A delicious recipe for homemade chicken souvlaki made with an easy marinade and all the pita fixings. This Greek street food is packed with amazing flavors and is served with creamy tzatziki sauce.
If you love food on skewers as much as we do, make sure you check out our shish kabob recipes such as chicken shish kabob, the best beef shish kabob recipe and my favorite, salmon shish kabob. Chicken souvlaki is shish kabob’s Greek cousin, and it’s absolutely delicious!
What is souvlaki?
Souvlaki is a popular Greek fast food that’s made with grilled cubes of meat and sometimes vegetables on a skewer which is called kalamaki in Greek. In Greece, the meat used for souvlaki is usually pork but it’s common to make souvlaki using chicken as well. Chicken souvlaki is naturally gluten free.
What’s the difference between souvlaki and gyro?
Souvlaki is a Greek fast food whereas gyro is more of a Greek main dish. While gyro is usually made using a vertical broiler, souvlaki is in a form of a shish kabob and is usually cooked on a skewer. Finally, gyro is in the form of strips of meat however, souvlaki is made with cubes of meat.
What goes into Greek souvlaki recipe?
A complete and delicious chicken souvlaki has three main parts:
- Chicken souvlaki marinade: A simple yet very flavorful marinade that’s made with extra virgin olive oil, lemon, oregano and lots of garlic (don’t be afraid of using 6-7 garlic cloves). This marinade might seem very simple, however it gives so much flavor to the chicken. This simple Greek souvlaki marinade is best when it’s made with a high quality evoo.
- Chicken: To make this chicken souvlaki recipe we usually use chicken breast, but chicken thighs work, too.
- Chicken souvlaki pita fixings: All the good stuff such as fresh pita, tomatoes, olives, onions and of course, some tasty tzatziki sauce.
How to make Greek chicken souvlaki
Start with the marinade. Mix minced garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and oregano in a bowl. Add cubed chicken breast to the marinade and mix well. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least one hour. The longer the chicken marinates, the moister and more flavorful it’s going to be so if you can, marinate it overnight.
Once you’re ready to make chicken souvlaki, thread the chicken pieces on skewers and grill them for about 4-5 minutes on each side until fully cooked. I used a grill pan to make these and I grill them over medium high heat.
If using outdoor grill, preheat the grill on medium high and soak the wooden skewers in water for 30 minutes to avoid burning (you can also use metal skewers). Thread the chicken on skewers and grill for about 6 minutes on each side until fully cooked. Serve grilled chicken souvlaki with warm pita and all the fixings.
What to serve with chicken souvlaki
Greek souvlaki is packed with so much flavor that you can simply make a souvlaki pita wrap using warm and fluffy homemade pita bread, sliced tomatoes and some olives. I like adding red onion as well. I always serve souvlaki with a homemade tzatziki sauce.
Making Greek chicken souvlaki for a party or gathering? Consider serving it with some kind of salad such as Mediterranean salad, tabbouleh salad or Traditional Greek salad or Greek chickpea salad. And if you want to go big, surprise your people with a big yet easy mezze platter that you can put together in just a few minutes. It’s so easy to put together a delicious Mediterranean feast in such short time. You can even make other kabobs such as Persian saffron chicken kabobs and shish tawook to add more diversity to your feast!
Notes and tips to make chicken souvlaki at home
- The marinade for chicken souvlaki is perfect for freezing. You can simply place the chicken pieces and marinade in a freezer bag and freeze for up to 1 month. To cook, thaw the chicken in the fridge and then proceed with the grilling instructions. You can double and triple the recipe and freeze some of the marinated chicken to use later.
- You can use a mixture of chicken breast and chicken thighs for this Greek souvlaki recipe.
- Store the leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
- Make sure the grill (indoor or outdoor) is set on medium-high to have that crispy outside and reserve all the juice inside.
- It’s important that the chicken breast is cut into even sizes to maintain the cooking time and doneness. I usually go for 1-inch cubes.
Easy Greek Chicken Souvlaki Recipe
- 1 1/2 lb chicken breast boneless and skinless
- 1/4 cup olive oil extra virgin
- 2 lemons juice of
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 8 cloves garlic minced
- Tzatziki sauce
- pita bread
- Cut the chicken breast into one inch cubes and set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix olive oil, lemon juice, salt, dried oregano and minced garlic. Add the chicken cubes to the marinade and mix well.
- Cover with a plastic wrap and marinate in the fridge for at least one hour or overnight.
- Once ready to cook, heat a grill pan over medium high heat.
- Thread the chicken pieces on wooden skewers. Do not crowd the skewers.
- Place the skewers in the pan and grill them for 5 minutes on each side until fully cooked. Make sure not to move the skewers too much.
- Once ready, serve chicken souvlaki with fresh and warm pita bread, homemade tzatziki sauce, tomatoes, onions and olives.