Recipe for Greek Chicken Souvlaki

May 25, 2023  |  By Peg Kern
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Grabbing a quick bite to eat at a souvlaki shop in Greece.When summer rolls around, it is time to pull out the grill. My family loves anything cooked on the grill, and it’s a lot more fun to hang out in the back yard drinking a beer while cooking than it is to be stuck in the kitchen on a nice summer day! One of my go-to recipes for grilling out is Greek chicken souvlaki. It is perfect for a family meal or for entertaining a larger group of friends and family.

Delicious souvlaki on a cooking vacation in Greece.What is Souvlaki

What is “souvlaki”? The Greek word σούβλα means skewer, so it refers to something grilled on a skewer. In Greece pork souvlaki is the most popular variety, but chicken, beef, lamb, and vegetables also work well. The souvlaki can be eaten straight off the skewers or served sandwich-style on pita – both are amazing options! In Greece you’ll find souvlaki sandwiches dressed with tomato and onion and served with french fries.

How to Serve Souvlaki

Grilled chicken souvlaki with pita and condiments.When I make this delicious chicken souvlaki recipe I marinate the chicken ahead of time and prep the condiments ahead of time too. I like to serve it with any combination of the following:

  • sliced cucumbers
  • sliced tomato
  • sliced onion (sometimes pickled onion if I have the time to make it)
  • sliced roasted or fresh red peppers
  • tzaziki or garlic yogurt sauce
  • kalamata olives
  • sundried tomatoes
  • pita
  • hummus

Mediterranean fare on a culinary tour of Greece and Turkey.I also like to serve it with a salad. Sometimes it is a Greek salad, sometimes a salad based with greens, but it makes it easy for anyone who doesn’t want the souvlaki as a sandwich to put it on top of a salad.

The pita is of course best homemade (you can see my recipe here). But if you use store-bought pita, toss it on the hot grill for a couple of minutes to warm it up.

If you marinate and skewer the chicken ahead of time and prep all the vegetables and condiments beforehand, all you have to do to serve dinner is grill the chicken. This is one reason it’s a go-to recipe for me for summer dinner parties.

One last note: if you don’t have a grill or if you want to try this recipe for chicken souvlaki in the winter months, you can grill the skewers under the broiler. It’s not as good as the grill, but it will do in a pinch.

Grilled chicken skewers.Recipe for Greek Chicken Souvlaki

Serves: 8
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Cook method: Grill

A tavern by the sea on the island of Crete, experienced during our Greece culinary vacations.Ingredients:

  • 3 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 6 cloves garlic, crushed and finely minced
  • juice and zest of 2 lemons
  • 2 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

Tasty fresh vegetables enjoyed during our cooking vacations in Greece.For serving:

  • sliced tomatoes
  • sliced English cucumbers
  • thinly sliced sweet onion
  • garlic yogurt sauce
  • pita


Enjoying a relaxing day during your Greek cooking vacation.1. Cut the chicken into one-inch cubes.

2. Prepare the marinade by mixing all the ingredients together. Combine the chicken and marinade in an airtight container and let marinate (preferably overnight, but at least a couple of hours).

3. Put the chicken pieces on skewers to grill.

4. Grill the skewers on the hottest part of the grill for 2 minutes on each side. Then move the skewers to the cooler part of the grill, close the lid, and let cook about 5 minutes more. (Because grill temperatures vary, you can use a meat thermometer to check for doneness.)

5. Serve the skewers on a platter with a platter of condiments, pita, and sauces on the side.

Serve it with a good Greek wine and you are set for the perfect summer meal!

Check out all our cooking vacations in Greece.

By Peg Kern

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