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Easy to make, juicy and succulent chicken kebabs, ideal for summer BBQ parties!

Kebabs are undoubtedly my favorite grilled food. I love them not just because they taste awesome but also because they are the kind of food you can bond over, they promote bonhomie and encourage the concept of community cooking. I make them quite often, especially during the summer BBQ parties and they are always a party favorite. 




Kebabs are various forms of meat grilled or braised in the fire. Typically kebabs are cooked on a skewer over a fire, but some kebabs are baked or shallow-fried in a pan.


If you think about it, kebabs might have existed ever since human beings discovered fire. Remember how the early man would hunt animals and grill raw meat in the fire for consumption? Although the term kebab might have come into existence much later. 

It is widely believed that kebabs originated in Turkey. The Turkish soldiers used to grill chunks of meat skewered on their swords on open-field fires which later came to be known as the kebab. The word kebab is derived from the Persian word kabap which means frying or burning.

Food historians have noted that kebabs as a food item were mentioned for the first time in the Turkish script of Kyssa-i Yusuf that dates back to 1377. 

The journey of kebabs from existential food to delicacy has been nothing short of a fairytale. It blows my mind to fathom how a food born in the Middle East, gained so much adulation all over the world. 

I think the sheer ease of making a kebab, the end product of succulent juicy meat coupled with the irresistible aroma make kebabs a universally favorite food. However, as the kebabs traversed from one part of the world to another, they underwent massive transformations. They came to be known by different names and the basic recipe started evolving too.


Different types of kebabs like the shashlik, satay, suya, yakitori, and so on are variations of the basic recipe. Let us take a quick look at the most popular forms of kebab:

Shish Kebab - The most popular variety of Kebab is perhaps the Shish Kebab. In the Turkish language, the word shish means skewer. In shish kebab, the meat and vegetables are alternately threaded in a skewer and cooked over an open flame.

Doner Kebab - The Doner kebab also is a popular kebab from Turkey. It usually involves braising large portions of meat in a large vertical or horizontal skewer. Layers of meat are carved off from the mass and stuffed in wraps or sandwiches. This type of kebab is popular in Europe, Asia, and Australia.

Gyro - Gyro is a younger descendant of Doner Kebab. Born in Greece, this involves cooking large portions of meat in a vertical rotisserie. Slices of meat are carved out and stuffed in pita bread with tomatoes, onions, feta cheese, and tzatziki dip.

Souvlaki - Also from Greece this is usually made with skewered pork meat and served on a pita with fried potatoes and herbs.

Jujeh - In Persian language, it means grilled chicken. It is a very popular kebab in Iran, usually served over basmati rice or wrapped in lavash bread with roasted peppers and tomatoes.

Satay - It is the Indonesian take on kebab where the meat is seasoned skewered, and grilled. It is served with a peanut sauce and salad.

Shashlik - Shashlik is the Soviet take on the kebab. It involves grilling pieces of meat on a skewer over coals.

Chuan - Chinese kebab made by grilling chunks of lamb meat over charcoal. Usually, the meat is spiced with cumin and paprika.

Yakitori - It is a Japanese type of skewered chicken. The meat is skewered in a Kushi, typically made of steel, bamboo, or similar materials. The skewered meat is then grilled over a charcoal fire.

Shammi Kebab - Popular in India, this is a different type of kebab where meat is minced and mixed with typical Indian spices to form patties. The patties are then shallow fried until the meat is cooked through.


The most widely acknowledged kebab today in the US, is probably, the Shish Kebab. Food historians claim that when these kebabs first came to Greece through the Turks, the Greeks started interleaving the meat with chunks of tomato, onion, and green pepper, giving it the look of a linear meat salad. 

When these kebabs came to America, the smaller meat chunks were replaced with bigger chunks of meat. This version appealed to the masses more than ever, firstly because, they looked colorful with all the veggies and secondly because they were fuller with the bigger chunks of meat.


The skewered chicken is my take on the popular shish kebab. Easy to make and super tasty this is the ideal menu for the BBQ parties. The chicken comes out juicy and succulent and the veggies are roasted to perfection. 


No out-of-the-box ingredient is required to make this kebab. All you need is well-marinated chicken, fresh vegetables, and a very hot oven!


Here is what you will need to make this simple yet delicious crowd-pleasing appetizer:

Chicken - Boneless, skinless chicken cut into about 1-inch thick chunks. I prefer the thighs because the meat is tender and juicy when compared to breasts which tend to turn dry.

Veggies - Green, red and yellow bell peppers all deseeded and cut into 1-inch chunks. You will also need red onions cut into 1-inch squares.

Marinade - A good kebab is largely dependent on a good marinade. You will need greek yogurt, ginger paste, garlic paste, lemon juice, honey, paprika, salt, and olive oil.

Miscellaneous - Molten salted butter for basting

Skewers - You may use bamboo or metal skewers.


Follow the simple step-by-step instructions to make this kebab:

Prepare the marinade by whisking together greek yogurt, ginger paste, garlic paste, lemon juice, honey, paprika, salt, and olive oil.
Marinate the chicken and veggies in the marinade for 1-4 hours.
If you are using bamboo skewers, soak them in water for at least half an hour. Preheat oven at 450F.
Thread the coated chicken and veggies into the skewers interleaving them.
Bake for 18 mins and broil for the last 2 mins for the charred effect.


You may use pork, lamb, or beef instead of chicken if you prefer. The baking time may vary slightly.

You may also use paneer (cottage cheese) instead of chicken for a vegetarian version of this recipe.

You may use shrimp too but in that case, no marination is required.

You may use herbs to flavor the kebabs for a different taste.

You may add some processed cheese in the marinade for a creamier texture.


Are kebabs healthy?

If made with lean meat, kebabs are considered a healthier option because there is no need to fry, hence less fat. The meat is grilled with veggies which add to the fiber richness.

However, you have to be watchful about the following:

Make sure the meat is cooked through. Raw meat can be very harmful and lead to food poisoning.

Make sure not to choose unhealthy dips which are often very high in fat and sugar.

Will bamboo or wooden skewers catch fire?

No, they will never catch fire! To prevent skewers from burning on the grill, soak in water for 30 minutes before threading the meat and vegetables.

How can I make this in a microwave?

You can make this in the microwave by following almost the same procedure.

Preheat your microwave to the highest temperature setting. Carefully arrange the chicken skewers on the griller. Place a tray underneath to catch the drippings. Cook till the chicken is cooked through flipping once in between. When you see the chicken pieces browning on the edges, your kebabs are done. Normally, it takes around 25 minutes for it to be done.

How can I make this in a pan?

Kebabs taste best when grilled or baked but you can make it in a frying pan too.

Add some oil in the frying pan and place the chicken skewers on it. Cook each side until nicely done and brown. Baste with some molten butter whenever you flip the skewers. This makes sure the chicken does not dry out.

If you want a charred effect as in coal-fire, simply sear the skewers directly on fire for a couple of minutes.


You can serve chicken skewers as an appetizer with a sweet and tangy chutney or any dip of your choice.

If you want to convert it to a full meal, serve it on a bed of fluffy basmati rice accompanied with freshly made salad and a boiled or fried egg.


Marinated chicken can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days. Simply grill it when you are ready to eat.
Marinated chicken can be frozen as well. Allow the chicken to thaw for at least 3 hours before grilling it.
If you have leftover skewered chicken (most likely you will not), you can wrap it in a pita with some salad and your choice of dip for a quick bite.



Yield: 4
Author: The GradChef
Prep time: 75 MCook time: 25 MTotal time: 100 M
Succulent and juicy chunks of chicken interleaved with colorful veggies grilled to perfection.


  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into cubes (about 1 inch thick)
  • 1 yellow bell pepper cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 red bell pepper cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 green bell pepper cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 red onion cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 2 tbsp garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp ginger paste
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp molten butter for basting
  • salt to taste


  1. Prepare the marinade by whisking together the yogurt, garlic paste, ginger paste, lemon juice, paprika, honey, salt, and olive oil in a big bowl.
  2. Add the chicken, bell peppers, and onion to this bowl so that everything is nicely coated.
  3. Cover and keep aside for 1- 4 hours.
  4. Soak the skewers in water for 30 mins.
  5. Preheat oven to 450F.
  6. Thread the coated chicken and veggies into the skewers alternatively.
  7. Bake in a sheet pan for 18 mins. Halfway through brush the kebabs with molten butter for basting.
  8. Broil for the last 2 mins for the charred effect.


  • Boneless chicken thighs are preferred because they are more tender than breast pieces.
  • Marinate the chicken longer for better results. The more the marination time, the juicier the chicken will turn out to be.
  • You can use other veggies like cherry tomatoes or zucchini too.
  • Coat the sheet pan with cooking spray before placing the skewers in a single layer on the sheet pan.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
chicken skewer bbq grilled veggies quick healthy yummy turkish american greek
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