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This recipe for grilled Greek Chicken Kebabs with homemade tzatziki sauce is light and fresh – the perfect dinner for summer!
Yup, here I am with another grilling recipe! What can I say? Tis the season! Since we love grilling so much, and since the 100-degree Texas days will be here soon enough, we are cramming in as much grilling as we can before that Texas heat wave really settles in and you can’t even step outside! And while we love to grill just about anything from sweet summer corn to steaks and burgers, today’s recipe, Greek Chicken Kebabs with Homemade Tzatziki Sauce, is perfect for when the weather really starts to get hot and I want to swap those cheeseburgers with a light and fresh dinner option. These Greek Chicken Kebabs fit the bill since they are a better-for-you grilling recipe, as they use wholesome and heart-healthy ingredients, like lean chicken breast and fresh vegetables. I also use Mazola® Corn Oil in the marinade because a clinical study showed Mazola® Corn Oil reduces cholesterol 2x more than extra virgin olive oil. To learn more about this claim, see Mazola.com. For all your grilling and cooking needs, stock up on Mazola Corn Oil at your local grocery store. Before you shop, make sure and text MAZOLA to 79495 between 6/20/19 – 9/26/19 to receive $1.00 back on your purchase of Mazola 40oz Corn Oil! Limit 1 rebate per household. PayPal account required. By texting, you expressly consent to receive multiple automated text messages on this offer. Consent not required as a condition of purchase. Message & data rates apply. Text HELP or STOP to 79495 at any time. Full terms: http://cbi.as/a38tw.
Just like in any season, the summer is filled with so many wonderful things, especially foods. I live for the fresh produce that summer brings, and I’m not going to lie, I also enjoy my fair share of luscious ice cream, indulgent iced coffee drinks, gooey s’mores, juicy burgers and loaded hot dogs. Since summer wouldn’t be complete without these foods and some fun celebrations with friends and family, I try to make sure and balance everything out.
Despite the heat, we still try to stay active and continue to do daily walks, (they just may happen at 7 am instead of after dinner), swim and play or workout inside. We also try to continue to eat balanced meals (including LOTS of that fresh summer produce) and make simple “better-for-you” swaps, like using no salt added canned beans or low sodium broth, so that we can occasionally enjoy those sweet summer foods.
Today’s recipe is a great example of a “better-for-you dinner” that we enjoy often with a few simple swaps. I reduced the amount of salt in my Greek Chicken Kebab marinade and instead used a generous amount of fresh herbs, garlic and lemon zest to add flavor. I then swapped out dark meat chicken thighs and used extra lean chicken breast that I marinated in Greek yogurt and corn oil instead of extra virgin olive oil, due to corn oil’s high smoke point and it being a heart-healthy oil.
In fact, Mazola Corn Oil is a staple in our kitchen since it is an all-purpose cooking oil that is an easy and smart heart-healthy choice for our family. Not only that, corn oil has a smoke point higher than most cooking oils, at 450°F, that is essential for not only grilling, but can be used in a variety of ways, including for baking, sautéing, stir frying, or mixing up in a marinade or salad dressing (like I’ve done for today’s recipe). And, since corn oil has a neutral taste that won’t negatively impact the taste of other ingredients, it lets the natural flavor of your food stand out!
This Greek Chicken Kebab recipe is a great make ahead dinner that will surely impress dinner guests! The meat is tender and juicy, and the vegetables get a nice crispy edge from the grill. I love summertime dinners like this and will probably brave the summer heat to grill up these chicken kebabs all season long!
Helpful Tips and Information:
What to serve with these Greek Chicken Kebabs?
I served these Greek Chicken Skewers with a homemade tzatziki sauce for dipping. However, you can use store bought sauce in a pinch or serve them with Roasted Garlic Hummus. In addition to homemade tzatziki sauce, I served these Greek Chicken Kebabs with grilled lemon and grilled pita bread to keep the dinner side dishes simple, but if you want a more hearty side dish, this Tomato Basil Orzo Salad or Greek Rice Pilaf would be great with these Greek Chicken Skewers.
How to oil grill grates:
- After your grill is hot and ready for grilling, pour 2-3 tablespoons of corn oil into a small bowl. Using tongs, dip a bunched up paper towel into the corn oil. Using caution, carefully wipe the oil coated paper towel over grill grates.
- Alternatively, you can wipe the oil coated paper towel over the grill grates BEFORE lighting the grill. After oiling the grill, light the grill and allow the oil to burn off. This method will still help prevent food from sticking.
What are your favorite summertime foods and what simple swaps do you make to your recipes to make them lighter and better for you? Please share in the comments below!
- For the Greek Chicken Kebabs:
- 1/3 cup Mazola Corn Oil
- 2 lemons, juiced and zested
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh oregano (or 2 teaspoons dried oregano)
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley (or 2 teaspoons dried parsley)
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh basil (or 2 teaspoons dried basil)
- 5-6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon each kosher salt and black pepper
- 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1 ½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1 red bell pepper cored, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 yellow bell pepper cored, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 medium zucchini, sliced
- 1 large red onion, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
- For the Tzatziki Sauce:
- ½ medium English cucumber
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 2 teaspoons Mazola Corn Oil
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley (or 1 teaspoon dried parsley)
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh dill (or 1 teaspoon dried dill)
- ¼ teaspoon each kosher salt and black pepper, or to taste
For the chicken kebabs:
In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the corn oil, lemon juice and zest, red wine vinegar, herbs, garlic, salt and black pepper to from a marinade.
In a separate bowl, stir together Greek yogurt, cubed chicken and half of the marinade.
Add the diced vegetables to the bowl with the remaining marinade and stir to combine.
Allow chicken and vegetables to marinate for at least one hour but no more than eight hours.
When ready to grill, prepare grill for direct cooking over medium heat (350°F to 450°F) and lightly oil grill grate with corn oil.
Remove the chicken and vegetables from the marinade and thread in desired pattern on skewers. Note: If using wooden skewers, soak skewers in water for at least 30 minutes before using.
Grill kebabs for 4-5 minutes on each side or until chicken is cooked through. Serve grilled Greek Chicken Kebabs with tzatziki sauce (see below), grilled lemon halves and grilled pita, if desired.
For the tzatziki sauce:
Peel cucumber and cut in half. Using a spoon, scoop out seeds and discard. Grate cucumber and place grated cucumber on several paper towels stacked on top of each other. Squeeze grated cucumber in paper towels over sink to remove excess moisture. Remove cucumber from paper towels and place in a small bowl.
To the cucumber, stir in the Greek yogurt, corn oil, garlic, lemon juice, parsley, dill, salt and black pepper. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour or until ready for use.
Other vegetables you could use in these kebabs are eggplant, yellow squash, green bell peppers or cherry tomatoes.