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Yogurt-Marinated Chicken Kabobs (Grilled or Oven-Baked)

5 from 5 community reviews

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These chicken kabobs are marinated in a lemony, herby yogurt-tahini sauce, and seasoned with plenty of Mediterranean ingredients. The tasty skewers are loaded up with chunks of boneless chicken (use breast or thigh meat), cherry tomatoes, zucchini, bell pepper and feta cheese. Serve them with plenty of extra sauce and a squeeze of lemon!

Chicken, tomato, zucchini and bell pepper kebabs on a serving platter, atop yogurt sauce and garnished with lemon slices and cilantro.

This is my favorite recipe for tangy, fire-kissed chicken kabobs — they’re fun to serve perfectly charred hot off the grill (or bake them in the oven if you don’t have access to a grill). They taste just as good at room temperature, which makes them a great option for make-ahead entertaining.

The creamy yogurt-tahini sauce does double-duty as chicken kabob marinade AND a savory dipping sauce. This recipe is included in my 25 Mediterranean Diet Recipes round-up and is a fave pick from my chicken recipe collection.

There’s something so satisfying about almost anything treaded on skewers and cooked over a fire (hello grilled chicken bruschetta!). That smoky taste that comes from grilling kabobs is sensational — whether they’re made with meat, seafood or simply a variety of vegetables.

Ingredient overview

Ingredients for making chicken kebab recipe, including chicken breast, tomatoes, bell pepper, zucchini, spices and marinade.
  • Boneless chicken pieces: Shop for chicken breast or thigh meat to make the kabobs — the choice is yours. I prefer thighs because recipes made with chicken thighs are so flavorful, and they have a higher fat content than breasts. That means it’s easier to grill them without worrying about drying out the meat, which is why I use them when cooking sweet and sticky chicken thighs.
  • Cherry tomatoes: Round cherry tomatoes are easier to pierce with skewers than oblong grape tomatoes, but you can use whichever is available in your market. I love to add a pop of color by using a variety of red, orange and yellow tomatoes when I see them in the produce section. They’re my pick for making a tasty bruschetta sauce for chicken.
  • Zucchini: I use one medium-sized or two smaller green zucchini, you can also use yellow squash.
  • Bell peppers: Red, orange or yellow bell peppers are so much sweeter than green ones. They’re my favorite for roasting and for a chicken and peppers recipe! Use two different colors for a pretty presentation.
  • Marinade: The kebab marinade doubles as a sauce. It’s made with yogurt, tahini paste and lemon juice, seasoned with oregano, ground cumin, cayenne pepper and fresh garlic.

Recipe steps

  • The marinade is a classic combo of thick plain yogurt and tahini paste. It adds mouthwatering tanginess and creamy texture to each bite. You can make the sauce a couple days ahead — just whisk before using and drizzle in some water if you think it’s too thick.

Cooking and prep tips:

  • To ensure everything on the skewer cooks evenly, cut all your ingredients so they’re about the same size. I suggest cutting the chicken and veggies into chunky 1-1/2-2-inch slices, about the same size as a plump cherry tomato.
  • Choose 12-inch long wood or metal skewers so the food has maximum contact with the grill without crowding. They’re also they’re easier to flip.
  • Try not to overload each skewer — aim for about 8-10 pieces on each one.
  • To prevent sticking, get your grill nice and hot before putting the skewers on the rack.
  • Grab a pair of long-handled tongs to prevent burns!

Cook time for chicken kabobs

  • Cubed chicken on skewers will take about 10 minutes to cook on the grill, give or take, depending on your grill. Oven-baked chicken skewers will be ready after about 20 minutes at 450 degrees.
  • When the meat feels firm and has no trace of pink inside (internal temperature should be close to 165 degrees), they’re done.

Serving ideas and finishing touches

  • If you’re on a low-carb diet you can totally make a meal out these healthful skewers. Serve them on a platter with some arugula, romaine leaves or baby greens tucked in on the plate.
  • To round out a meal with some carbs, make a side of my couscous cucumber salad to serve alongside.
  • Warm up some pita breads to serve with the kabobs.
  • Make a extra batch of tangy tahini sauce for drizzling over.
  • Sprinkle the skewers with some flaky sea salt and a squeeze of lemon for the ultimate spark of freshness and flavor.
Chicken, tomato, zucchini and bell pepper kebabs on a serving platter, atop yogurt sauce and garnished with lemon slices and cilantro.

Yogurt-Marinated Chicken Kabobs (Grill or Oven-Baked)

Karen Tedesco
These chicken kabobs are marinated in a lemony, herby yogurt-tahini sauce, and stacked with Mediterranean ingredients. The tasty skewers are loaded up with chunks of boneless chicken (use breast or thigh meat), cherry tomatoes, zucchini, bell pepper and feta cheese. Serve them with plenty of extra sauce and a squeeze of lemon!
Print Pin
5 from 5 community reviews
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Marinating 15 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Chicken
Cuisine Mediterranean
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients

Yogurt Marinade + Sauce

  • ½ cup (75 ml) thick plain yogurt, Greek or Icelandic-style preferred
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) tahini paste
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons (15 ml) cold water
  • 2 teaspoons (2 ml) grated or finely chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano, or 2 teaspoons fresh chopped oregano or thyme
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼-½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, to taste

Chicken Skewers

  • 1 ½ pounds (675 g) boneless chicken thigh or breast, cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
  • (2 ml) Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1½-2 cups (225 g) red cherry tomatoes, or use assorted colors
  • 1 medium (250 g) zucchini (about 10 ounces), cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
  • 2 red, yellow or orange bell peppers, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • Chopped fresh cilantro
  • Fresh lemon wedges, for serving

Instructions 

Mix the marinade/sauce

  • Whisk all ingredients in a bowl until smooth. The sauce can be made up to 3-5 days ahead. Keep it refrigerated until ready to use. If the sauce thickens as it sits, stir in cold water, a few teaspoons at a time, to reach a thick, spoonable consistency.

Assemble and cook chicken skewers

  • Put the chicken pieces in a large bowl and toss with ½ cup of the marinade, a good pinch of kosher salt, and black pepper to taste. Marinate the chicken about 15 minutes at room temperature, or refrigerate up to 6 hours ahead.
  • About 15 minutes before you're ready to cook, preheat a grill to medium-high heat (about 375F or 190C) for direct grilling. If you're cooking the skewers indoors, preheat the oven to 450 degrees and line a large rimmed baking sheet (or two medium ones) with aluminum foil.
  • Thread alternating pieces of chicken, zucchini, tomatoes and bell peppers on skewers. Aim for about 10 total pieces per 12-inch skewer. Drizzle about a teaspoon of olive oil over each skewer.
  • Grilling: Put the skewers on the preheated grill and cook until the chicken is cooked through, 3-5 minutes per side. If they're browning too fast, move to the cooler part of the grill and cover to finish cooking. Baking: Arrange the skewers on the prepared baking sheets. Bake 20 minutes, turning once halfway through, until the chicken is no longer pink and the tomatoes are bursting.

To serve

  • Spread about ¼ cup of the yogurt sauce on a large platter. Arrange the skewers on top and sprinkle with the feta cheese and cilantro. Squeeze the lemon wedges over and serve with additional sauce on the side.

Karen’s Notes and Tips

  • If you’re using wood skewers, soak them in water for about 15 minutes before cooking so they won’t char on the grill or in the oven.
  • To enhance the char on oven-baked chicken kabobs, you can place them under the broiler for a minute or two. 
  • For extra zesty flavor, try adding 1/4 grated onion and 1 teaspoon smoked paprika to the marinade/sauce.
  • If you can locate halloumi cheese, which is a compressed, firm Greek-style cheese made with sheep and goat milk, try adding chunks of it to each skewer. It’s tangy and lightly salty with a pleasantly chewy texture, and is perfect for grilling because it doesn’t melt into a goopy mess. 

Nutrition

Calories: 305kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 553mg | Potassium: 620mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1618IU | Vitamin C: 68mg | Calcium: 124mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition facts are calculated by third-party software. If you have specific dietary needs, please refer to your favorite calculator.

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Hey, I’m Karen

Creator of Familystyle Food

I’m a food obsessed super-taster and professionally trained cook ALL about creating elevated dinners with everyday ingredients. Find simplified recipes made from scratch and enjoy incredibly tasty food! Read more about me here.

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