Pork souvlaki (Σουβλάκι χοιρινό)

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The best recipe for the most tender and flavourful pork souvlaki.

The best recipe for the most tender and flavourful pork souvlaki.

Students of Greek literary classics and philosophy may remember that Homer, Aristotle and Aristophanes all refer to feasts of skewered meat in various texts and documents. Fascinating! Or, true scholars of ancient Greek things may read this and laugh, in which case it probably isn’t true, and Wikipedia lied to us.  You really can’t believe everything you read on the internet!

Regardless of whether or not the characters in the Iliad fortified their bellies with souvlakia before battling in the Trojan war, this Greek staple is definitely worth fighting for.  But, there actually is no struggle here; these pork souvlakia are incredibly easy and simple to prepare, and will likely satisfy every mouth you are feeding.  The only fight may be deciding who gets the last one.

The best recipe for the most tender and flavourful pork souvlaki.

Helpful hints

Making these pork souvlakia is easy, but it’s not something you can whip together with no planning.  For best results, the meat must marinate for at least 12 hours, or overnight, so plan ahead.

Our parents cube their own meat, and you should too!  It is easy, and much more economical than buying packages of pork which are already cut up.  Their meat cubes are typically cut into 1 inch pieces, but the size itself matters less than ensuring that the cubes are of equal size.

Pork tenderloin for souvlaki
Pork tenderloin for souvlaki

Prior to passing your marinated pork cubes on the skewer, you will allow them to drain in a colander, as described in the recipe.  This is a good time to soak your wooden souvlaki skewers.  Soaking the skewers will help prevent them from charring as the souvlakia cook.

Pork tenderloin for souvlaki
Pork tenderloin for souvlaki

Our parents grill their souvlakia, either on a gas barbeque, or a charcoal grill.  The cooking times vary slightly, depending upon the level of heat emanating from your grill. Therefore, the best way to ensure that your souvlakia are cooked, is to check them.  The pork should have only a hint of pink inside when you cut a piece open.

Grilling pork souvlaki

One of the marinade ingredients is Montreal steak spice.  You may be able to find this where you live, even if it’s not in Montreal.  Otherwise, you can substitute your favourite brand of steak spice, and when you come visit our beautiful city, you can pick some up.

Grilled Pork souvlaki recipe. Marinated overnight, and deliciously flavourful and tender
Grilled Pork souvlaki recipe. Marinated overnight, and deliciously flavourful and tender
Olive oil and lemon sauce. An easy and delicious recipe of only 3 ingredients, to liven up your grilled meat or fish.

You can serve your souvlaki on the stick, along with side accompaniments; in some parts of Greece this would be called kalamaki.  Alternatively,  you can prepare souvlaki pitas, by removing the skewer and wrapping your meat with a pita bread.  You can add lettuce, fresh onions, tomatoes and of course, tzatziki.  If you are feeling especially fancy, you can even add a couple of french fries to your pita.  Like, inside your pita…not on the same plate as your pita.  Inside!  It’s delicious!

This recipe makes lots of souvlakia…maybe more than you need.  That’s okay, because they freeze really well.  If your pork was never previously frozen, you can skewer your meat and freeze the raw souvlakia for another day.  If you are using meat which was previously frozen, then freeze your fully cooked souvlakia.  When you are ready to eat them, defrost in the refrigerator and warm up in the oven until heated through.  Super easy way to get supper on the table during a busy evening.

Looking for some more things to grill? Try these:

Lamb burgers with feta

Rack of lamb

Greek marinated chicken thighs

The best recipe for the most tender and flavourful pork souvlaki.

The best recipe for the most tender and flavourful pork souvlaki.

The best recipe for the most tender and flavourful pork souvlaki.

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The best recipe for the most tender and flavourful pork souvlaki.
The best recipe for the most tender and flavourful pork souvlaki.
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5 from 3 votes

Pork souvlaki

The best recipe for the most tender and flavourful pork souvlaki.
Prep Time45 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Marinating time/draining time12 hrs 30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Greek
Keyword: lemon, Pork recipe,
Servings: 25 sticks
Author: Mia Kouppa



  • 5 medium size pork tenderloins
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp dry oregano
  • 1 teaspoon steak spice we use Montreal steak spice
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 ¾ cups (425 mL) vegetable oil

For the olive oil and lemon sauce

  • 1/3 cup (80 mL) Greek olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dry Greek oregano
  • 3 tbsp (45 mL) lemon juice


  • Prepare your tenderloins by removing as much of the silvery skin as you can from the pork.
    5 medium size pork tenderloins
  • Cut into 1 inch cubes, trying to keep each cube relatively the same size.
  • In a large bowl, combine the vegetable oil and salt, oregano, Montreal steak spice and pepper.  Mix well.  Add the pork cubes and mix well by hand so that all pieces get coated by the marinade.  Cover with plastic wrap and keep in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours or overnight.
    1 tbsp salt, 1 tbsp dry oregano, 1 teaspoon steak spice, 1 ¾ cups (425 mL) vegetable oil, 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • When you are ready to skewer the pork (after it has marinated as indicated above), allow the pork to drain in a colander for 30 minutes.  Drain your pork into a large bowl if you are planning to roast potatoes.  You can use this drained liquid in your roasting pan with the potatoes for added flavour.
  • While the pork is draining, soak your wooden skewers in a bowl of cold water.
  • After draining, begin skewering your pork.  The number of pork pieces you will add to each skewer will depend upon its length, but a good rule of thumb is to ensure that you leave about 1 – 1 1/2 empty inches on either end.
  • Grill your pork souvlaki, on either a charcoal or gas bbq, on medium heat, until cooked through, turning often.  The pork is ready when it has only a hint of pink on the inside.
  • While the souvlakia are cooking, prepare your ladolemono (olive oil and lemon sauce) by mixing together the olive oil, fresh lemon juice and oregano.  Set aside.
    1/3 cup (80 mL) Greek olive oil, 3 tbsp (45 mL) lemon juice, 1 teaspoon dry Greek oregano
  • Once cooked, place your souvlaki on a serving platter and pour the ladolemono over them.
  • Serve with a lemon wedges, pita bread and tzatziki, if desired.
  • Enjoy!

12 thoughts on “Pork souvlaki (Σουβλάκι χοιρινό)

  1. When I was in high school–too many moons ago to count (like too many)–I spent 2 weeks in Greece. I loved Greece–although I am sure it is quite different today. I remember swimming in the Aegean Sea, walking through the plaka at night–looking for the nearest disco of course–spending time sitting in Delphi just soaking in the scenery–clambering over to the Parthenon–and watching dolphins chase our boat on our way out to one of the islands. We went everywhere, and well, Greece was–is–just magical. One of our chaperones was a very popular teacher, who was Greek and just so excited to be there, thought he would happily carry on the tradition of the throwing of the dishes until he was kindly escorted out of the restaurant! LOL But the downside to our trip were the horrible meals at the hotel! In fact, all I remember about the meals were those sad olive green peas. So a group of us like-minded foodies, including our overzealous dancing teacher, would head out–the nights we were at the hotel–to eat at stalls or small restaurants. It was fabulous–best food everrrr! But my favorite were the souvlaki stands. OMG I happily lived on souvlaki and Coke–breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I’d actually go at night or grab an extra one so I’d have one for the morning. I’ve never had anything since then that even came close to those heavenly wraps. Not even in any U.S. Greek restaurant. I don’t even remember if it was with pork or lamb–but I’m thinking it may have been lamb–oh–who cares? As long as there no obstacles to overcome getting it straight to my mouth! LOL So after all that, I just wanted to say–I’m sure as heck going to try this and the pita recipe I just spotted, and hopefully have a great food memory!

    1. Thank you so much for sharing this Valerie!! We felt like we were reliving this experience with you!! What an amazing 2 weeks that must have been 🙂 We really hope that you give our souvlaki recipe a try, and let us know what you think. Many who have tried it have said it was the best souvlaki they have tasted; so you never know…it might bring back delicious memories for you 🙂 Thanks again for stopping by and have a great day!

  2. Can this meal be prepared in advance for a camping trip? Can i marinade the pork and freeze it and then thaw to cook a couple days later? Or can i makes as recipe says and then freeze and reheat?

    1. Great question Liz! You can certainly try marinating the meat and then freezing it uncooked. We think that this would work beautifully!

  3. I made this recipe this past weekend and it was SO FLAVORFUL and tender! We had extra so I saved it for dinner the next night and used the olive oil/lemon/oregano sauce to heat up the pork in the oven, and it was EVEN better! Thank you for this gem!

    1. Amazing!! This is one of our favourite recipes, so we’re so happy that you enjoyed it too! You’re welcome and we hope you find more to love here 🙂

  4. Thank you so much for this recipe. I marinated the pork for several days and we grilled it on the BBQ last night. Just delicious. And we have leftovers, too! Yum. I’ll be looking at your other recipes for sure.

    1. Hi Barbara!! Thanks so much for taking the time to comment. So happy that you loved the pork souvlaki 🙂 We hope you find much more to love here with us. xoxo Helen & Billie

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