Grilled Lemon Yogurt Chicken


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.

Prep Time:
15 mins
Cook Time:
35 mins
Additional Time:
3 hrs
Total Time:
3 hrs 50 mins
6 servings


  • ½ cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt

  • ½ lemon, juiced

  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed

  • 1 tablespoon paprika

  • 1 teaspoon herbes de Provence

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 1 (5 pound) whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces

  • ½ cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

  • 1 teaspoon harissa

  • 1 pinch salt


  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.

Editor's Note:

If your store doesn't carry harissa sauce, you can make your own with this recipe.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

523 Calories
30g Fat
6g Carbs
55g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 523
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 30g 38%
Saturated Fat 8g 41%
Cholesterol 169mg 56%
Sodium 590mg 26%
Total Carbohydrate 6g 2%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 55g
Vitamin C 12mg 58%
Calcium 117mg 9%
Iron 3mg 17%
Potassium 507mg 11%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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