Here’s an easy grilling recipe that screams “summer!” Lemony Greek chicken souvlaki skewers with zucchini, red onions and garlicky cucumber-yogurt sauce. The essence of this dish is a very simple marinade that yields incredibly juicy and flavorful chicken.
Chicken souvlaki has been on my to-cook list for ages. Having tried real deal souvlaki in Greece and now the homemade version, I can say with some confidence that it’s easy to make authentically delicious souvlaki at home. The secret is in the marinade, which is just 3 key ingredients: lemon juice, oregano and garlic. A simple, but magical and irresistible combination. Grilled chicken breasts at their best!
Grilled kebabs are a great choice when you’re looking for something quick and tasty to throw on the grill for family or friends. Uniquely wonderful kebab recipes span the globe, from Japanese yakitori to Turkish kofta and beyond. Greek chicken souvlaki is one of the greats, as far as I’m concerned. Easy to pull off, light and healthful, with bright fresh flavors of summer.
How to make Chicken Souvlaki
The recipe is easy with about 20 minutes of hands-on prep, 30 minutes to marinate the chicken, and ten minutes to grill the kebabs.
- Mix up the marinade ingredients; lemon juice, garlic, oregano, olive oil and salt.
- Toss the chicken with the marinade and leave it to marinate for 30 minutes, or up to 2 hours.
- Cut zucchini and onions into 1-inch chunks and thread chicken, zucchini and onions onto skewers in an alternating pattern.
- Heat the grill to medium-high and grill the skewers for about 4 minutes per side, or until the chicken is cooked through.
- Serve chicken souvlaki on or off the skewers, with tzatziki sauce on the side.
How To Serve Chicken Souvlaki
Souvladzidika (Souvlaki shops) throughout Greece hand out wooden kebabs with freshly grilled pork and chicken souvlaki to be eaten right off the skewer. Or they pack the cubes of meat or chicken into a warm pita with chopped tomatoes, parsley, onions, and garlicky cucumber-yogurt sauce (tzatziki). Personally, I like to slide the chicken and veggies off the skewer, onto a plate, and add a simple salad of sliced tomatoes, olives, feta, mint, a drizzle of olive oil and squeeze of lemon juice. However you choose to serve your chicken souvlaki, creamy, garlicky tzatziki sauce is an absolutely must!
Here’s the Chicken Souvlaki Recipe. If you try this recipe, I hope you’ll come back to leave a star rating and a comment. I’d love to know what you think!Print
Lemony Chicken Souvlaki with Tzatziki Sauce
Lemony grilled chicken skewers with zucchini, onions and creamy tzatziki sauce.
Adapted from a recipe in Cooking Light Global Kitchen
- Prep Time: 20 min
- Cook Time: 8 min
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: 6-8 servings 1x
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Grill
- Cuisine: Greek
You will need 7 12-inch skewers or 12 8-inch skewers. If using wooden or bamboo, be sure to soak them in water for at least ½ hour.
- 6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano leaves (or 1 ½ teaspoons dried oregano)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil plus more for brushing the vegetables
- 5 teaspoons finely minced garlic (6 garlic cloves)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 medium zucchinis, halved lengthwise and cut into (½-inch thick) slices, crosswise
- 2 medium red onions, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks (see notes below)
For The Tzatziki Dip
- 1 hothouse cucumber (English cucumber), peeled and coarsely grated or finely chopped
- 1 cup Greek yogurt or strained yogurt (see notes below)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed or finely minced (2 teaspoons)
- 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon chopped mint leaves, optional
- In a large bowl combine the marinade ingredients: lemon juice (6 tablespoons), oregano (1 tablespoon fresh or 1 ½ teaspoon dried), olive oil (2 tablespoons), garlic (5 teaspoons) and salt (1 teaspoon). Add the chicken and toss well, to coat. Leave chicken to marinate in the fridge for 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.
- To make the Tzatziki, toss the cucumber with ¼ teaspoon of salt in a mesh colander and let it drain over the sink for 5 minutes or so. Press the cucumber against the colander to squeeze out some of the liquid, and transfer it to a medium bowl. Add yogurt (1 cup), oil (2 tablespoons), garlic (2 cloves crushed), lemon juice (4 tablespoons), and salt (¾ teaspoon). Mix thoroughly and refrigerate in a closed container until ready to use. Sprinkle with fresh mint right before serving. Can be made a day ahead.
- Remove chicken from the marinade and discard marinade. Thread chicken, onions and zucchini alternately onto each skewer. Brush zucchini and onions lightly with olive oil.
- Heat your grill to medium-high. Add skewers. Cook 4 minutes per side or until chicken is cooked through.
- Serve chicken skewers hot, with tzatziki sauce on the side.
How to Cut Onions for Skewers: Here’s a video that show’s a good technique for cutting onions for kebabs.
To make strained yogurt, put 2 cups plain low fat yogurt in a mesh strainer lined with a coffee filter or a double layer of cheesecloth. Set the strainer over a bowl and let the yogurt drain for 2 hours in the fridge.
Nutrition Information: The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and is not a substitute for the advice of a professional nutritionist.
Keywords: grilled marinated chicken, zucchini and onions skewers with tzatziki sauce