One of my favorite healthy recipes is chicken souvlaki, and I had the chance to make this delicious Greek specialty for our friends while staying at the Villa Serenissima in Corfu, Greece.
The Villa, located a short distance from Ipsos Beach, is equipped with an incredible outdoor dining patio — complete with a large BBQ grill.
It was so much fun to head down to the local butcher, where I stocked up on fresh cut chicken and beef for the Greek souvlaki skewers. Due to the language barrier, I accidentally purchased lamb instead of beef. Thankfully, it was just a 5-minute drive from our villa, so we were able to go back and get the right meat!
Traditional Greek chicken souvlaki is made with good olive oil, lemon juice, chopped garlic and plenty of Greek oregano, which I think has a better depth of flavor than Italian oregano. If you don’t have fresh oregano, dried is perfectly fine. In fact, many Greek restaurants used dried oregano for their souvlaki.
For this group meal, I prepared both steak and chicken souvlaki skewers so there was a nice assortment of meats for everyone. To add a bit more flavor, I added red onions, bell pepper and baby tomatoes to the skewers.
My chicken souvlaki marinade is made with my basic lemon-herb marinade, which can be adapted for so many different types of cuisines. Be sure to marinate your chicken for at least an hour so the flavors develop. You’ll also want to soak your skewers in warm water so they don’t catch fire on the grill.
We were able to sample chicken souvlaki from several restaurants during our stay in Greece. Some skewers were served with the meat only, while others added vegetables. You can also wrap it in a pita for a more hearty meal. Just be sure to serve it with plenty of Τzatziki sauce!
This recipe is so easy, healthy and delicious. It’s perfect paired with my traditional Greek Feta Salad. I hope you enjoy it!
Greek Chicken Souvlaki
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into cubes
- Cherry tomatoes
- 1 red onion cut into pieces
- 1-2 bell peppers cut into pieces
- 1 teaspoon paprika for sprinkling on chicken
- 1/2 cup Greek oregano leaves roughly chopped
- 1 lemon
- 1/8 cup white wine optional
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon garlic-shallot puree or 1 clove minced garlic
- 4 pitas
- 3 tomatoes sliced
- 1/4 red onion thinly sliced
- 1 cucumber skin removed and grated
- 1 heaping teaspoon garlic-shallot puree or 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 18 ounces plain Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- Marinade: Cut the lemon in half and add lemon juice to a mixing bowl. Add the wine, chopped oregano and lemon zest, followed by the garlic-shallot puree (or garlic). Slowly pour the olive oil into the marinade and whisk quickly until it starts to thicken.
- Marinate chicken 1-2 hours in the refrigerator. When ready to cook, let sit at room temperature about 20 minutes.
- Make the sauce by combining ingredients well. Place in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- Preheat the grill to 375-450°F.
- Place chicken cubes on skewers, alternating with the tomatoes, red onion and bell peppers.
- Grill chicken skewers for 5 minutes on each side side, or until chicken is cooked to a temperature of 165 degrees F.
- Remove chicken from grill. Sprinkle with paprika and serve in pitas with sliced tomatoes, red onion and the garlic yogurt sauce or tzatziki sauce.