Grilled Chicken in Buttermilk Yogurt Marinade

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Buttermilk and yogurt do magical things to marinades. Mix up a batch of this Grilled Chicken with Buttermilk Yogurt Marinade, full of spices and tang, and see if you’re not a believer.

Grilled Chicken in Buttermilk Yogurt Marinade | Good Cheap Eats

Over the years I’ve developed a great affection for buttermilk. Not only is it the basis for delicious Ranch dressing, but it gives a huge lift to baked goods. Even more surprising, it serves as a fantastic bath for marinated chicken.

Tandoori Chicken, Chicken Parmesan, and Fried Chicken Sandwiches all get a little extra oomph after bathing in buttermilk. This recipe for Grilled Chicken in Buttermilk Yogurt Marinade is no exception.

One of the things that I love about this recipe is that it is so incredibly versatile. You can change up the seasoning mix to go Cajun, Greek, or Mexican, just by changing the spice mix. You can make it in advance by tossing bags of chicken and marinade into the freezer to enjoy later. You can grill your marinated chicken and then serve it on its own, in salads, or in sandwiches.

Basically, this is the ideal chicken marinade recipe.

How to make this good and cheap:

Here are some of the strategies you can use to make this recipe more economical:

  • Stock up on ingredients when they are on sale. Instead of paying full price, buy more than you need when you see it on sale. Then you always have it when you want it. I do this with chicken and spices.
  • Culture your own buttermilk. It’s so much cheaper once you get it going. I start a fresh batch with this culture, but then make repeated batches with a little of the last batch.
  • Shop the stores that have the best prices. When I did my big grocery store showdown, I learned that ALDI and Costco have the best prices for a lot of the things I buy. I regularly stock up on chicken at ALDI now.

How I make this recipe easy:

This recipe really couldn’t be easier than it is, but having the right kitchen tools can really make your time in the kitchen more enjoyable. Over time, I’ve honed my collection so that they are perfect for my needs.

Here are the tools that I use for this recipe:

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Grilled Chicken in Buttermilk Yogurt Marinade
Prep Time
2 hrs 10 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
2 hrs 25 mins
Buttermilk and yogurt do magical things to marinades. Mix up a batch of this Grilled Chicken with Buttermilk Yogurt Marinade, full of spices and tang, and see if you're not a believer.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chicken, chicken breasts, chicken marinade, grilled chicken, grilled chicken breast, marinade
Servings: 6
Calories: 190 kcal
Author: Jessica Fisher
  • 6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Jamie's Spice Mix or other favorite seasoning
  1. Place the chicken pieces in a large ziptop bag or 9x13-inch pan.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the yogurt, buttermilk , lemon juice, olive oil, and seasoning mix. Pour this mixture over the chicken pieces, turning the chicken to coat.
  3. Seal the bag or cover the pan and refrigerate the marinating chicken pieces for 2 hours to overnight. You can also freeze the chicken and marinade in a freezer bag at this point. Thaw before continuing.
  4. Heat an outdoor grill or indoor grill pan.
  5. Remove the chicken from the marinade and place on the hot grill. Cook, turning once, until the chicken is cooked and has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Remove the chicken from the grill and tent with foil for 10 minutes so that it can finish cooking. Serve hot or cold.
Recipe Notes

Nutritional values are approximate as chicken does not absorb all the marinade.

Refrigerate leftovers promptly and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. 

Nutrition Facts
Grilled Chicken in Buttermilk Yogurt Marinade
Amount Per Serving
Calories 190 Calories from Fat 81
% Daily Value*
Fat 9g14%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Cholesterol 76mg25%
Sodium 151mg7%
Potassium 463mg13%
Carbohydrates 2g1%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 25g50%
Vitamin A 71IU1%
Vitamin C 3mg4%
Calcium 42mg4%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


Grilled Chicken in Buttermilk Yogurt Marinade | Good Cheap Eats

Originally published September 15, 2009. Updated February 5, 2018.

About Jessica Fisher

I believe anyone can prepare delicious meals—no matter their budget.

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