Prepared in a tasty yogurt marinade, these chicken kebabs are juicy, tender, and loaded with irresistible flavors. Infused in a Middle Eastern spice blend, these kebabs make for an easy and healthy dinner, prepared easily on the grill or in the oven.
Flavor-packed chicken kebabs
Chicken kebabs (also known as chicken kabab or kabob) are one of my favorite dishes to make all year round for multiple reasons: they are quick & easy to prepare, versatile enough to be served with almost any side dish, and most of all, they are downright delicious.
Rooted in Middle Eastern cuisine, kebabs signify various dishes of meat, fish, and/or vegetables roasted or grilled on a skewer, which has claimed popularity all across the world with different variants of the dish.
When I first shared these chicken skewers served over garlic turmeric rice on my Instagram story, I received a flood of messages asking for the recipe, which made it my top priority to share my go-to method of making these kebabs at home – on the grill, or in the oven.
These kebabs are marinated in yogurt, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and a blend of Middle Eastern spices to tenderize and flavor the chicken overnight, to be baked in the oven for easy cleanup.
Best of all, these homemade kebabs are so easy to prepare and are truly one of the best ways to make the juiciest, most tender chicken ever, thanks to the yogurt marinade.
Why yogurt makes the best marinade
Having a tub of yogurt is essential in my kitchen as it is perfect for adding a tang to a variety of my meals, but one of its greatest uses is to use it as a marinade for chicken.
Aside from making the chicken flavorful, the lactic acid and calcium in yogurt work to tenderize the chicken and help keep it moist while it cooks, even over high direct heat.
This makes yogurt the ideal marinade to use when cooking in high temperatures, such as on the grill or in the oven, giving the kebabs that beautiful char whilst maintaining that perfectly tender and juicy texture on each bite.
What do I need to make chicken kebabs?
This recipe is often my go-to on the weekdays due to its simplicity, but as it also calls for simple ingredients that are always readily available in my kitchen. Here are the ingredients you will need:
- Boneless, skinless chicken thighs: you can also use chicken breast upon preference, but I highly recommend using thighs as it results in juicier and more flavorful kebabs.
- Red onion, red and green bell pepper: added to the skewers for additional flavor. Please feel free to add any other vegetables to your preference!
- Plain yogurt: 2% or whole-milk plain yogurt (without any flavoring) will work best for this recipe. You may use greek yogurt as well, but it will need to be diluted a bit with a little water or milk to ensure that it properly coats the chicken.
- Olive oil + lemon juice: to add additional flavor and moisture to the chicken.
- Garlic: for that delicious garlicky flavor.
- Paprika, oregano, cumin, kosher salt, and black pepper: to season the marinade.
- Fresh parsley: optional, for garnish
How to cook chicken thighs in the oven or grill
Although kebabs are traditionally cooked on a grill, it’s not the most accessible method for many people including myself. This recipe works both ways and can be made to perfection in any environment.
The oven method also creates less mess, ensuring easy cleanup after the kebabs are done cooking, which makes it ideal for a busy night of good food.
To cook your kebabs in the oven: simply line your baking sheet with aluminum foil or any broiler-safe material, then cook for about 20-25 minutes, or until cooked through at 450°F (or 230°C). Make sure to flip the kebabs halfway through to ensure the chicken is evenly cooked, and finish on broil for that beautiful char.
If you have a grill at home: preheat, grease, and grill the kebabs until golden brown and cooked through, turning skewers occasionally, for about 10-15 minutes.
And that’s it! Super simple, easy to prepare chicken kebabs in the comfort of your home. This is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser, and can be doubled or tripled to serve your guests with ease!
For visual instructions, please refer to the video tutorial above (you will need to disable AdBlock if you are on your computer!).
I hope this recipe brightens up your week, and please do leave me a comment below or send me a message on Instagram if you have any questions!
Easy Marinated Chicken Kebabs
- 2 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs removed of excess fat and cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 cup red onion, red and green bell pepper or any vegetables of choice, optional
- garlic turmeric rice or any other sides such as naan or salad, to serve
- fresh parsley and/or lemon wedges to serve, optional
- Combine all marinade ingredients in a large container or food storage bag. Add chicken, red onion, and bell peppers, and toss until well coated. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours, or overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 450°F (or 230°C). Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with aluminum foil or any broiler-safe material.
- Thread the marinated chicken and vegetables onto skewers, and bake for about 20-25 minutes until cooked through and golden brown, flipping the skewers halfway through.
- Optional - switch the oven to broil for about 2-3 minutes for a lightly charred finish. Garnish with parsley and/or lemon wedges as desired and serve immediately. Enjoy!