Yogurt Marinated Chicken Kebabs

5 from 2 votes

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Lemony yogurt marinated chicken kebabs are a quintessential summertime grilling dish.

Fork-In-The-Road Marinated Chicken Kebabs / Katie Workman / themom100.com / Photo by Mia

SUMMER SUMMER SUMMER!!

Two Marinated Chicken Kebabs on a plate with a grain salad.

Let’s grill baby.

These chicken kebabs are soaked in a tenderizing lemon-spiked yogurt marinade, with the option of added cumin and oregano for those who are interested in a bolder flavor.  I love Greek flavors, and this for sure leans heavily into those seasonings.

Plate of Marinated Chicken Kebabs and grain salad.

The Fork-in-the-Road element makes these a great option for when you want to make a milder main course for people who might not be into a full-flavored dish, but also make a “bring-it” version.

Whip up a very simple marinade, separate it into two bowls, and add additional seasonings to one half of the batch. Add half of the chicken to each bowl, marinate, skewer them up on separate skewers, and there you go: one meal, two versions, and about 2 minutes of extra time to make it happen.

Lemony yogurt marinated chicken kebabs are a quintessential summertime grilling dish.

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Marinated Chicken Kebabs and grain salad on a plate set on a grey surface.

(If you want to season the entire batch of marinade, double the amounts to 1/3 cup minced fresh oregano or thyme and 1 1/2 teaspoons of ground cumin.)

This is to me a very quintessential summer recipe, though you could definitely make it all year round, and under the broiler as well. A few pieces of chicken and a little wedge of lemon or two make a great appetizer, though you can skewer up whole bunch on a kebab for more of a main course.

Serve with orzo, rice or couscous, like this Mediterranean Couscous, Swiss Chard and Peppers. Also, try Turkish Chickpea Salad or Imam Biyali (Turkish Stuffed Eggplants).

Pile of three Marinated Chicken Kebabs.

The tzatziki is by no means essential to the success of the dish, but adds extra interest and helps the chicken and any starch you serve it with co-mingle deliciously. The salting, rinsing, and squeezing of the cucumber is an added step, and if you find it annoying, skip it. The tzatziki will be a bit thinner from the liquid in the cucumber, but other than that, no real harm done.

If you salt the cucumbers, the dip can be made up to 6 hours ahead—give it a stir before serving. If you skip the salting/squeezing step,  the dip should be used within an hour or so. Either way, tuck it in the fridge.

Three Marinated Chicken Kebabs on a white plate with a grain salad.

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5 from 2 votes

Yogurt-Marinated Chicken Kebabs

Lemony yogurt marinated chicken kebabs are a quintessential summertime grilling dish.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Marinating Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings: 4 People
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Ingredients 

Lemony Yogurt Kebabs

  • 2 large lemons (washed)
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced shallots
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh oregano or thyme
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 ½ pounds boneless skinless thighs or breasts (cut into 1 ½-inch cubes)

For the Tzatziki (Optional)

  • 1 large cucumber (peeled, seeded, and coarsely grated)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (plus more to taste if necessary)
  • 1 ⅓ cups plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 garlic cloves (finely minced)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

Instructions 

  • Cut one lemon in half, and each half into 6 wedges. Then cut the wedges crosswise so that you have 24 small pieces of lemon. Pick out any pits. Zest the other lemon and squeeze and strain the juice; you should have about 1 ½  tablespoons juice.
  • In a medium-sized bowl, combine the yogurt,  shallots, salt and pepper, and the lemon zest and juice. Transfer half the  marinade into another medium-sized bowl. Add the oregano and cumin to one half  of the marinade and stir to combine.
  • Place half of the chicken cubes  into each of the bowls. Stir to coat the chicken well. Cover and marinate in the  fridge for one hour.
  • Meanwhile, soak 6 12-inch wooden skewers in water  to cover for at least 30 minutes, to prevent them from burning on the grill.
  • Skewer the more seasoned chicken, alternating two pieces of chicken with  one piece of lemon, using 6 pieces of chicken and 3 pieces of lemon total on  each skewer, using 3 of the 6 skewers. Skewer the plainly marinated chicken on  the remaining skewers, adding the lemon wedges in the same fashion if desired,  or skipping the lemon if you feel like that will be too much citrus for the  kids.
  • Preheat the grill to medium (see Note below). Grill the kebabs  for 4 minutes, covered, until browned on the bottom, then turn, and grill,  covered, for about 4 minutes more for breasts, 6 more minutes for thighs. Cut  into a piece to see if it is cooked thoroughly. Serve with the optional Tzatziki (below), and couscous, rice or orzo, if desired. You can eat the lemons, which caramelize during cooking, or not, as you like.
  • To make the tzatziki, put the grated cucumber in a colander and sprinkle with a generous teaspoon of coarse or kosher salt. Let sit for 15 minutes, then rinse the cucumber with cold water and squeeze it as dry as possible using your hands.
  • Put the grated cucumber in a bowl, Add the yogurt and stir to blend. Add the garlic, mint, olive oil, and vinegar and mix well. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed.

Notes

Whip up a very simple marinade, separate it into two bowls, and add additional seasonings to one half of the batch. Add half of the chicken to each bowl, marinate, skewer them up on separate skewers, and there you go: one meal, two versions, and about 2 minutes of extra time to make it happen.

Nutrition

Calories: 324kcal, Carbohydrates: 15g, Protein: 50g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 115mg, Sodium: 827mg, Potassium: 1049mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin A: 275IU, Vitamin C: 35mg, Calcium: 234mg, Iron: 3mg
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About Katie Workman

Katie Workman is a cook, a writer, a mother of two, an activist in hunger issues, and an enthusiastic advocate for family meals, which is the inspiration behind her two beloved cookbooks, Dinner Solved! and The Mom 100 Cookbook.

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1 Comment

  1. Annie says:

    My go to marinade for grilled chicken, nothing else come close.