Chicken Souvlaki plus a tomato and cucumber salad is a perfect summer meal! And this tasty chicken on a skewer is low-carb, Keto, low-glycemic, gluten-free, dairy-free, Paleo, Whole 30, and South Beach Diet friendly! Use the Diet-Type Index to find more recipes like this one.
Souvlaki is a dish that’s so classic it’s part of Wikipedia, which defines it as small pieces of meat grilled on a skewer. If I were writing the definition, I’d add that the Greek cooking trinity of lemon, garlic, and oregano would have to be included, and since I was making Chicken Souvlaki this time I also added a touch of thyme to the marinade.
I like traditional Souvlaki made from pork, as well as Lamb Souvlaki, but for a light summer meal I don’t think you can beat the combination of Chicken Souvlaki and a salad with cucumbers and tomatoes from the garden. I made that this week when my sister Pam and brother-in-law Kelly came for dinner and took a few photos to update this favorite recipe.
I cut the chicken breasts into crosswise strips. This shape allows each piece of meat to be folded over when it’s threaded onto the skewer, and prevents the meat from spinning on the grill.
Mix lemon, garlic, oregano, and thyme, plus a healthy dose of olive oil to make the marinade for the chicken.
Let chicken marinate in the refrigerator all day while you’re at work, and when you get home it will be ready to grill.
I love my double skewers, which really keep the meat from spinning on the grill, but if you don’t have skewers like this it’s even more important to fold over each piece of chicken when you put it on the skewer.
Spray the grill with non-stick grill spray or brush with oil before you preheat; then cook the chicken on the first side until you see grill marks.
Turn over and continue to cook until the meat is just starting to feel firm and nicely browned. I cooked these about 12 minutes total cooking time on a medium-high grill.
More Versions of Souvlaki to Try:
Lamb Souvlaki, Grilled Lamb Cubes Cooked Greek Style from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Halibut and Red Pepper Souvlaki from Mediterranean Cooking in Alaska
Kalyn’s Souvlaki (pork)from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Chicken Souvlaki and a garden salad is a perfect summer meal!
- 4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (You can cut the marinade in half for only four chicken breasts.)
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1 T red wine vinegar
- 1 T finely minced garlic (or garlic puree from a jar)
- 1 T dried oregano (use Greek or Turkish oregano)
- 1 tsp. dried thyme
- Trim all visible fat and tendons from chicken breasts, then cut each piece into 5 or 6 crosswise strips. (I made the strips about 1 inch thick.)
- Put chicken strips into large Ziploc bag or plastic container with a tight-fitting lid.
- Combine olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, garlic, oregano, and thyme and stir together with a whisk or spoon.
- Pour marinade into Ziploc bag or plastic container, seal, and squeeze bag or turn container over and shake gently so all pieces of meat are well-coated with marinade.
- Put into refrigerator and marinate 6-8 hours or more.
- To get ready to grill, remove chicken from refrigerator and let it come to room temperature, then drain chicken pieces and thread onto skewers. I put six pieces on each skewer, and folded over each piece of chicken so it wouldn’t spin around on the skewers.
- Spray grill with non-stick spray or mist with olive oil, then preheat gas or charcoal barbecue grill to medium high. (You can only hold your hand there for a few seconds at that heat.)
- Grill skewers about 12-15 minutes, turning the first time as soon as you see nice grill marks.
- Souvlaki is done when the chicken is slightly browned and firm, but not hard to the touch.
This recipe created by Kalyn.All images and text ©
Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Chicken Souvlaki like this is a perfect main dish for a low-carb meal as well as any phase of the South Beach Diet or any other low-glycemic eating plan.
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