Easy and delicious chicken souvlaki pitas, with lettuce and tomatoes and drizzled with tzatziki. A great grilled meal or you can make in the oven, too!
About this chicken souvlaki pita
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, a classic chicken souvlaki pita is always a good idea! Simply set them to marinate as much ahead as you can, then grill and enjoy.
No grill? No problem. You can easily cook the chicken in the oven. Likewise, if you have no pitas, that is no problem. Skip the pita and make a simple chicken souvlaki platter with an easy tomato salad and tzatziki.
Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Lemon juice - fresh lemon juice is always best, for the freshest flavour. You need about 1 large lemon. Bottled lemon juice will also work here.
Pitas with pockets - be sure to make or buy pitas with pockets!
Tzatziki Sauce - store-bought or I've included an easy tzatziki recipe in the recipe card notes
Tips for Making Souvlaki Pitas
- 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, about 15 minutes (depending on size). 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.
- Sliced or diced red onion makes a nice addition to these souvlaki pitas.
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, from about 1 large lemon
- 2 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon marjoram, or more oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- 2 pitas, with pockets, cut in half
- Lettuce, sliced or torn
- Tzatziki Sauce, 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 medium 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.
Nutritional information provided for general guidance only and should not be relied upon to make personal health decisions.