If you’re stopping by from Pinterest–a gigantic thank you! I am obsessed with Pinterest and hope I am not alone. You can check out more fun food ideas on my Project Dinner board. You can also see what else is hot from Club Narwhal here. I highly recommend the Thai Crunch Salad
chicken souvlaki, greek food, summer dinner party
Okay, so maybe I am kind of obsessed with the idea of moving to the Mediterranean and living out my life eating grapes from the vine and being fanned by palm fronds. Anyone want to join me? Unfortunately, I am also all too aware of something called “reality” and have thus settled on making as much Mediterranean food as possible this summer. 
We had some friends over for a Greek dinner party and feasted on a magnificent array of treasures: ridiculously tasty chicken souvlaki marinated in yogurt, lemon, and herbs topped with tzatziki sauce and piled high on a bed of fragrant rice. And of course, a heaping platter of Greek mezze to whet the appetite pre-feast. 
greek mezze, greek appetizers, summer dinner party
Al fresco dining is the heart and soul of my ideal summer. I love how the simple act of eating outdoors makes things feel special. We even busted out our wedding “china” (i.e., Maison from Target). I like how they kind of look like grown up versions of those familiar rippled paper plates of picnic pasts. 
To dress things up, we threw our wrinkly tablecloth over a folding Mainstays table (this thing is, hands down, one of the best purchases I have ever made–such a work horse!), and topped it off with a few dollar store sea-glass-esque votives. We could totally be whiling away the evening in a coastal Greek town, right? 
al fresco dinner party, summer dinner party
Pretty much every dish here can be made beforehand, which makes this kind of entertaining the best. In fact, the mezze, souvlaki marinade, and tzatziki sauce all taste better after sitting in the fridge for a day or so. Also, most of the dishes have echoes of each other in the ingredients–the rice flavoring and souvlaki marinade are almost identical. This makes prep pretty easy as well. Plus, yogurt marinade is totally magical–it tenderizes the meat and infuses it with something kind of perfect. We adore Pioneer Woman’s Crispy Yogurt Chicken.
souvlaki chicken, greek food
  • 4 large chicken breasts
  • 12 wooden skewers
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt (we used Fage 2%)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • handful fresh oregano, minced (or 1 tablespoon dried oregano)
  • handful fresh dill, minced
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
Preheat the oven to 425 F. An hour before you want to eat, marinate the chicken (you can also do this the night before) and soak the wooden skewers so they don’t char in the oven. Chop the chicken into 1 inch cubes and set aside. Toss the marinade ingredients into a large ziplock bag and smoosh it all around to mix it up. Add the chicken and seal the bag. Try to get the marinade to cover all of the chicken. A lot of souvlaki marinades call for lemon juice but I like using just the zest so the acid in the juice doesn’t toughen the meat. Let the chicken sit for at least an hour (on the counter) and up to overnight (in the fridge). 
String the chicken onto the wooden skewers. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or spray) and bake for 10-15 minutes, turning the skewers about half way. Depending on how thick your chicken is, you may need a few more minutes. Let the baked chicken sit for a few minutes before serving. Serves 6.
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1.5 cups long grain rice like Basmati
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • handful fresh oregano, minced (or 1 tablespoon dried oregano)
  • handful fresh dill, minced
  • 1/2 cup feta
  • juice from 1 lemon, to squeeze onto cooked rice

In a heavy bottom pot, heat the olive oil and sautee the onion for 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for a minute more. Add the rice and cook for another 3-4 minutes, until glossy and slightly golden. Add the chicken stock, lemon zest, oregano, and dill. Bring to a boil, cover, then simmer for 20 minutes, until rice is done. Mix feta into the rice and squeeze fresh lemon juice over the cooked rice. 

  • 7 oz. (1 container) 2% Greek yogurt
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 English cucumber, shredded
  • zest and juice from 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill, minced
  • pinch of salt
  • drizzle of olive oil

You’ll definitely want to make tzatziki the night before. The flavors get even more amazing if they hang out together for awhile. Mix everything in a bowl, except for the olive oil. Right before serving, drizzle with olive oil and serve with pita bread and veggies. 

Looking for more tasty chicken recipes? 
Check one of these tasty recipes below or follow along 
Sweet and Spicy Orange Chicken (this is ridiculously good!) 
Sweet and Spicy Orange Chicken
Perfect Roast Chicken inspired by Ina Garten and and Thomas Keller
Perfect Roast Chicken | Easy roast chicken inspired by Ina Garten and Thomas Keller
Nigella Lawson's One Pan Spanish Chicken with Oranges and Chorizo

Linked to Wonderful Food Wednesday, Show and Share, Whimsy Wednesday,  Wednesday Whatsits,  Wednesday Fresh Foods, Foodie Friday, Weekend Potluck, Foodie Friday – Rattlebridge, Friday Link Party

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  1. says

    These recipes look amaaaaazing! ๐Ÿ˜€ We went for dinner on Monday night and I discovered Tzatziki for the first time… totally hooked, and definitely keen to try those kebabs and rice too! Thanks! ๐Ÿ˜€

    • says

      Tzatziki is totally a sauce I could happily eat on everything! We don't eat rice that often but were totally in love with the feta in this. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. says

    I love your Greek party! Your table is adorable and totally Mediterranean… love the china! And the colors… And the food looks and sounds aMAZing! I'll be eating at a Greek restaurant tonight and you've totally got me in the mood, lol!

  3. says

    I feel like Greek food is the perfect food for summer! and I have a folding table that I LOVE! 15 year old me is super confused by the love between a lady and her practical, table purchases.

    • says

      The older the get the more okay I am becoming with my old lady ways. 15 year old me would be so depressed at adult me ๐Ÿ™‚ Like, what, you spend Friday nights crocheting and watching West Wing? How is this okay?

  4. says

    I have always thought I should do more "dinner party menu" type posts. Love this idea. Your meal looks wonderful. Let me know when you're heading to the Mediterranean, I'll be packed and ready to go. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for stopping by my blog and nice to find you through the linky party today.

    • says

      Lea Ann, you should definitely make more dinner party menus! I think a lot of people are a little flummoxed when it comes to creating a dinner plan of attack for a party. I'll let you know as soon as we're on board for our Mediterranean soiree ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. says

    I like your whole Mediterranean vibe–and the photo of your table (1, how'd you get that shot and 2, it looks GORGEOUS–beautiful colors) is just beautiful.
    I was at the beach last week and saw some sea glass-like rectangular trays, oh maybe about 10 inches long by 4-5 inches wide. Set of 3 for $20?? And that's marked down?? I should have checked out the dollar store at the beach to see what they had.

    PS-love your blog name–have you seen the narwhal card at Alaina's Mosaics? Adorable!

    • says

      Thanks, Kirsten! We have a place called the Christmas Store that has all sorts of inexpensive entertaining things–if you have one in your area, check it out. The table shot was simple! I just held my camera directly over it and snapped ๐Ÿ™‚ Also, I have not seen the narwhal card but I will definitely check it out.

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