Greek Lemon Chicken Skewers with Tzatziki Sauce

Grilled chicken breast skewers, marinated in a yogurt lemon marinade, grilled with lemon slices, served with cucumber yogurt tzatziki sauce

  • Prep time: 25 minutes
  • Cook time: 7 minutes
  • Marinating time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 3 to 4

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed of excess fat
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons plain yogurt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano (or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano)
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil plus more for the grill
  • 2 lemons, thinly sliced

Tzatziki:

  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 cucumber, peeled

Method

1 Soak the skewers: If using bamboo or wooden skewers, place them in water to soak while you prepare the recipe. You'll need either 4 flat skewers or 8 regular round skewers.

2 Cut chicken breasts, marinate: Cut the chicken breasts into 1 1/2 to 2 inch chunks. Place in a bowl and sprinkle with salt. Add the yogurt, minced garlic, oregano, pepper, lemon juice, and olive oil to the bowl with the chicken, stir to combine. Marinate for 30 minutes to an hour.

greek-lemon-chicken-skewers-method-1 greek-lemon-chicken-skewers-method-2

3 Make yogurt tzatziki sauce: While the chicken is marinating, make the tzatziki. In a medium bowl stir to combine the yogurt, minced garlic, salt, pepper, and lemon juice.

Grate the cucumber with the large holes of a box grater. Place in a strainer and press with your hands to squeeze out excess moisture. Add the grated cucumber to the yogurt mixture.

4 Thread skewers with chicken and lemon slices: Prepare your grill for direct high heat. While the grill is heating, prepare the skewers. Use either flat bamboo or metal skewers or double up regular bamboo skewers so that the chicken is easier to turn on the grill. Thread the chicken pieces onto the skewers with a lemon slice folded over like a taco between each piece of chicken.

greek-lemon-chicken-skewers-method-3

5 Grill: When the grill is ready brush the grill grates with a little olive oil (use a paper towel folded over several times and dipped in olive oil, hold with tongs). Brush some olive oil over the chicken skewers as well. Place the chicken skewers directly over the hottest part of the grill and cover the grill.

greek-lemon-chicken-skewers-method-4 greek-lemon-chicken-skewers-method-5

Allow to sear on one side (about 2 to 3 minutes), then turn the chicken skewers over to the other side, cover and cook 2 to 3 minutes more, until the chicken is browned and just cooked through.

Remove from grill and serve immediately with tzatziki sauce.

 

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Comments

  • Rochelle

    This was very easy and so delicious! My family of 7 all loved it. They were eating the tzatziki sauce with a spoon! I made sure to have plenty so that I can pop the leftovers into some pita bread to take for lunches tomorrow.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Jessica

    This was a very easy and delicious dish! I made a Mediterranean pasta salad to go along with it and baked up some pita slices.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Ellen

    Can I do this under the broiler vs. on the grill?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Ellen,
      Very good question! I haven’t tried cooking it under the broiler but I don’t see why that wouldn’t work. Please let us know how this approach works out for you if you try it!

  • Sonja

    We’ve made this many times. SO GOOD. EVERY TIME.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Katie

    Another great recipe. We loved both the chicken and the sauce. The flavor was bright and the chicken was juicy. I couldn’t think of a good side dish, though! Any ideas?

    xxxxxyyyyy

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Katie! So glad that you liked it! What about some sort of zucchini for a side dish, like this one or the salad part of this recipe? These skewers would also be great with some warm pita bread alongside. Enjoy!

  • Elizabeth Higgins

    This will be great for our barbecue party this weekend, Elise! The chicken breasts cut into chunks will definitely be tender and juicy and cooked just right to absorb the flavors from the tzatziki marinade/sauce. Since I am not at all familiar with tzatziki, is it really necessary to include cucumber in the recipe? Is there any alternative to it?

  • Dina Simmons

    The most delicious recipe ever! The chicken has an amazing amount of flavor and is so moist!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Caroline M

    This recipe is perfect as written! I’ve made this twice now (once tonight for company) and everyone cleaned their plate!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Kristen C

    Great recipe! We let the chicken marinade over night. We also cooked the kabobs with pineapple, onions, peppers, and zucchini – they turned out perfect. We served these at a bbq and several people asked for the recipe. Thank you!

  • Vanessa

    Could you thread the skewers and then leave in the refrigerator overnight to grill the next day? We are going camping and I would like to prepare these to bring with us on the trip.

  • Janis Wiggans

    I used Greek yogurt and this was absolutely delicious! Chicken was moist and so flavorful. I also put a skewer of cherry tomatoes on the grill–yummy!

  • Marie Shipley

    does your recipes have the nutrition facts available e.g., I am on a low/no sodium diet. Thank you.

    • Elise Bauer

      Hello Marie, no they do not. You might be able to find an online nutritional analysis tool. Or, if you save the recipe to a free service like Yummly.com, they offer that analysis on many of the recipes.

  • Anna

    I made this for my parents and boyfriend and it went over BEAUTIFULLY! The boyfriend isn’t a big fan of chicken breast because it dries out so easily, but the marinade plus the quick grilling took care of that problem. It was perfect. I rounded out the meal with gazpacho and toast grilled with olive oil and garlic. Simple and surprisingly quick to come together. Thank you, Elise!

    For what it’s worth, I did not remove the seeds from the cucumbers, but I did grate them onto paper towels and wring the excess water out–worked great.

  • Delphine

    Made these last night – they were excellent! I used Greek yogurt, added dill to the sauce and accidentally left out the cucumber. It was all delicious. I served it with the Greek salad and quinoa pilaf from this site – great combination for a summer evening!

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Delphine, I’m so glad you liked them! Great idea to serve with Greek salad and quinoa pilaf.

  • Julia

    Would plain greek yogurt work too? We don’t usually use any other type, but the consistency and taste is slightly different from normal plain yogurt.

    • Dawn

      I think it would be great. Greek yogurt is slightly thicker, but I don’t think that would be a problem at all. I am sure you will love the results – I will be making this over and over! :)

      • Dawn

        Sorry, what I didn’t say was that I often make Chicken Tikka Kebabs with spiced greek yogurt, and they work beautifully using the same grilling method that Elise describes.

    • AE

      I only make this recipe with plain greek yogurt. I prefer using whole fat or 2%, but you could go with 0% if that’s your thing. Greek does taste great in a tzatziki sauce though! I say use it! :]

  • Em

    Made these last night! Fabulous! Thank you! Our barbecue grill broke down so we made them on the stove-top with the grill pan and they still turned out delicious. Husband used the extra tzatziki on his salad. Thank you for another great recipe!

  • Catfly

    Thank you for this recipe. I made this tonight and served along with a side of Greek salad. It was awesome! Definitely a “make again.”

  • Courtney

    This chicken was amazing! Made it with some middle eastern cinnamon rice on the side.

  • Heather Latondresse

    Made the chicken skewers for company a few days ago and they were so tender and had an excellent taste. I used boneless chicken thighs and they were perfect. Only complaint was that there were no leftovers for my husband and I the next day.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Ivana

    I recommend adding dill in the tzatziki. Makes it so much more refreshing, and is the original Greek way :)

  • Lori

    I made this for dinner tonight. I substituted Greek yogurt for the plain yogurt. My taste buds are happy tonight!!

  • Brenna Rastrelli

    This chicken sounds delicious, I’m going to make it for dinner tomorrow. I like to make my tzatziki with roasted garlic it isn’t as sharp. I just mash it up with a fork and mix it in.

  • Kristi Rimkus

    It’s so true that chicken breasts can easily dry out on the grill, but your marinade provides tenderizing and yummy sounding flavor. With Seattle’s current heat wave, these chicken skewers with cooling Tzatziki are perfect.

  • Linda

    I just had a fabulous sauce made with yogurt, dried mint and rice vinegar. It was so good with grilled veggies and meat.

  • Dawn

    Just made these for lunch. So good! I have IBS, so I made low FODMAP adjustments, but they are not difficult. Just took out all of the garlic, and used garlic-infused oil (Trader Joes) instead. I am not lactose intolerant, but for those who are, just use a lactose free (Soy, almond etc) yogurt and you can still enjoy this very tasty dish!

  • Barb

    Also, I find chopping the cuke and salting it then wrapping in a couple paper towels for an hour or two also keeps the sauce from getting runny.

  • Barb

    Keith-It helps to keep the sauce from getting runny if you take the seeds out.

  • Keith

    Does the cucumber need have the seeds removed before grating it? Thank you.

    • Patrick

      I’m not 100% sure but I’d bet the answer is ‘yes’. The seeds would simply become mixed up with the other ingredients, not that that is necessarily bad. When I pick cucumbers, zucchini, etc, I get the slimmer ones to avoid the seedy, spongy center of many of those types of vegetables. If you used a slimmer cucumber, you may avoid the problem.

    • Laura @ RYG

      Oh my, I’m not sure about removing the seeds. All I know, is that my husband is always complaining about how dry my chicken is, how tough. I love how skewers just might be the answer. And you don’t need silverware which is ideal since I only have 8 forks which are usually in the dishwasher.