Chicken Souvlaki is a beloved Greek dish that has captured the hearts of food enthusiasts around the world. Traditionally, it consists of marinated chicken grilled on skewers, offering a burst of Mediterranean flavors with every bite. Whether you're planning a cozy family dinner or an outdoor BBQ, Chicken Souvlaki is a dish that promises to impress.

Chicken Souvlaki

A Brief History and Cultural Significance

Chicken Souvlaki has its roots in ancient Greece, where it was enjoyed as a street food staple. "Souvlaki" translates to "skewer," which perfectly captures the essence of this dish. Over time, it has evolved but continues to hold a special place in Greek cuisine, symbolizing simplicity, freshness, and community.

Overview of the Dish and Its Ingredients

At its core, Chicken Souvlaki is all about high-quality ingredients and a well-balanced marinade. The key components include chicken breast or thighs, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and a blend of herbs and spices.

Preparing the Chicken Souvlaki Marinade

Ingredients and Measurements

  • 1.5 lbs chicken breast or thighs, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Step-by-Step Guide to Mixing the Marinade

  1. Combine Ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, combine olive oil, lemon juice, minced garlic, dried oregano, dried thyme, and ground cumin.
  2. Mix Well: Whisk the ingredients together until they are well blended.
  3. Season: Add salt and pepper to taste, ensuring the marinade is well-seasoned but not overly salty.

Marinating the Chicken

Best Practices for Marinating

  1. Add Chicken: Place the chicken cubes into the marinade, ensuring each piece is well-coated.
  2. Cover and Refrigerate: Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or transfer the chicken and marinade to a resealable plastic bag. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight, to allow the flavors to fully penetrate the meat.
  3. Occasional Stirring: Occasionally stir the chicken in the marinade to ensure an even coating.

Preparing the Chicken Souvlaki Skewers

Choosing the Right Skewers

  • Material: Opt for metal skewers for better heat conductivity, or soak wooden skewers in water for 30 minutes to prevent burning.
  • Length: Choose skewers that are long enough to hold multiple pieces of chicken but short enough to fit on your grill or pan.

Threading the Marinated Chicken

  1. Threading: Carefully thread the marinated chicken cubes onto the skewers, ensuring even spacing for uniform cooking.
  2. Securing: Avoid overcrowding the skewers to ensure each piece of chicken is evenly exposed to heat.

Cooking the Chicken Souvlaki

Grilling Instructions

  1. Preheat Grill: Preheat your grill to medium-high heat.
  2. Oil the Grill: Lightly oil the grill grates to prevent sticking.
  3. Grill Chicken: Place the skewers on the grill and cook for 10-12 minutes, turning occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through and has a nice char.

Alternative Cooking Methods

  • Oven Broiling: Preheat your oven's broiler. Place the skewers on a baking sheet and broil for 10-12 minutes, turning halfway through.
  • Stovetop Grilling: Use a grill pan over medium-high heat and cook the skewers for 10-12 minutes, turning occasionally.

Serving and Pairing Suggestions

Ideal Accompaniments

  • Pita Bread: Warm pita bread for wrapping the souvlaki.
  • Tzatziki Sauce: A refreshing yogurt-based sauce with cucumber and garlic.
  • Greek Salad: A mix of tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, and feta cheese.
  • Rice Pilaf: A simple yet flavorful side dish.

Presentation Tips

  • Platter Arrangement: Arrange the skewers on a platter with slices of lemon and sprigs of fresh herbs for a visually appealing presentation.
  • Side Dish Placement: Place accompaniments like pita, tzatziki, and salad around the skewers for easy access and a complete meal experience.


Chicken Souvlaki is a delightful dish that brings the flavors of Greece right to your kitchen. With its rich marinade and versatile cooking methods, it's perfect for any occasion. We hope this guide inspires you to try making Chicken Souvlaki at home. Don't forget to share your culinary creations with us!

Ready to elevate your cooking skills further? Book a call with one of our expert chefs for personalized tips and tricks! Happy cooking!

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