The Recipe ReDux – Mediterranean Yogurt Chicken

Once again it’s time for the monthly Recipe Redux challenge. This is the first and only recipe challenge founded by registered dietitians,The Recipe ReDux is focused on taking delicious dishes, keeping them delicious, but making them better for you. Each month there is a theme and this month’s theme is:

A New Ingredient for the New Year

We’ve been asked to pick a new ingredient that you’ve been wanting to try and cook or bake up a new recipe in the new year. I started thinking about ingredients that I might want to try but nothing came to mind. A few days later my middle daughter was in the kitchen asking why I had a jar of dried mint. I had purchased it for the recipe I made for last month’s challenge….Pomegranate Meatball Soup. It called for mint and so I bought a jar. But I don’t really use mint in any recipes, except for an occasional dessert, so it has been sitting there. Hmmmm mint, while a common ingredient, is something that I had not cooked with before except for that one recipe. I wondered what other main dishes might include mint and began searching. I found that it’s used in many Middle Eastern and Mediterranean dishes. After gathering together a few recipes I put this yogurt based marinaded chicken together.


Yogurt chicken 2


The Recipe ReDux - Mediterranean Yogurt Chicken
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6 servings
You can use fresh mint in place of the dried mint. Use one spring of spearmint finely minced in place of the dried mint.
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon white, apple cider or rice vinegar
  • 1½ teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1½ teaspoons dried spearmint
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 1 to 1½ pounds of boneless chicken breast, chicken legs or thighs
  1. In a bowl whisk together the yogurt, olive oil, vinegar, oregano, cumin, spearmint, salt, paprika, pepper and onions.
  2. Add the chicken and toss to coat.
  3. Place into refrigerator and allow to marinate 4 to 6 hours or even overnight.
  4. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  5. Shake excess marinade off from chicken and place on a prepared baking dish.
  6. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the center of the chicken pieces are no longer pink or a thermometer reads at least 165 degrees.


yogurt chicken1

The chicken comes out nice and tender from marinating in the yogurt. The mint has a slight herb/green flavor but does not jump out at you and scream there’s mint in this dish. It was very tasty and I will try this again with fresh mint to see if there is a difference in the taste between using fresh and dried. I served it with this Greek Lemon Pasta Salad.

This marinade is great for those who have had WLS and find they have difficulties dealing with the texture of cooked meats such as chicken. I know many people have said that if the food they are eating is even just a bit dry it they have a hard time with it. This marinade kept the chicken very juicy and moist. You may also want to choose darker cuts of meat such as the legs and thighs. They are typically a little fattier then the breast and this also keeps to keep the meat from being dry. If you’ve had a problem with the texture of cooked chicken in the past I would certainly give this marinade a try.

Do you use mint in any main dishes? If so leave a comment below and leave a link to your favorite recipe. Then check out what some of the other dietitians are coming up for this month’s theme. Check out the links below.

5 Responses to The Recipe ReDux – Mediterranean Yogurt Chicken

  1. I have that issue with herbs sometimes too – you buy it for one recipe and then can’t think of how to use the rest of it up 🙂 That Greek salad looks awesome, by the way. What is the ‘WLS’ you referred to?


    • Hi Caroline,
      Thanks for stopping by. I was glad that this month’s recipe challenge was to use a new ingredient. It really made me take a look at the ingredients I have on hand that I bought for a recipe but than never used again. WLS is the abbreviation for weight loss surgery. I am 11 years post op RNY WLS. Returned to school several years back to become a dietitian and hope to be able to work with others who have been through or are planning on going through surgery.


  2. While I’ve used fresh mint often in the summer, I don’t think I’ve ever used the dried version. Love love the flavors you have going on here (and I’m a sucker for any dish using smoked paprika as well 🙂

  3. I love love mint but never use the dried. I totally need to!

    • Hi Melanie, I’ve used fresh mint in dessert recipes and its flavor is much stronger than the dried. Since I don’t use it often having dried mint around is helpful. You may have to play with the amount of dried needed to give your recipe a similar flavor.