Middle Eastern Chicken Kebabs (Shish Tawook)

Middle Eastern Chicken Kebabs (Shish Tawook) marinated with yogurt, garlic and spices before grilling.

We love healthy Middle Eastern recipes on the site including Lemon Greek Chicken Skewers, Tabouli Salad and Greek Turkey Burgers.

Middle Eastern Chicken Kebabs (Shish Tawook) Middle Eastern Chicken Kebabs (Shish Tawook)

The first kebabs I put on the site were a huge hit with you all. And while lemon garlic skewers are delicious, this is a more classic representation of a Middle Eastern kebabs.

Why use yogurt in a marinade? Yogurt breaks down and tenderize chicken breast so its more tender after grilling. In many ethnic cuisines it is used in marinades. It also acts as a barrier that helps the chicken keeps its moisture when cooked on a grill or grill pan.

Other tips for these Middle Eastern Chicken Kebabs:

  • I used metal skewers for this recipe to provide more stability for the meat and to avoid soaking the wood skewers.
  • If using wood, soak the wooden skewers before grilling them. I start soaking before doing anything else, then just thread the chicken on. No need to dry them.
  • Add in more herbs as you like them. People LOVE rosemary with Greek dishes.
  • Try not to overcook, white meat chicken will tend to dry out before dark meat. Just a few minutes on each side is plenty.

Chicken Kebabs

You can also just create your own Middle Eastern Spice Mix and sprinkle that on the kabobs for an easy grilling without a recipe option all summer long.

Middle Eastern Spice Mix Recipe:

  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  1. Mix the ingredients and add to a covered container for use within three months.

Middle Eastern Chicken Kebabs (Shish Tawook)

Tools Used in the making of these Middle Eastern Chicken Skewers:
Grill/Griddle: This combo lives on the center two burners of my oven because it’s so useful. Grilling on this pan is a breeze, I often use it even in the summer to avoid prepping the whole grill.
Wooden Skewers: Inexpensive but these require soaking before using so they don’t catch on fire. Plus they’re recyclable.
Metal Skewers: Skip the soaking, these are great and because they’re flat the skewer ingredients won’t spin.

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Middle Eastern Chicken Kebabs (Shish Tawook)

Middle Eastern Chicken Kebabs (Shish Tawook) marinated with yogurt, garlic and spices before grilling.
Yield 4 servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup fat free greek yogurt
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 pound chicken breasts boneless skinless


  • Add all the ingredients together and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  • Heat the grill or grill pan onto medium-high heat.
  • Skewer onto a metal skewer (make sure to leave a bit of space between the chunks of chicken).
  • Cook the chicken for 5-7 minutes on each side or until fully cooked.


Serving: 1/4th recipe | Calories: 240kcal | Carbohydrates: 3.8g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 8.8g | Saturated Fat: 2.5g | Cholesterol: 102mg | Sodium: 983mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1.5g
(Shish Tawook)
Middle Eastern Chicken Kebabs

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a trained professional chef who has cooked for private clients for over a dozen years. Experienced in handling dietary restrictions, allergies and picky kid eaters, she's well versed in coming up with healthy, yet flavorful recipes.


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  1. 4 stars
    I made this and it’s good. Not spicy, just a really nice flavor. I didn’t have cardamom but added a bit of ginger. I also didn’t put it on skewers, just cut the chicken into larger chunks and cooked it on an indoor grill. Chicken was moist and tender.

  2. 5 stars
    We had this for dinner tonight. I didn’t have cardamom, but the marinade was still amazing. We served grilled veggies with it and it was a very low point delicious meal. We will make this again.

  3. 5 stars
    Made this last night and it was SO good! Served with some hummus, tabouli and some grilled peppers and onions. Recipe was super easy and even though I’m new to this whole grilling thing, meat came out perfectly! Thank you!!!