These melt in your mouth Southwestern yogurt baked chicken breasts are a quick and healthy recipe for weeknight meals. Simply marinate in Greek yogurt and throw them in the oven! With very minimal effort, you’ll dig into the most flavorful, juicy chicken that even the pickiest eater will love!
Greek Yogurt Marinade
Do you remember the Southwestern Yogurt Black Bean Dip I shared recently? If not, head on over there right now. I’ll be right here waiting for ya!
That dip..seriously, we could eat it by the spoonful. It’s great as a dip for veggies, pasta sauce, toast/pizza spread, AND as a marinade!
Now I know what you might be thinking. Raw meat and dairy….that does not sound like an appealing duo! You might even be cringing right now as you look at the picture above.
BUT here’s what yogurt will do to your ordinary, easy to overcook chicken breasts:
- Keeps the chicken moist and tender! Hello! melt in your mouth chicken!! The lactic acid and calcium in yogurt gently break down the protein in the meat, resulting in meat that can basically be pulled apart by hand. Unlike with the other tenderizing agents, the addition of yogurt won’t make the chicken mushy either.
- Makes the chicken super flavorful! Combined with the black beans, corn, and the spices, you know these chicken breasts are going to sooo good!
What Makes this Chicken Recipe Perfect for Babies
If you’ve been battling with dry and chewy chicken, and/or it’s a struggle to get your baby or child to eat this iron-rich source, give this yogurt marinade a try! It will seriously shake your world. Or at least I hope it does ;).
As mentioned above, this baked chicken with Greek yogurt is SUPER moist and juicy.
A general guideline on how to serve chicken
For 6-8 months: Slice into 2-3 inch strips so they can easily grab and gnaw/suck on the juices. Even if none actually gets ingested, this is great for hand-eye coordination. They will also get plenty of flavor exposure as well as iron. Yup! It’s found in the juices ;).
Once your baby is able to bite off a large chunk, you need to start cooking the meat so it’s super soft to avoid choking.
For 9-11 months: Once their pincer grasp has developed, you can start to chop them into bite-sized pieces.
To learn more tips as well as visuals of actual meals I served to my baby, check out this post – How to Serve the Right Food Size and Texture.
Step by Step Instructions
- Add the chicken breasts and the marinade to a Ziploc bag. Seal the bag and massage to coat the chicken. Place the bag on a baking sheet so that the chicken sits flat in a single layer in the bag.
- Refrigerate for 1-6 hours.
- Transfer to a sheet pan or baking dish. Add whatever vegetables you have on hand.
- Cook at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 35-45 minutes or until cooked through.
With vegetables. As you can see in the pictures above, there’s a lot of extra marinade. That’s because I knew I wanted to use it to flavor my veggies as well! Why not, right?
But if you want to cook just the chicken, then what I suggest is using only 1/2 of the dip recipe and saving the remaining to enjoy in other ways throughout the week.
With cooked rice, grains, pasta
Add to quesadillas, sandwiches, burritos, pizza, salads…endless possibilities!
And I highly recommend squeezing some lemon over the chicken for a more vibrant and delicious bite! Enjoy!
More Chicken Recipes
- Instant Pot Korean and Chicken Potatoes
- Chinese Orange Sesame Chicken
- Lightened Up Mongolian Chicken
- Slow Cooker Thai Chicken Lentil Curry
- One Pot Curried Chicken and Carrot Couscous
- Chicken Pesto Naan Pizza
Southwestern Yogurt Marinated Chicken Breast
- 1 pound chicken breast (or drumstick, see note)
- Yogurt Black bean dip
- Freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Add the chicken breasts and the marinade to a ziploc bag. Seal the bag and massage to coat the chicken. Place the bag on a baking sheet so that the chicken sits flat in a single layer in the bag. Refrigerate for 1-6 hours.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Farenheit. Grease a baking dish/pan with oil.
- Place the chicken in the prepared pan. Add whatever vegetable(s) you'd like alongside the chicken and toss to make sure they're covered in the marinade as well.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes, flipping after about 20 minutes, until cooked through. The internal temperature should reach 165F. Squeeze some lemon juice and enjoy!
- 6-8 months or so: serve strips to make it easier for your baby to grab with their palm. Younger babies will just suck on the juices, which contains iron. It will be a great texture and flavor exposure. Once your baby is able to bite off a large chunk, you need to start cooking the meat so it's super soft.
- For 9-11 months: Once their pincer grasp has developed, you can start to chop them into bite-sized pieces.