grilled greek chicken thighs

Mouthwatering Greek Marinated Grilled Chicken Thighs

Our Grilled Greek Chicken Thighs recipe marries succulent chicken with the vibrant, sun-kissed flavors of the Mediterranean. Featuring a marinade of fresh lemon juice, aromatic garlic, and a handpicked selection of herbs like oregano, thyme, and rosemary, this dish is a testament to the power of high-quality, fresh ingredients.

grilled greek chicken thighs

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So, there I was, staring into my fridge, wondering how to turn my humble chicken thighs into something… well, less humble. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good, flavorful chicken dinner, but sometimes, you crave that extra zing, you know?

That’s when it hit me—why not take these thighs on a tiny Greek vacation?

Now, Greek cuisine holds a special place in my heart. It’s like that friend who’s always joyful and healthy, never complicates things, and makes you look good at dinner parties or a greek omelette after a beautiful morning stretch.

It’s all about fresh ingredients, simple yet robust flavors, and dishes that unite people. And that’s precisely what I aim for in my kitchen and with thighs on the grill, whether cooking for a crowd or just trying to impress my two harshest critics (hint: they’re under 4 feet tall and demand dessert before dinner).

Jump to Recipe
grilled greek chicken thighs on a plate

So, why chicken thighs and not your normal grilled boneless skinless chicken breasts? Apart from the fact that they’re wonderfully juicy and forgiving, they’re the perfect canvas for bold flavors. And with the chicken marinade, I’m about to share, we’re not just adding flavor; we’re infusing these bone-in chicken thighs with a piece of Greek sunshine.

Speaking of the marinade, if there were an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in the Kitchen, my marinade with herbs and freshly squeezed lemon juice would be a shoo-in. It’s a zesty, herby, garlicky concoction that transforms a plain grilled chicken thigh recipe into a dish that will have you shouting, “Opa!” And the best part? It’s healthier than a gym membership in January.

But enough chit-chat. Let’s get down to the juicy (literally) details of making a chicken recipe that’ll turn your dinner table into the best Greek taverna on this side of Athens. Grab your apron with some pita bread, and let’s dive in!

The Charm of Greek Cuisine: A Love Affair in Every Bite

marinating greek chicken thighs

Growing up in a Sicilian family, I was no stranger to gatherings where food was the main event. But let me tell you, my first Greek feast was a game-changer.

It wasn’t just a meal but an epic saga of flavors, each dish telling its own story. Since then, my kitchen has seen more olives, red wine vinegar, and feta than ever imagined, and my family isn’t complaining.

Aside from its undeniable deliciousness, what draws me to Greek cuisine is its simplicity and healthfulness.

Fresh produce, lean meats, a generous pour of extra virgin olive oil, and that magical sprinkle of oregano—it’s like Mother Nature’s recipe for feeling good

Why Chicken Thighs? Because Flavor, That’s Why!

preparing grilled greek chicken thighs

Now, onto the star of our show—the humble chicken thigh. Why grill chicken thighs and not chicken breast, you ask? Oh, let me count the ways.

They’re juicier than a summer peach and more flavorful than a gossip at a family reunion. Plus, they’re budget-friendly, which means you can feed a crowd without having your wallet give you the silent treatment.

And for those of you thinking, “But what about breast meat? Isn’t it healthier?” Life’s too short for dry chicken.

With the right preparation and a little love (read: our killer marinade), chicken thighs can be a delicious part of a healthy diet. Plus, convincing my two little sous-chefs at home to try something new? It’s much easier when it’s juicy and packed with flavor.

The Power of Marinade: A Little Patience Goes a Long Way

marinade for grilled greek chicken thighs

Ah, the marinade! This isn’t just any old marinade; it’s a vibrant mix of lemon, garlic, and herbs that’ll transport your taste buds straight to a seaside taverna.

The beauty of this marinade lies not just in its flavors but in its simplicity. A few quality ingredients, a bit of chopping, and voilà—you’ve got yourself a one-way ticket to Flavor Town.

But here’s the thing: the secret to a great marinade isn’t just what you put in it; it’s also about giving it time to work its magic.

Sure, you could rush it and marinate for an hour, but if you want to impress (and trust me, you do), let those thighs soak up the goodness overnight. Your patience will be rewarded with every tender, juicy bite.

Serving Suggestions: Let’s Get This Party Started

grilled greek chicken thighs

Once you’ve mastered grilling Greek chicken thighs, it’s time to think about accompaniments. Because, let’s face it, a great dish deserves excellent company.

A simple Greek salad, roasted vegetables, or a lemony orzo salad can turn this meal into a feast worthy of the gods.

And because we’re all about setting the mood, why not pair your meal with Greek music?

Grilled Greek Chicken Thighs Recipe

grilled greek chicken thighs with lemons

Dive into the heart of Greek cuisine with our Grilled Greek Chicken Thighs, a dish where freshness meets zest in every bite. This recipe champions the use of fresh, vibrant ingredients, promising a bold and beautifully simple flavor profile.

Preparation & Grilling Tips: Get Ready to Grill Like a Pro

a grill

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty of grilling, let’s talk prep. Preparing your chicken thighs is like setting the stage for an excellent performance. Trim any excess fat (but not all of it—fat equals flavor, my friends), and give them a long bath in the marinade. And remember, the longer, the better.

When grilling, it’s all about the heat. You want your grill nice and hot so those thighs get a beautiful char without drying out.

Keep an eye on them, turning once, until they’re just cooked through—juicy and crispy on the outside. And don’t be afraid of a little flare-up; it’s just the grill’s way of giving you a high-five.

To prepare and grill these flavorful Greek Chicken Thighs, you’ll want to have a few key tools and equipment to ensure everything goes smoothly. Here’s what you’ll need:

Kitchen Tools and Equipment

preparing a grill
  1. Cutting Board: A good, stable surface for trimming chicken thighs and preparing herbs and garlic.

  2. Chef’s Knife: Essential for chopping herbs and garlic finely.

  3. Citrus Juicer or Hand Reamer: This extracts all the juicy goodness from your lemons with minimal effort.

  4. Garlic Press (Optional): A garlic press can be a quick and efficient alternative to avoid mincing garlic by hand.

  5. Mixing Bowls: You’ll need at least one to mix the marinade. A separate bowl might help organize prepped ingredients before they go into the mix.

  6. Whisk or Fork: Whisk or fork to emulsify your marinade, ensuring the oil and lemon juice blend nicely with the herbs and spices.

  7. Measuring Cups and Spoons: These accurately measure your marinade ingredients.

  8. Zip-lock Bags or Large Reusable Marinating Container: For marinating the chicken thighs, bags are great for ensuring all pieces are well-coated, but a glass or plastic container with a lid works well, too, especially if you’re aiming to reduce plastic use.

  9. Grill Tongs: To safely and easily turn the chicken thighs as they grill.

  10. Grill Brush: For oiling the grill grates before cooking to prevent sticking.

  11. Meat Thermometer: Essential for ensuring your chicken thighs have reached the safe internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) without overcooking them.

  12. Aluminum Foil or a Clean Plate: These are great for resting the chicken after grilling, as they help redistribute the juices for the perfect finish.

  13. Serving Platter and Garnish Tools: These tools help you present your dish beautifully, including lemon wedges and a sprinkle of fresh herbs.

Optional But Helpful

marinating greek chicken thighs
  • Outdoor Grill: Ideally, an outdoor grill is available, but if you don’t have one, a grill pan can work on your stovetop.

  • Basting Brush: If you have extra marinade, brush the chicken as it grills for additional flavor.

  • Grill Cleaner: To ensure your grill is clean and ready for action.

With these tools and equipment ready, you’ll be set up for success and can focus on the joy of cooking and the delightful flavors you’re about to create. Happy grilling!

This dish will be infused with the classic flavors of Greece, combining herbs, garlic, and lemon to create a mouthwatering marinade.

The chicken will be marinated to ensure every bite is flavorful, then grilled to perfection for a delightful char and tenderness. Here’s a complete recipe:

The Best Recipe For Grilled Greek Chicken Thighs

Recipe by dealiciousness.netCourse: Dinner


Prep time


Cooking time





Grilled Greek Chicken Thighs recipe marries succulent chicken with the vibrant, sun-kissed flavors of the Mediterranean. Featuring a marinade of fresh lemon juice, aromatic garlic, and a handpicked selection of herbs like oregano, thyme, and rosemary, this dish is a testament to the power of high-quality, fresh ingredients.


  • For the Chicken

  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

  • For the Marinade

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • Juice of 2 lemons (about 1/4 cup)

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano, finely chopped (or 2 teaspoons dried oregano)

  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, finely chopped (or 1 teaspoon dried thyme)

  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped (or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary)

  • 1 teaspoon paprika

  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional, adjust to taste)

  • Zest of 1 lemon

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

  • For Serving

  • Lemon wedges

  • Fresh oregano or parsley for garnish

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


  • Prepare the Marinade:

    In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, oregano, thyme, rosemary, paprika, red pepper flakes (if using), and lemon zest—season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Marinate the Chicken:

    Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper. Add them to the bowl with the marinade, or place everything in a zip-lock bag. Ensure the chicken is well-coated with the marinade.

    Refrigerate and let marinate for at least 1 hour for best results.
  • Preheat the Grill:

    Preheat your grill to medium-high heat. Oil the grates lightly to prevent sticking.
  • Grill the Chicken:

    Remove the chicken from the marinade, letting the excess drip off. Grill the chicken thighs for about 6-7 minutes on each side or until they are thoroughly cooked through and have nice grill marks. When checked with a meat thermometer, the internal temperature should reach 165°F (74°C).
  • Serve:

    Let the chicken rest for a few minutes after grilling. Serve with lemon wedges and garnish with fresh oregano or parsley.
  • Enjoy!

    This dish pairs beautifully with a Greek salad, roasted vegetables, or a light orzo pasta salad.

FAQ and Additional Information

What Can I Substitute in This Recipe?

getting chicken ready for grilled greek chicken thighs

For the Chicken:

  • Chicken Breasts: If you prefer leaner meat or have breasts on hand, you can use them. However, they may cook faster and be less moist than thighs.

  • Turkey Cutlets: A leaner option that still applies to grilling and marinating.

For the Marinade:

  • Olive Oil: If you’re out of olive oil, avocado oil is a good substitute due to its mild flavor and high smoke point, making it suitable for grilling.

  • Lemon Juice: In a pinch, vinegar (like white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar) can substitute for lemon juice, offering a different but pleasant acidity. Lime juice works if you prefer its flavor.

  • Fresh Herbs: If fresh oregano, thyme, and rosemary aren’t available, you can use their dried counterparts. The general rule of thumb is 1 teaspoon of dried herbs for every tablespoon of fresh herbs.

  • Garlic: Garlic powder can substitute for fresh garlic cloves; use 1/8 teaspoon of garlic powder for every clove.

For Spiciness:

  • Red Pepper Flakes: If you don’t have red pepper flakes or prefer a different type of heat, consider a dash of cayenne pepper or a bit of finely chopped fresh chili pepper.

For Serving:

  • Lemon Wedges: While lemon adds a fresh zing, if you’re out, a drizzle of additional olive oil and a splash of vinegar can brighten the dish. Or, use another citrus, like lime or orange, for a different twist.

  • Fresh Oregano: If fresh oregano isn’t available, parsley or even a sprinkle of dried oregano can be used as a garnish.

Health or Dietary Adjustments:

  • For a Lower Sodium Version, Reduce or omit the added salt. You can enhance the other flavors with extra herbs or lemon zest.

  • For a Keto Version: This recipe is already keto-friendly. Ensure your side dishes are as well, such as a Greek salad without high-carb ingredients.

These substitutions can help you adjust the recipe based on what you have in your kitchen and your dietary preferences or experiment with different flavors. Cooking is a creative process, so feel free to make the recipe your own!

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