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Greek Chicken Kabobs with Homemade Tzatziki & Rice Pilaf

These Greek chicken kabobs with homemade tzatziki are so easy to make but packed with flavor.  The perfect backyard bbq dinner any time of year!

This post is actually a combination of three recipes which together, give you a great Greek style dinner to serve to your family and friends.  It’s just as good as your favorite Greek restaurant, we promise!! The recipes in this post are:

  • The Greek chicken kabobs
  • Homemade tzatziki
  • Easy rice pilaf

The kabobs are are bright and citrucy with intense flavor that pair perfectly with the rice pilaf and the most delicious and easy tzatziki that I have ever made at home.

What Is a Kabob?

Simply, kabobs are marinated pieces of meat and vegetables that are skewered and grilled! 

Is it Kabob or Kebab?

Its either or both or whatever you like.  Typically, people in North America say Kabob and those elsewhere in the world say Kebab. 

Ingredients You Will Need

For the Tzatziki Sauce

  • Seedless english cucumber
  • Salt
  • Greek yogurt
  • Garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Red or white wine vinegar
  • Fresh dill

For the Greek Marinade

For the Chicken Kabobs

For the Rice Pilaf

I know what your thinking: canned potatoes ? wtf!  I said the same thing when my girlfriend brought them to a bbq.  She said, trust me, they are awesome on the grill.  And she was right!  

I’ll never use canned potatoes for anything else, but always for these…  They are cooked already so they just get nice and crispy on the outside, but stay soft on the inside.  You just have to be careful when you thread them on the skewers though.  They can break pretty easily.

The first time I told Debbie we were going to use them, she looked at me like I had two heads, but she was converted.  Try them!  You will be too…

If you really don’t want to use canned potatoes, try using baby ones and par-boiling them first for 5-7 mins before you marinate them and thread them on the skewers.

Tools you will need:

Oh and a pair of these grilling gloves will make turning the hot skewers on the grill really easy!

How to Make Greek Chicken Kabobs

  1. First make the Greek marinade in a blender or food processor.  If you don’t have these, you can chop everything really fine and it will work great still.
  2. Next chop up all the chicken and veggies and throw them in the marinade for at least 1 hour.
  3. Thread the chicken and veggies onto skewers.
  4. Grill them till the chicken is done and the veggies are nicely chard in spots.

Tips to Make Perfect Kabobs

  • Chop the chicken pieces into the same size so that all the chicken cooks at the same rate.  Make the veggie pieces roughly the same size as well.
  • The longer you marinate the chicken and veggies, the more flavor they will have.  Do 1 hour minimum, but you can even do overnight.
  • Don’t overcook the kabobs!  This can be easy to do since the pieces are small.  Cook on high heat and only until the meat begins to brown or char.  Then turn over and do the same on the other side. 
  • To make sure the chicken is done, cut one piece (pick one of the biggest ones) and check to make sure its not pink inside.

Homemade Tzatziki Sauce

This homemade tzatziki sauce is the BEST!  I have tried many many tzatziki recipes but NONE tasted like the tzatziki that you get in the Greek restaurants.  This one does!  We learned the secret ingredient and now were going to share it with you!

This tzatziki has tons of garlic, fresh dill, and it has that tangy little bite that I have been looking for in a homemade Tzatziki and the secret ingredient is: red wine vinegar!

So simple, but it makes all the difference.  Well, vinegar and enough salt.

How to make tzatziki sauce:

  1. Grate a cucumber, mix it with some salt and let it drain in a sieve for at least 10 mins.
  2. Squeeze as much remaining liquid in the cucumber out and put it in a bowl.
  3. Pour the greek yogurt into a paper towel lined sieve and squeeze some of the water out of that as well.
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl and mix well.  Let it sit in the fridge for an hour to let the flavors come together.

Tips for Perfect Tzatziki

  • Make sure to get as much liquid out of the cucumber as possible.  Squeeze it out good.
  • Don’t skip the vinegar!
  • Taste it and make sure the seasoning is good.  If it tastes like it needs a little something, add 1/8 tsp of salt and stir.  Keep adding until it tastes right.  But give it a min in between additions. 

Making Rice Pilaf

If you have tried making rice pilaf and your rice turned out mushy and unappetizing when the onions and veg were boiled with the rice, you are not alone!  This happened to me too, and I’m surprised when I see so many rice pilaf recipes written that way.  Maybe I am doing something wrong… 

However, since I couldn’t get it right that way, I now always choose to make my rice pilaf by cooking the rice and veg separately and then throwing them together at the end.  It’s easier (in my opinion) and it always works!

Tips for the Best Rice Pilaf

  • Use less water than usual when you make rice.  For example, if you want to use 1 cups of rice and the package says use 2 cups of water, instead use 1.5 cups of water or just a little under that.  Our recipe calls for 2 cups of rice and 3 cups of water.
  • Don’t over cook the rice, or even slightly under cook it when you throw it in the skillet with the veggies.
  • Add some oil to the rice and veggies which will coat the rice so it doesn’t stick and give it a great texture.
  • We like lots of veggies in our rice, but you can actually add as many or as little as you like and it won’t matter to the recipe.

Both Debbie and I love this Greek dinner and our families and friends love it too! You really can’t go wrong! Each element to the dinner is simple to make but packed full of flavor.

We promise your going to love it!

Other Recipes You Might Like

If you’ve tried this Greek chicken kabob recipe then don’t forget to rate the recipe and let us know how it turned out in the comments below.  We love hearing from you! 

We love to see your creations!  Tag @Cookswithcocktails if you post a picture of this recipe on INSTAGRAM

Greek Chicken Kabobs with Homemade Tzatziki and Rice Pilaf

These Greek chicken kabobs with the BEST homemade tzatziki are so easy to make but packed with flavor.  The perfect backyard bbq dinner any time of year!
3.94 from 15 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main
Cuisine: greek
Keyword: chicken kabobs, chicken kebabs, greek chicken, homemade tzatziki, rice pilaf
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Author: Julie & Debbie



  • 1/2 seedless english cucumber , peeled
  • 1 tsp sea salt or more to taste
  • 2 cups plain greek yogurt
  • 3 cloves garlic , peeled and mashed into a paste
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp red or white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh dill


  • 2 lemons , juiced
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano


  • bag of wooden or metal skewers
  • 3 chicken breasts
  • 2 – 3 red , orange, or yellow peppers
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 large can potatoes
  • 10 – 12 mushrooms


  • 2 cups white basmati rice
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 carrots , diced
  • 1 onion , diced
  • 3 celery stalks , diced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • a little more olive oil if desired



  • Grate the cucumber using a box grater or food processor and toss with 1/2 tsp of the salt. Place the cucumber in a fine mesh sieve set over a bowl and drain for 10 mins. Next, take a handful of the cucumber and squeeze as much water from the cucumber as possible and put the squeezed cucumber in a bowl. Do the same for the rest of the cucumber.
  • Add the greek yogurt to a paper towel lined sieve and let it drain of some of its liquid as well. Give it a squeeze.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients along with the remaining salt and mix it well. Let the Tzatziki sit in the fridge for at least an hour to let the flavors come together.


  • First cut up all your veggies and chicken into bite sized pieces. Do not cut the potatoes, just leave them whole. Put the veggies in one bag or container and the chicken in another.
  • Throw all the marinade ingredients into a blender or food processor and wiz it up really well.
  • Pour some of the marinade over the chicken and make sure its coated really well. Then pour the rest over the veggies and mix them around till they are all coated. Marinate the chicken and veggies for at LEAST one hour, but the longer the better. Even overnight.


  • Turn your stove to high heat. Add the rice, water and salt to a pot and cover with a lid. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 15 – 20 mins or until the rice is cooked and fluffy.
  • While the rice is cooking, heat a skillet on medium heat. Add the olive oil, onion, carrots and celery.
  • When the rice is cooked, add it to the skillet and mix well. Season with the salt, onion and garlic powder and mix well.
  • Drizzle a little olive oil over the rice if desired. It makes it nice and shiny and delicious.


  • If you are using wooden skewers make sure to soak them well.
  • Heat your barbecue to medium-high heat.
  • Take your marinated chicken and veggies and thread them onto the skewers. We always alternate between the chicken, pepper, onion, mushroom and potato and then go back to the chicken, but you can skewer your chicken and veggies how you like.
  • Place the skewers on the barbecue and cook them for about 8 mins or until the chicken is cooked through. Turn the skewers every 3 mins or so.


This rice pilaf recipe makes a lot of rice. If you are not feeding too many people you might want to half the recipe, but the pilaf does keep for at least 4 or 5 days or you can freeze it.

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