Marinated and grill chicken souvlaki with a thick and creamy tzatziki sauce is a simple and flavorful dish the whole family will love.
Simple ingredients, incredible flavors, minimal prep and cleanup…. this is what summer eating is all about. And I’m going to miss it terribly when the season ends. Don’t get me wrong, I have a special place in my heart for Autumn flavors and the big, bold comfort food of Winter…but fresh summery fruits, veggies, and grilled entrees get me every time and they always disappear too soon.
This is my favorite version of Greek chicken souvlaki and it is every bit as delicious and easy to make as you could ever hope for in a summer dish. The chicken is marinated in a simple mixture of garlic, vinegar, oil, s+p, and herbs (fresh or dried, your choice) and then grilled to crispy-outer-juicy-inner perfection. The only other thing you need to turn it into a meal is a cool and creamy tzatziki cucumber sauce, perfect for dipping, dunking, and drizzling that chicken souvlaki.
Annnnd yeah that’s pretty much all there is to it! Three simple steps. Marinade, sauce, grill. DONE.
Gosh I love summertime.
- 1½-2 pounds chicken tenderloins (or about 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts sliced into 1½ inch wide strips)
- ¼ cup olive oil
- juice of 2 medium lemons (about 3-4 tablespoons)
- 4 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon mediterranean or Italian seasoning (see note)
- 4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 medium cucumber, peeled and sliced + ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups cold plain Greek yogurt
- 4 teaspoons minced garlic
- ⅓ cup chopped dill, fresh or frozen (may sub 2 tablespoons dried dill)
- 1½ tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ½ tsp salt, or to taste
- ⅛ tsp black pepper, or to taste
- Combine olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, seasoning, vinegar, salt, and pepper in a bowl and whisk to combine. Transfer mixture to a large resealable bag, add chicken, seal, and refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour.
- Spread cucumber slices out on a paper towel. Sprinkle generously with salt on both sides and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Wrap cucumber slices in paper towels, squeeze excess liquid out, and transfer to a food processor or blender.
- Add remaining sauce ingredients to blender and pulse until smooth and creamy. Chill until ready to use.
- Thread chicken onto skewers and discard excess marinade. Cook on preheated grill 5-6 minutes on each side until cooked through. Garnish with freshly chopped oregano if desired and serve with tzatziki sauce.
Traditional Greek chicken souvlaki only calls for Oregano but I like the mixture of herbs in a Mediterranean or Italian seasoning in the marinade. For a more authentic dish, you can replace the Mediterranean/Italian seasoning with 1 tablespoon finely chopped oregano leaves.