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Chicken Souvlaki Recipe

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If you’re craving a taste of Greece at home, look no further than this chicken souvlaki recipe. With a simple marinade of lemon, garlic, and oregano, you’ll learn how to make the most flavorful and juicy chicken souvlaki right in your kitchen.

Serve the skewers with homemade tzatziki, warm pita bread, and a side of fresh salad for an authentic Greek meal. This dish is perfect for grilling season and outdoor dining, making it a great choice for your next BBQ or summer gathering. Ready to get started? Let’s dive into this delicious recipe!

Exact Ingredients (+ Possible Substitutes)

Main Ingredients

  • Chicken: You need 1-2 pounds of chicken breast or thighs, cut into cubes.

  • Garlic: 3-5 cloves, minced.

  • Lemon Juice: 2 tablespoons for tangy flavor.

  • Olive Oil: 1/4 cup to combine the marinade.

  • Oregano: 1 tablespoon. Fresh or dried works fine.

  • Rosemary or Marjoram: 1 teaspoon of either herb. Both provide an earthy flavor.

  • Paprika: 1 teaspoon for a smoky taste.

  • Salt & Pepper: To taste.

Possible Substitutes

  • Chicken: Swap with turkey or pork cubes if preferred.

  • Garlic: Garlic powder can be used (1 teaspoon) if fresh isn’t available.

  • Lemon Juice: Lime juice is a good substitute. Use equal amounts.

  • Olive Oil: Any vegetable oil can work, such as canola or sunflower oil.

  • Oregano: Substitute with thyme or basil if you don’t have oregano.

  • Rosemary or Marjoram: Sage or thyme can replace these herbs.

  • Paprika: Smoked paprika or chili powder can be used for a different heat.


  • Marinade: Let the chicken marinate for at least 2 hours or up to overnight for best flavor.

  • Skewers: Soak wooden skewers in water for 30 minutes before grilling to prevent burning.

This array of ingredients and substitutes allows you to adapt the recipe based on what you have in your kitchen. Happy cooking!


  1. Prepare the Marinade:

    • In a small food processor, add:
      • 4 cloves garlic
      • 1 tablespoon oregano
      • 1 teaspoon rosemary
      • 1 teaspoon paprika
      • 1 teaspoon salt
      • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
      • 1/4 cup olive oil
      • 1/4 cup white wine
      • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
    • Blend until well combined.
  2. Marinate the Chicken:

    • Place 2 pounds of chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces, in a large bowl.
    • Add the marinade over the chicken and toss to coat.
    • Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight for best results.
  3. Prepare the Skewers:

    • Soak wooden skewers in water for about 10 minutes to prevent burning.
    • Thread marinated chicken pieces onto the skewers.
  4. Cook the Chicken Souvlaki:

    • Heat a grill pan or outdoor grill over medium-high heat.
    • Brush with a little olive oil to prevent sticking.
    • Cook the skewers for about 8-10 minutes, turning occasionally, until chicken is nicely colored and cooked through (internal temperature of 165°F).
  5. Serve:

    • Serve your chicken souvlaki with warm pita bread and a side of tzatziki sauce.
    • Add a simple salad of tomatoes, cucumbers, and onions if desired.

Enjoy your delicious and easy chicken souvlaki!

Tips, Tricks & Storing

Marinade Time: For the best flavor, marinate the chicken for at least 6 hours. If you’re short on time, even 1 hour can still enhance the taste.

Soak Skewers: If you’re using wooden skewers, soak them in water for 20-30 minutes before threading the chicken. This prevents them from burning on the grill.

Grill Prep: Preheat your grill to medium-high heat. Lightly oil the grill grates to prevent sticking.

Skewer Size: Aim for about 8-9 pieces of chicken per skewer. This allows for even cooking.

Storage: Store any leftover cooked souvlaki in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It stays good for up to 3 days.

Reheating: To reheat, use a grill or pan to warm the chicken. This helps keep it juicy and flavorful.

Freezing: You can freeze marinated raw chicken in ziplock bags. Thaw in the fridge overnight before grilling.

Serving Suggestions: Serve with pita bread and tzatziki sauce. Add a simple Greek salad on the side for a complete meal.

Avoid Overcooking: Keep an eye on the grill to avoid overcooking, which can make the chicken dry. Chicken is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (75°C).

Lemon Zest: Adding a bit of lemon zest to the marinade can boost the citrus flavor.

Use Fresh Herbs: If available, fresh oregano and parsley can be more flavorful than dried herbs.

Consistent Size: Cut the chicken into similar-sized pieces to ensure even cooking on the grill.

Recipe Variations & Serving Suggestions

Recipe Variations

  • Pork Souvlaki: Replace chicken with pork tenderloin, cut into 1 ½-inch cubes. Marinate and cook the same way as chicken souvlaki.

  • Vegetarian Souvlaki: Use firm vegetables like bell peppers, zucchini, and mushrooms. Marinate with the same seasonings. Grill until tender.

Serving Suggestions

  • Greek Salad: A crisp salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, and feta cheese pairs beautifully with souvlaki.

  • Pita Bread: Serve your souvlaki with warm pita bread. It’s perfect for making wraps with chicken, salad, and some tzatziki sauce.

  • Roasted Vegetables: Serve with a side of roasted veggies like potatoes, carrots, or Brussels sprouts for a nutritious addition.


  • Marinade: Make sure to marinate your ingredients for at least 2 hours or overnight for the best flavor.

  • Skewers: If using wooden skewers, soak them in water for 10 minutes to prevent burning.

  • Tzatziki Sauce: Don’t forget to serve tzatziki sauce with your souvlaki for that authentic Greek flavor.

Benjamin Happy Muncher

Hi, I'm Benjamin. I love cooking, long walks, and my girlfriend! Here you’ll find simple and delicious recipes that you can make in 30 minutes or less.