Grilled Lemon Yogurt Chicken Recipe -
Grilled Lemon Yogurt Chicken Recipe
6 Photos
Grilled Lemon & Yogurt Chicken
Watch Chef John make a healthy, low-fat chicken recipe. See more
  • READY IN ABOUT 4 hrs

Grilled Lemon Yogurt Chicken

Recipe by  

"There is something special about what yogurt does to chicken in its smoky, sizzling time over charcoal. It imparts a tangy flavor that lifts all the other flavorings. It tenderizes slightly, without turning the meat into mush. It grills to a caramelized dark brown without tasting burnt."

+ Recipe Box + Shopping List + Menu Print

Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 6 servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    15 mins
  • COOK

    35 mins

    3 hrs 50 mins


  1. Whisk together the 1/2 cup yogurt, the juice from 1/2 lemon, lemon zest, olive oil, garlic, paprika, herbes de Provence, 1 teaspoon salt, and black pepper in a bowl. Pour into a resealable plastic bag. Add chicken, coat with the marinade, squeeze out excess air, and seal the bag. Marinate in refrigerator for at least 3 hours.
  2. Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat, and lightly oil the grate.
  3. Combine 1/2 cup yogurt, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and harissa in a small bowl. Set aside.
  4. Remove chicken from bag and transfer to a plate or baking sheet lined with paper towels. Pat chicken pieces dry with more paper towels. Season with pinch of salt.
  5. Grill chicken, skin-side down, on the preheated grill for 2 minutes. Turn each piece and move to indirect heat.
  6. Grill, turning often, with lid down until well-browned and meat is no longer pink in the center, 30 to 35 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, near the bone should read 165 degrees F (74 degrees C).
  7. Serve chicken with the yogurt harissa mixture on the side.
Kitchen-Friendly View

Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
May 03, 2012

Thank you Chef John. I followed your recipe exactly, except that I used chicken breasts instead of a whole chicken (not a fan of bones), and my husband said that this was the best chicken ever. We eat a lot of different chicken breast recipes, so that says a lot.

Most Helpful Critical Review
May 31, 2012

Did not like dipping sauce

Jun 24, 2012

Wallaceclan - harissa is a North African chili paste. If you don't have it, you could make a paste with 1 t. sriracha or chili garlic sauce, 1 clove of crushed garlic, 1/2 t ground cumin , 1/2 t. ground coriander and 1/2 t. salt. This makes a very moist and flavorful chicken. I marinated for about 6 hours and it was perfect.

May 07, 2012

Such a nice change from other grilled chicken and so healthy. You can do this marinade with any type of chicken (ie: boneless, skinless breasts or thighs). I didn't even marinate it for more than 1 1/2 hours and it was still delicious! The yogurt harissa (hot sauce) mixture is great with the chicken. I served this chicken with coleslaw.

Apr 25, 2012

Outstanding. Greeks and Indians famous for using natural live yogurt for moisture and tenderization. Good flavors though I'd add onion. Sidebar: My Mother would use yogurt instead of buttermilk (We made our own yogurt) sometimes to marinate her chicken for frying Southern (OK, Southern Armenian) style. Worked like a charm. Another great one, Chef!

Jun 12, 2012

Excellent. I did how ever(not by choice, planned to make it according to recipe but my plans changed) so it marinaded for 30 hours and turned out amazing. Very moist and flavorful. Did not make the sauce to eat with it. It wasn't necessary. Thanks for a keeper.

May 17, 2012

VERY GOOD!! I also used chicken breasts. The meat was tender, moist, and flavorful. I have had trouble in the past with dry grilled chicken - not anymore! Thank you Chef John for our new grilled chicken recipe!

May 10, 2012

This was tasty, but it wasn't like... WOW, flavor! I think if i tweak it a bit, though, it will be a great recipe. It was super moist though!


Rate This Recipe

Glad you liked it! Your friends will, too:


  • Calories
  • 524 kcal
  • 26%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 6.2 g
  • 2%
  • Cholesterol
  • 169 mg
  • 56%
  • Fat
  • 29.8 g
  • 46%
  • Fiber
  • 1.1 g
  • 4%
  • Protein
  • 55.2 g
  • 110%
  • Sodium
  • 567 mg
  • 23%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

See More
Subscribe Today!

In Season

Not The Same Old Chicken
Not The Same Old Chicken

We have so many top-rated chicken recipes, you'll never run out of dinner ideas again.

Slow Cooker Time Savers
Slow Cooker Time Savers

Imagine dinner making itself in the slow cooker while you relax or do other things.

Subscribe Today! Only $7.99
Subscribe Today! Only $7.99

Delicious recipes, party ideas, and cooking tips! Get a year of Allrecipes magazine for $7.99!

Related Videos

Grilled Lemon & Yogurt Chicken

Watch Chef John make a healthy, low-fat chicken recipe.

Grilled Lemon Chicken

A zesty marinade for grilled chicken breasts. Dinner’s ready in minutes.

Chris' Grilled Orange Chicken

This citrus marinade makes chicken moist and tender on the grill.

Recently Viewed Recipes

Argentina  |  Australia & New Zealand  |  Brazil  |  Canada  |  China  |  France  |  Germany  |  India  |  Italy  |  Japan  |  Korea  |  Mexico

Netherlands  |  Poland  |  Quebec  |  Russia  |  SE Asia  |  United Kingdom & Ireland  |  United States