This marinated chicken on a stick is one recipe you need to make. My Air fryer Greek chicken souvlaki recipe is easy to make, flavorful and fits right into most diets. It’s a perfect low carb or keto side to tomatoes, onions and lettuce.
No need to use the grill or turn on your oven. In less than 20 mins you will get this easy Greek fast food from air fryer to the table. Simply get your fixings ready while the Air fryer does it’s thing.
What is Souvlaki (Greek Souvlaki)
Greek Souvlaki or Souvlakia (plural form) as the name implies is a Grecian street food that’s looked upon the National Greek food. Just like Kabobs / Kebabs, Souvlaki simply means grilled meat on skewers.
It can be eaten as a grab and go meal while walking down the streets of Athens or eaten in a restaurant like Souvlatzidiko.
Souvlaki can be made with pork, chicken or lamb. These marinated skewered meats are usually sold in wraps of pita bread with tzatziki sauce.
Souvlaki VS Gyros, what’s the difference
Souvlaki and gyros are both street foods that include some form meats served on pita bread. The major difference in gathered is that while souvlaki is made from grilled skewered meats, gyros are made from meat slices shaved from a rotating meat cone which is a vertical rotisserie style stack of grilled meats.
Both are commonly made with pork but can be made with beef, lamb or chicken and served with a side of veggies, chips and the yogurt dip tzatziki.
Souvlaki and gyros can be served as platters, however souvlaki is more popularly eaten on the skewers while gyros are eaten in pita bread wraps. You can read more of the differences between these 2 Greek fast foods in the linked article.
What ingredients do you need to make Greek chicken souvlaki in the air fryer
- Boneless skinless Chicken thighs or breasts
- Mediterranean style Oregano: You can substitute with Italian style oregano. Did you there are different types of oregano leaves? Let me know if you did in the comments below.
- Garlic powder or cloves
- White pepper
- Black pepper
- Cayenne pepper
- Lemon juice
- White wine. I didn’t use white wine in this recipe as I didn’t have any on hand. Since I happen to see it used in most souvlaki recipes, I thought to mention it. If you intend to use it, you can add about 2 Tablespoons of white wine to the marinade.
This is a marinated meat recipe so it needs a good and tasty marinade to infuse rich flavors into the chicken skewers. To make the marinade I gather all my spices and herbs and mix them together in a bowl before coating the bite sized meats in the marinade.
I like to marinade the chicken for 30 mins up to 2 hours and sometimes 24 hrs if time permits. However if time is an issue, marinate for a minimum 10-15 mins on the counter top should do the trick.
How to make Air fryer Chicken Souvlaki
Now to the fun part! This is an overview of the recipe. Full recipe and tips can be found in the printable recipe card at the bottom of this page.
Cut up the chicken into bite sized pieces. 2 inch cubes should be fine. Marinade chicken bites in the souvlaki marinade for at least 30 mins. While the chicken is marinating, soak the wooden skewers in water this would prevent it from getting burnt as the meat cooks.
When the chicken is ready, thread the meats on the skewers and air fry at 400°F / 204°F for 15 mins flipping half way through. The meat is cooked when the internal temperature is at least 165°F / 74°C and meat is no longer pink.
Don’t have an air fryer just yet? Not to worry there are other ways to make Greek souvlaki
Pan fry on the stove top
You can pan fry chicken souvlaki on the stovetop using a cast iron grill pan. Simply pan fry till cooked through.
Make it in the oven
Preheat the oven to 400°F / 204°C. Place marinated chicken skewers on parchment paper lined baking sheet. You can also bake on the rack in the baking sheet.
Bake for 25 to 30 mins flipping half way through. You can use that me broil setting for an extra minute or two.
How to serve
Chicken souvlaki is usually served with a variety of fixings some of them include
Greek Souvlaki is best enjoyed immediately. However if you need to store leftovers, I’d suggest you remove the chicken from the skewers and store in an air tight container for up to 2 days in the fridge.
Leftovers can be used in salads.
Tips for success
- I love to use boneless skinless chicken thighs because they make juicy kebabs and don’t dry out easily. However I’ve also used boneless chicken breasts and they worked fine.
- Marinating the chicken for a minimum of 30 mins will make the chicken flavorful.
- I used garlic powder for this recipe. To use fresh garlic cloves swap out the garlic powder for 4 cloves of garlic
What kind of meat is souvlaki, is it healthy?
Souvlaki is a meat on stick recipe. It could be made with pork chicken, lamb or beef. The most common being pork. In my opinion this is a healthy side dish.
How do you eat chicken souvlaki
Chicken souvlaki can be eat right from the stick or unthreaded from the stick and served with various fixings like tomatoes, onions, tzatziki and pita bread.
Is Souvlaki a Kebab?
Kebab simply means meat on a skewer so technically souvlaki is a type of kebab.
What country does souvlaki originate from?
Souvlaki is a Mediterranean delicacy originating from Greece.
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Air fryer Greek Chicken Souvlaki recipe
- Air fryer 5.8qt
- Perforated Parchment paper
- Bamboo skewers
- 2 lbs Boneless skinless Chicken thighs or breasts
- 1 tablespoon Mediterranean style Oregano
- 2 tablespoon Oil
- 3 teaspoons Garlic powder or 4 cloves of garlic
- 1 ¼ teaspoon Salt
- 1 teaspoon Paprika
- ½ teaspoon White pepper
- ½ teaspoon Black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon Cayenne pepper
- 3 Tablespoons Lemon juice
Prepare souvlaki marinade
- Mix salt, spices, herbs, oil and lemon juice in a bowl and set aside
- Wash and pat chicken dry with a clean paper towel.
- Cut chicken thighs into 2 inch bite sized pieces.
- Combine the chicken bites with the marinade till well coated. Set aside in the refrigerator to marinate for at least 30 mins.
- While the chicken is marinating soak the bamboo skewers in water to keep it from burning during cooking.
- When ready to bake, thread the chicken pieces on the skewers till all the meat has been threaded.
- Place chicken skewers in a parchment paper lined air fryer basket. Mine takes 4 at a time.
- Bake at 400°F / 204°C for 15 mins flipping half way through cooking time. Internal temperature should be at least 165°F / 74°C
- Let it rest for 2 minutes then bake the next batch.
- Serve with your favorites fixings
- This recipe makes 8-10 souvlaki chicken skewers.
- If you can’t have Mediterranean oregano you can substitute with Italian oregano.
- If you are in a hurry you let chicken rest for 10 mins on the counter after mixing with marinade.
Nutritional information is an estimate and may change based on products used. Please read full nutrition disclaimer here.