Yogurt Marinated Air Fryer Chicken (2023)

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April 13, 2023 6 Comments »

This easy Yogurt Marinated Chicken is made in the deep fryer but can also be done on the grill or in the oven. The marinade includes Greek yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, and the perfect combination of simple seasonings. It's so light and tasty!

Yogurt Marinated Air Fryer Chicken (4)

I love using a yogurt marinade because it really coats the chicken with all the seasonings and flavor that you have included. Plus, the yogurt helps keep the chicken tender so the end result is even more delicious!

Greek yogurt is thick, so it sticks better to the chicken. Whole milk, low-fat, or fat-free varieties will work well. Plain plain yogurt is also a good option. It won't stick as well to the chicken, but it will still taste great.

I prefer to make these chicken breasts in the air fryer to make things easier. I've also included alternate roasting and baking instructions below.

A large batch is perfect for storing in the fridge for meal prep!

Yogurt Marinated Air Fryer Chicken (5)

For this recipe you will need (the full list of ingredients and instructions are in the recipe card below):

  • Chicken Breasts: I prefer boneless, skinless chicken breasts for this recipe. You can use boneless chicken thighs if you prefer.
  • Greek Yogurt: You can use whole milk, low-fat, or fat-free Greek yogurt. Just be sure to choose an unflavored, sugar-free variety.
  • Lemon Juice: Lemon juice adds a shine to the marinade. It can take a while for the chicken to really absorb that lemon flavor, so give the marinade time to work its magic!
  • Garlic: Mince your own garlic or use the jarred variety. Either one is totally fine.
  • Seasonings: Basil, salt, onion powder, black pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes create the perfect seasoning blend for this Yogurt Marinated Chicken.
Yogurt Marinated Air Fryer Chicken (6)

How long should the chicken marinate?

Since lemon is quite mild in flavor, I recommend marinating for at least 2 hours and up to 12 hours. The longer you marinate, the more pronounced the lemon flavor will be and the more tender the cooked chicken will be. I don't recommend more than 12 hours because the meat can start to break down and the texture changes if it's left to marinate for too long. (That goes for any marinade.)

Tips for the Best Yogurt Marinated Fryer Chicken

  1. Leave your chicken in the marinade for a minimum of 2 hours and as close to 12 hours as possible. This is a mild marinade, so the extra time really helps to achieve the best flavor.
  2. Spread the chicken breasts in a single layer. You don't want the chicken to pile on top of each other (or touch) because the chicken won't cook evenly.
  3. Don't overcook the chicken. Because chicken is so lean, it's very easy to overcook! You can use a meat thermometer to make sure your chicken is fully cooked. Internal temperature should be 165 degrees. Since we are letting the chicken rest, you can remove it from the air fryer around 155 to 160 degrees (as it will continue to cook while it rests).
  4. Let the chicken rest after cooking. This is important because it gives the chicken time to reabsorb those juices! If you cut the chicken too early, all that juice will spill out onto the cutting board.
Yogurt Marinated Air Fryer Chicken (7)

How to make Grilled Yogurt Marinated Chicken

If you prefer to use your grill instead of the fryer, just follow this method:

  1. Cut chicken breasts into cutlets and marinate chicken according to recipe instructions.
  2. When you are ready to cook, preheat the grill to medium high heat.
  3. Add the chicken to the grill.
  4. Cook chicken, turning occasionally, until cooked through. Since we have cut our chicken breasts into cutlets, they will be thin and cook faster. It may take 5-7 minutes per side, but the time depends on the thickness of your chicken.

How to make yogurt marinated chicken in the oven

If you prefer to bake your chicken instead of using the air fryer, just follow this method:

  1. Cut chicken breasts into cutlets and marinate chicken according to recipe instructions.
  2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  3. Spread the chicken on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes. Broil for 1 to 2 minutes if you want a little brown on top.

How to store leftovers

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.

how to serve this

Serve with vegetables, rice, potatoes and/or a salad. Myeasy roasted broccoliyGreen beans with garlicit will pair wonderfully with this chicken.

More easy chicken recipes like this one:

Air Fryer Chicken Breasts

Sheet Pan Chicken Pesto with Broccoli

Slow Cooker Italian Shredded Chicken

Dairy-free pesto chicken

Healthy Chicken Bruschetta

(Video) Yogurt Marinated Chicken in Air Fryer | Chicken in Yoghurt Marinade Recipe

Yogurt Marinated Air Fryer Chicken (8)


Yogurt Marinated Air Fryer Chicken

This easy Yogurt Marinated Chicken is made in the deep fryer but can also be done on the grill or in the oven. The marinade includes Greek yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, and the perfect combination of simple seasonings. It's so light and tasty!


Produce:4 portions

Preparation time:10 minutes

Time to cook:15 minutes

Marinating time:2 hours

(Video) Air fryer greek yogurt chicken



  • 4 chicken breasts,boneless and skinless

Yogurt Marinade

  • ½ cup greek yogurt,All fat, low fat, and fat free will work as long as it is flavorless and sugar free. I like to use non-fat Greek yogurt.
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon SHE,chopped
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • ¾ teaspoon sal
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes


  • Cut the chicken breasts horizontally. This will create 8 thin chops.

  • In a gallon size Ziploc bag or large covered bowl, combine chicken and all marinade ingredients. Let marinate for a minimum of 2 hours or up to 12 hours. (I recommend marinating 5-12 hours. The longer the better to really bring out the lemon flavor.)

  • Preheat air fryer to 375 degrees.

  • Arrange the chicken cutlets in a single layer in the preheated air fryer so they do not overlap. Air fry for 10 minutes. Flip the chicken. Air fry for another 5 to 10 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 155 to 160 degrees. Be careful not to overcook. (Temperature AFTER resting should be 165 degrees.)

    Final cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of your chicken and the model of fryer you are using.


The nutrition information assumes you use fat-free Greek yogurt.


Service:1chicken breast,Calories:151kcal,Carbohydrates:3gram,Protein:27gram,Gordo:3gram,Saturated fat:1gram,Polyunsaturated fat:0.5gram,monosaturated fat:1gram,Trans fat:0.02gram,Cholesterol:74milligrams,Sodium:579milligrams,Potassium:489milligrams,Fiber:0.4gram,Sugar:1gram,Vitamin A:77IU,Vitamin C:5milligrams,Soccer:51milligrams,Hierro:1milligrams

Did you make this recipe?Label@the Cookand tag it#elcocineroenteroand Instagram.

(Video) The BEST Air Fryer Chicken Breast In 8 MINUTES | SUPER JUICY!!

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Published inApril 13, 2023by Cristina

6 comments Leave a comment "

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Leave a comment and rate this recipe!

  1. Amber Responder

    INCREDIBLE! I can't get over how delicious this chicken is! It will certainly be repeated often in our home!

    (Video) Wonderful recipe for baked chicken breasts, quick and tasty recipe for the whole family
    • Cristina Responder

      Thank you very much, Amber! This one is repeated in my house too!

  2. Michigan Responder

    I made this recipe on Sunday to prepare my lunch. Marinated 2 hours 45 min and roasted the chicken. It's fantastic. I love the taste. And I appreciate you suggesting a minimum of 2 hours. This is worth the effort to plan ahead. I add chicken to my salads for an easy office lunch. Thanks for keeping the great ideas coming. You are so fun and creative!

    • Cristina Responder

      Hurrah! I'm excited to know that you loved it. Thank you!

  3. samantha zegger Responder

    So good and easy! The flavors are subtle but delicious! A family favorite.

    • Cristina Responder

      Glad you enjoyed it, Samantha! Thank you!

      (Video) ONE Simple Trick for Juicy AIR FRYER Chicken (NO Breading!)


Does marinating chicken in yogurt work? ›

Yogurt tenderizes meat much more gently and effectively than regular marinades. While acidic vinegar- or citrus-based marinades can toughen proteins like chicken breast to a rubbery consistency, yogurt slowly tenderizes them, resulting in meat that can practically be pulled apart by hand.

Do you rinse off yogurt marinade before cooking? ›

No, do not rinse off the yogurt marinade, as it will create a delicious crust on the outside of the chicken. Simply scrape off any excess marinade then cook the chicken directly.

How long can you marinate meat in yogurt? ›

Close bag securely and marinate in refrigerator 6 hours or as long as overnight, turning occasionally. Remove steaks from marinade; discard marinade.

Can you marinate chicken in yogurt for 48 hours? ›

While you can cook and eat chicken that has been marinating for more than 24 hours, you're risking exposing yourself to some strange textures. Chicken can get both mushy and tough when it's been left to marinate too long. If it's been more than 48 hours, the USDA recommends throwing it out.

Can you marinate chicken in yogurt too long? ›

We like a little bit of tenderizing with meat, but when your chicken thighs are exposed to lemon juice, lime juice, yogurt, or vinegars for too long, the texture of the meat turns from tender to mushy and stringy, two words that have never been used in tandem to describe something pleasant.

Does Greek yogurt tenderize meat? ›

Greek yogurt does more than simply flavor the surface of chicken. Thanks to its acidity — different from the kind you find in citrus or vinegar — it tenderizes the meat, keeping it juicy and never rubbery. Give yourself 15 minutes, and Greek yogurt will reward you with tastier, more tender chicken.

Can you fry chicken in yoghurt? ›

There is much talk of using buttermilk in fried chicken recipes, but I love the flavour of a good plain yogurt, and the thickness works well to coat the chicken while it marinates. The acidity tenderises the chicken and keeps it moist, while adding that tang of the signature fried-chicken flavour.

Is yogurt better than mayonnaise for marinade? ›

Since yogurt has more water content than mayonnaise, it clears the way for the spices to do their thing(s) more effectively. The catch is it takes a bit longer than 30 minutes for it to taste Indian-mom-approved magical; three hours at minimum.

Should you pat chicken dry after marinating? ›

Key step: Always start with a dry surface on the meat so you get a sear, not a steam. Even if you marinate the meat, pat it dry before cooking.

What meats can you marinate in yogurt? ›

A soak in yogurt is great for lamb, beef, goat, and particularly chicken. I thought this story might be a long and winding myth-buster about whether or not yogurt truly works as a marinade, but here's the TLDR: It works. It works very well.

Can you marinate meat in yogurt overnight? ›

Yogurt is ideal to use in a marinade for both its flavor and ability to tenderize meat. It contains lactic acid, which tenderizes more slowly and gently than a citrus juice or vinegar-based marinade, so you can leave your meat to soak overnight without it becoming tough or rubbery.

How long can you marinate chicken in yogurt in the fridge? ›

How long should chicken marinate in this acidic yogurt based marinade? Chicken breasts or thighs should marinate for preferably at least 2 hours to soak up some of the flavor. For chicken breasts I recommend marinating no more than 8 hours. Chicken thighs can marinate up to 24 hours.

Why did my marinated chicken get mushy? ›

#6 You overmarinate the chicken

Wrong. Indeed, marinades with citrus juices like lime, lemon, and orange can actually break down the chicken meat, leaving it mealy or mushy when it's cooked. Buttermilk and yogurt can make the meat soft, too, but these ingredients are slower acting.

What is the maximum marinating time for chicken? ›

Give it 5-6 hours for the best flavour and texture – if you don't have that long, even 10 minutes of marinating will give flavour to the outside of chicken. Marinades without acid can be left longer but won't make them work any better, so stick to 24 hours as a maximum.

What is the maximum time to marinate chicken? ›

Most recipes for marinating meat and poultry recommend six hours up to 24 hours. It is safe to keep the food in the marinade longer, but after two days it is possible that the marinade can start to break down the fibers of the meat, causing it to become mushy.

Is it OK to marinate chicken for 20 hours? ›

The USDA recommends not keeping poultry in marinade for longer than two days, as it's possible that the marinade will start breaking down the meat's fibers and cause it to become mushy. A good rule of thumb is to keep marinating time under 24 hours.

Can you cook leftover yogurt marinade? ›

Frugal cooks can put the leftover marinade to use as a sauce, but it must first be boiled for five minutes to destroy any harmful bacteria. This boiling process will render it useless as a tenderizing marinade, but it can still impart some flavor as a sauce.

How long to leave meat in yogurt? ›

Unlike other marinades that turn your meat into rubber if you leave it too long, yogurt is very forgiving (thanks to the higher PH, if you must know). You can marinate for 30 minutes or overnight, it's all good.

What do chefs use to tenderize meat? ›

Velveting is a simple process of using baking soda or a mixture of egg whites, cornstarch and oil to marinate and tenderize economical cuts of steak, chicken and other meats before cooking. Velveting meat softens fibers to reduce toughness and enhance juiciness for maximum flavor and tenderness.

How do you marinate meat in yogurt? ›

Take 1/4 cup of Stonyfield Whole Milk Plain Yogurt, add 2 tbsp of sriracha sauce or your favorite hot sauce, the juice from 1/2 lemon and mix it all together. And enjoy! Time to eat!

Does yogurt break when cooking? ›


Sour cream in a cooked recipe almost never curdles because it contains mostly fat, with very little protein. Yogurt may curdle if cooked too long or at too high a temperature, due to the higher protein content.

Can you use yogurt instead of egg for fried chicken? ›

Instead of the buttermilk, egg, and flour mixture I use to coat my fried chicken, this chicken's breading is nothing more than yogurt and very light breadcrumbs. It just feels good goin' down! Serve it with a big, green salad with Homemade Ranch Dressing, and your family will give you a pedicure right after dinner.

What tenderizes chicken the best? ›

Marinate your chicken.

Marinating your chicken in something overnight can help make it all the more juicier and tender. You can use a gluten-free, acidic marinade (like olive oil and lemon juice) or something breadier (like baking soda, egg whites, and buttermilk).

Which should be avoided when marinating? ›

  1. Don't use too much salt. ...
  2. Don't reuse marinades or use marinades as a sauce after cooking. ...
  3. Don't marinate in metal containers. ...
  4. Don't over marinate fish. ...
  5. Don't freeze meats in their marinade. ...
  6. Don't be afraid to experiment with new flavors and ingredients.
Dec 28, 2022

Can I marinate chicken in yogurt instead of buttermilk? ›

The chicken should be marinated -- in the refrigerator, of course -- at least one hour or overnight. If you don't have buttermilk on hand, substitute plain yogurt or milk, to which a small amount of lemon juice or vinegar has been added (1 teaspoon per 1 cup milk).

Should you poke holes in chicken breast to marinate? ›

Should You Poke Holes In The Chicken Before Marinating? It is recommended to prick the surface of the meat with a fork or score it so that the marinade penetrates the meat as deeply as possible resulting in a more moist meat, but you don't have to.

Should I leave my chicken marinating in a bowl or a bag? ›

DO marinate in re-sealable plastic bags, rather than in bowls or other containers. They cut down on cleanup and allow you to evenly distribute the marinade. But you can marinate in plastic, stainless steel or glass containers too.

Why is my chicken dry and not juicy? ›

As you go higher in temperature, the proteins shrink, moisture is pushed out, and the meat turns stiff and dry. All those things are especially unpleasant, and easy to do, with chicken breasts.

Why do Indians marinate meat in yogurt? ›

The yogurt marinade is a classic Indian marinade. The yogurt's acidity helps to tenderize the meat.

Is it OK to mix yogurt and meat? ›

As a marinade, plain yogurt tenderizes poultry or meat thanks to the same bacteria that helps your digestive tract stay healthy when you eat a cupful.

Can I use sour cream instead of yogurt for marinade? ›

Greek Yogurt has active bacteria and lactic acid which slowly break down the protein, making the chicken moist and tender. Substitute with plain full-fat yogurt, buttermilk, or sour cream. Lemon is added for a classic Greek flavor and also adds more acid which helps to tenderize the meat.

What meat should you avoid marinating overnight? ›

There's a food-safety reason to avoid letting meat over-marinate as well: According to Federal Food Safety guidelines, raw chicken should only be stored in the refrigerator for one to two days (pork and beef are safe a little longer). After this, dangerous amounts of bacteria can grow, and you risk getting sick.

Does meat marinate faster in the fridge or room temp? ›

Always Marinate in the Refrigerator

Some older recipes call for marinating at room temperature. DO NOT FOLLOW THIS PRACTICE. Marinating at room temperature causes the meat to enter the “Danger Zone” (between 40°F and 140°F), where bacteria multiply fastest.

Can you refrigerate yogurt overnight? ›

When stored properly, the shelf-life of yogurt is seven to 14 days. Storing longer than that allows molds, yeast and slow-growing bacteria to grow and spoil your yogurt. If left out of the refrigerator for two hours or less, yogurt can safely be put back in the refrigerator to eat at a later time.

Can you eat raw chicken after 3 days in fridge? ›

Storing Chicken in the Fridge

No need to stash it in the freezer — it's OK to store raw chicken (whole or in pieces) for 1–2 days in the fridge. If you have leftovers that include cooked chicken, you can expect those to last in the refrigerator for 3–4 days.

How do you know if marinated chicken has gone bad? ›

Smell: If the smell is pungent, like rotten eggs, or ammonia, it should be discarded. Fresh and safe to consume chicken should not have a funky smell. Texture: Bad chicken can appear slimy or sticky to the touch. Mold: Any growth or spots of green or black fuzz is mold, which means the chicken is spoiled.

Does marinating chicken make it taste better? ›

Marinating chicken doesn't moisten, tenderize, or add flavor to your chicken. It's been debunked. And chefs everywhere are beginning to accept that spending a long time marinating chicken is mostly a waste of time.

Can marinated chicken get crispy? ›

Then, let your chicken marinate — uncovered — in the refrigerator, so the skin is exposed to the air and can dry out a little. This extra step will help it crisp up during cooking.

What is the white stuff on marinated chicken? ›

The white goo is primarily water and protein. Protein from poultry meat is easily digested, which means it's denatured quickly through the cooking process, so it leaches out water, bringing out soluble protein.

Can I over marinate chicken? ›

If you marinate chicken too long, it can go soft and mushy. If you don't marinate long enough, the flavor doesn't penetrate.

Can you let chicken out if marinating for a few hours? ›

No, it is not safe to leave raw chicken out overnight. Raw chicken should always be stored in the refrigerator or freezer to prevent bacterial growth and foodborne illness. Bacteria such as Salmonella and Campylobacter can multiply rapidly at room temperature and make you sick if consumed.

Should you slice chicken before marinating? ›

Technique tip: Don't skip the step of cutting slashes into the chicken. The cuts allow the seasonings to get into the meat for better flavor throughout and also help speed the cooking.

Is 15 minutes enough to marinate chicken? ›

MARINATING LONGER IS NOT BETTER! The ideal amount of time you should marinate chicken is 5 to 6 hours, but even 15 minutes makes a difference.

How long can yogurt marinated chicken stay in the fridge? ›

According to the USDA, chicken that has been marinated can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two days. However, if you plan to freeze the chicken, it is important to do so before the marinade has had a chance to spoil.

What is the minimum time to marinate chicken? ›

Give it 5-6 hours for the best flavour and texture – if you don't have that long, even 10 minutes of marinating will give flavour to the outside of chicken. Marinades without acid can be left longer but won't make them work any better, so stick to 24 hours as a maximum. Try one of our delicious marinade recipes.

Can you turn yoghurt marinade into sauce? ›

From a practical perspective, Heck adds, yogurt can perform double duty in a recipe—you can use half of it to marinate the meat and the rest as a sauce or a side.

Why marinate chicken with yogurt? ›

Yogurt is ideal to use in a marinade for both its flavor and ability to tenderize meat. It contains lactic acid, which tenderizes more slowly and gently than a citrus juice or vinegar-based marinade, so you can leave your meat to soak overnight without it becoming tough or rubbery.

What can I soak chicken in if I don't have buttermilk? ›

If you don't have buttermilk on hand, use milk and add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice or vinegar per cup of milk. This is a great substitute for buttermilk.

What can I use to soak chicken if I don't have buttermilk? ›

Buttermilk Substitute for Marinades and Brines

For the best tenderizing flavor, opt for a scant cup of milk with 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice, then add seasonings like salt, freshly ground pepper, paprika and minced fresh garlic or a dash of garlic powder.

Can you marinate raw chicken in the fridge for 7 days? ›

For how long can I keep marinated chicken in the fridge? Marinated chicken can be kept in the fridge for 2 days; after that, any uncooked marinade should be discarded.


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