Greek Lamb Marinade

By Lee Jackson ↣ Published on: August 27, 2022

For a major upgrade in flavour, nothing works better than this Greek marinade for lamb. Masters of flavour, the Greeks keep it quick and easy to prepare and then let time do its magic. This fragrant, zingy marinade will transform your lamb souvlaki, chops and gyros into something very special indeed.

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A combination of oil, lemon, garlic and fresh herbs create a simple marinade for Greek style lamb.

I love nothing more than grilling lamb and other meats on the BBQ. To give my meats more flavour and a soft, tender texture I often turn to this simple and effective combination of Greek and Mediterranean. Simple, quick and most effective, this easy lamb marinade recipe brings the very essence of Greece to the plate.

There are few dishes more delicious than Greek style lamb served with a big bowl of crunchy potato fries and a creamy yoghurt and cucumber tzatziki to top it all off. Opa!!

Why it works

This lamb marinade recipe works so well because it brings together so many of the flavours Greek cuisine is known for, tangy lemon, alongside earthy, sweet garlic and aromatic herbs. Each plays its part in enhancing the already magical flavour of good quality lamb. Perfection!

A combination of oil, lemon, garlic and fresh herbs create a simple marinade for Greek style lamb.

Stuff you'll need

Making this marinade is so easy, ready in minutes. Once created, it’s simply poured over the meat and left in the fridge to permeate and enhance the flavour.

  • Lamb – Chops, kebabs, steaks, roasts. This marinade works for all cuts.
  • Lemons – A tangy zing of flavour and a tenderiser for the meat
  • Garlic – The sweet, earthy backbone to the marinade
  • Bay Leaves – a distinctive floral note
  • Herbs – Oregano and Parsley add their own grassy aroma and flavour. Dried is fine, fresh is better!
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Buy the best you can and taste the difference. A good Greek oil will deliver an authentic flavour to the final dish.
  • Salt & Pepper – Don’t forget to season your marinade well.

Step by Step

There really aren’t that many steps for this marinade, but give yourself enough time to let the meat fully absorb all the flavour. A good marinade is really just a set-and-forget kind of affair. 24 hours is optimum, but 3-4 hours will also work wonders.

  1. Step 1 - Combine all the marinade ingredients in a large bowl or plastic zip-lock bag.
  2. Step 2 - Add the lamb and make sure it’s covered in marinade. If you’re using thick cuts or a roast like leg or shoulder, make some deep incisions into the meat so that it’ll permeate as much as possible.
  3. Step 3 - Leave to marinate in the fridge. 3 to 24 hours will produce a sliding scale of success – the longer the better.
  4. Step 4 - Cook your meat depending on the type you’ve chosen. I love to char my chops, steaks or kebabs (souvlaki or gyros) on the BBQ grill for even more flavour. For roasts, I’ll add a little white wine or water to the roasting pan to create some liquid that I can baste the meat with to keep it juicy. For a slow cooked leg roast, I’ll sear the meat in a heavy casserole pan then add a little white wine or water and roast, covered over 5-8 hours on a low temperature until fork-soft.

A combination of oil, lemon, garlic and fresh herbs create a simple marinade for Greek style lamb.

Pro Tips to make your life easier

  • Get organised in advance and leave the meat to develop in flavour with the marinade for 24 hours.
  • Add batches of marinade to zip lock bags. Flatten them out and freeze for 3-4 months. Pull from the freezer when you need and they’ll defrost in the bag in 10 minutes or so.
  • Change up the herbs you use. Try fresh or dried mint, dill, marjoram, thyme or basil and of course rosemary, a perfect partner to lamb.
  • Try other meats. This marinade also works excellently with other meats, poultry and even fish. (For fish, a 1 hour marination is all you need.)

Ready to get cooking?

Having a classic recipe like this Greek marinade for lamb is so useful for any home cook. It brings any cut of lamb to life, evoking all the magic of Greek and Mediterranean kitchen. Super quick, simple and incredibly tasty. It’s my go to marinade when I want no-fuss prep that I can just leave to its own devices to make the flavour happen! Yes sure to serve your lamb accompanied by my delicious recipe for Briam (Greek roasted vegetables).




A combination of oil, lemon, garlic and fresh herbs create a simple marinade for Greek style lamb.

Greek Lamb Marinade

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4.80 from 10 votes
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Recipe by Lee
Course Main Course, Marinade
Cuisine Greek
Prep Time5 minutes
Marination1 day
Total Time1 day 5 minutes
Servings (adjustable) 4
Calories (per serving) | 622


  • 2 lemons (juice of)
  • 3 garlic cloves (peeled and chopped)
  • 3 stalks parsley (leaves & stalks, chopped)
  • 2 tbsp fresh oregano (chopped)
  • 2 bay leaves (fresh if possible)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2.2 lb lamb of your choice


  • Combine all the marinade ingredients in a large bowl or zip-lock bag.
  • Add the lamb of your choice and toss around to coat completely.
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or seal the bag and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. 3 hours minuimum.
  • Cook your lamb depending on the cut you chose.


  • Time is of the essence where any marinade is concerned. The longer you can leave it, the better it'll taste. 3 hours will give a good flavor, but 24 hours is noticeably better. A longer marination will also help tenderize the meat, giving a softer, juicer result when cooked.
  • This marinade works for any cut of lamb. Steaks, chops, kebabs (gyros/souvlaki) as well as roast cuts like shoulder or leg. If you're using a roast cut, make deep incisions into the meat to help the marinade permeate everything.
  • If you have a rolled boneless roast, unroll and spread the marinade inside then roll it back up and re-tie to secure.
  • Change up the herbs you use. Oregano is traditional, but also rosemary. I'll also use fresh herbs like thyme, basil, marjoram, mint and dill too.
  • Freeze the marinade by pouring into a small zip lock bag. Seal the bag and flatten out, squeezing out the air as you go. Seal tightly and it'll stay fresh for months. It will defrost in 10 minutes.


Calories: 622kcal (31%) | Carbohydrates: 8g (3%) | Protein: 53g (106%) | Fat: 42g (65%) | Saturated Fat: 9g (56%) | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 26g | Cholesterol: 165mg (55%) | Sodium: 754mg (33%) | Potassium: 812mg (23%) | Fiber: 3g (13%) | Sugar: 1g (1%) | Vitamin A: 122IU (2%) | Vitamin C: 30mg (36%) | Calcium: 91mg (9%) | Iron: 6mg (33%)
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