This chicken souvlaki recipe is easy, straightforward and delicious. The beautiful flavour comes from a simple yogurt marinade, enhanced by the smoke of a grill.
This Hummus with Grilled Eggplant is also an incredible addition to a chicken souvlaki wrap.
It’s difficult to imagine summer meals without grilling, and for us personally without chicken souvlaki!
It might be because one of my best friends is Greek. We’ve had amazing meals at her house we are forever trying to emulate. Or it could be our longing to recreate our holiday memories from Crete!
Either way chicken or pork souvlaki served with fresh pita bread and an array of salads and dips is a summer feast, that is impossible to forget!
Great news is souvlaki is easy to make at home. All you need is meat marinated for flavour and tenderness, skewers and grill.
The best way to enjoy these Greek chicken skewers is in a warm pita bread with a generous helping of tzatziki sauce, sliced cucumbers, tomatoes and onions. Those simple ingredients increase the flavour and overall satisfaction by a factor of 100!
The recipe I am sharing today is not the most authentic but it produces stellar results. I marinate my chicken in plain yogurt, garlic, lemon zest and juice and a touch of salt, pepper and dried oregano.
You can easily substitute yogurt with olive oil for a more authentic feel but I love using yogurt. Marinating meat for grilling in yogurt or kefir is very common in Russia, so I decided to use the technique here.
How to make it
Making chicken or pork souvlaki is easier than easy. Cut skinless, boneless chicken breasts or thighs into 2 inch cubes. It’s important not to cut them too small or they will dry out quickly on the grill.
Simply mix yogurt, lemon juice and zest, minced garlic, salt and dried oregano and add cubed chicken breasts or thighs, then marinate for at least 3 hours.
Remove the meat from the marinate and skewer on metal or wooden sticks. If using wooden sticks, soak them in water for several hours to prevent them from catching fire on the grill.
Grill for approximately 7 minutes on one side, then turn over and cook for 5 minutes longer on the other side. Cooking time will be longer or shorter depending on the size of chicken pieces.
What to serve with chicken souvlaki
Not too many things are as great as perfectly seasoned grilled chicken inside a pita bread! My favourite way of enjoying the chicken souvlaki is inside of a flatbread of sorts. You can use pita bread or even naan!
I also love adding hummus, tzatziki, sliced tomatoes and cucumbers. My husband adds sliced onions as well as lettuce. Charred eggplant spread Baba Ganoush is also a favourite condiment here.
You can serve your grilled chicken on top of a salad if you are avoiding carbs. This Mediterranean Salad with Hummus and Fried Halloumi is an ideal companion.
In Greece souvlaki is often served with fries, which I absolutely love! If you don’t want to bother with making your own fries, you can opt for a delicious Greek Potato Salad from my amazing friend Lucy of Supergolden Bakes. Or you can make my Greek Orzo Salad with Grilled Zucchini.
- 2 lbs skinless boneless chicken breasts or thighs
- 250ml/1 cup plain yogurt
- 1 lemon juice and zest
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp salt
- 0.5 tsp pepper
- Cut the chicken breasts into 2 inch cubes. (Don't cut them too small or they will dry out in the intense heat of the grill.) Soak wooden skewers in water if using. In a large and shallow bowl combine the plain yogurt, zest and juice of one lemon, minced garlic, salt, pepper and dried oregano. Add the chicken to the marinade, cover with plastic wrap and marinate for at least 3 hours or overnight.
- Remove the chicken from the marinade and discard the marinade. Skewer the chicken onto wooden or metal skewers. You should get 4 large or 8 smaller skewers. Preheat the grill and either brush with oil or coat with non-stick spray. Grill the chicken for approximately 7 minutes on one side, then turn over and 5-7 on the other side.