Yiayia’s Easy Greek Chicken

This Greek Chicken recipe was given to me by my mother-in-law.  She often doesn’t use or write down recipes, so I was lucky to observe her as she prepared a family favorite.

Greek chicken with tomato sauce in a cast iron casserole dish.

Like any great stew, the secret is in the braising.

What Makes It Taste So Good?

Family recipes like Greek Chicken are recognizable across cultures, only varying by the spices used.

When you hear the label “Greek Chicken,” you might be thinking olives and butter sauce. But, this recipe is tomato-based and flavored with cinnamon. It’s very similar to Italian Chicken Cacciatore, except that the cinnamon gives it its unique flavor (and an antioxidant boost).

Greek chicken in a baking dish is hot and bubbly out of the oven.

This dish can easily be adapted to feed a crowd.  You can serve it with rice, pasta, quinoa, or even spaghetti squash or other spiraled veggies.

Sometimes, I mix  boned chicken pieces and boneless and skinless chicken breasts and thighs. Bones add to the richness and flavor of the sauce, so even if you aren’t a fan of bone-in chicken, try including a piece or two for great results.

Another secret to the flavor is the abundance of onions and slow simmer.  Like all stews, it tastes even better when reheated.

Make it ahead, and serve it on those nights when you want to be a part of the fun. Who wants to always be slaving away in the kitchen?

If you do find yourself feeding a crowd, you can find more ideas and great recipes here.

Keeping Greek Chicken Gluten-free

Serve Mediterranean Chicken with your favorite rice or quinoa, roasted potatoes, or veggie noodles.  Add a green salad and you have yourself a delicious gluten-free meal. 

Yiayia’s Easy Greek Chicken (Gluten-free)

Greek Chicken is an easy main dish that is gluten-free and will appeal to a wide range of tastes.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time2 hours
Total Time2 hours 20 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Servings: 4
Calories: 411kcal
Author: A. JoAnn


  • ¼ c. olive oil
  • 8 tbsp. butter
  • 2 lbs. chicken pieces skinless, boned or boneless
  • 3-4 cooking onions sliced
  • 12 oz. tomato sauce
  • 6 oz. tomato paste
  • 1 tbs. oregano, dried
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • salt & pepper to taste


  • In a stew pot, heat olive oil and butter. Add the chicken pieces, turning them to brown all sides. Add onions, toss, and continue browning.
  • Sprinkle oregano over chicken and onions, then add the tomato sauce and paste. 
  • Add cinnamon, salt, and pepper.
  • Simmer on low heat a few hours, adding water as needed.  Serve, or cool and reheat.

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Author: A. JoAnn

Here is where I share the beauty I find in everyday life; and the humor, too!