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Grilled Chicken or Pork Souvlaki Skewers

Grilled Chicken Souvlaki Skewers

I met my hubby while working for Sears just after I graduated from high school in Silver Spring, Maryland - I worked in the children's department and he worked in the stock room.  As soon as we met we hit it off and spent every minute we could together.  In the same shopping center as Sears was one of our favorite restaurants to eat lunch at - an authentic Greek restaurant called Chef Theo's.  The restaurant was owned by two older Greek brothers who knew how to make a mean chicken souvlaki!

Souvlaki is simply a Greek version of a meat kebab, (with or without veggies), that has been marinated in lemon, oregano, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper.  Having been to Greece twice as a kid, I have a lot of love for Greek food so we ate there frequently both while we were dating and after we got married.  I haven't been able to find anything comparable in Utah so I knew I needed to try and make some here at home.

This marinade can only be described as perfection.  The flavors are divine and the addition of Greek yogurt helps keep the marinade on the chicken and keeps the chicken nice and moist.  I made this with just oregano at first, but one day saw the za'atar in my spice cabinet and had to try it.  As I suspected, it took it over the top.  Served over rice with some extra lemon wedges, this meal transports me back to memories of Greece and my fun dates with my hubby at Chef Theo's every time.  

This marinade can be made for chicken or pork.  My favs are either chunks of chicken tenders or pork tenderloin, but you do you - chicken breast and boneless thigh meat work great too!  If you want to go all out with this meal, serve with a grilled flat bread and a Greek salad complete with lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, red onions, olives, feta and a lemon/olive oil/oregano vinaigrette.  It makes me drool just thinking about it!

Chicken or Pork Marinade:
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp za'atar seasoning
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • Juice and zest of two lemons
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
Other Ingredients:
  • 1-1/2 to 2 pounds boneless chicken or pork, cut in to chunks.
  • Red onion cut in to chunks
  • 1-2 lemons, sliced thinly with seeds removed
  1. Combine the Greek yogurt, olive oil, minced garlic, za'atar, oregano, lemon juice and zest, salt and pepper.  
  2. Stir in the chicken or pork cubes to completely coat, cover and let it all marinate for at least 1-2 hours in the refrigerator.
  3. Soak wooden skewers for 30 minutes in water and then thread 4-5 pieces of meat on to each one with pieces of red onion and lemon in between.  (Twist the lemon slices in half before threading it on. If you have never tried eating thinly sliced, grilled lemon, give it a try.  I love it, it almost caramelizes!)
  4. Place the skewers on the grill, rotating frequently until the meat is cooked through, (internal temperature of the chicken chunks should reach 165 degrees for safety, pork we cook more to 150.)  
  5. Serve skewer meat over rice, with flat bread or even in tortillas or lettuce cups.  

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