Chicken and Vegetable Souvlaki with Barley Pilaf and Tzatziki

Chicken and Vegetable Souvlaki with Barley Pilaf and Tzatziki

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From: Diabetic Living Magazine

This recipe combines two popular components of Greek cuisine: souvlaki and tzatziki. Souvlaki consists of skewered, grilled meat, and tzatziki is a yogurt-based sauce traditionally served with grilled meats.

Ingredients 4 servings

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Original recipe yields 4 servings
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  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • ¼ cup snipped fresh Italian parsley
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup regular pearled barley (see Tip)
  • 2 tablespoons snipped fresh basil
  • ½ cup coarsely shredded English cucumber
  • 1 (5.3 ounce) container plain low-fat Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup snipped fresh dill
  • 2 medium zucchinis, halved lengthwise and sliced ¼ inch thick
  • 2 medium red, yellow and/or orange sweet peppers, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 small red onion, cut into 8 wedges
  • Lemon wedges


  • Prep

  • Ready In

  1. In a large shallow dish combine lemon juice, parsley, oil, garlic, ½ teaspoon of the salt and black pepper. Add chicken, turning to coat. Cover and marinate in refrigerator for 30 minutes to 2 hours.
  2. Meanwhile, to prepare the pilaf: Cut 1 cup of the tomatoes in half. In a small saucepan combine halved tomatoes, the water, barley, basil and ¼ teaspoon of the salt. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, 45 minutes or until barley is tender and water is absorbed.
  3. To prepare the sauce: Press cucumber through a sieve to remove as much liquid as possible. In a small serving bowl combine cucumber, yogurt, dill and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt. If desired, top with additional cucumber and dill.
  4. Drain chicken, discarding marinade. On eight 14-inch skewers thread chicken, remaining 1 cup whole tomatoes, the zucchini, sweet peppers and onion, leaving ¼ inch between pieces.
  5. Grill chicken skewers, covered, over medium 10 to 12 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink and vegetables are tender, turning once. (See Tip)
  6. Transfer pilaf to a serving bowl and, if desired, top with additional basil. Serve chicken skewers with pilaf, sauce and lemon wedges.
  • Tip: You can substitute quick-cooking barley for the pearled barley. Simply reduce the cooking time to 10 to 12 minutes.
  • If using wooden skewers, soak in water 30 minutes.
  • Variation: To broil chicken skewers, place them on the unheated rack of a broiler pan. Broil 4 to 5 inches from heat 10 to 12 minutes, turning once. Or to cook on top of the stove, heat a grill pan over medium. Place skewers in pan and cook 10 to 12 minutes, turning once.

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: 2 chicken skewers, ½ cup pilaf and 3 tablespoons sauce
  • Per serving: 371 calories; 11 g fat(2 g sat); 8 g fiber; 35 g carbohydrates; 35 g protein; 86 mg cholesterol; 10 g sugars; 500 mg sodium;
  • Carbohydrate Servings:
  • Exchanges: 3½ lean protein, 2 vegetables, 1½ starch, 1 fat

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