Greek Chicken Souvlaki

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Chicken souvlaki is one of my favorite Greek street food items! Tender chicken soaks in a bright lemon garlic marinade, then it’s threaded on skewers and grilled until perfectly juicy and charred. Just don’t forget the tzatziki sauce for that creamy, refreshing touch!

Grilled chicken souvlaki on a plate
Photo: Gayle McLeod

What is Souvlaki?

Chicken souvlaki is a traditional Greek dish and the epitome of easy and delicious summertime grilling. And if you’re not sure what souvlaki means, it translates to “grilled meat on a skewer.” Pretty straightforward, eh?

Consider this recipe a more simplified version of my Greek chicken kabobs or shish kabobs. Unlike kabobs (which are grilled with vegetables), souvlakis are simply skewers of meat and are meant to be served with fresh-cut veggies or even a Greek salad. But the finishing touch is a mandatory drizzle of tzatziki sauce all over everything!

Ingredients for chicken souvlaki on a table

Chicken Souvlaki Recipe Ingredients

This souvlaki recipe is as simple as can be, which is why it continues to be one of my favorites for summer grilling. But for the tzatziki sauce, I’ve got a few notes below:

  • Chicken: Boneless skinless chicken breasts are the best option for skewer grilling.
  • Chicken Souvlaki Marinade: The marinade is the star here, which is a combination of olive oil, fresh lemon juice, garlic, oregano, parsley, salt, and pepper.
  • Tzatziki Sauce: I love to make my own tzatziki sauce when I have time. But of course, you can buy your favorite brand as well. And if you’re dairy-free, I highly recommend making this vegan tzatziki. It’s easy to make and just as delicious.

Find the printable recipe with measurements in the recipe card below

How To Make Chicken Souvlaki

While I personally think chicken souvlaki is best grilled over an open fire, you can also use an indoor grill pan. So once that’s set up, grab a set of 12-inch skewers. If your skewers are smaller, that’s fine. You’ll just make more skewers than what I have listed in the recipe card below.

Marinate the chicken. Stir the marinade together in a small bowl. Then add the chicken pieces and let them marinate for at least 30 minutes. But no longer than 24 hours.

Chicken souvlaki being marinated in a bowl

Thread the skewers. Heat the grill on medium-high heat. Then thread the marinated chicken pieces onto the skewers. About eight to nine pieces should be able to fit on a 12-inch skewer, making six skewers total. 

Threading chicken souvlaki on skewers

Grill. Grill the skewers for 3 to 4 minutes on each side. They should be beautifully charred on the outside and juicy on the inside. 

Grilling chicken souvlaki on a grill pan

Ways to Serve Chicken Souvlaki

  • With fresh veggies. I love to slice up cucumbers and tomatoes for an easy and refreshing side of veggies. Or you can make a quick side salad like this cucumber salad or tomato avocado salad
  • Wrap it up. This chicken souvlaki is delicious wrapped with pita bread. But if you’re gluten-free like me, you can also use butter lettuce leaves.

Storage Tips

  • To store for the week: Store any leftover chicken in an airtight container in the fridge. It will keep for 3 to 5 days.
  • Freeze for later: Let the chicken cool completely before storing it away in the freezer. It will keep for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to enjoy it, thaw it in the fridge the night before. Then, give it a quick reheat in the microwave! If the chicken is a little dry, spoon a bit of water on top before reheating.
A plate of grilled chicken souvlaki

More Mediterranean Recipes

If you love Mediterranean food as much as I do, this list of Mediterranean recipes will give you endless amounts of inspiration to make at home. But here are a few favorites I make often: 

Get ready to make endless amounts of chicken souvlaki this summer! I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment box below.

Chicken souvlaki with veggies on a plate

Greek Chicken Souvlaki

5 from 16 votes
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 8 minutes
Total: 38 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan

Description

Greek chicken souvlaki makes for an easy and flavorful recipe. Marinate the chicken, thread the pieces on skewers, and grill them up!

Ingredients 
 

Chicken Souvlaki

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 ½-inch cubes
  • cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 recipe tzatziki sauce

Instructions 

  • Add the chicken, oil, lemon juice, garlic, oregano, parsley, salt, and pepper to a large mixing bowl. Stir together. Place the bowl in the refrigerator and marinate for at least 30 minutes.
    Marinating chicken souvlaki in a glass bowl
  • Heat the grill on medium-high heat. Then thread the marinated chicken pieces onto skewers (about 8 to 9 pieces per skewer makes 6 skewers).
    Adding chicken souvlaki on skewers
  • Cook the skewers on the grill for 3 to 4 minutes on each side.
    Grilled chicken souvlaki
  • Served the grilled chicken souvlaki with the tzatziki sauce.
    A plate of chicken souvlaki and veggies

Nutrition

Calories: 447kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 89mg | Sodium: 1215mg | Potassium: 452mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 388IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 162mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keyword: chicken souvlaki, Dairy-free Tzatziki, Grilled Chicken Souvlaki
Did you make this recipe?Mention @downshiftology or tag #downshiftology!

Recipe originally published March 2016, but updated to include new photos and information.

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About the author

Lisa Bryan

Lisa is a bestselling cookbook author, recipe developer, and YouTuber (with over 2.5 million subscribers) living in sunny Southern California. She started Downshiftology in 2014, and is passionate about making healthy food with fresh, simple and seasonal ingredients.

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Recipe Rating




33 Comments

  1. This was SO good! I made the tzatziki to go along as well and it was all a hit with my family! We have made several of your recipes and each time we love them! Thank you for helping us eat healthier!

  2. This is always a success in our family. I love how delicious and easy to prepare it is. Thank you!5 stars

  3. I love this recipeand the tzatziki recipe too! So amazing and easy. I prep it in the afternoon and by dinner everything is perfectly seasoned and the leftovers ( when there is any) are great too! I cant eat any grain and it is so hard to go out to eat and not get cross contaminated food at restaurants. I used to love going to Greek restaurants for this particular dish! Thank you Lisa for showing me how easy it was to get that authentic Greek restaurant flavor!5 stars

  4. I love love love this recipe! I went to Greece last year and this dish seriously compares and makes me feel like I’m bringing home a piece of Greece. I don’t usually marinade my chicken and so that was new for me but let me tell you, it made SUCH a difference! So much more flavor! I didn’t have a grill, but used a frying pan instead and it turned out really well. Great dish, will be remaking this on rotation for myself and my husband!5 stars

  5. Absolutely fabulous!! We loved it!! Quick grilling and your tzatziki sauce made it!!! You’re right, a must addition!!!5 stars

  6. This was e new recipe on the menu tonight and I seriously scored a lot of points ;-). I combined it with the regular tzatziki which I prepared the night before along with the salad dressing for the greek salad. At the end of the day I only had to chop some veggies for the salad and bake the chicken. Easy does it and so delicious. This will be on my rotation in the future!5 stars

    1. Glad you enjoyed this recipe Babette! If you like this one, I’d say try my Greek Chicken Kabobs as well.

  7. This recipe was so amazingly delicious and easy to make, I made it twice this week! Love it!! Thank you!5 stars

  8. Absolute perfection-once again 
    The flavor of the chicken – oh my!!!
    And the sauce
    Made it for a Memorial Day gathering and everyone asked for the recipe 5 stars

    1. Yay! I’m so glad you loved the grilled chicken! It’s such a great recipe for a BBQ! Thank you for the kind comment, Sandra! :)

  9. Made tzatziki sauce to go with our lamb kofta stuffed pitta bread.   The last time I made it I chopped the cucumber finely – missing the ‘blend it all’ together! This time I have blitz it all together and it’s cool, refreshing, just perfect accompaniment to today’s weather.  Sun, sun glorious sun.  Had the coconut chicken curry yesterday because it was dull and cold.  Good old Britain – unpredictable weather as always!5 stars

    1. Yes, it’s much better all smooth and blitzed together. Glad you were able to enjoy the creamy version this time! Hopefully it provided a cool balance to the sunny day. :)

  10. Had everything on hand bar the cashews and dill.  Made the tzatziki with yoghurt and tarragon along with the rest of your ingredients.  Very much enjoyed our tea, tasty.5 stars

    1. Awesome! And love the substitutions as well. It’s all about making it work for you. :)

  11. I’m definitely going to check out her ebook! I also have Crohn’s Disease, so I selfishly am even more interested in the ebook now.

    1. Oh, you’ll LOVE Kristen! Her story is so inspiring and she’s seriously one of the sweetest people. :) x