Greek chicken souvlaki is classic Greek street food consisting of skewered and marinated pieces of chicken cooked over an open flame or on a grill. The combination of vibrant and zesty flavors brings the Greek into your kitchen!
Greek Chicken Souvlaki is a classic Greek dish, consisting of skewered and marinated pieces of chicken, cooked over an open flame or on a grill. The chicken is typically seasoned with garlic, Greek seasoning, olive oil, lemon juice, and red wine vinegar for maximum flavor. It’s then served in a pita wrap with crispy vegetables, feta cheese, and a creamy tzatziki dressing.
What is Greek souvlaki?
The Greek word for “souvlaki” means “meat on skewers,” kind of like what kabobs mean. The cubed pieces of chicken are threaded onto skewers after marinating and grilled or over an open flame. Greek chicken souvlaki is meant to be eaten in a pita with various toppings. It’s considered street food as you can walk around with it and eat it easily.
What’s the difference between gyros, souvlaki, and falafel? They’re all street food, with gyros and souvlaki being Greek and falafels being Middle Eastern. They’re all generally wrapped in a pita with various toppings. Gyros and souvlaki are made with meat while falafels are made with chickpeas then deep fried.
Why You’ll Love This
A few reasons why I think you’ll love chicken souvlaki as much as I do:
- Bursting with flavor. Lemon juice, garlic, Greek seasoning are all combined in a marinade to give this chicken souvlaki incredible flavor. Not only that, it helps tenderize the chicken as well.
- Great for meal prep. These chicken skewers are perfect meal prep candidates as you can make several and put them in with your Greek rice bowls, salads, or pita and have a bite of protein throughout the day. They’re a great way to always ensure you have protein at the ready for quick meals!
- Healthy and easy to make. Bold flavors don’t have to mean a lot of work. The quick marinade is whipped up in no time and most of the time is hands off. A hot grill cooks this chicken right up in less than 20 minutes!
Ingredients You’ll Need
Short ingredient list, loads of flavor! This is everything you will need to make souvlaki. Make sure to scroll down to view the full recipe for exact measurements.
- Olive oil
- Lemon juice
- Greek seasoning – this is my favorite Greek seasoning and I buy it in the largest size because I use it on literally everything.
- Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
How To Make Chicken Souvlaki
To be honest, making Greek chicken souvlaki is super easy and I think the hardest part is waiting for it to marinate. Be sure to scroll to the bottom of this post for the full recipe.
Make the marinade. In a large bowl, mix together olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and Greek seasoning. Add the chicken and using your hands or spoon, toss the chicken together until chicken is fully coated in the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
Preheat outdoor grill and soak skewers. Preheat your outdoor grill to high and in the meantime, if you’re using wooden skewers, soak them in water. If you’re using metal skewers then you can skip this step.
Skewer the chicken pieces. Skewer the chicken pieces onto the skewers, about 5 per skewer.
Grill the chicken skewers. Grill chicken until cooked through (160 degrees Fahrenheit internal temp) and outside is nicely charred. Let rest before removing from skewer and plating.
Recipe Tips, Substitutions, and Variations
- Don’t skip on marinating. This is where all the flavor is! Plus, it helps tenderize the meat and helps retain its moisture so it doesn’t dry out. Make sure to read the recipe ahead of time so you have time to prep!
- Soak those wooden skewers. If you’re using wooden skewers, soak them in water for 10 minutes beforehand. This helps and prevents burning. Think about it – dry wood, high heat…yeah, not a good combination, haha. If you are using metal skewers, you don’t need to worry about this step.
- Chicken thighs. Prefer dark meat? I do too and this is a versatile recipe where you can use both chicken breast or chicken thighs. Make sure they’re boneless and skinless. Chicken thighs are just a bit harder to cube and skewer but I’m sure you can make do!
Storage and Reheating Instructions
Once the chicken has cooled to room temperature, pack it up in a glass container with a lid and put it in the refrigerator for up to five days. To reheat, pop it in the air fryer, microwave, or toaster oven until just heated through.
What to Serve with Greek Chicken Souvlaki
The list goes on and on with what to serve with chicken souvlaki. Here is some inspiration to help you build that plate of yours!
- Rice. Make a rice bowl with chicken souvlaki. Start with basmati or jasmine rice and then add all your favorite toppings.
- Pita. Wrap it up like they do traditionally with a pita and then load on the toppings! Alternatively – and I know this isn’t traditional – but, if you have naan, in a pinch it could work as well.
- Toppings. Toppings make the rice bowl go ’round. Za’atar Cucumber Tomato Salad, Best Summer Tomato Salad, Pickled Red Onions, Beet Hummus, Homemade Hummus, Refreshing Cucumber Salad, Corn and Avocado Salsa, are just some topping ideas.
- Dips and dressings. You gotta top it off with some dips and dressings. The classic Homemade Tzatziki Dip is definitely high on the list and even a Spicy Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing would be unique and tasty.
Greek Chicken Souvlaki
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 4 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 2 tablespoons Greek seasoning
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, cubed into bite-sized pieces
- Fresh parsley, for garnish
- In a large bowl, mix together marinade then add the chicken pieces. Using your hands or spoon, toss together until incorporated and chicken is fully coated in marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
- Preheat your outdoor grill to high and in the meantime, if you’re using wooden skewers, soak them in water. If you’re using metal skewers then you can skip this step.
- Skewer the chicken pieces onto the skewers, about 5 per skewer. We used 8 inch wooden skewers.
- Grill chicken until cooked through (160 °F (71 °C) internal temperature) and outside is nicely charred. Let rest before removing from skewer and plating.
- Sprinkle with fresh parsley as garnish.
- Serve with rice, tzatziki sauce, pita bread, red onions, etc.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.
The default measuring system for this website is US Customary. Unit conversions are provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. While we strive to provide accurate unit conversions, please be aware that there may be some discrepancies.