Greek Lamb Marinade

Greek-style lamb marinade on lamb chops

The Spruce Eats

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 10 mins
Servings: 2 to 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
222 Calories
14g Fat
29g Carbs
3g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2 to 4
Amount per serving
Calories 222
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 14g 18%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 534mg 23%
Total Carbohydrate 29g 11%
Dietary Fiber 7g 24%
Total Sugars 12g
Protein 3g
Vitamin C 128mg 641%
Calcium 68mg 5%
Iron 2mg 9%
Potassium 434mg 9%
*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.

"This recipe is perfect for marinating and tenderizing meat. It is fresh, easy to prepare, and would compliment a zesty salad. This recipe can easily be scaled up if necessary." —Tracy Wilk

A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 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 Greek lamb marinade recipe gathered

    The Spruce Eats

  2. Juice 2 lemons into a small bowl.

    Freshly squeezed lemon juice in a bowl

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  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

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  4. Add the remaining ingredients and stir.

    Herbs and seasoning added to the bowl with olive oil and lemon juice

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  5. Allow the mixture to stand at room temperature for 10 minutes before using.

    Greek lamb marinade mixed together in a bowl and sitting at room temperature

    The Spruce Eats

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.