This Paleo chicken souvlaki recipe and tzatziki sauce is a flavorful Greek dish that is sure to make your tastebuds happy.
What is Souvlaki?
Souvlaki, my friends, is delicious. It’s skewered meat that is typically served with pita bread, sauces, and fried potatoes.
Many people eat this delicious dish right off the skewer. Traditionally, souvlaki would be cooked over a fire, but you can make this dish in the oven or on the grill.
If you think souvlaki sounds an awful lot like shish kebab, you’re right. They’re similar, but there are some distinctions.
Souvlaki vs. Shish Kebab
Some people will tell you that souvlaki is made with pork and shish kebab is made with lamb, but either dish can be made with whatever meat you’d like.
Souvlaki meat tends to be cut smaller, and shish kebab tends is more entree-sized. You might want to pull the meat off a kebab and use a fork and knife.
Shish kebab also includes vegetables. Souvlaki could, but that would be more unusual.
The biggest difference, however, is in the marinade. Both dishes marinate the meat, but they use different ingredients.
Souvlaki calls for acidic liquids such as lemon juice, red wine, and/or vinegar. Oregano is also a staple — Greek oregano is even better! Shish kebab would most likely soak up olive oil and spices such as paprika, turmeric, cumin, and coriander.
Now that you know the difference between souvlaki and shish kebab, let’s talk tzatziki.
What is Tzatziki?
It’s hard to spell, for one thing. The coziness of the “t” and the “z” feels so uncomfortable.
Other than that, tzatziki is a yogurt sauce or dip. It typically includes cucumber, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, salt, and mint or dill.
It pairs perfectly with souvlaki, offering a cool contrast to the piping hot meat.
To make a Paleo version of tzatziki, I used coconut yogurt instead of the regular kind, which contains dairy.
I also would not serve this with pita bread or potatoes.
More Paleo Skewered Meat!
Nothing is more primal than meat on a stick, so it’s only fitting that a collection of Paleo recipes would contain many options in this category.
Preheat the oven to 390°F (200°C). Soak wood wood skewers, if using, in a bowl of warm water for 10 to 15 minutes.
In a large bowl, combine the diced chicken with the olive oil, vinegar, dried oregano and smoked paprika. Mix well to evenly coat the chicken. Thread the diced chicken tightly onto the skewers and place on a rimmed baking tray. and cook in the oven for 15-20 minutes.
Place the skewers in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.
Meanwhile, to make the tzatziki, combine the coconut yogurt, crushed garlic, grated cucumber and fresh mint in a small bowl. Season the tzatziki with salt, to taste.
Enjoy the chicken skewers with the tzatziki sauce. If desired, serve with the skewers with the sliced tomatoes, thinly sliced cucumber and soft lettuce leaves.
All nutritional data are estimated and based on per serving amounts.