Making your own Greek pork souvlaki is a fun family dinner idea! Everyone can choose their toppings and assemble their souvlaki wraps just as they like them. It’s also an excellent recipe for a larger group because it makes eight pork skewers. Greek marinated chicken skewers perfectly cooked on the BBQ or in the oven, wrapped in warm pita bread, and topped with creamy tzatziki sauce, diced tomatoes, and sliced red onions.
What Does Souvlaki Mean In Greek?
Souvlaki is small marinated pieces of pork or chicken grilled on a skewer. Souvlakia (plural of souvlaki) can be served by itself or where the pieces of meat are wrapped inside warm pita bread topped with thick tzatziki, tomatoes, onions, and sometimes fries or crumbled feta cheese!
Souvlaki means small skewer and comes from the Greek word “souvla,” which translates into skewer.
What Is Souvlaki Seasoning Made Of?
I used extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, seasoning salt, dry oregano, minced garlic, black pepper, yellow mustard, brown sugar, and all-purpose Greek seasoning for this pork souvlaki marinade. Ideally, the pork should marinate in the fridge for at least one hour to absorb all the delicious flavours!
What Type Of Meat Is Used For Souvlaki?
Traditionally, souvlaki is made with small pork or chicken pieces. However, a vegetarian option could be baked or grilled vegetable skewers wrapped in a warm pita wrap with tzatziki and grilled halloumi cheese.
What Is The Difference Between Souvlaki and Gyro?
Souvlaki is marinated pork or chicken grilled or baked on a skewer. Gyros are usually made up of a combination of beef and lamb on a vertical rotisserie and then shaved off of the rotisserie in thin slices. Gyros is served the same way as wrapped pork souvlaki with tzatziki, tomatoes, and onions.
How To Bake Pork Souvlaki In The Oven
It’s hard to replicate the smokiness and deliciousness of BBQ souvlaki, but if it’s -10 degrees outside or you don’t have access to a BBQ, then making pork souvlaki in the oven is a great alternative!
Plus, while the pork souvlaki is in the oven, you’ll have time to dice the veggies, prepare the tzatziki, and heat the pita bread. You can use store-bought pita bread, or if you’re looking for a homemade pita bread recipe, I have a quick no-yeast pita bread recipe.
It’s super easy to bake pork souvlaki in the oven. First, preheat your oven to 375 degrees F and bake the pork souvlaki in the oven for 30 minutes. Halfway through, at about the 15-minute mark, flip the souvlaki over so that both sides can brown nicely.
After the souvlaki skewers have been in the oven for 30 minutes, increase the heat to 400 degrees F and bake the pork skewers on high heat for another 5-7 minutes to make the exterior crispy!
I’ve placed the souvlakia on a wire rack in the baking sheet, but you can also directly set the souvlakia on the non-stick baking sheet.
When preparing the skewers, the pork cubes should be close together but not too close together. The cubes should be cut into 1″ cubes, especially if you’re going to put the pork souvlaki into a wrap because you don’t want the pieces to be too big as you bite into the wrap.
The cooking times may vary depending on the size of your pork cubes and oven, but the internal temperature of the pork should be at least 145 degrees F.
How To Cook Pork Souvlaki On The BBQ
Pork souvlaki can quickly be cooked on your outdoor grill! Place the pork skewers on the hot grill for about 6-7 minutes on each side. Remove from the heat and top with a good squeeze of lemon juice.
- Soak the wooden skewers in cold water for 15-30 minutes. You could also use metal skewers if you have those on hand instead.
- Trim as much fat as possible from the pork while cutting it into 1″ cubes. Discard the fat.
- Let the pork cubes sit in the souvlaki marinade for at least 1-4 hours to absorb all the delicious flavours!
- Prepare the pita bread and souvlaki toppings while the souvlaki is marinating or baking so that you’re ready to assemble your souvlaki when the pork is cooked!
HOW TO MAKE TRADITIONAL GREEK SOUVLAKI: STEP BY STEP
STEP 1: Soak 8-10 wooded skewers in cold water for 15 minutes. This step is important so that the wooden skewers don’t burn while the pork skewers are baking in the oven or cooking on the BBQ.
STEP 2: In a small bowl, add extra virgin olive oil, fresh lemon juice, dry oregano, minced garlic, seasoning salt, black pepper, mustard, and brown sugar, and whisk well together. If you’d like, set some of the marinade aside before adding the pork cubes to the marinade so that you can brush it on the pork souvlakia once they’re cooked.
STEP 3: Remove as much fat as possible from the pork shoulder and cut the pork into approximately 1-inch cubes. The pork cubes should be similar in size so that they cook evenly. Place the pork cubes in a large bowl.
Pour the marinade over the pork cubes and use your hands to mix the pork so that all the pieces are covered evenly. Cover the bowl with saran wrap or plastic wrap and let the pork marinate for at least 1-4 hours in the refrigerator.
STEP 4: Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F on convection bake after marinating the pork for at least one hour. Prepare the pork skewers. Thread the meat onto the skewers (about 5-6 pieces per skewer). Make sure to leave a little bit of space between the pork cubes. Place the skewers on a baking sheet and place them in the oven. This recipe makes about eight pork skewers.
STEP 5: While the souvlakia are cooking in the oven, you can prepare the toppings and pita bread. Dice the tomatoes and red onion. Prepare the tzatziki and fries. It’s easier to have everything prepped so that you’re ready to make it once the pork souvlaki is cooked!
STEP 6: Next, assemble the souvlaki wrap! Or, if you’d like, you can enjoy the hot skewers as they are with a side of creamy tzatziki sauce and lemon wedges. Another option is to sprinkle a little bit of all-purpose Greek seasoning on top of the souvlakia or brush the souvlakia with some of the set-aside marinade.
How Do You Assemble Souvlaki?
Souvlaki is very popular in Greece, either as just the souvlaki skewer and also as wrapped pita souvlaki. To assemble your souvlaki, place the pita bread on top of a piece of parchment paper or aluminum foil. The top half of the pita bread should be exposed, and the bottom half should be on top of the parchment paper or aluminum foil.
Then, add the authentic tzatziki sauce, pork souvlaki pieces (without the stick), and your desired toppings. Fold both sides of the pita bread together, and then tightly wrap the parchment paper around the bottom half of the souvlaki.
What To Serve With Pork Souvlaki
- Homemade Fries
- Roasted Greek Lemon Potatoes
- Easy Homemade No Yeast Pita Bread
- Classic Greek Village Salad
- Creamy Tzatziki Sauce
- Greek Roasted Tiny Lemon Potatoes
Traditional Greek Pork Souvlaki Recipe
- 2.5 lbs. pork shoulder cut into cubes
- 1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice about 1-2 lemons
- 1 tablespoon dry oregano
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic 2-3 cloves of garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar or honey
- 1 teaspoon all-purpose Greek seasoning to sprinkle on top once the souvlakia are cooked
- 2 red onions finely sliced or diced
- 2 tomatoes diced
- 3 Yukon gold potatoes optional if you’d like to add fries to your souvlaki
- 8 pita bread wraps
- 250-450 grams tzatziki sauce the amount will vary depending on how much tzatziki you like in your souvlaki!
Optional toppings to include in your souvlaki wrap!
- Sliced cucumber
- Crumbled feta cheese
- Paprika seasoning
- Soak 8-10 wooded skewers in cold water for 15-30 minutes.
- In a small bowl, add the extra virgin olive oil, fresh lemon juice, dry oregano, minced garlic, seasoning salt, black pepper, mustard, brown sugar and whisk well together. Reserve some of the marinade for later to brush onto the cooked souvlakia.
- Remove as much fat as possible from the pork shoulder and cut the pork into approximately 1-inch cubes. It's best for the pork cubes to be similar in size so that they cook evenly. Place the pork cubes in a large bowl and pour the remainder of the marinade over the pork cubes. Use your hands to mix the pork so that all the pieces are covered evenly. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the pork marinate for at least 1-4 hours in the refrigerator.
- After the pork has marinated, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F on convection bake. Prepare the pork skewers. Thread the meat onto the skewers (about 5-6 pieces per skewer). Place the skewers on a baking sheet and place them in the oven.
- While the souvlakia are cooking in the oven, you can prepare the toppings and pita bread. Dice the tomatoes and red onion. Prepare the tzatziki and fries. It's easier to have everything prepped so that once the pork souvlakia are cooked you're ready to make you souvlaki!
- Next, assemble your souvlaki wraps! Or if you'd like, you can enjoy the hot skewers as they are with a side of creamy tzatziki sauce and lemon wedges. Optional to sprinkle some all-purpose Greek seasoning on top of the souvlakia or you can brush them with some of the set aside marinade.
- Soaking the wooden skewers is important so that they don't burn while the pork skewers are baking in the oven or cooking on the BBQ.
- Make sure to leave a little bit of space between the pork cubes on the skewer. This recipe makes about 8 pork skewers.
- The quantity of toppings is up to you and you can adjust the amount if you'd like!
Date Published: March 1, 2022