As with most of my recipes, this recipe was inspired by a random craving I had for some Mr. Greek or Jimmy the Greek (for my Canadian friends). You know the one, a flavourful lemony grilled chicken served with a tangy garlicky potato and a cool tzatziki sauce with a big crisp salad. The perfect food court meal in my opinion! 😉
I had a craving for some chicken souvlaki with all the fixin’s including these lemony roasted potatoes!
Copycat Mr. Greek Chicken Souvlaki
And boy did this recipe deliver!
It turns out Chicken Souvlaki is so easy to make! Only takes a handful of ingredients and it tastes just like you get at the local fast food greek place. I would like to claim its just like you get in Greece, but I haven’t been to Greece so that is yet to be decided! 😉 If you have had chicken souvlaki in Greece please do tell me if this taste anything like it? Or did I get it all wrong? :p
Regardless, it tastes great! You only need a handful of ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry: Olive oil, garlic, lemon and dried oregano. And it is super forgiving so you can substitute out any herbs you like and it will still turn out great! I tried it with za’atar and herbs de Provence one time because that is all I had, and it tasted great!
I like to make this chicken souvlaki with chicken breast to keep this a lean meal. I normally will serve it with a big salad or just chopped romaine lettuce and tomatoes. I use the tzatziki as part creamy salad dressing and part dip. Add some of the lemony garlic roast potatoes on the side, and it is a delicious healthy meal that comes together in about 30 minutes!
This is a crowd pleaser, and kids will love it too since there is almost no spice in it. Of course if you want to add a kick you can add some hot sauce on the side. But honestly the flavour is so good, you won’t miss the spice! (My fellow heartburn sufferers rejoice!) 😉
Meal Prep Chicken Souvlaki
This is honestly a great one for meal prep. The marinade takes minutes to put together then you can freeze it for later. Take it out in the morning to defrost, soak some skewers and then skewer and grill the chicken for dinner! The chicken will be ready faster than you can make the tzatziki or roast the potatoes!
Air-Fried Chicken Souvlaki
You can also totally air-fry this chicken souvlaki. Just marinate and skewer the chicken as you would for the barbecue and bake in the air-fryer at 400F for 10 minutes!
The Secret for the Creamiest Tzatziki Sauce
In order to get a thick dip-able tzatziki (rather than a drippy sauce) you need to use a thick yogurt. Greek yogurt is the gold standard, but also try Icelandic yogurt, if you can find it, it is even thicker!
Alternatively if you don’t have a thick yogurt, or if you want it to be even thicker, hang your yogurt in a cheese cloth for a few hours to get out the liquid before you mix in the other ingredients and you will have an even creamier tzatziki!
You also need to squeeze all the liquid out of the cucumbers before adding it to the yogurt. Again a cheese cloth and a pinch of salt help make quick work of that. Grate the cucumbers to get them nice and fine. Then sprinkle with salt and squeeze in a cheese cloth. You will get out a lot of liquid. The dryer the better and the thicker your tzatziki will be! Perfect for dipping veggies, potatoes or your chicken souvlaki!
Also make sure to allow all the ingredients to marinate together in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving and the flavour will be even better!
Give it a go and let me know what you think!
Easy Chicken Souvlaki with Tzatziki
For the Chicken
- wooden skewers, for grilling optional
- 2.5 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into large cubes for skewers (about 4 chicken breasts)
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp dried oregano (or any mix of dried herbs you like, I tried herbs de Provence, italian seasoning and/or za'atar and they all worked really well)
- salt & pepper, to taste
For the Tzatziki
- 1/2 english cucumber, washed & partially peeled (stripes) or 2 baby cucumbers
- 1 tsp salt, divided
- 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp white vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 cups greek yogurt (try to use a thicker yogurt, otherwise it will be more of a runny sauce than a thick dip)
- 1/4 tsp white pepper (or black pepper)
Marinate the Chicken
- If you are using wooden skewers, submerge them in a dish filled with water and set aside to soak.
- Mix all the remaining ingredients for the chicken together so the chicken is well coated. Set aside to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
- You can freeze the chicken at this stage if you are meal prepping. Or go straight to grilling.
Make the Tzatziki
- Grate or finely chop the cucumber. Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp salt and use a strainer or cheesecloth to squeeze out the liquid. There will be a lot!
- In a separate bowl, mix all the remaining tzatziki ingredients and add the squeeze dried cucumber. Mix well.
- Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavours to come together.
- The tzatziki will keep in the fridge for up to 4 days. It also is great as a dip for veggies!
Grill the Chicken
- Heat your grill while you skewer the chicken on the soaked wooden skewers.
- BBQ the chicken skewers, turning often, until the chicken is just cooked through (internal temp of 165F) and starting to get golden brown on the outside. About 5-8 minutes.
- Transfer the cooked chicken skewers to a serving plate and allow them to rest covered in foil for 5 minutes before serving.
- Serve warm with chilled tzatziki for dipping, along with some lemony roast potatoes and a big salad! Enjoy!