Yogurt-Pesto Marinated Roast Chicken


A simple marinade comes together in minutes if you've got Kirsty's Pesto or other pesto on hand and gives this roast chicken dish a mild, tangy Mediterranean flavor and delicious crispy skin.

Some days I wonder if we’ll grow feathers, we eat chicken so often! But the truth is, chicken is so versatile and easy, it is hard not to love it. That said, I always try to buy those birds that are free-range, and humanely-raised with no antibiotics, as I do believe you are what you eat and I don’t want to eat… stress. This mildly tangy and wonderfully crispy chicken dish is another great use for Kirsty’s Pesto, (or other pesto of choice), and is so easy and delicious it is sure to leave a smile on your face. The marinade seals in the juices and imparts a wonderful delicate Mediterranean flavor while creating a beautiful crunch on the outside, and clean up is a breeze thanks to parchment paper on the sheet pan.


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5 from 2 votes

Yogurt-Pesto Marinated Roast Chicken

A simple marinade comes together in minutes if you've got Kirsty's Pesto or other pesto on hand and gives this roast chicken dish a mild, tangy Mediterranean flavor and delicious crispy skin.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Marinate time2 hours
Total Time2 hours 45 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Californian, Mediterranean
Keyword: easy peasy, gluten-free, low carb
Servings: 4
Author: Kirsten Getchell


  • baking dish or big glass bowl
  • rimmed sheet pan
  • small bowl
  • silicone pastry brush (optional)


  • 1 whole chicken cut up into 8 pieces or 4 chicken legs and 4 chicken thighs, bone in and skin on. cut breasts in half if they are large
  • 1 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup Kirsty's Pesto or other Pesto of choice
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher salt or coarse sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1-2 tbsp fresh chopped parsley for garnish


  • Pat chicken pieces dry and set aside in shallow baking dish or big bowl.
  • In a small bowl, mix together Greek Yogurt and Pesto, salt and pepper.
  • Brush the chicken pieces on all sides with the marinade. (Or just use your hands!)
  • Cover with a piece of parchment (or cling wrap) and place in the fridge for at least 2 hours, or up to 8 hours. During this time turn and mix the chicken a few times to make sure its staying coated.
  • Remove from fridge about 30 minutes before you're ready to roast.
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Line a rimmed sheet pan with parchment, brush off some of the marinade so just a thin layer is left, and place the chicken pieces on top, making sure they are not touching. Drizzle a little lemon juice on top of each piece.
  • Place sheet pan on middle rack of oven for about 30 min, until crispy and browned, and the juices run clear. Turn sheet pan once during cooking.
  • Place on platter or plates and garnish with fresh chopped parsley.


If you prefer to put the chicken pieces and marinade in a ziplock bag to coat and marinade, that also works well - we are just trying to use less plastic so coming up with alternatives.  This recipe also works great on the grill!

Umami Sea Salt Asparagus on the side is a great complement.

Join the Conversation

  1. 5 stars
    Love this! You should start a website and post all your magnificent recipes…maybe call it something like, Kirsty’s Kitchen or Kirsty’s Table…think about it. x

    1. Kirsten Getchell Author says:

      5 stars
      Paula, you’re a genius!

  2. Steve Eckholdt says:

    5 stars
    Made this delicious chicken dish and served this along with Kirsty’s Wild Rice Salad – with the exception of barbecue skills I am a mid-level cook, and this was so easy and so flavorful inside – crunchy outside – I’m proud of myself! (BTW, I made a whole menu of Kirsty’s recipes for my Superbowl party for 2: Dad’s Irresistible Dip, Simplest Pureed Carrot Soup, Wild Rice Salad, and Yogurt-Pesto Marinated Chicken… a great combo! Thanks, Kirsty!)

    1. Kirsten Getchell Author says:

      Bravo! Thanks for your comments!

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