Lemon Greek Yogurt Roasted Chicken

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Lemon Greek Yogurt Roasted Chicken, cooked in a Dutch oven, is a tender and juicy dish, where the tangy zest of lemon and the creamy richness of Greek yogurt meld together to create a beautifully flavored, golden-crisp exterior.

roasted chicken with herbs in a cast iron dutch oven
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Dutch Oven Lemon Greek Yogurt Roasted Chicken

Lemon Greek Yogurt Roasted Chicken is a culinary delight, where the zesty brightness of lemon perfectly complements the creamy, tangy Greek yogurt, creating a succulent marinade that infuses the chicken with moisture and flavor. The yogurt acts as a tenderizer, ensuring that the chicken remains juicy and tender throughout the cooking process.

As it roasts, the chicken develops a beautifully golden, slightly crispy exterior, while the lemon notes become more pronounced, offering a refreshing contrast to the rich flavors. This dish not only tantalizes the taste buds with its harmonious blend of flavors but also fills the kitchen with a mouth-watering, citrusy aroma that promises a satisfying meal.

How to Make Lemon Yogurt Roast Chicken

First assemble these ingredients:

  • Whole Chicken (1 lb) – Provides a rich, savory base flavor that absorbs and melds with the accompanying seasonings and marinade. Chicken is high in protein and other nutrients which makes it ideal for a main dish.
  • Olive oil (2 tbsp) – Adds a smooth, fruity undertone that enhances the overall mouthfeel and depth of the dish.
  • Oregano (1 tbsp) – Offers a slightly bitter, earthy taste with a hint of sweetness, contributing to the Mediterranean character of the recipe.
  • Cloves garlic (6) – Delivers a pungent, spicy flavor that intensifies during roasting, infusing the chicken with aromatic depth.
  • Sea salt (1/2 tsp) – Enhances the natural flavors of the chicken and marinade ingredients, while adding a subtle brininess. You can add less salt if you want to control your sodium.
  • Black Pepper (1/4 tsp) – Introduces a mild heat and sharpness, balancing the richer flavors of the chicken and yogurt.
  • Plain Greek yogurt (6-8 oz) – Provides a creamy, tangy base for the marinade, tenderizing the chicken and adding a subtle tartness.
  • 1 lemon juice and zest– Injects a bright, acidic zing, cutting through the richness of the chicken and yogurt, and uplifting the overall flavor profile.

Use these Instructions:

Season Chicken. In a large bowl, rub oil on chicken. Season with salt, pepper, and half of the oregano and garlic. Rub with yogurt. Add rest of oregano, garlic, and lemon zest (if not using lemon greek yogurt). Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight in the yogurt marinade.

Bake. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Remove the marinaded chicken, and place chicken into well seasoned dutch oven. Roast uncovered until internal temperature reaches 175 degrees, about 1-2 hours depending on the size of your chicken, your oven, and how dry the chicken was.

roasted chicken with herbs in a cast iron dutch oven

Tips and Tricks for Perfect Roasted Chicken

Choose the Right Chicken: Opt for a whole chicken or bone-in, skin-on pieces for the best flavor and moisture retention.

Quality Yogurt is Key: Use full-fat Greek yogurt for a richer, creamier marinade that clings to the chicken and tenderizes it effectively.

Maximize Lemon Flavor: Use both the zest and juice of the lemon for an intense citrus flavor. The zest contains essential oils that offer a burst of aroma and tang.

Marinate for Depth of Flavor: Allow the chicken to marinate in the yogurt mixture for at least 4 hours, or overnight if possible, to let the flavors penetrate deeply.

Bring Chicken to Room Temperature: Before roasting, let the chicken sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes. This ensures even cooking.

Don’t Skimp on Seasonings: In addition to salt and pepper, consider adding herbs like thyme, oregano, or rosemary to complement the lemon flavor.

Use a Dutch Oven or Roasting Pan: These are ideal for even cooking and retaining moisture. A Dutch oven, in particular, helps in circulating heat evenly.

Baste for Moisture: Baste the chicken periodically with its juices during roasting to keep it moist and add more flavor.

Check for Doneness Properly: Use a meat thermometer to ensure the chicken has reached a safe internal temperature of 165°F (75°C).

Rest Before Serving: Let the chicken rest for about 10-15 minutes after taking it out of the oven. This allows the juices to redistribute, ensuring a moist and tender chicken.

FAQs

Can I use bottled lemon juice instead of fresh lemons?

Fresh lemon juice is preferred for its vibrant flavor. Bottled lemon juice can be used in a pinch, but it may lack the same fresh zesty taste.

How long should I marinate the chicken?

For optimal flavor, marinate the chicken for at least 4 hours, though overnight is ideal. This allows the yogurt and lemon to tenderize the chicken and infuse it with flavor.

Can I add other herbs or spices to the marinade?

Absolutely! Feel free to include herbs like thyme, rosemary, cumin, or oregano, and spices such as paprika or garlic powder for added flavor.

What’s the best way to ensure the chicken skin gets crispy?

Pat the chicken dry before marinating and before roasting. Also, consider broiling it for a few minutes at the end of cooking.

Can I make this recipe with chicken breasts or chicken thighs instead of a whole chicken?

Yes, chicken breasts or thighs work well. Adjust the cooking time accordingly, as they may cook faster than a whole chicken.

How do I know when the chicken is fully cooked?

The safest way is to use a meat thermometer. The chicken is done when the internal temperature reaches 165°F (75°C).

How should I store and reheat leftovers?

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven or on the stove until heated through.

What to Enjoy with Dutch Oven Roasted Chicken

Herbed Couscous or Quinoa: These grains are light and fluffy, making them perfect for soaking up the flavorsome juices from the chicken.

Roasted Vegetables: Think Mediterranean-style veggies like bell peppers, zucchini, and eggplant, roasted to bring out their natural sweetness.

Garlic Mashed Potatoes: The creaminess and subtle garlic flavor of the potatoes make a comforting and delicious accompaniment.

Greek Salad: A crisp Greek salad, with cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, and feta cheese, adds a fresh and crunchy contrast to the meal.

Tzatziki Sauce: This yogurt-based sauce, infused with cucumber and garlic, complements the tangy lemon and yogurt flavors of the chicken.

Steamed Green Beans or Asparagus: Lightly steamed, these vegetables offer a simple, healthy side that doesn’t overpower the main dish.

Rice Pilaf: A fragrant rice pilaf, perhaps with a hint of lemon zest, can serve as a subtle and aromatic side.

Warm Pita Bread or Naan: Ideal for scooping up any leftover sauce and adding a soft, chewy texture to the meal.

Lemon Butter Pasta: A simple pasta tossed in lemon butter sauce can harmonize beautifully with the lemony notes of the chicken.

Sautéed Spinach or Kale: These greens, wilted and seasoned simply, add a nutritious and flavorful element to the plate.

Try these delicious recipes next:

Lemon Greek Yogurt Roasted Chicken Recipe

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Lemon Greek yogurt roast chicken in a cast iron skillet.
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Dutch Oven Lemon Greek Yogurt Roasted Chicken

This easy Dutch Oven Lemon Greek Yogurt Roasted Chicken is a simple but stunning roast chicken preparation that is supremely easy, but delivers the most tender, juicy, roasted chicken you’ll ever eat!
Course Chicken
Cuisine American
Keyword chicken, gluten free, keto, main dish, paleo, simple
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 372kcal
Author Courtney ODell

Ingredients

  • 1 lb chicken Whole roaster ,dried with paper towels
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 6 cloves of garlic chopped
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 6-8 oz greek yogurt omit lemons if using lemon greek yogurt
  • 1 lemon zested and sliced into thin rounds

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, rub oil on chicken.
  • Season with salt, pepper, and half of the oregano and garlic.
  • Rub with yogurt.
  • Add rest of oregano, garlic, and lemon zest (if not using lemon greek yogurt).
  • Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Remove chicken from marinade, and place into well seasoned dutch oven.
  • Roast uncovered until internal temperature reaches 175 degrees, about 1-2 hours depending on the size of your chicken, your oven, and how dry the chicken was.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 372kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 44g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 83mg | Sodium: 344mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 10g

About Courtney

Courtney loves to share great wine, good food, and loves to explore far flung places- all while masting an everyday elegant and easy style at lifestyle blog Sweet C’s Designs. Sweet C's devoted to finding the best food and drinks you'll want to make or find, around the world!

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Recipe Rating




3 Comments

  1. Enid says:

    5 stars
    Silly Q perhaps, but what do I do with the thinly sliced lemon rounds? The directions say to put the zest in the marinade but there’s no further mention of the slices…?

    1. Courtney ODell says:

      Chuck ’em in the pan with the rinds too – I’ll go ahead and clarify that! Just be sure to remove them if you store leftovers or it will turn bitter.

  2. Elizabeth @ SugarHero.com says:

    This looks insanely good! I am so bummed I didn’t pick up a roasting chicken today because I want to have this immediately.