Turkish Garlic Yogurt Marinade

Vicki Butts (lazyme)


Travel the world's barbecue trail and you'll find yogurt marinades in Greece, Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, and India. The idea behind a yogurt marinade is both ancient and practical: The acids in the yogurt served to preserve meat in the age before refrigeration and to break down tough muscle fibers, a function it still serves today. Yogurt marinades give meats a delectable sourish tang and soft, tender texture.

From Barbecue! Bible Sauces, Rubs and Marinades by Steven Raichlen.


★★★★★ 2 votes

2 cups
15 Min
No-Cook or Other


  • 2 c
    plain whole milk yogurt
  • 1/2 c
    extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp
    fresh lemon juice
  • 1
    onion, finely chopped
  • 3 clove
    garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp
    coarse salt, kosher salt, or sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp
    freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp
    hot pepper flakes, to taste

How to Make Turkish Garlic Yogurt Marinade


  1. Place the yogurt in a strainer lined with paper towels. Set the strainer over a large bowl and allow the yogurt to drain for 2 hours in the refrigerator. You can save the resulting whey for drinking. (If you're in a hurry, you can omit this step -- the marinade will be very nearly as rich.)
  2. Place the drained yogurt in a bowl and stir in the remaining ingredients. The marinade works best used within a few hours of making.
  3. 2 cups is enough to marinate 2 to 3 pounds of meat.

Printable Recipe Card

About Turkish Garlic Yogurt Marinade

Course/Dish: Marinades
Main Ingredient: Dairy
Regional Style: Middle Eastern

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