These easy Persian Chicken Kabobs are marinated in yogurt, lemon, and spices that come out tender and juicy every single time. These chicken skewers are packed with flavor and
Although I generally try to stay away from take-out for both my waistline and wallet, one of my favorite take-out options is a delicious Persian restaurant near my house. Between the amazing kabobs, garlicky hummus, and crunchy cucumber and tomato salad – I am always a happy girl.
However, I suspect that although it is definitely a healthier take-out choice, it is probably pretty high in calories and fat due to the sheer amount of oil they use.
Inspired by that, I set out to create my own kabobs at home using chicken breast, yogurt, parsley, fresh lemon, and lots of spices. Yogurt is one of my favorite things to use to marinate chicken (this Yogurt Parmesan Chicken is delicious). Yogurt is lower in calories than oil and almost guarantees a moist and tender chicken breast.
While I opted to just use chicken in this recipe, you could definitely add some veggies to your kabobs. Red onion, peppers, tomatoes, and zucchini would be delicious.
What You'll Need
Here is everything you need to make these Persian chicken kabobs.
- Chicken: These work with broth boneless skinless chicken breast and chicken thighs. It would also work with chunks of pork.
- Yogurt: Any type of plain or Greek yogurt works for marinating the chicken. Nonfat, low fat, and full fat all work as well. Just use whatever type of plain yogurt you have on hand. Yogurt is a great way to tenderize the chicken.
- Lemon: The lemon adds a bright and fresh flavor to the chicken and also helps to tenderize the chicken. Fresh lemon juice is always best.
- Parsley: Parsley is a staple in this style of cooking and adds flavor and a nice, fresh flavor to the chicken. Fresh basil, cilantro, or oregano would work as well. Dried or freeze fried parsley could be used if you don't have fresh,
- Garlic: Garlic is a much in these kabobs. Fresh garlic is always best but minced garlic can be swapped in.
- Spices: Cumin is a popular herb in Persian cooking that adds an earthy, smoky flavor. Additionally, the recipe uses onion powder, black pepper, salt, paprika, and coriander.
Recipe Tips to Amazing Kabobs
Here is what you need to know to make really tasty grilled kabobs.
- Always cut the chicken into uniform pieces so that they cook in the same amount of time. There is nothing worse than having some pieces that are burned and some that are raw. One-inch squares are a good size for kabobs.
- Consider adding vegetables to the kabobs. Bell peppers, red onions, and zucchini all work well. For added flavor, marinate the vegetables as well. Or make these grilled vegetable skewers on the side.
- Do not turn the kabobs too soon. If it is sticking to the grill, it is probably not ready to turn yet. Let the chicken brown and naturally release from the grill.
- If your grill tends to be sticky, oil the grill before adding the kabobs.
- For a more authentic kabob, marinate slices of onion with the chicken. Then thread a piece of onion between each piece of chicken.
- Throw some halved tomatoes on the grill for a traditional side dish.
What to Serve with Persian Chicken Kabobs
There are so many ways to serve these kabobs. Go traditional and serve them with rice, grilled tomatoes, and cucumber salad. Or get creative and serve them with grilled vegetables, a tasty lentil salad, or over a green salad.
Frequently Asked Questions
Find the answers to the most common questions about making these Persian Chicken Skewers.
Joojeh kabobs are a common Persian chicken kabob that is made by marinating chicken in bloomed saffron, lemon, yogurt, and onions. The chicken is threaded on a skewer and grilled. This version doesn't include saffron, although you could add it to the marinade and reduce the amount of other spices.
These kabobs turn out great in the oven, just make sure to cook them on broil. The key to a delicious kabob is getting some bowned, crispy edges. Broiling does that. Just make sure to turn the kabobs often so they don't burn.
The yogurt in this recipe works to add flavor to the chicken and also tenderizes the chicken. If you decide not to use the yogurt, add about 1/4-1/2 cup of olive oil. Some people also use mayonnaise instead of yogurt, but that isn't traditionally used in a shish kabob.
Persian Chicken Kabobs
- Print Recipe
- Download PDF
- 1.33 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1 inch chunks
- 1 cup nonfat plain yogurt
- 1/2 cup parsley
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 lemon, juice and zest
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 1 tsp. onion powder
- 1 tsp. black pepper
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. paprika
- 1/2 tsp. coriander
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.
Get delicious, healthy recipes delivered each week right to your inbox.
Snap a picture and show us what you made on Instagram or Facebook.
Tag us using @SlenderKitchen or #slenderkitchen.