Chicken Souvlaki is a Greek street food classic that is bursting with flavor. This versatile chicken dish can be served in a pita wrap, on top of a Greek salad, or simply as skewers with your favorite Greek side dishes. In this post, I'll provide simple step-by-step instructions, expert tips, and answers to FAQs to help you make these delicious kebabs perfectly every time!
Why This Recipe Works
This souvlaki chicken recipe uses simple ingredients that pack a ton of flavor Combined with the smokey char from the grill, the taste is AMAZING!
And it's super easy to make as well. Just a few minutes to prep the chicken and the marinade, then 10 minutes on the grill. It's under 20 minutes of active time!
- Chicken - I use chicken breasts for this recipe, but boneless, skinless thighs work great too.
- Fresh Lemon - I highly recommend using fresh lemon juice for your chicken souvlaki. The zest from the fresh lemon also adds a ton of flavor.
- Fresh Garlic - As with the lemon, I recommend using fresh garlic for the best flavor. Pre-minced or powdered garlic will not have the same taste.
See the recipe card at the bottom of this post for the complete list of ingredients and measurements.
How to Make Souvlaki Marinade
Souvlaki marinade is a simple mix of classic Greek flavors with bright, tangy lemon, savory garlic, and herbs combined with olive oil and salt and pepper.
To make the marinade, combine all of the marinade ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir until well combined.
- Cut your chicken into 1-inch cubes.
- Place the chicken in a large resealable plastic bag, pour the marinade over the top, then seal the bag. Toss until the chicken is well coated and refrigerate for 1 to 4 hours. Turn occasionally to redistribute the marinade.
- Prepare your grill by cleaning the grates, then brush them with a light coating of olive oil.
- For a charcoal grill: spread an even layer of hot coals in your grill and fully open the vents. Cover and allow it to preheat.
- For a gas grill: set all of your burners to medium-high, then close the lid and allow it to preheat.
- Cook the souvlaki skewers for around 8-10 minutes until they reach an internal temperature of 165°F, rotating them every few minutes during the cooking so all sides get evenly cooked.
- Transfer the chicken souvlaki skewers to a platter and serve.
- Some souvlaki recipes call for marinating the chicken overnight, but the acidity from the lemon juice can affect the texture of the chicken, causing it to get tough. So I recommend keeping the marinating time to 4 hours max.
- Try to keep the chicken pieces around the same size on each skewer. This allows you to cook the smaller ones for a shorter time and the larger ones longer and avoid overcooking or undercooking the meat.
- The marinade does tend to cause flare-ups as it drips onto the hot grill. Keep an eye on your grill and have a long pair of tongs ready to move the kebabs off of any major flare-ups.
How to Serve Chicken Souvlaki
I love to serve the chicken family style, on a large platter along with warm pita or naan bread.
A plate of fresh veggies like chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, feta, and chopped lettuce is perfect for topping chicken souvlaki pitas. And of course, don't forget the tzatziki sauce!
A platter of grilled summer vegetables is another excellent option.
Storage and Reheating
This Greek chicken souvlaki is great for leftovers! It's perfect for topping off a Greek salad or reheating for a chicken pita wrap.
Store leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 4 days. To reheat, place the chicken in a baking dish and bake in a 325°F oven for 7-8 minutes. Individual portions can be reheated in the microwave.
Frequently Asked Questions
The grill works best to get that yummy char and is traditional for souvlaki, but the broiler in your oven will work too.
To cook chicken souvlaki in the oven, place an oven rack in the top position, then preheat your broiler to high.
Set the chicken skewers on a broiling pan or on a sheet pan with a wire rack. Cook for around 8-10 minutes, turning occasionally until they're cooked through.
Souvlaki marinade is also tasty on beef, pork, lamb, and other meats and even veggies.
Souvlaki is a dish featuring chunks of meat grilled on a skewer, while Gyros are made of thinly sliced meat cooked on a rotisserie.
More Recipes for the Grill
- 2 lbs chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- zest from 1 lemon
- juice from 1 lemon, around 2 tbsp
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- Place the marinade ingredients in a small bowl and stir until well combined. Place chicken in a large resealable bag and pour marinade over the top, then seal the bag and toss until the chicken is thoroughly coated. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour up to 4.
- Preheat your grill to medium-high heat.
- Remove the chicken from the marinade and thread it onto skewers. Discard any remaining marinade.
- Grill the chicken for around 10 minutes until cooked through, rotating the skewers occasionally so that all sides are evenly cooked. Transfer to a platter and serve.
* All nutrition information we provide are estimates based on third party calculators. We encourage you to calculate these on your own for accurate results.