You're going to love these Chicken Souvlaki Lunch Bowls.
If you're a fan of Greek foods, you most likely have already tried Chicken Souvlaki and Tzatziki Sauce (and devoured it unnaturally fast, like me). That means you should understand why I had to make a version of it that could be taken on the go for work lunches.
Tender, juicy chicken that's been well-marinated in freshly-squeezed lemon juice, EVOO, minced garlic, oregano, and rosemary. Paired with a bed of quinoa, roasted zucchini and bell peppers, fresh tomatoes, Kalamata olives, and creamy, vibrant Tzatziki sauce.Jump to Recipe
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What is Chicken Souvlaki?
Traditionally, souvlaki consists of grilled pieces of meat served on a skewer. Most often the meat used is either chicken or pork (tenderloin). What makes this dish stand out is the meat is marinated overnight in a simple marinade that combines delicious Mediterranean flavors that are truly unique to this dish.
It's honestly one of the most perfectly seasoned dishes I have ever put into my mouth. I know that sounds like I eat plates, but I promise I don't.
What makes Chicken Souvlaki Lunch Bowls so delicious?
- Lemon for a burst of tangy freshness.
- Oregano for bold Mediterranean flavors. Seriously, don't skip this ingredient. It does amazing things to the chicken.
- Roasted vegetables for added health and deliciousness. You can get creative here with many different add-ins (I give some examples below).
- Pitted Kalamata Olives for a rich, red wine-y element.
- Quinoa for a warm, hearty grain that helps bulk up this meal and keep you full.
- Tzatziki Sauce for a cool, saucy element to these bowls. Dip. Every. Last. Bite. Into. It.
How to Make Chicken Souvlaki Lunch Bowls:
Ironically, I don't own a grill yet. Therefore, I didn't grill my chicken and vegetables or skewer them for that matter. So don't fret little one, this meal is DELICIOUS even if you don't have a grill.
If you do have a grill, I highly suggest skewering both your chicken and your veg and grilling them. The process will go much quicker this way. Simply just remove them from the skewer before plating. Be sure to cut your veg and chicken into even 1" cubes that will be easy to grill and cook at the same time.
For those of you out there who don't have a grill, you may use either a griddle, cast iron skillet, or grill pan. You just need to be able to get a nice sear on your chicken and ensure it also cooks through the middle at the same time. I like to use a grill pan. Sometimes the chicken cooks through during the sear, but other times I put the grill pan right in the oven for a few minutes to finish it off.
If you're cooking indoors, you'll want to sear your vegetables first. Set them off to the side in a bowl once cooked to your liking and then start cooking your chicken. You will also need a small saucepan to cook up some quinoa. Once all of your cooked items are finished, simply assemble the bowls.
Read below for some time-saving tips.
Notes on Chicken Souvlaki Lunch Bowls:
- Marinate your chicken the night before. Trust me, you will thank yourself for this. Not only does it save time and dishes the next day, but your chicken will have a much more developed and richer flavor. Marinate it cut into 1" cubes, so the flavors will penetrate all sides.
- Make Tzatziki Sauce the night before. (For the same reason as above.) You will save time and dishes the next day, as well as have richer flavors. This sauce comes together in less than 10 minutes, as long as you're not a slow grater.
- Cook quinoa the night before, or several days before. Optional: Plan it for dinner a few nights ahead and make extra so it's already made for your lunch bowls.
- Buy pitted Kalamata olives. You don't want to have to pit them yourself.
- Switch up the veg. I like to keep my bowls simple to save time, so I use only 1 orange bell pepper, 1 green bell pepper, and 1 zucchini squash. Some wonderful additions would be; whole mushrooms and red onion.
- Keep one veg cold. I prefer to keep my cherry tomatoes uncooked. It adds a fresh, cold burst of flavor and helps balance out the seared veg. If you don't like tomatoes, try out cucumber. Even canned chickpeas would work well here.
- If you don't have much time for prep, try swapping out quinoa for shredded lettuce.
Go here for my Homemade Tzatziki Sauce recipe!
Chicken Souvlaki Lunch Bowls with Homemade Tzatziki Sauce
For the Chicken Souvlaki Marinade:
- 4-6 boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into 1" bite-sized chunks
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 cloves minced garlic or 1 teaspoon already minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- ½ teaspoon salt
- pinch of dried rosemary or thyme optional
For the Bowls:
- 1 cup quinoa (when uncooked)
- 1 zucchini cut into bite-sized pieces
- 2 bell peppers (I used orange and green) cut into bite-sized pieces
- a handful of Kalamata olives
- a handful of cherry tomatoes
- one recipe of Homemade Tzatziki Sauce
For the Chicken Souvlaki Marinade:
- Wash, trim, and cut chicken into 1" bite-size chunks; add to a gallon bag. Add the rest of the ingredients to the bag. Shake the chicken around to coat it in the marinade. Refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours, or overnight.
For the Bowls:
- Chop zucchini and bell peppers into 1" chunks. If grilling: Skewer vegetables and marinated chicken. Grill, making sure to cook the chicken completely through and get even color on every side. If not grilling: Heat a griddle, cast iron skillet, or grill pan over medium heat with a tbsp. of EVOO. Sear vegetables first, then set aside in a bowl once tender. Sear chicken & finish off in the oven at 350 F until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 F.
- Assemble bowls: Spoon a bed of warmed quinoa onto a plate, followed by the cooked chicken and vegetables, cold cherry tomatoes, cold Kalamata olives, and a scoop of Homemade Tzatziki Sauce.