Greek Lemon Chicken


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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!

Greek lemon chicken in a baking dish
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. See notes below on marinating time.

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 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.

What to serve with Greek Lemon Chicken?

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.

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

5 from 88 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
Total: 55 minutes
Servings: 8 pieces
Author: Lisa Bryan


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.
    A bowl of Greek lemon chicken marinade
  • 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.
    Marinating Greek lemon chicken
  • 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.
    A white baking dish of Greek lemon chicken
  • 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.
    A baking dish filled with Greek lemon chicken thighs


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
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Greek
Keyword: Greek lemon chicken, lemon chicken, lemon chicken recipe
Did you make this recipe?Mention @downshiftology or tag #downshiftology!

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About the author

Lisa Bryan

Lisa is a bestselling cookbook author, recipe developer, and YouTuber (with over 2.5 million subscribers) living in sunny Southern California. She started Downshiftology in 2014, and is passionate about making healthy food with fresh, simple and seasonal ingredients.

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Recipe Rating


  1. This is a really amazing recipe. The flavour goes right through the chicken. I will definitely be making this again. I will be moving on to the other marinades. I’m sure they will be as good as this one!!5 stars

  2. I made this for the first time as a thank you to friends hosting us at their home this summer. Why did I make them a recipe I had never made before? Because I’m a ding-dong, and that’s how I roll. Thankfully, this recipe is foolproof! The chicken was so tender and flavorful! It was a hit! Following along with Lisa’s YouTube video, I also made the lemon herb rice, which was also a favorite. I can’t seem to find a bad recipe on this website or in Lisa’s book!5 stars

  3. I love making this recipe for meal prep because it is so versatile! The ingredients are budget friendly and easy to find any time of year. I didn’t have Dijon mustard in the fridge (gasp!) so I used ground mustard instead and it was wonderful. I put mine under the broiler for the last 3-5 minutes to crisp up the skin and that really puts it over the top. Feels like a Sunday dinner on a weeknight :-) Thank you, Lisa for this recipe and all of your helpful videos!5 stars

  4. We made this 2 nights ago. It is superb! The leftovers made a wonderful toasted sandwich. So easy to make and the flavours burst in your mouth!

  5. This is one of the best chicken dishes I ever made. I had chicken breasts so that is what I used and it came out soooo moist and tasty. I can’t wait to make it again.5 stars

  6. Love this chicken recipe ❣️❣️❣️
    I make it often and serve it with rice
    Delicious 🤤
    Thank you Lisa💖5 stars

  7. My wife said it his was her favorite chicken dish ever!that’s saying something she’s pretty much a foodie .5 stars

  8. Best chicken recipe we’ve had in a long time! The chicken was moist and juicy and the sauce is divine. My husband loved it and that’s everything.
    So easy to put together too.
    I even made orzo and then added it to the chicken when it was done so it soaked up all those yummy juices.
    Served with a cucumber onion and tomato salad.
    Totally encore worthy!5 stars

  9. My husband said he doesn’t like lemon chicken, we made your recipe and he said ”that’s really good”! Great recipe and a go to dinner item in our kitchen!5 stars

  10. I made this once. Now I have made it about 12 times. Very simple, juicy and delicious recipe! Best recipe for Greek lemon chicken.5 stars

  11. I made this for the first time last night and it was delicious! Super easy and very tasty.
    Definitely making it again5 stars

  12. Love this recipe. Have cooked it a number of times and friends love it and are now cooking it as a regular. Great with steamed greens. Such as easy prep and bake recipe! Thanks for sharing it.

  13. I tried this twice! This dish becomes like my rescue meal for my family.
    I don’t have thyme at home, so I used the “allspice,” and added a little smoked paprika and it worked pretty well too.

    One of my favorite to prep meals for any time, any day.5 stars

  14. I just found your website yesterday and thought I’d give this recipe a try even though I have zero confidence in the kitchen. This recipe was easy and fun to make and delicious to eat! I was so proud of myself! Thank you for helping bring my cooking confidence back :)5 stars

    1. Hi Cami – welcome to Downshiftology! And kudos to you for making a delicious dinner – well done. Have fun exploring more recipes on my website, most of them are pretty easy and foolproof. Enjoy!

  15. Excellent recipe! Used boneless chicken breasts, let them marinate in the fridge all day and grilled for dinner w/veggie Kebobs and served drizzled w/tzatziki over jasmine rice. Even the picky 73 yr old loved it.5 stars

    1. Love that recipe tweak with the chicken breasts on the grill. You really can’t go wrong with this recipe, no matter how you make it!

  16. Could I please have you Lemon Herb Rice recipe. love that too!! Thanks and I have been watching all you great videos.

    1. The lemon herb rice recipe is a cookbook exclusive! But, I will probably make a similar version for the website shortly.

  17. A friend made this tonight for a group of 6, with lemon herb rice and Greek salad – what a hit! We all wanted the recipe!

  18. Great recipe! I mixed the marinade in a zip lock freezer bag, added the chicken, then let it marinade for 2 hours as suggested. Oh, I added the zest of one lemon for an extra lemon kick. The chicken came out of the oven cooked perfect. I served it with a mixed greens salad with a balsamic, olive oil, salt, pepper, and lemon juice dressing. It all worked well together. I am really happy I made this and will definitely add it into the dinner rotation.5 stars

    1. Thanks Alan! I’m happy you loved it. And extra lemon is always a good tweak in my opinion. ;) Sounds perfect with the mixed greens salad as well.

  19. This was SO delicious! I only had time to marinate it for 30 minutes, but it still turned out fabulous! Served it over rice with your air fried green beans! 10/10!!!5 stars

  20. This Greek Lemon Chicken was delicious and easy to make. The only thing I did differently was cook it in my oven’s air fryer to shave off a few minutes. It is so flavorful. I’ll be making it often.5 stars

  21. Since you posted this recipe I have already made it several times. It is great! It tastes delicious even days later and warmed up.5 stars

    1. Made this with 1 lb boneless chicken breasts and 1 lb boneless thighs and doubled the marinade. Turned out delicious with brown rice and spinach. Will definitely make again!5 stars

  22. Made this for the first time and it was delicious. Very easy to make and I kept some of the sauce and cooked fish in it the next day. Served it with the Greek salad and crusty bread. Recommended5 stars

  23. I made this recipe for some friends while I was staying at their house on vacation. It was a hit!!! I paired it with the lemon herb rice from your recipe book and blanched and sauteed green beans.

    I hate cooking, but you’re recipes and meal prep ideas are quite easy to follow and use. Thank you!5 stars

  24. I made this tonight for dinner. It was really delicious! I will make it again. It is a great marinade for kabobs also.5 stars

    1. Thanks for leaving a review Deborah! And yes, this is a similar marinade that’s used in my Greek Chicken Kabobs recipe :)

  25. Just made this tonight and it was delicious and so easy! This is going in the regular rotation! Served it with a cucumber, tomato, feta, red onion, oregano & fresh parsley salad, drizzled with some olive oil, lemon juice & red wine vinegar. Great combo. Thanks for the great recipe!5 stars