Greek Lemon Chicken - Downshiftology

Greek Lemon Chicken – Downshiftology

8 mins read

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!

Photo: Gayle McLeod

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!

Ingredients for Greek lemon chicken

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.

Greek lemon chicken marinade in a bowl

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, or up to 8 hours.

Marinating Greek lemon chicken in a bowl

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.

Greek lemon chicken in a white baking dish

Frequently Asked Questions

How long can you marinate chicken in lemon juice?

Acidic marinades shouldn’t be used for more than 8 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.

Can I use boneless skinless chicken breasts or chicken thighs?

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.

A close up of Greek lemon chicken

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

I’ve got plenty more chicken thigh recipes or chicken breast recipes for you to enjoy. But here are some of my favorites that I make most often:

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.

A baking dish with Greek lemon chicken

Greek Lemon Chicken

This lemon chicken is the best dinner with juicy, tender, and golden chicken thighs coated in a delicious lemon-herb Greek marinade. Watch how I make it and serve it up in the video below!

  • 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.

Calories: 404kcal, Carbohydrates: 2g, Protein: 24g, Fat: 33g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g, Monounsaturated Fat: 17g, Trans Fat: 0.1g, Cholesterol: 142mg, Sodium: 707mg, Potassium: 325mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 0.3g, Vitamin A: 136IU, Vitamin C: 4mg, Calcium: 32mg, Iron: 2mg

©Downshiftology. Content and photographs are copyright protected. Sharing of this recipe is both encouraged and appreciated. Copying and/or pasting full recipes to any social media is strictly prohibited.

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