Easy and delicious chicken souvlaki, served in a pita with lettuce and tomatoes and drizzled with tzatziki. A great grilled meal (or you can make in the oven, too!)
Prep Time: 20 min • Marinating Time: 1 hr (min) • Cook Time: 10 min • Total Time: 1 hr, 30 min
Last week I shared my recipe for Homemade Pita Bread, so this week, I'm sharing something to stuff them with! With BBQ season underway, this classic chicken souvlaki skewers are sure to become a staple. Simply set them to marinate as much ahead as you can, then grill and enjoy.
No pitas? No problem. Make a simple chicken souvlaki platter with an easy tomato salad and tzatziki.
Here are the ingredients you will need for these chicken souvlaki pitas ...
- Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- Lemon juice - about 1 large lemon
- Olive oil
- Garlic cloves
- Dried oregano leaves
- Dried marjoram - or more oregano
- Dried thyme leaves - optional
- Dried basil leaves - optional
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Pitas, with pockets
- Lettuce, tomatoes and tzatziki - store-bought or easy recipe included in recipe card notes
- When it comes to the marinade, the key herb for souvlaki is oregano. It's what gives souvlaki its distinctive flavour. The additional herbs are there to add a more complex flavour. Add as many of them as you have on hand, but don't stress it if you are missing one or two. The paprika is to simply add a little colour to the souvlaki really, so can be omitted as well, if you don't have on hand.
- Soak your wooden skewers for at least 30 minutes before grilling, so they don't burn. If you forget (I forget a lot :), simply wrap the exposed ends in a bit of aluminum foil.
- No grill? Cook these on a baking sheet in a 400F oven until cooked through. Pop under the broiler at the end to add a little colour.
- Don't over-fill your skewers. Leave a tiny bit of space between the chicken pieces, so they will cook through quickly and evenly.
- I like a lemon-y souvlaki marinade. If you find it a bit too much lemon for your taste, just scale it back a 1/2 Tbsp or so.
Be sure to cut your chicken pieces small! Small chicken pieces will marinate better, infusing flavour right through the chicken. The small pieces will also ensure that they cook through quickly and thoroughly. And finally, small chunks of chicken will make the chicken pita much easier to eat. Larger pieces of chicken will just make filling and holding the pita unwieldy.
Chicken Souvlaki Pitas
- 2 large chicken breasts boneless, skinless
- 1/4 cup lemon juice about 1 large lemon
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tsp dried oregano leaves
- 1/2 tsp marjoram or more oregano
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves
- 1/2 tsp dried basil leaves
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- 2 pitas with pockets, cut in half
- Lettuce sliced or torn
- Tzatziki store-bought or homemade *see Note 1
- Marinated cherry tomatoes *see Note 2
- Cut your chicken into small-ish, bite-sized pieces. Place into a bowl. In a small bowl, stir together all the marinade ingredients. Pour over chicken and stir well to combine and coat the chicken. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 8 hours.
- If using wooden skewers, soak in cold water for 30 minutes before using. Prepare the marinated cherry tomatoes and/or homemade tzatziki, if using (see Notes below), prepare them about 30 minutes ahead or more and refrigerate.
- When ready to cook, heat your grill to medium high (or alternately, heat your oven to 400F). Thread marinated chicken onto skewers, being sure not to fill the skewers too tightly (leave a tiny bit of space between pieces). Cook on the grill for 8-10 minutes, turning regularly, until cooked through. If using the oven, your chicken may take a bit longer. You can also place them under the broiler for a minute or two to add some colour.
- Prepare the pitas by adding some lettuce to the pocket. Spoon in some marinated cherry tomatoes, if using, Remove chicken from skewers and add to pita. Top with a drizzle of tzatziki.