Chicken Souvlaki is Greek chicken kabobs marinated in fresh herb oregano (my fav), garlic, lemon, olive oil and seasonings. So simple, but amazingly flavorful chicken kabobs, Chicken Souvlaki is must try for every Mediterranean food lover! *Gluten free, carb-free, low-fat, paleo, and whole-30 diet friendly.
So today I thought to give you another favorite to include in your Summer BBQ menu!
Oh, and no worries if you not looking to grill. I have included instructions to prepare chicken souvlaki kabobs in oven! With just 10 minutes prep and pantry staples, this Greek chicken main course is much easier to prepare at home than you might imagine.
So, let's cook some chicken sooov-lah-kee! Shall we?
Just like most Greek chicken recipes, herbs and spices are heart of Chicken souvlaki. Being a spice and herbs fanatic, this chicken preparation won me over for my love of oregano. I came across oregano chicken (first time) in a Mexican restaurant... (I know! What are the odds?!)
...then, second time in a Greek restaurant.. even though both marinades and taste profiles were different.. one thing I connected with immediately.. and that was the oregano.
In simple words, there is no chicken souvlaki without oregano. Period.
Of course, garlic, lemon, and olive oil are also important ingredients in souvlaki marinade.. but oregano, is the Star! My personal touch in this marinade is cumin powder (for some earthiness), parsley for freshness, and little chili flakes for a subtle kick.
For chicken souvlaki recipe, I used combination of fresh and dried oregano. Dried oregano is more potent and adds more punch of flavor. Honestly, when I don't have fresh oregano in-hand, I often replace is all with dried.
How To Prepare Chicken Souvlaki
To prepare chicken souvlaki, I start by mixing marinate ingredients, oregano, garlic, lemon, olive oil, parsley, chili flakes, and cumin powder in a bowl or a seal-able plastic bag. Once marinade is ready, I either slice chicken into bite-size pieces or pound chicken tenders into flat strips to make (little fancy) skewers. Either ways, for good flavor, it is important to marinate chicken for at-least 30 minutes. This is what brings out the flavor of oregano and garlic. Also, marinade tenderizes chicken and kabobs come out moist and juicy. (yum!)
When ready to grill, I skew chicken onto skewers, and throw on pre-heated grill until chicken is fully cooked from all sides and kabobs have nice char.. exactly like you get in Greek restaurants!
That's it! Souvlaki Chicken is really THAT easy recipe. Just make sure to keep an eye on chicken when start to char, don't let oregano burn out. I like to brush kabobs with mixture of lemon, oil and salt.. this mixture keeps kabobs moist and prevents burning of delicious marinade.
Mix marinade, marinate chicken, skew and grill! #deliciouschickensouvlaki
In-fact, I often marinate an extra batch of chicken. (Marinade recipe doubles easily). then, one weekdays, even when I have no plans to switch-on grill, chicken souvlaki is ready in oven or even on stove-top in a cast iron grill pan. My personal favorite is oven-method.. or I should say, oven broil method because it brings that charred grilled kabobs flavor in chicken.
Note: I have included method to cook chicken souvlaki in oven in the notes because you will be making it again. I bet! This recipe is a sure winner!
The chicken souvlaki recipe is *gluten free but I'm including grilled pita idea for serving. It is optional, yet I must say, Souvlaki and pita are simply made for each other. To grill pita, oil pita bread, and throw on the grill just until nice grill mark appears on both sides. Serve on side for a complete Mediterranean chicken dinner with side of rice and salad. I also recommend serving Tzatziki sauce on side.
TIP: If you want to keep dinner gluten free, only serve with side of rice and greens salad. If looking for carb free... Skip rice as well and double the amount of greens.
Now, this is the magic of home cooking! Isn't it? Gluten free, carb free or just a Greek-style dinner night, you can take homemade food and go many healthy directions!
More Summer Grill Season Recipes
I'm all about summer grilling these days. Try following reader's favorite recipes:
Don't stop there! This week, I have plans to bring to you, two more recipes that will add value to your Chicken Souvlaki Dinner! If you making this tonight, cook some extra and save leftovers. hint hint
- Chicken Souvlaki
- 1.5 lbs Chicken (3-4 boneless breast or 12-14 chicken tenders)
- 3 tbsp Oregano (fresh leaves, or 1.5 tbsp dried, or mix half-half)
- 1 tbsp Garlic (about 4-5 garlic cloves, fresh minced)
- 3 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1/4 Cup Lemon (juice, about 1 large lemon's juice)
- 1/2 tsp Cumin Powder
- 2 tbsp Parsley (fresh leaves, chopped)
- 1/2 tsp Chili Flakes
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1/4 tsp Black Pepper (freshly cracked)
- Grilled Pita, for Serving (optional)
- Oil Spray
- Pita Bread
- 1. Prepare Souvlaki Marinade: To make the Souvlaki Marinate, in a wide bowl (with a lid) or in seal-able bag, add all ingredients except chicken in the ingredient list above. Mix well and set aside.
2. Marinate Chicken: Slice chicken breast into small 1-2 inch pieces. Add to the marinade and coat into the marinade. Cover with lid (or close the bag), refrigerate until ready to use. Marinating for 20-30 minutes tenderize the meat and makes it very flavorful. You can marinate it up-to overnight.
Additional Notes:You can also use chicken tenders or cut chicken breast into small strips (2 inch long, 1-2 inch wide), place on a tray. Top with piece of plastic wrap, then pound a bit to make even size.
3. Make Chicken Skewers and Grill: For grilling, preheat grill. Skew pieces of marinated chicken souvlaki into the skewers. I **skewed about 4-5 long tenders per skewer. Grill on preheated grill until chicken is fully cooked from all sides.
Additional Notes:If cooking in oven, check **Oven Method in notes.
4. Grill Pita and Serve Chicken Souvlaki: If serving grilled pita on side, spray oil on grill pita bread until nice grill marks appear on both sides (30 sec to 1 minute each side). Serve on side with Chicken Souvlaki! Serve and enjoy!
Savita's Recipe Notes:
- Leave a little space towards handle of skewers for proper handling on grill.
- If using wooden skewers, pre soak them in water so that these not burn quickly on grill. I also cover tips of skewers with aluminum foil to avoid burning while grilling.
Chicken Souvlaki in Oven To prepare in oven, preheat oven, place skewers on sheet lined with foil/parchment. Set broiler on, cook 5-7 minutes each side or until kabobs are fully cooked.
Calories/Serving: There are 328 calories per serving. It does not include side of pita bread or rice. Please note, in grilled meats, oil used in marinade mostly drips away. So, actually calories will be even lesser.
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