipe is all about juicy, tender, and golden-baked chicken thighs coated with the best lemon-herb Greek marinade. It’s quick to prep, easy to cook, and the results are fantastic!
If there is one chicken recipe I could live off of, it’s this Greek lemon chicken. I’m a sucker for skin-on chicken thighs given how naturally juicy and flavorful they are. Plus, I love how it’s virtually impossible to overcook chicken thighs in the oven. But this bright and herby lemon chicken marinade is what makes this dish so satisfying.
If you’ve been making my recipes for a while, you may have come across different variations of this marinade on my website previously. And that’s because Mediterranean recipes are the heart and soul of how I cook! From my video on simple chicken marinades to this Greek sheet pan chicken and Greek chicken kabobs, lemon chicken recipes have become a Downshiftology staple.
If you watch the video below, you’ll see that I serve up these Greek lemon chicken thighs with a side of lemon herb rice (from my cookbook) and air fryer green beans to complete the best dinner ever. But keep scrolling for even more side dish ideas!
Lemon Chicken Ingredients
You’ll be glad to hear that this recipe is extremely pantry-friendly, including the chicken marinade! Here’s what you need.
- Chicken: Bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs lend the juiciest meat and crispiest outer skin. If you’re using frozen chicken thighs, let them thaw in the fridge overnight before making this recipe.
- Liquids: A combination of extra-virgin olive oil, fresh lemon juice, and Dijon mustard make up the base of the marinade. And if you want to amp up the lemon flavor, add a bit of lemon zest to the mix or save some lemon slices to add on top before cooking.
- Seasonings: Dried oregano, dried thyme, fresh garlic, salt, and black pepper are the ultimate Mediterranean flavor combo. And for this recipe, do stick with dried herbs instead of fresh ones.
Find the printable recipe with measurements below
How To Make Greek Lemon Chicken
Make the marinade. The prep time for this is super minimal, just stir the marinade ingredients together in a small bowl. If you’d like to save extra time, make the marinade a day in advance and store it in the fridge. Then give it a whisk before using it the next day.
Marinate the chicken. Add the chicken thighs to a large bowl, pour the marinade on top, and give the chicken a quick toss. Then, let the chicken marinate for 1 to 2 hours in the fridge. See notes below on marinating time.
Bake the chicken. Assemble the chicken in a baking dish skin side up (I’ve linked my favorite one below). Pour the remaining marinade on top and bake for 40 to 45 minutes at 350°F (180°C). You can check to see if the chicken is done at 175°F (80°C) by using an instant-read thermometer. For extra crispy skin, turn on the top oven broiler in the last 2 to 3 minutes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Acidic marinades shouldn’t be used for more than 3 hours. After this point, the chicken thighs will become far too tenderized and have a gamey-like texture. For me, the ideal time is about 1 to 2 hours.
Complete this Greek-inspired meal with a fresh Greek salad that is made with my famous Greek salad dressing. For a heartier meal, plate it with other side dishes like rice or cooked vegetables. My favorites to pair with this are garlic herb roasted potatoes, green beans with shallots, or garlic-sauteed spinach.
Yes, you can use this same marinade to cook with both types of chicken. For chicken breasts, follow my best-baked chicken breast recipe. For chicken thighs, you can reduce the time by half.
How To Store Leftover Chicken Thighs
- To store for the week: Enjoy portions throughout the week by storing them in the fridge for 4 to 5 days.
- To freeze for later: Store leftovers in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. Then thaw them in the fridge the day before you plan to reheat them. Trust me, finding a batch of this chicken in your freezer is a gold mine!
- Reheating chicken: Good news, chicken thighs are less likely to dry out when reheating. But you can always add a little moisture back in by adding a splash of water on top or layering a damp paper towel over the chicken piece before microwaving it.
More Easy Chicken Recipes
- Creamy Tuscan Chicken: This creamy chicken dish with spinach and tomatoes hits every time.
- Chicken Piccata: Think of this as a tasty, briny Italian version of lemon chicken.
- Honey Mustard Chicken: A chicken dinner staple if you love honey mustard sauce.
- Lemon Garlic Spatchcock Chicken: If you’re cooking a whole chicken, this recipe uses a similar marinade giving amazing results!
I hope you love this Greek lemon chicken as much as I do! Once you make it, let me know your thoughts in the comment box below.
Greek Lemon Chicken
- Casserole Dish This nesting set of casserole dishes is the best!
- Make the marinade: In a small bowl, stir together the oil, lemon juice, garlic, oregano, thyme, mustard, salt, and pepper.
- Marinate the chicken: Add the chicken thighs to a large bowl and pour the marinade on top. Marinate for 1 to 2 hours (and up to 8 hours) in the fridge.
- Transfer to baking dish: Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Place the chicken in a baking dish and pour the remaining marinade on top.
- Bake the chicken: Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until the chicken is fully cooked and registers 175°F (80°C) on an instant-read thermometer. Optionally, you can baste the chicken a few times while it cooks. And for extra crispy skin, turn on the top oven broiler in the last 2 to 3 minutes. If you're serving this dish up for a dinner party, you can garnish it with lemon slices if you'd like.
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