Learn how to make the MOST DELICIOUS Greek chicken marinade with lemon, garlic, spinach and spices! Then take that marinated chicken, grill it up and serve it with tomato cucumber salad and tzatziki sauce in these incredibly flavorful quinoa bowls!
They're gluten free, high in protein and perfect for meal prep! This recipe takes less than an hour to make, including the marinating time, with only 15 minutes of actual hands-on time!
How to make THE BEST Greek chicken marinade
- Start with a base of fresh spinach leaves. This will give the marinade it's signature bright green color and add a ton of nutrition to the marinade!
- Add lots of delicious spices! Fresh garlic, dried oregano, ground cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, salt and pepper all add a ton of flavor to this chicken marinade.
- Bring on the citrus! Adding both lemon juice and lemon zest adds bright, fresh acidity to the marinade.
- Pour in the olive oil! A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil in the marinade will help pull out the flavor of the garlic, while also adding it's own unique flavor to the marinade.
- Blend all of the marinade ingredients together in a blender (I use a NutriBullet!) and THE BEST chicken marinade is ready to go!
- Marinate for 30 minutes. This is enough time to add delicious flavor to the chicken without allowing the acidity to break down the chicken affecting it's texture. NEVER marinate for more than 2 hours and NEVER marinate in a metal container as the acid from the lemon juice can react to the metal.
Do you rinse marinade off chicken before cooking?
No, you should not rinse marinade off of chicken before cooking it. This would essentially rinse off all of the flavor from the marinade. Instead, use tongs to remove the chicken from the marinade before cooking, and shake off any additional marinade.
How long to grill chicken breasts
Boneless, skinless chicken breasts should be grilled for 5-7 minutes per side over medium heat. Chicken breasts should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165°F. A meat thermometer can always be used to verify the internal temperature of the chicken before removing it from the grill.
Can you bake marinated chicken breasts in the oven?
Yes! Instead of grilling the chicken breasts, you can bake them in the oven. To do so, remove the chicken breasts from the marinade with tongs and shake off any excess marinade.
Place the chicken breasts on a foil-lined baking sheet and into a 450°F oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F.
How to make the bowls
- Prepare the chicken by marinating it in the most delicious marinade ever, then grilling it or roasting it in the oven.
- Slice the chicken, then add it to two bowls filled with cooked quinoa. Don't know the best way to prepare quinoa? Check out this post for 3 Ways to Cook Quinoa. It's easy to prepare quinoa in a rice cooker, Instant Pot or on the stove.
- Top the sliced chicken and quinoa with cucumber tomato salad. This recipe is easy to whip up in 10 minutes and you can easily make it while the quinoa is cooking and the chicken is marinating.
- Finish off the bowls with a drizzle of tzatziki sauce. You can prepare the sauce at home using this recipe or purchase pre-made sauce at the grocery store. The pre-made sauce is usually found near the deli section of the grocery store, in the refrigerator by the hummus and fresh salsas.
- BONUS! If you want to add a little something extra to these bowls, toss on some sliced kalamata olives, crumbled feta cheese or this creamy whipped feta dip.
Make the bowls vegan
- Replace the chicken. Instead of chicken breasts, try this delicious marinade on portobello mushrooms. Place 1 pound portobello mushrooms (should equal about 4 large mushrooms) in a shallow baking dish. Brush with the marinade. Marinate for 5 minutes, flip the mushrooms and brush the other side of the mushrooms with the marinade. Marinate for an additional 5 minutes. Place the portobello mushrooms on the grill over medium heat. Grill for 2-3 minutes per side. Remove from the grill, slice and add to the bowl on top of the quinoa with the tomato cucumber salsa.
- Replace the tzatziki sauce with vegan tzatziki sauce. I love this easy vegan tzatziki recipe from Minimalist Baker, which features coconut yogurt instead of greek yogurt.
- Omit the feta cheese. The feta cheese is an optional topping on this bowl that you'll want to leave off to make it vegan.
Make the bowls low carb
- Leave out the quinoa! It's easy to make this bowl low carb by leaving out the quinoa. When omitting the quinoa from this recipe, it takes the bowl from 52 carbs per serving, down to 12 carbs per serving! It will also significantly reduce the calories of the bowl from 707 calories per bowl, down to 485 calories per bowl.
- Sub in spinach! Instead of serving the chicken over quinoa, serve it over fresh spinach leaves. One cup of baby spinach will only add 2 carbs per serving, for a total of 14 carbs, in this now keto-friendly Greek Chicken Bowl! The dressing from the tomato cucumber salad will also act as a dressing for the spinach, so there's no need to add extra dressing or olive oil to the spinach, unless you'd like to.
Meal prep the bowls
- For storage: Prepare the cucumber tomato salad, cook the quinoa and marinate and grill the chicken. Add the cooked quinoa to a plastic storage container and top with the grilled chicken. Store the cucumber tomato salad in a separate smaller container or a ziplock bag. Place the tzatziki sauce in a small salad dressing container and into the larger container with the grilled chicken and cooked quinoa.
- To reheat and eat: set the tomato cucumber salad and the tzatziki sauce aside. Place the quinoa and grilled chicken in the microwave for 2 minutes. Remove and top with the tomato cucumber salad and tzatziki sauce.
More quinoa bowl recipes
- Indian Cauliflower Bowls with Roasted Chickpeas
- Elote Bowls
- Vegetarian Enchilada Bowls with Green Chili Enchilada Sauce
- Lemon Herb Greek Quinoa Bowl
- Thai Peanut Sweet Potato Buddha Bowls from WhitneyBond.com
- Buffalo Chickpea Vegan Buddha Bowls from WhitneyBond.com
Greek Chicken Quinoa Bowls
Spinach Lemon Chicken Marinade
- 2 cups baby spinach
- 4 garlic cloves crushed
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- ¼ tsp allspice
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts app 1 lb
- kalamata olives
- feta cheese crumbles
- Add the spinach, garlic, oregano, salt, pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, lemon zest, lemon juice and olive oil to a blender or food processor.
- Blend to combine the marinade ingredients.
- Add the marinade to a plastic bag or container with the chicken breasts and toss to coat.
- Place in the refrigerator to marinate for 30 minutes.
- Remove from the refrigerator, use tongs to remove the chicken from the marinade, shaking off any extra marinade.
- Place the chicken on a grill preheated over medium heat.
- Grill the chicken for 5-7 minutes per side, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F.
- Remove the chicken from the grill and let rest for 5 minutes.
- Divide the quinoa between two bowls.
- Slice the chicken and place it on top of the quinoa.
- Top with the tomato cucumber salad and drizzle with tzatziki sauce.
- OPTIONAL: add sliced kalamata olives or crumbled feta cheese on top.
- Do NOT marinade the chicken for more than 2 hours or the acid from the lemon juice will affect the texture of the chicken.
- NEVER marinate the chicken in a metal container, as the acid from the lemon juice can react to the metal.
- Do NOT rinse the marinade off the chicken, simply shake off any excess when removing the chicken from the marinade, then place directly on the grill.
- To make these bowls LOW CARB, omit the quinoa and serve the chicken and tomato cucumber salad over fresh spinach leaves.