These Greek Chicken Bites seasoned with lemon, garlic, and oregano are little flavor-packed nuggets that you’ll want to use for everything! Add to a salad, wrap in a flatbread for a gyro sandwich, serve as a main course, or eat them on their own dipped in yogurt sauce. They take 20 minutes to make, 5 ingredients, and they’re a versatile low-carb, paleo/whole30 compliant recipe!
I can’t get over how simple and fast this recipe for Greek Chicken Bites is. We had them on the side of a simple Greek salad, which was the perfect summertime meal.
The chicken bites are cooked in a skillet on the stovetop, and because the chicken is cut into small pieces, they only take 10 minutes to cook (and no heating up your kitchen with the oven!).
That, plus 10 minutes prep makes for a super fast, crowd-pleasing recipe. You’ll need at least 20 minutes of marinating time to get the best flavor, but if you’re in a rush you can skip this (or prep the day before to let it sit overnight in the fridge to marinate).
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Chicken breasts – you can use this technique with another protein, such as pork, shrimp, or steak, and you can easily use chicken thighs instead. Just make sure whatever you use is in small pieces, about 1″ in size, and that you adjust cooking time accordingly.
- Lemon zest and juice – this really is essential, but in a pinch you could use 1 tablespoon of white or red wine vinegar in place of the lemon juice and omit the zest.
- Garlic – garlic powder may be used instead of fresh in a pinch.
- Dried oregano – you can use fresh instead, or a pre-mixed Greek seasoning if you prefer (check if your mix has salt and pepper already- if so, you may not need to add salt to the recipe).
- White wine – this is used to deglaze the pan and coat each chicken bite in the drippings. You can use chicken broth or even water in a pinch, but don’t leave those drippings stuck to the pan- they’re full of flavor, and deglazing will make cleanup much easier.
- Basics – extra-virgin olive oil, kosher salt, and black pepper.
How to make Greek Chicken Bites
This recipe could not be easier- just marinate the chicken and cook in a skillet, then deglaze! Easy peasy. Here are the details.
- First, mix the marinade. Olive oil, lemon juice and zest, dried oregano, salt, and pepper. Stir until salt is dissolved.
- Then, marinate the chicken. Pour the marinade over the chicken in an airtight container (or toss the chicken with the marinade in the same bowl and cover with plastic wrap). I recommend marinating for at least 20 minutes and up to 24 hours but if you’re in a hurry you can skip it altogether.
- Heat a heavy skillet until very hot. I used cast iron, which takes a few minutes to heat up. You want it to be super hot to get a good sear and browning on the chicken, which not only makes it look pretty but develops a ton of flavor.
- Sear the chicken on both sides for about 5 minutes, or until it’s cooked through to 165 degrees F (or cut into a piece to make sure it’s not pink anymore).
- Finally, pour a little white wine in the skillet and use a wooden spoon or spatula to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom. Stir to coat the chicken in all the good stuff, until most of the liquid from the wine has evaporated.
A cast iron skillet (10 or 12 inch) works well for this because you can get it searing hot. If you don’t have one, try a heavy stainless steel pan. Nonstick can also be used but be careful not to heat it too much as this can damage the surface.
Finally, I love using pyrex glass storage containers to marinate anything- they’re easy to clean because there are no nooks and crannies for bacteria to hide.
Greek side dishes
Wondering what to serve with Greek chicken bites? Try one of these yummy side dishes!
- Greek Green Beans (Fasolakia)
- Greek Pasta Salad
- Spanakopita Pasta
- Spanakorizo (Greek Spinach and Rice)
- Roasted Lemon Potatoes (from Mia Kouppa)
- Greek Salad (pictured above)
You can also use these as Greek Chicken Nuggets as a main dish or as an appetizer, served with Tzatziki sauce (for dipping). Or, use the sauce as a spread on a sandwich in a pita pocket!
Looking for an oven-baked version of Greek chicken? Try this baked lemon chicken souvlaki. And this Sautéed Shrimp with Garlic and Lemon is made in a similar way, deglazing the pan with white wine after cooking.
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Greek Chicken Bites
- 1 lb. chicken breasts cut into 1" pieces (about 2 breasts)
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- juice and zest of 1 lemon (about 2 tablespoons juice and 1 teaspoon zest)
- 2 cloves garlic minced (about 1 teaspoon)
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 cup white wine or chicken broth, or water in a pinch
- Make the marinade by mixing the olive oil (2 tablespoons), lemon juice and zest (from 1 lemon), minced garlic (2 cloves), dried oregano (2 teaspoons), kosher salt (1 teaspoon) and black pepper (1/2 teaspoon) together in a small bowl or glass measuring cup.
- Put the cut up chicken breasts in a plastic bag or container with a lid. Pour the marinade over the chicken and stir to coat (or smush around in the plastic bag). Allow to marinate for at least 20 minutes, but preferably for 2-24 hours (you can skip this if you're in a hurry or didn't plan ahead).
- Heat a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat until very hot (this may take a few minutes if you are using cast iron, or only about 30 seconds to a minute if using another material).
- Add the chicken to the skillet and spread out in an even layer. Cook without disturbing for about 5 minutes. Then, flip and cook on the other side for about 5 more minute, or until chicken is completely cooked (the internal temperature should be 165 degrees F, or cut into a piece to make sure it's not pink anymore).
- Pour in the white wine (1/4 cup) and deglaze the bottom of the skillet, using a spatula or wooden spoon to loosen all the stuck-on browned bits while coating the chicken in them. Continue sautéing until most of the wine has evaporated and the chicken is coated in the deglazed drippings. Serve.
- If using a stainless steel or not well seasoned cast iron skillet, you may want to add 1 more tablespoon of olive oil to it before adding the chicken to prevent sticking.
- You can use the marinade and technique with another protein, such as chicken thighs, pork, steak tips, or shrimp. You may need to adjust cooking times depending on what you use.
- Ingredient substitutions: in a pinch, 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar may be substituted for the lemon juice (and the zest omitted), and 1 teaspoon garlic powder substituted for the fresh minced garlic. Pre-mixed Greek seasoning or 1.5 tablespoons fresh oregano may be substituted for the dried oregano.
- Large heavy skillet (such as cast iron)