`Grilled Chicken Thighs with Olive Oil, Garlic, and Lemon - Olive Oil Times

Grilled Chicken Thighs with Olive Oil, Garlic, and Lemon

These delicious Grilled Chicken Thighs with Olive Oil Garlic and Lemon are a great meal for a summertime barbecue in the back yard. Serve them with fresh yogurt sauce, warm pita, and your choice of toppings for an authentic Mediterranean meal.
grilled chicken thighs on a plate seasoned with lemon and olive oil
Grilled Chicken Thighs with Olive Oil, Garlic, and Lemon.
By Paul Kostandin
Jul. 29, 2021 11:53 UTC

I love sou­vlaki. Growing up in a Greek house­hold, lemon olive oil chicken with tons of gar­lic and fresh herbs was a main­stay around our table and con­tin­ues to be one of my favorite com­fort foods to this day. While we rarely skew­ered the chicken, bak­ing it was always eas­ier, it was still sou­vlaki in fla­vor and that’s what really mat­ters.

As the sum­mer months approach, light­ing up your grill for a quick evening meal becomes a lot eas­ier, espe­cially with the longer day­light hours. There’s noth­ing bet­ter in my opin­ion than a cool glass of iced tea and some old-fash­ioned grill ther­apy as the sun sets and the fire­flies come out. 

To make easy sou­vlaki chicken thighs, you’ll need a few basic ingre­di­ents. First, you’ll need a pack­age of bone­less skin­less chicken thighs. Next add some lemon juice, extra vir­gin olive oil, dried oregano, salt, pep­per, and a heap­ing help­ing of fresh chopped gar­lic. Allow the chicken thighs to mar­i­nate for 1 – 2 hours before grilling. 

Make sure to pre­heat your grill, if you are using a gas grill you can set it to medium/high heat and allow it to warm up for 30 min­utes or so before you are ready to grill. If you are using a char­coal grill, which is my pre­ferred style of grill, go ahead and light the char­coal about 45 min­utes before you think you’ll want to get started cook­ing. 

Once the grill is hot, you can sear the chicken thighs and allow them to roast on one side before flip­ping them and allow­ing them to fin­ish cook­ing. Because of the high heat pro­file of grilling, I like to use medium-bod­ied olive oil for the sou­vlaki mari­nade. While I love the light and fruitier notes of light-bod­ied olive oils as well as the deeper, earth­ier tones of a full-bod­ied extra vir­gin olive oil, a medium-bod­ied oil will grill well with­out becom­ing acrid or bit­ter. Furthermore, you won’t lose all the del­i­cate olive fla­vor you’d find in fruitier, lighter extra vir­gin olive oil. 

If you want to really punch up the lemon/extra vir­gin olive oil fla­vor you can fin­ish the grilled chicken thighs with a touch of fresh-squeezed lemon juice and a nice fruity extra vir­gin olive oil when you are ready to serve them. 


Grilled Chicken Thighs with Olive Oil, Garlic, and Lemon.

Course: DinnerCuisine: Greek, MediterraneanDifficulty: Medium


Prep time


Cooking time



These deli­cious Grilled Chicken Thighs with Olive Oil Garlic and Lemon are a great meal for a sum­mer­time bar­be­cue in the back­yard. Serve them with fresh yogurt sauce, warm pita, and your choice of top­pings for an authen­tic Mediterranean meal!


  • 1pack­agebone­less skin­less chicken thighs (5 – 6 indi­vid­ual thighs)

  • 4clovesgar­lic, chopped

  • 2tspkosher salt

  • 1tspdried oregano

  • 1/4 tspcrushed red pep­per

  • 1tspground black pep­per

  • 1/4tspground all­spice

  • 1/4cupextra vir­gin olive oil

  • 1tbsplemon juice


  • In a bowl, com­bine the chicken thighs, olive oil, gar­lic, lemon juice and sea­son­ings.
  • Allow the chicken thighs to mar­i­nate for 2 hours before grilling.
  • Preheat your grill, if using a gas grill set the tem­per­a­ture to medium/high.
  • Once the grill is hot, place the chicken thighs on the grill and allow them to sear/roast halfway.
  • Flip the chicken thighs to the uncooked side and allow them to fin­ish roast­ing until fully cooked.
  • Remove the chicken thighs from the grill and allow them to rest for 3 – 5 min­utes.
  • Season the chicken thigh with more extra vir­gin olive oil and fresh lemon juice.
  • Enjoy with fresh pita and yogurt sauce.

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