Spiced Yogurt Chicken

The Recipe: Oh people, this chicken! It's so easy to mix up a quick marinade with yogurt and pantry spices. And then you can grill the chicken, or cook it on the stovetop, or even bake it in the oven. Add a salad and supper's a slam-dunk. Just gorgeous.

The Conversation: Kitchen Parade's very first official "Quick Supper," a very special collection of recipes here at Kitchen Parade. Since 2005, I've been collecting dinner recipes that are "easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher" – that's my definition of Quick Supper.

The best news? There are no Rachael Ray-style surprises here: her recipes put dinner on the table in 30 minutes but all too often are super-sized in cost, calories and clean-up. Have you checked out all my Quick Supper recipes recently? So many supper savers!

~recipe updated 2016 for a little weeknight supper inspiration~
~more recently updated recipes~

Spiced Yogurt Chicken, the very first official Quick Supper ♥ KitchenParade.com. Chicken marinated in yogurt and Indian/Moroccan spices, grilled or pan-cooked or baked. Low Carb. High Protein. Weight Watchers friendly!

"... very tasty ..." ~ Anne
"... the whole family loved it." ~ Anonymous
"... very good! Juicy and flavorful ..." ~ Anoymous

Like many cooks, I’m a recipe clipper. But who has the time or inclination to try a tenth of even the very most tempting recipes?

So many call for special-trip ingredients, a dishwasherful of pots and pans and inordinate fuss.

Those are well and good when a cook’s in the mood but hardly meet the day-in, day-out challenge of putting supper on the table after work and before baths to say nothing of bedtime and a full night’s sleep.

So for the next while, Kitchen Parade is on particular look-out for weeknight supper recipes.

The goal is to build a collection of five-star Quick Suppers, ones that achieve all five easy (if not easily achieved) objectives.

We may slip in particularly good three- or four-star recipes if needed but with any luck, a Kitchen Parade five-star Quick Supper will be:

  • Easy on ingredients, relying on what may already be on hand and what’s easy on the wallet
  • Easy on prep time, leaving room to cook a vegetable and toss a salad
  • Easy on total time, getting supper on the table A-SAP
  • Easy on dishwashing
  • Easy on the diet

So watch this space. If supper comes a little more easily, then life too, might feel a little bit easier.

So, um, Alanna? Where's that Yogurt-Herb Sauce in the photo? So, um, would you believe, I totally forgot to get it out of the fridge?! No excuses, but I did! It was the first day after the fall time change, the late-day light was fading fast-fast and I had only seconds to snap a few photos before it became too dark. Only later, when editing the pictures did I realize. Darn it! The sauce is optional but at the same time, I think it really works beautifully with the spicy chicken too!

ALANNA's TIPS This recipe was written in 2005 when non-fat yogurt was readily available but Greek yogurt was not yet as accessible as it is now, ten years later. Please know, either one works! Do know, regular yogurt yields a thinner marinade and sauce, Greek yogurt a much thicker marinade and sauce. This last time, I thinned Greek yogurt a bit with buttermilk (and you could go as far as a 50:50 blend, I think) and ended up loving the results. The thicker yogurt + spices makes for an identifiable crust in both color and texture – we loved this! If you want to marinate the chicken longer, cover and refrigerate it. I once left one breast for a full 48 hours (no longer, please, for food safety) and was surprised how much spicier it tasted! Some will like this extra heat! Would this recipe work for bone-in chicken, breasts or legs or thighs? Absolutely! I would pull off the skins, however, and the cooking time would vary. Would it work with pork tenderloin or pork chops? I do believe!
Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. Follow Kitchen Parade on Facebook!


Prep time: 10 minutes
Then marinate: 20 minutes
Then grill or pan-cook or bake: 15 - 30 minutes
Serves 8 (easily divided for fewer servings but leftovers are excellent)
  • 1 cup low-fat yogurt or non-fat Greek yogurt
  • Zest and juice from a lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon coriander
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup low-fat yogurt or non-fat Greek yogurt
  • Zest and juice from a lemon
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs (cilantro, parsley, chive, mint, tarragon) chopped
  • Salt to taste

YOGURT MARINADE In a large bowl, whisk together yogurt, lemon zest and juice, olive oil and spices.

CHICKEN Decide when and how to divide up the chicken. When the breasts are large and thick, I like to cook them whole, then slice the breasts (like small roasts) against the grain for serving (that's what's pictured). But before cooking, you can also cut the chicken into eight serving pieces (cutting lengthwise for thinner breasts works well) or even into a bunch of slices about a half inch thick. Whatever you choose, stir the chicken into the Yogurt Marinade, coating the pieces well. Let marinate at room temperature for 20 minutes.

YOGURT-HERB SAUCE While the chicken marinates, stir together the sauce ingredients and refrigerate until ready to serve.

GRILL OPTION Cook chicken pieces on a hot grill until done, turning just once.

STOVETOP OPTION "Fry" (no additional fat is necessary) chicken in a non-stick skillet, turning once, until done, about 10 - 12 minutes.

OVEN OPTION Heat oven to 350F/180C. Arrange the chicken on a baking sheet lined with foil for easy clean-up. Bake until done, without turning, about 30 minutes.

WHEN IS THE CHICKEN DONE? The chicken is done when the internal temperature reaches the safe internal cooking temperature, that's 160F/70. I always use a digital thermometer to avoid under-cooking or over-cooking but another way to tell is to slip a knife tip into the center of the chicken, the juices should run clear and when you pry the opening apart a bit, you should see no pink color.

SERVE Serve hot with the Yogurt-Herb Sauce on the side.

LEFTOVERS The chicken is great cold as is or sliced for sandwiches. It's one of my favorite things to have on hand for a houseful of company!

Chicken Only Per Serving (assumes half Yogurt Marinade is consumed): 153 Calories; 3g Tot Fat; 1g Sat Fat; 65 mg Cholesterol; 669mg Sodium; 2g Carb; 1g Fiber; 1g Sugar; 28g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS WW Old Points 3 & WW Points Plus 3 & WW SmartPoints 2. This recipe has been "Alanna-sized".
Yogurt-Herb Sauce Only Per Serving (about 2 tablespoons): 33 Calories; 2g Tot Fat; 1g Sat Fat; 11mg Cholesterol; 13mg Sodium; 2g Carb; 1g Fiber; 1g Sugar; 28g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS WW Old Points 1 & WW Points Plus 1 & WW SmartPoints 1.

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Hello Alanna,
The spiced yogurt chicken was very tasty -- thank you. I was just wondering, though, why it's 3 points per serving (on the Weightwatchers scale) when it's only 160 calories per serving, according to the information at the end of the recipe. I thought that would mean only 2 points.
Thanks for your advice,
Hi Anne ~

The Weight Watchers calculation takes in more than just calories. It's a balance of calories, fat grams and fiber grams. The lower the calories, the lower the fat, the higher the fiber, the lower the points. I've memorized some basics, for example, a straight four ounces of uncooked boneless skinless breast (no sauce, etc) is three points. A pound of (most) vegetables cooked in a tablespoon of fat, in four servings, is one point per serving. It really pays to learn the point value of your most "frequent" things, that way you can count point in your head most of the time.

Glad you liked the chicken, it's on my list to remake for a photo and I'm looking forward to it. Hmm. Maybe tonight!
Made the yogurt chicken last night, and the whole family loved it. I especially love the way it cooked up in the pan with no additional oil. I didn't serve it with yogurt sauce--just acted like it was normal chicken, so as not to freak out my unadventurous family members who would be put off by the idea of yogurt after breakfast :) Definitely going to try more of your recipes now!
Made this this weekend! The chicken was very good! Juicy and flavorful. I had my doubts about the cinnamon, but I put it in. When the chicken is cooking, it smells very cinnamony, but it does not taste that way. I also made the sauce - I will not make that again. The chicken didn't need it and it wasn't very good on the pasta I made as a side.
Anonymous & Anonymous, So glad you liked the chicken, it’s a long-time favorite at my house. I really appreciate your letting me know what worked-didn’t work for you, thanks muchly!
Hi Alanna,
Will try your yogurt chicken recipe this weekend and let you know.

Have a nice day ahead.

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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna