This yogurt-marinated Greek chicken thigh recipe is all about simplicity and flavor, cooked up on the grill. Boneless skinless chicken thighs are marinated in creamy full-fat Greek yogurt, paired with zesty lemon, fragrant garlic, and fresh dill; the yogurt tenderizes the chicken, while the combination of garlic, lemon zest, and dill infuses it with a classic Mediterranean taste. Using just a handful of ingredients, you’ll have juicy, perfectly grilled chicken thighs in a snap.
Smooth and creamy may be an odd way to describe grilled chicken thighs, but boy does it describe this recipe.
Because these yogurt marinated Greek chicken thighs are SO good.
The Greek yogurt marinade in this recipe gives the chicken a great flavor – both bright from the lemon and dill and savory from the garlic. Add in the richness of the yogurt and it’s just a perfect combo.
Keep in mind you’ll want to use full-fat Greek yogurt for this recipe – it helps bind everything together and the chicken won’t be as flavorful without it.
Below you’ll see step by step pictures and instructions, as well as helpful tips, to help you make these Greek yogurt marinated chicken thighs right the first time. Keep scrolling to see how it’s done!
Grab these ingredients
(Note: the full ingredients list, including measurements, is provided in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.)
- Greek yogurt – you want plain Greek yogurt, and I would go full fat for this recipe. It will be much richer and tastier than doing low fat or fat free.
- Lemon – fresh is going to be best here, since you want both the zest and the juice.
- Dill – again, get fresh dish as it will really make a difference in the flavor. When I tested this recipe with dried dill it did not taste nearly as good.
- Garlic – it’s repetitive at this point, but again you want fresh garlic, not dried or garlic powder. I like to press mine, but you could also mince it or buy pre-minced.
- Oil – use a mild, high heat oil since you’re be either grilling or baking your protein. I like to use avocado oil.
- Kosher salt – I used Diamond Crystal kosher salt in this recipe. It is less salty by volume than many other salts, so if you are using a different type of salt (kosher or otherwise), you’ll want to use this salt conversion chart from Epicurious to determine how much salt you’ll need.
How to make yogurt marinated chicken thighs
(Note: please see the recipe card at the end of this post for the complete written instructions.)
There’s three pretty easy steps to this recipe:
- make the marinade,
- marinate the chicken, and
- grill the chicken.
While the second step takes the longest, they’re all really easy to do. Scroll through the photos to see how it’s done!
Make the Greek chicken thigh marinade
Marinate the chicken thighs
Grill the chicken thighs
Why you should start out on high heat
For this recipe, starting out with the grill on high heat is important because it helps sear the chicken thighs and browns the marinade onto the chicken.
If you don’t start out on high heat, the marinade just warms and stays white. While it it’s fine to eat this way, it both looks a little off-putting and doesn’t taste as good.
How to make sure your chicken thighs don’t dry out
Concerned about dry chicken? You don’t have to be. I’ll let you in on a secret…
Yup, that’s it. The secret to juicy chicken is to grill it to the right internal temperature – before it gets too hot and dries out.
For both chicken breast and chicken thighs, that internal temperature is 165 degrees F. Thighs are more forgiving than breasts and if you cook them to a little higher temper they’ll still retain moisture, but breasts shouldn’t be cooked higher than 165 degrees F.
To do this, you’ll want to get a really accurate and speedy meat thermometer. The one I always recommended is the Thermapen by Thermoworks (affiliate links). We have had one for years and absolutely love it – we actually own two now.
To read more, check out this post I wrote on how to use a meat thermometer for grilling.
What to serve with Greek yogurt chicken thighs
There are so many great side dish options for these boneless grilled chicken thighs. Here are some of my family’s favorites!
- grilled vegetables, like some grilled zucchini or grilled onions;
- a rice dish, like this Greek rice salad; or
- on top of a salad, like in this Greek salad with grilled chicken.
To see more ideas, check out this list of side dishes for grilled chicken!
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If you make these Greek yogurt chicken thighs, then don’t forget to leave a star rating and let me know how it went in the comments below!
Yogurt Marinated Greek Chicken Thighs
- A large liquid measuring cup
- A garlic press
- 1 sealable plastic bag, gallon sized
- 1.75 to 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs 7 to 8 thighs
- 5.3 oz full fat plain Greek yogurt
- 1.5 tsp DC kosher salt
- 2 oz oil
- 2-3 large garlic cloves pressed or minced
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh dill fronds
- zest from 1 lemon
- juice from ½ lemon 1.5 to 2 ounces
- Pour oil into a large liquid measuring cup. Scoop the Greek yogurt out of its container and into the cup as well.
- Zest the lemon using a microplane. Place the microplane on top of the measuring cup, so that the zest falls straight in. Zest the lemon by rubbing it against the microplane in short swipes, scraping just the vibrant yellow skin off into the bowl and not the lighter pith underneath. You may need to wipe the zest off the bottom of the microplane with your finger to get it all off.
- Once the zest is off, use a sharp knife and cutting board to cut the lemon in half. Juice half the lemon into the same bowl as the zest and storing the other half away for a different use.
- With the knife and cutting board, finely chop the fresh dill fronds, measure them out, and add them to the cup. Use a garlic press to press the garlic, or mince it with the knife and cutting board and add that and the kosher salt to the cup. Use a small whisk to combine the ingredients together.
- Place the boneless skinless chicken thighs in a large resealable bag or a shallow dish. Pour the marinade over the chicken, making sure to coat the chicken evenly. Press out any air from the bag and seal it. if using a shallow dish, mix the chicken thighs in with the marinade in the dish then place a lid or plastic wrap on the dish. Lay the bag of chicken flat in the refrigerator and let marinate for 1.5 to 2 hours, flipping the bag halfway through (or flipping the chicken if marinating in a dish). Remove the chicken from the fridge during the last 15 minutes of marinating to let warm slightly.
- Preheat your grill to high heat (475-500F). Once it comes to temperature, remove the chicken thighs from the marinade with a pair of tongs and place them on the grill, immediately turning the heat down to medium (around 400F). Close lid and let the chicken grill for 5 minutes.
- When the first 5 minutes are up, open the lid and use tongs to flip each chicken thigh to the other side. Close the lid and cook another 5 minutes, checking the internal temperature of the thighs afterward. Remove from the grill once the internal temp of the chicken thighs reach 165F (about another 3 to 5 minutes depending on thickness of the thighs) and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.