Greek Chicken Souvlaki Skewers
Greek Chicken Souvlaki skewers marinated in Greek olive oil, lemon juice, minced garlic, and Greek oregano. The marinade ingredients are simple but the flavors they yield are seriously amazing! Serve with tzatziki sauce and a Greek salad or wrapped up in warm pita bread with French fries on the side.
Bringing you a little piece of the Mediterranean today with these homemade chicken skewers marinated with the simplest ingredients.
I know when you look at the short ingredient list for these chicken souvlaki skewers, you won’t believe that they’re as yummy as I’m describing them to be. But they definitely are! Use chicken breasts, chicken thighs, or tenders and marinate them for as much time as you possibly can. The key is to make sure you let the chicken has an ample amount of time to marinate. Grill up these skewers, dunk them in homemade tzatziki sauce and serve with a big salad on the side or load them up in pita bread with French fries red onions, tomatoes, and a big dollop of tzatziki.
Then sit back and watch how humble ingredients can yield the most delicious results!
Ingredients to make Chicken souvlaki skewers:
- Chicken: I like to use chicken tenders for this recipe because of my personal vendetta against bone-in chicken (and boneless thighs) but thighs would undoubtedly yield better results for those that prefer dark meat chicken. You can also use chicken breasts, but I do find that the extended period of marinating in lemon juice causes the chicken to have a slightly different texture.
- Olive oil: I suggest using a good quality olive oil for this recipe, preferably Greek olive oil to get the most authentic souvlaki flavor.
- Garlic: I know 6 cloves of garlic seems like a whole lot, but if you want that chicken to be extra flavorful, just do it! The flavor of the garlic will mellow out in the lemon juice and olive oil marinade and it won’t be overpowering!
- Lemons: Fresh lemon juice is the only thing I recommend for this recipe – please none of the stuff in the squeeze bottle! The heart and soul of the marinade is the lemon juice so use fresh lemons.
- Kosher Salt + Black Pepper: Pretty much standard ingredients for cooking anything!
- Dried Oregano: Dried oregano, in my opinion, actually works better than fresh oregano when you’re making chicken souvlaki.
Greek Chicken Souvlaki recipe:
- Marinate the chicken. Cut the chicken thighs, tenders, or breasts into small bite size pieces that are about 1-inch. Add the lemon juice, olive oil, minced or pressed garlic, dried oregano, salt, and pepper to a large bowl and stir to combine. Add the chicken cubes to the marinade and toss it so all the chicken is evenly coated. Let the chicken marinate for at least 20 minutes and ideally, you want to let this go overnight so that more of that delicious flavor develops.
- Make the tzatziki sauce. Okay, what are chicken souvlaki skewers without tzatziki sauce? Grab some cucumbers, I like to use Persian cucumbers here. I prefer the flavor of those over English cucumbers. Peel half of the cucumber so that your tzatziki isn’t completely green. Add a tablespoon of lemon juice (or use red wine vinegar) and a big pinch of salt to the cucumbers and let them sit in a bowl. The salt and lemon juice will draw out the excess moisture. Add a clove of pressed garlic and a tablespoon of olive oil to a bowl and press it down with the back of spoon. The olive oil will help mellow out the garlic and get rid of that harsh bite. Then, whisk in the Greek yogurt and dried dill. Squeeze all the liquid out of the cucumbers in a tea towel or paper napkins and add the cucumbers to the sauce. Stir to combine, taste and adjust with another big pinch of salt and more lemon juice as desired.
- Grill that souvlaki. Thread the chicken on metal or wooden skewers. If you’re using wooden skewers, you’ll want to soak them in water for at least 60 minutes before using them. This is to help prevent the skewers from catching on the grill. You can do this on a grill pan over medium high heat. I prefer to use this cast iron grill when I’m making these indoors, they come out perfect! You can also grill them outdoors. Be sure to preheat the grill, clean, and oil the grates to keep the skewers from sticking. Cook the skewers for roughly 8-10 minutes or until the chicken cooks all the way through. Be sure to flip the skewers to keep them from browning too much on any side. Serve in pitas with sliced onions, tomatoes, Kalamata olives, and lots of French fries. Or with a salad on the side.
If you like this recipe, you might also like:
- Easy Chicken Gyros with French Fries
- 20-Minute Greek Gyros (Beef/Lamb)
- Greek Quinoa Salad Jars
- Greek Chicken Meatballs in Lemon Cream Sauce
- Avgolemono (Greek Lemon Soup)
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 6 cloves garlic, pressed
- 1 ½ teaspoon dried oregano leaves, crushed
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken tenders, cut into 1 inch pieces
- ½ cup cucumbers, half peeled and grated
- 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, grated
- 1 cup whole milk yogurt (Greek or plain)
- 1 teaspoon dried dill
- CHICKEN: Combine the lemon juice, oil, garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Toss in chicken and stir until all the chicken is coated in the marinade. Let sit for at least 20 minutes and up to 12 hours. Keep in mind the longer it sits, the more flavorful the chicken will be.
- TZATZIKI: Add grated cucumbers to bowl, season 1 tablespoon lemon juice and ¼ teaspoon salt. Let the cucumbers sit for 10 minutes so they release the water. In a separate bowl, combine the garlic clove and olive oil together using the back of a spoon mash the garlic into the olive oil. Then add the yogurt and dried dill and stir until smooth. Drain the cucumbers in a tea towel and wring out excess moisture. Add to the yogurt and stir. Taste and season with the remaining ¼ teaspoon of salt if desired as well as up to 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Keep sauce refrigerated until ready to serve.
- GRILL: When you’re ready to cook, heat and indoor or outdoor grill to 425ºF. Thread the chicken pieces on metal or wooden* skewers. Clean the grates, spray with a high heat oil and grill the chicken skewers 8-10 minutes. Flip as needed to grill evenly until the chicken cooks all the way through. Remove to a plate and serve with tzatziki sauce or wrapped in pitas with potato wedges!
- If using wooden skewers, be sure to soak them in water for at least 1 hour so that they don’t burn on an outdoor grill.