Chicken Kebab Recipe & Marinade

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These lemon chicken kebabs are infused overnight with the best kebab marinade and grilled to perfection. This chicken kabob recipe is my go-to when we’re grilling for a crowd.

3 chicken kebabs on a plate with a salad and tzatziki


This lemon chicken kebab recipe is my favorite dish to make on the grill. The chicken kebabs are marinated overnight (or at least 6 hours) in the most delicious, flavorful chicken kabob marinade made with lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, turmeric, fresh dill and more.

Since the chicken is prepared the day before and marinated overnight, these chicken kabobs are my favorite main dish to serve at a summer party or barbecue.

We love serving them with our favorite mediterranean recipes like homemade tzatziki, homemade hummus, Mediterranean chickpea salad, Greek salad, and freshly made naan bread or pita bread.

4 chicken kabobs on a plate

Chicken Kebabs: Ingredients & Substitutions

ingredients in this Chicken Kebab Recipe & Marinade
  • Lemon juice. Bottle and freshly squeezed lemon juice both work well in this recipe.
  • Olive oil. Avocado oil is a good substitute if necessary.
  • Dijon mustard. Use your favorite variety, just consider how it will impact the final flavor.
  • Turmeric. There are no substitutions for turmeric, however it needs to be noted that due to the addition of turmeric the marinade will stain anything it touches. Use rubber gloves when handling the chicken and try not to spill on your counters.
  • Smoked paprika. regular paprika works too!
  • Minced garlic. jarred minced garlic or freshly minced garlic are both great options. You can substitute 1 tablespoon minced garlic with 1 teaspoon garlic powder, if you prefer.
  • Fresh dill. I only recommend fresh or freeze-dried dill in this recipe.
3 chicken kabobs on a plate with a salad and tzatziki

How to Make Chicken Kebabs

There are two things to note in this chicken kebab recipe: 1) The chicken needs to marinate for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight. and 2) You need to soak the bamboo skewers in hot water for at least 1 hour before assembling the kabobs for the best results (and no charred skewers).

Marinate the Chicken

Begin this recipe by making the kabob marinade and marinating the chicken for 6-24 hours. Start by cutting the chicken breasts into 1” cubes or strips (your preference for kebabs).

Then, put the chicken breast pieces into a glass container with a lid or in a plastic bag inside another container (in case the bag leaks, the marinade stains).

two photos showing How to Make Chicken Kebabs - marinating chicken

Then make the chicken kabob marinade by whisking the ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl.

Next, pour the marinade over the chicken and turn to coat the chicken.

Then, marinate the chicken in the refrigerator overnight (or for at least 6 hours).

one photo showing how to make chicken kabob marinade, and one photo showing the chicken marinating.

Assemble the Chicken Kebabs

Once the chicken has finished marinating, it’s time to assemble the kebabs. Remember, you need to soak the bamboo skewers in warm water for at least 1 hour before assembling.

Or, you can use fire wire to grill the kabobs, then transfer the meat/veggies to a serving dish to serve. I like this option because it’s reusable and there is no need for soaking.

Important note: Due to the addition of turmeric the marinade will stain anything it touches, including your hands, counter tops, etc. I suggest wearing plastic or rubber gloves when handling the chicken, assembling the kabobs, etc.

Assemble the kabobs alternating between chicken, bell peppers and onion until all the meat/veggies are used.

two photos showing How to Make Chicken Kebabs - chicken marinating then assembled kebabs

Grill

Grill over medium heat for about 5 minutes on the first side, and 3-5 on the second side, until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees F.

chicken kabobs being cooked on a grill pan

Serve

Serve the chicken kebabs warm with your favorite sides. Here are some suggestions:

Store/Freeze

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Or in the freezer for up to 1 month. Reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave.

Chicken Kebabs on a plate with naan, salad and tzatziki

Chicken Kebabs Recipe FAQs

What goes with chicken kebabs?

I suggest homemade tzatziki, homemade hummus, and freshly made naan bread or pita bread. Also grains like quinoa, rice etc. And green salads like this Greek salad.

How long should I marinate chicken?

I suggest marinating the chicken for 6 hours or overnight. I always marinate overnight.

What skewers should I use to make kebabs?

I suggest bamboo skewers if you’re making kebabs for a crowd or want to easily serve them as individual portions. When I make this recipe for just our family, I grill the kabobs on this fire wire, and then remove the chicken and veggies from the wire into a serving dish. I like this option because it’s reusable and there is no need for soaking.

Can I double this recipe?

You can double and even triple this recipe if you’d like! I do this often because I love making this recipe for large parties with lots of guests.

3 chicken kabobs on a plate with a salad and tzatziki

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Chicken Kebabs Recipe & Marinade

Laura
These lemon chicken kebabs are infused overnight with the best kebab marinade and grilled to perfection. This chicken kabob recipe is my go-to when we're grilling for a crowd.
5 from 16 votes
Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine American, Mediterranean
Servings 10 people
Calories 171
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Marinating12 hours
Total Time12 hours 40 minutes

Ingredients 
 

  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon lemon pepper or regular pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh dill finely chopped (or freeze-dried)
  • 2 bell peppers cut into 1” pieces
  • 1 onion red, yellow, etc. cut into 1” pieces
  • 20 bamboo skewers soaked in warm water for at least 1 hour.

Instructions 

Marinate Chicken

  • Cut chicken breasts into 1” cubes or strips (your preference for kabobs).
  • Place chicken breast pieces into a glass container with a lid or in a plastic bag inside another container (in case the bag leaks, the marinade stains).
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, mustard, turmeric, paprika, onion powder, minced garlic, sea salt, pepper and dill.
  • Pour the marinade over the chicken turn to coat the chicken.
  • Marinate in the refrigerator overnight (or for at least 6 hours).

Assemble Kebabs

  • (I suggest using plastic gloves to handle the marinated chicken, because it will stain your hands if you do not).
  • Soak bamboo skewers in warm water for at least 1 hour.
  • Assemble the kabobs alternating between chicken, bell peppers and onion until all the meat/veggies are used.

Grill

  • Grill over medium heat for about 5 minutes on the first side, and 3-5 on the second side, until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees F.

Serve

Video

Notes

Ingredient Substitutions

  • Lemon juice. Bottle and freshly squeezed lemon juice both work well in this recipe.
  • Olive oil. Avocado oil is a good substitute if necessary.
  • Dijon mustard. Use your favorite variety, just consider how it will impact the final flavor.
  • Turmeric. There are no substitutions for turmeric, however it needs to be noted that due to the addition of turmeric the marinade will stain anything it touches. Use rubber gloves when handling the chicken and try not to spill on your counters.
  • Smoked paprika. regular paprika works too!
  • Minced garlic. jarred minced garlic or freshly minced garlic are both great options. You can substitute 1 tablespoon minced garlic with 1 teaspoon garlic powder, if you prefer.
  • Fresh dill. I only recommend fresh or freeze-dried dill in this recipe.

Store/Freeze

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Or in the freezer for up to 1 month. Reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave.

Nutrition

Serving: 2kebabs | Calories: 171kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 58mg | Sodium: 184mg | Potassium: 450mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 981IU | Vitamin C: 40mg | Calcium: 19mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Recipe Rating




7 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I’ve experimented with different chicken kebab recipes. When I got to this one, the fam said Mom, this is it. Don’t look any further. This is a winner and a keeper! 😀

  2. 5 stars
    This is such a delicious chicken recipe. I have shared your recipe with my family and friends, and everyone loved it. I found all the steps of your recipe very easy to understand. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful recipe.

  3. 5 stars
    Since I’m only cooking for myself now, I wanted something easy and quick, this is fabulous on both counts. Thank you, it’s a beautiful recipe.

  4. 5 stars
    I made this recipe last night and my husband and kids love it. They says it’s a recipe to keep, thank you

    1. I’m so glad you love it as much as we do, Susana! it’s one of my all-time favorite summer recipes!