Lemon Pepper Yogurt Grilled Chicken

By: Cassy Joy Garcia

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This Lemon Pepper Yogurt-Marinated Grilled Chicken is tender, juicy, *so* flavorful, and the perfect protein to whip up any night of the week!

lemon pepper yogurt grilled chicken sliced and served in a bowl on top of mixed greens

Today we've partnered with Stonyfield Organic to bring you another yummy summer yogurt recipe – honestly, the probiotics, protein, and tangy flavor that it has to offer just can’t be beat! We’ve brought you some STELLAR yogurt dishes over the last few months – Strawberry Yogurt Pie for all of your summer dessert needs, Probiotic Pupsicles to treat your furry friends, and Yogurt Fruit Salad to enjoy as a breakfast, snack, or party side! The good news is that our yogurt dishes have no end in sight (because…YUM!), and today, we’re partnering with our good friends at Stonyfield to bring you Lemon Pepper Yogurt-Marinated Grilled Chicken!

Sometimes, chicken breasts get the reputation of being dry and bland, but this yogurt marinated chicken is tangy, tender, juicy, and loaded with SO much flavor (thanks, yogurt!) – this recipe is a GOOD one, and we can’t wait for you to try it!

three lemon pepper yogurt grilled chicken breasts on a black cutting board next to a tub of plain yogurt and a halved lemon

What are the benefits of Whole Milk Yogurt?

Whole milk yogurt has TONS of benefits. Here are a few reasons we always keep a tub of plain yogurt stocked in the fridge:

  • It Keeps You Full – whole milk yogurt is packed with healthy fats and protein, making it a great option that will keep you full for longer!
  • It’s CREAMY – Another reason we gravitate toward whole milk yogurt is that it is creamier than lower fat yogurts, which really ups the satisfaction factor.
  • It’s Versatile – Plain yogurt can be used in SO many different ways. From savory dips to loaded yogurt bowls (think: yogurt, fresh fruit, granola, and nut butter) to protein marinade to yummy dressings, yogurt can DO IT ALL!
  • It Keeps Your Digestive System in Check – another huge benefit of yogurt is the load of probiotics (beneficial bacteria) it packs. Stonyfield's whole milk yogurt contains 6 strains of live active cultures to help keep your digestive system running as it should, among many other things (read all about probiotics HERE)!

Why should you buy organic yogurt?

When it comes to yogurt, we fully believe that organic yogurt is best. The fact that Stonyfield’s yogurt is not only delicious and creamy but also organic, is a huge win for us! Organic milk (and by default, milk products) are actually more nutritious than the conventional stuff. How can this be? Organic milk (and yogurt) comes from cows that are organically raised and spend their days grazing on grass as they roam the pasture (just as they’re supposed to!) –  because they’re living just as nature intended, the milk they produce is higher in Omega-3 fatty acids, CLA (conjugated linoleic acid – has been shown to aid in weight loss, muscle mass retention, and the control of type 2 diabetes), and healthy-healthy fats. Pretty amazing, right?

Another benefit of organic yogurt? It’s good for others and our planet! A huge goal of organic farming practices is to avoid the contamination of rivers, soil, drinking water, and air that is inevitable with the use of toxic chemicals. This means that when organic farmers are doing their thing, they aren’t exposed to harmful chemicals and neither are their neighbors! Read more about why organic is best HERE!

halved lemon, tub of plain yogurt, garlic, salt, and raw chicken breasts on a marble surface

Why should you use yogurt as a marinade? 

Yogurt is good for more than just a protein-packed breakfast! We love using plain or Greek yogurt as a marinade (for any protein, really) because it breaks down and tenderizes meat in a way that many other marinades just can’t – the lactic acid found in yogurt reacts with the protein to make meat fall-apart tender!


One of the best parts of this delicious chicken recipe is the simple ingredients list. A few high-quality ingredients result in an absolutely delicious end product. Here’s what you need:

  • Chicken Breast – you’ll need 1½ pounds of chicken breast for this recipe (though you can use chicken thighs too if you prefer!), but know that you can totally double or triple the recipe if you’re choosing to meal prep this for the week!
  • Lemon Zest – 1 tablespoon of lemon zest (the zest from about 1 lemon) gets added to the marinade also, as does…
  • Lemon Juice – …¼ cup of fresh lemon juice. We always opt for freshly squeezed citrus, and this recipe is no exception! It’ll take about 2 lemons to get ¼ cup of juice.
  • Garlic – 3 cloves of minced garlic will also get added to the mix, and if you’re out of the fresh stuff, you can totally use 1 teaspoon of garlic powder!
  • Salt + Pepper – the last ingredient in our yogurt marinade! 1 teaspoon of black pepper and a ½ teaspoon of salt will do the trick!
a measuring cup full of plain greek yogurt above an empty clear bowl on a marble surface
yogurt, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a clear bowl with a zester and halved lemon resting on top of the bowl
raw chicken breasts being submerged into lemon yogurt marinade


How to Make Lemon Pepper Grilled Chicken

Just like the ingredient list, making this yogurt marinated chicken is as simple as it gets! You’ll need to:

  1. Make the Marinade – to make the tangy yogurt marinade, simply whisk together the yogurt, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, pepper, and sea salt in a large bowl. That’s it, folks!
  2. Marinate the Chicken – once your marinade ingredients are combined, add the chicken pieces and toss to coat. Let the chicken marinate for at least 30 minutes, or as long as you have time for (with 24 hours being the max!).
  3. Grill the Marinated Chicken – Preheat your grill to medium-high heat, and then remove the chicken from the marinade and let the excess marinade drain off of it. Spray your grill grates with olive oil, and place the chicken breasts on it. Cook for 5-6 minutes per side, until the chicken is browned and has reached an internal temperature of 160°F and the juices run clear. For perfectly-cooked chicken every time, we highly recommend investing in an instant-read thermometer!
  4. Remove and Enjoy – remove the chicken from the grill and let it rest for 5-10 minutes, then slice, serve, and enjoy!
lemon yogurt marinated chicken being held in a pair of tongs ready to go on the grill
lemon yogurt marinated chicken cooking on the grill
three grilled lemon yogurt chicken breasts resting on a black cutting board

More Easy Yogurt Marinades 

Because this lemon pepper yogurt marinade is insanely delicious, we have a feeling that you’re going to be hooked on yogurt marinated proteins after your first bite! Below are a few more flavorful yogurt marinades to keep the craving satisfied!

  • Creamy Cilantro Lime Marinade – blend ½ cup Stonyfield Greek Yogurt, 2 tablespoons of lime juice, 1/2 cup cilantro, 1 teaspoon of cumin, and 1 teaspoon of chili powder until smooth then pour over the chicken for a yummy Mexican spin!
  • Lemon Turmeric Marinade – combine ½ cup Stonyfield Greek Yogurt, a ½ tablespoon curry powder, and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice for a flavorful Indian take on grilled chicken!
  • French Onion Marinade – combine ½ cup Stonyfield Greek Yogurt, 1 tablespoon of an onion blend (like this one), and a ½ tablespoon of lemon juice for a tangy, oniony (in a good way!) protein!

lemon pepper yogurt grilled chicken sliced and served in a bowl on top of mixed greens

What to Serve With Grilled Chicken

The possibilities are truly endless! We love serving this lemon pepper yogurt marinated chicken with perfectly cooked veggies (like these) and a starchy side (these smashed potatoes would be PERFECT here), but honestly, this chicken goes with absolutely anything! Throw it on top of a simple arugula salad for a lunch or light dinner, chop it up and serve it bowl-style with white rice, simple steamed broccoli, and a drizzle of ranch, or enjoy it poolside with a side of potato salad and a spicy, fresh margarita in hand!

We hope you love this tender, juicy Lemon Pepper Yogurt Grilled Chicken as much as we do!


Lemon Pepper Yogurt Grilled Chicken

This grilled chicken breast is tender, juicy, and filled with lemon-pepper flavor!

  • Author: Amber Goulden
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Grilled
  • Cuisine: American



1 cup Stonyfield Whole Milk Yogurt

1 tablespoon lemon zest (about 1 lemon)

1/4 cup lemon juice (about 2 lemons)

3 garlic cloves, minced (or 1 teaspoon garlic powder)

1 teaspoon cracked black pepper

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

1 1/2 pounds chicken breast


  1. Whisk together the yogurt, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, pepper, and sea salt in a large bowl, then add the chicken and toss to coat. Let marinate for at least 30 minutes, up to 24 hours.
  2. Preheat the grill to high heat – about 450 to 500F.
  3. Remove the chicken from the marinade and let the excess marinade drain off of it, then spray your grill with olive oil and place the chicken breast on it. Cook for 4-5 minutes per side, until the chicken is browned and has reached an internal temperature of 160 F, or the juices run clear.
  4. Remove the chicken from the grill and let it rest for 10 minutes, then slice and serve!

Keywords: grilled, yogurt, greek yogurt, chicken, lemon

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Recipe rating

  1. Jessica says:

    Do you think Greek yogurt would work ok for this?

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:


  2. Karen Thomas says:

    Can I fix this on the stove if I don’t have a grill? What adaptations would need to be made?

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      Absolutely! No adaptations needed – just sear them in a pan on the stove instead of on the grill!

  3. Claire Zaman says:

    Would you recommend subbing chicken thighs for breasts? If so skin or no skin?

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      No skin thighs would be great here, Claire!

  4. Jayne says:

    Is there a dairy alternative you would recommend? This looks so yummy but my daughter has had pretty bad reactions to dairy.

  5. eliset nevarez says:

    I don’t have plain yogurt. Do uou think vanilla yogurt will give it a different taste?

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      I think it’ll for sure give your chicken a vanilla-y taste, Eliset…I’d stick with plain if possible! The vanilla yogurt would be DELICIOUS in any of these Greek yogurt bowls, though!

  6. Ashley says:

    What would be the oven directions for this?

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      350°F for about 18 minutes should be good, Ashley!

  7. Christie says:

    Super easy way to prep some chicken with ingredients I usually have on hand! A delicious dinner on the table in less than 30 with a veggie and rice. Had to sear mine on the stovetop because my grill is still in hibernation but looking forward to using this recipe more once we can start grilling.

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      So glad you enjoyed this recipe, Christie! Thank you so much for sharing this with us!

  8. Julie says:

    Traditionally, I thought an acid, like lemon juice would “cook” the chicken if left too long. Does the yogurt protect the chicken from this happening? What are your experiences with this?

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      Acid on poultry tenderizes more than cooks, unlike seafood where it can really penetrate the protein more thoroughly and cause it to cook. As long as you keep the marinating between 30 minutes and 24 hours, it should be just fine!