Chicken and Vegetable Souvlaki with Barley Pilaf and Tzatziki

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.

Prep Time:
1 hr
Additional Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
1 hr 30 mins
4 servings


  • 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 1/4 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


  1. In a large shallow dish combine lemon juice, parsley, oil, garlic, 1/2 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 1/4 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 1/4 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 1/4 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 Facts (per serving)

371 Calories
11g Fat
35g Carbs
35g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Serving Size 2 chicken skewers, 1/2 cup pilaf and 3 tablespoons sauce
Calories 371
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 35g 13%
Dietary Fiber 8g 29%
Total Sugars 10g
Protein 35g 70%
Total Fat 11g 14%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 86mg 29%
Sodium 500mg 22%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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