Greek Lamb Marinade

Greek style lamb marinade

The Spruce


  • Total: 10 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Servings: 8 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
92 Calories
7g Fat
8g Carbs
1g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 92
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7g 9%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 294mg 13%
Total Carbohydrate 8g 3%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Protein 1g
Calcium 49mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This Greek-style marinade can be applied to any meat but works particularly well on lamb. The Mediterranean combination of lemon, olive oil, garlic, oregano, and thyme complements any cut of lamb beautifully, from chops to leg of lamb to lamb kebabs; you may need to adjust the quantity of marinade depending on the size of the meat. Let the meat marinate for several hours so the flavors can infuse.

Classic Greek-style side dishes go well with marinated lamb, including oven-roasted potatoes, orzo pasta, or a crisp Greek salad. A healthy helping of tzatziki yogurt sauce on the side is always welcome.


  • 2 lemons
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves (finely chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (roughly chopped)
  • 1 whole bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for making Greek lamb marinade
     The Spruce
  2. Juice 2 lemons into a small bowl.

    Freshly squeezed lemon juice in a bowl
     The Spruce
  3. Slowly drizzle olive oil into the lemon juice while whisking. This will help to emulsify the mixture.

    Olive oil being drizzled into lemon juice
     The Spruce
  4. Add the remaining ingredients and stir.

    Herbs and seasoning added to the bowl
     The Spruce
  5. Allow the mixture to stand at room temperature for 10 minutes before using.

    Letting the marinade come to room temperature before using
    The Spruce

How Long Does Lamb Need to Marinate?

You can use this marinade on all cuts of lamb. Plan on marinating chops and small cuts for about 4 to 5 hours; large cuts like leg of lamb should be marinated for 8 to 24 hours. Double or triple the recipe for larger cuts.

The process of marinating imparts flavor to the meat while often tenderizing tougher cuts. The acid in the marinade causes the tissue to break down, allowing more moisture to be absorbed by the meat, resulting in a preparation that is juicier. It is important to balance your marinade with acid, oil, and spice; too much acid can be detrimental to the meat, stripping the outer layer and failing to penetrate the rest of the cut.

How to Store Marinade

Store the marinade mixture in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week after preparation.