During my visit to Greece, we had grilled Chicken Souvlaki, and I knew I had to recreate this recipe. The skewered chicken was marinated in a wonderful blend of herbs, spices and oil, then grilled to perfection. The chicken was so tender it was practically falling off the skewer. It was incredible.

This homemade Greek chicken souvlaki recipe reminds me so much of the dish I had in Greece. Cubed chicken thighs marinated and grilled to juicy perfection, then served with warm pita, olives, and a simple salad. It’s hard to explain, but Greek food is so fresh and simple. You always feel healthy and satisfied after having a meal like this. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I enjoyed recreating it.

If you like this recipe, try my Chimichurri Grilled Chicken Thighs or my Blackened Grilled Chicken Thighs with Avocado Cucumber Salad.

finished shot - Grilled Chicken Souvlaki – Healthyish Foods

About Smart Chicken

For this recipe, I used Smart Chicken’s boneless skinless chicken thighs. Whether grilled, roasted or pan fried, their chicken thighs come out juicy, tender, and delicious every single time. Smart Chicken is the reason I started eating chicken again after 9 years without. Their products are superior in every way.

In fact, Smart Chicken’s chickens are fed a high-quality diet, humanely handled, and never given antibiotics, hormones, or animal by-products. Smart Chicken is USDA Process Verified as pure air chilled, without added water and are hand-trimmed for your convenience. The result is the best-tasting, highest-quality fresh chicken on the market!

This post is sponsored by Smart Chicken. While I was compensated for my time, all opinions are my own.

smart chicken supplies - Grilled Chicken Souvlaki – Healthyish Foods

Substitutions and Ingredients Needed for Greek Chicken Souvlaki Recipe

Chicken Thighs – You’ll need 1-1.5 pounds of Smart Chicken’s boneless skinless chicken thighs for this recipe. Cube the thighs into 1-cubic inch pieces for quick even cooking. 1 lb. will yield about four skewers. Option to use chicken breasts instead.

Marinade – Combine olive oil, fresh squeezed lemon juice, lightly pressed whole garlic cloves, Italian seasoning, a bay leaf, kosher salt, and cracked black pepper. Handy citrus juicer.

Tzatziki – Homemade Tzatziki is a great way to enhance this recipe. Grab my Tzatziki recipe.

Other Side Options – warm pita, mixed olives, crumbled feta or a simple salad are all great sides / additions to this recipe. Try my Simple Salad, Zucchini Salad or my Greek Pasta Salad for a heartier meal.

ingredients - Grilled Chicken Souvlaki – Healthyish Foods

How to Marinate and Grill Greek Chicken Souvlaki

  • If using wooden skewers, soak them in water for 30 minutes before assembling. This will help prevent them from burning on the gas grill. If using metal skewers you can skip this step.
  • Make sure you cube your chicken thighs into evenly sized pieces. This will allow for even, quick cooking.
  • Preheat your grill to 400-450 degrees. Clean the grill grates and lubricate them with avocado oil right before you are ready to add the protein.
  • Brushing the grill grates with avocado oil right before adding the meat will prevent the meat from sticking to the grates. Avocado oil has a high smoke point which will also promote a good sear.
  • Another way to lubricate your grill grates with less flare up than the brushing method, is to tightly roll a clean kitchen towel. Dip the rolled towel in avocado oil until it is moistened. Use metal tongs to grab the towel and carefully rub the grill grates with the tightly rolled avocado oil-soaked towel. This method of lubricating the grill grates causes less flare up from the grill and is just as effective
  • When marinating any protein in an acid-based marinade (citrus or vinegar) be sure to use a non-reactive bowl. Glass, ceramic, stainless steel or Ziplock bags work best. Metal, aluminum or cast-iron bowls are considered “reactive” materials and will impart a metallic flavor into the food when they encounter acid. Leaving behind a very unpleasant flavor. Here are some of my favorite marinating essentials.
  • Only marinate this chicken recipe for 15 minutes for up to 2 hours. This marinade has lemon juice in it so it will breakdown the protein. If it sits too long your protein will get mushy and will be very difficult to grill. Make sure you cover the glass bowl with Saran wrap and place it in the refrigerator when marinating.
  • Once the chicken has marinated, remove the bowl from the refrigerator and let it rest at room temperature for 10-15 minutes. Here are my favorite marinating and grilling essentials.
overhead shot - Greek chicken souvlaki

How to Make Greek Chicken Souvlaki

Cube the Chicken Thighs

Cube your chicken thighs into 1-cubic inch sized pieces. This will allow for quick, even cooking.

Marinate the Chicken

Place the cubed chicken into a nonreactive bowl. Add the olive oil, fresh squeezed lemon juice, lightly pressed whole garlic cloves, Italian seasoning, bay leaf, kosher salt and cracked black pepper. Toss the chicken until it is well coated in the marinade. Make sure not to break the bay leaf. Leave it intact. Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes up to 2 hours.

Prepare the Skewers

If using wooden skewers, soak them in water for 30 minutes before assembling. This will help prevent them from burning on the gas grill. If using metal skewers you can skip this step.

Skewer the Chicken / Heat the Grill

Preheat the grill to 400-450 degrees Fahrenheit.

Pull the chicken from the refrigerator and let it rest for 10-15 minutes at room temperature before threading the marinated chicken onto the skewers.

Grill the Chicken

Prepare the grill according to the steps above. Brush the grill grates with avocado oil before adding the skewered chicken. This will prevent the chicken from sticking to the grill.

Grill for 8-10 minutes total, turning once or twice so the chicken cooks on all sides. The internal temperature should reach 165 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure doneness.

Transfer the grilled chicken to a platter top with freshly chopped parsley and serve alongside your favorite fixings. Warm pita, mixed olives, tzatziki, or simple salad all work well!

How to Store

Store leftover chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for three to four days. Reheat chicken in the microwave until warmed through.

Frequently Asked Questions FAQ’s

What does souvlaki mean? According to Wikipedia, “souvlaki is a Greek fast food consisting of small pieces of meat and sometimes vegetables grilled on a skewer.”

Why use avocado oil on the grill? Avocado oil has a high smoke point and neutral flavor, making it perfect for lubricating the grill and grilling proteins.

What can I serve this with? Mixed olives, warm pita, fresh lemon wedges, feta cheese or tzatziki are great sides to serve this chicken souvlaki with.

finished shot - Grilled Chicken Souvlaki – Healthyish Foods

Greek Chicken Souvlaki Recipe

This homemade Greek chicken souvlaki recipe reminds me so much of the dish I had in Greece. Cubed chicken thighs marinated and grilled to juicy perfection, then served with warm pita, olives, and a simple salad. It’s hard to explain, but Greek food is so fresh and simple.
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Ingredients

Greek Chicken Souvlaki

Marinade

Garnish

  • parsley, chopped small
  • lemon, cut into wedges

Equipment

  • 4-8 skewers metal or wood
  • 1 mixing bowl with cover or lid
  • 1 poultry sheers
  • 2 trays for food transfer
  • 1 grill
  • 1 metal tongs

Instructions 

How to Make Greek Chicken Souvlaki

    Cube the Chicken Thighs

    • Cube your chicken thighs into 1-cubic inch sized pieces. This will allow for quick, even cooking.

    Marinate the Chicken

    • Place the cubed chicken into a nonreactive bowl. Add the olive oil, fresh squeezed lemon juice, lightly pressed whole garlic cloves, Italian seasoning, bay leaf, kosher salt and cracked black pepper. Toss the chicken until it is well coated in the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes up to 2 hours.

    Prepare the Skewers

    • If using wooden skewers, soak them in water for 30 minutes before assembling. This will help prevent them from burning on the gas grill. If using metal skewers you can skip this step.

    Skewer the Chicken / Heat the Grill

    • Preheat the grill to 400-450 degrees Fahrenheit.
      Pull the chicken from the refrigerator and let it rest for 10-15 minutes at room temperature before threading the marinated chicken onto the skewers.

    Grill the Chicken

    • Prepare the grill according to the steps above. Brush the grill grates with avocado oil before adding the skewered chicken. This will prevent the chicken from sticking to the grill.
    • Grill for 8-10 minutes total, turning once or twice so the chicken cooks on all sides. The internal temperature should reach 165 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure doneness.
    • Transfer the grilled chicken to a platter top with freshly chopped parsley and serve alongside your favorite fixings. Warm pita, mixed olives, tzatziki, or simple salad all work well!

    Notes

    How to Store
    Store leftover chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for three to four days. Reheat chicken in the microwave until warmed through.

    Nutrition

    Serving: 1skewer or about one chicken thigh, Calories: 265kcal, Carbohydrates: 3g, Protein: 22g, Fat: 18g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 11g, Trans Fat: 0.02g, Cholesterol: 108mg, Sodium: 393mg, Potassium: 318mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 0.3g, Vitamin A: 51IU, Vitamin C: 4mg, Calcium: 38mg, Iron: 2mg