Perfect for a warm spring or summer day, this Greek Chicken Souvlaki recipe will transport you to the beautiful shores of Greece!
Food has a magical way of transporting us back. Smell and taste memory are very real, and very powerful.
This recipe for Greek Chicken Souvlaki was inspired by a magical moment in the sun during my trip to Greece.
Greek travel inspiration
The best memories I have of Greece are of sunny days, aquamarine seas, friendly people, and plate after plate of some of the most delicious food I've ever eaten.
It was hot. Sweltering hot, when the wind wasn't whipping my hair into a million different directions. We were traveling by boat to Saria, a rocky, volcanic island just north of Karpathos. For lunch, we were served the plate pictured below: chicken souvlaki skewers with rice, salad, and bread. We enjoyed it with a classic Greek beer: Mythos.
And it was just the most delicious chicken souvlaki I have ever tasted. So moist, tender, flavorful, and cooked evenly.
Since returning home, I've worked on recreating the dish. This recipe is the closest I have come so far to that plate of yummy souvlaki perfection.
What is in a traditional souvlaki?
The traditional Greek Souvlaki is made of small chopped pieces of meat grilled on a skewer. Pork is often used, but you will also find Greeks using lamb, beef, or chicken.
Souvlaki can be served in a pita, like a gyro. Or, it can be served on skewers. In this way, it's like the Greek version of the Middle Eastern kebab.
Chicken Souvlaki Marinade
I was told that marinating chicken overnight was the key to juicy, flavorful Greek chicken Souvlaki. But you can even get a lot of flavor by marinating the meat for at least two hours.
The marinade for authentic Greek souvlaki consists of:
- lemon juice
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
Pretty simple, but the results are delicious!
I added dill to my chicken souvlaki marinade to complement the dill in the tzatziki sauce I like to serve this with.
What to serve with chicken souvlaki
I like to serve this yummy Greek food recipe with:
Tips for making the best Greek Chicken Souvlaki Skewers
- You can substitute lamb, beef, pork, or even vegetables for the chicken. Just be sure to cut your meat into even-sized cubes.
- Soak skewers in water for at least 30 minutes before adding the chicken and grilling. This helps prevent the skewers from burning while grilling.
- Take care not to crowd your grill and give each skewer some breathing room around it. This helps ensure more even cooking.
- Use a meat thermometer to ensure your chicken is cooked thoroughly to 165° degrees Fahrenheit
What wine should I serve with souvlaki?
Authentic Greek food pairs well with - you guessed it! - Greek wine.
Greece was one of the world's first producers of wine. Assyrtiko is one of Greece's most popular and most widely produced wines. This light-bodied white wine has high acidity and bright citrus notes of lemon. It's fabulous with chicken souvlaki, or to sip on a smoldering summer day.
- Greece Travel Guide: Athens Food Tour
- Greece Foodie Travel Guide: Making Traditional Makarounes
- Greece Travel Guide: Overview of Karpathos Island
- Where to Eat in Athens, Greece: Nolan Restaurant
- Where to Stay in Athens, Greece: Hilton Athens
Greek Chicken Souvlaki Recipe
Greek Chicken Souvlaki
- Place all of the Ingredients for the chicken souvlaki Into a large ziplock bag. Shake it up to mix Ingredients a bit. Place In the refrigerator to marinade for at least two hours, and up to overnight.
- When you are ready to cook the chicken souvlaki, thread the chicken pieces onto skewers.
- Pre-heat the grill to medium-high. Grill chicken skewers for 6-8 minutes or until fully cooked, turning over halfway through cooking, or as needed to ensure even grilling. Chicken should be at 165°F on a meat thermometer when fully cooked. Serve Immediately.