Persian Chicken Kabobs
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Persian Chicken Kabobs



When I was pregnant with Kenya I had two major cravings (in addition to the pint of ice cream I ate every night): 1) vegetable stir fry for breakfast (yes breakfast, go figure) and 2) chicken kabobs, which I would cajole my husband to go pick up for me several nights a week from a local Middle Eastern restaurant. I ate so many of those kabobs during those months it's amazing I didn't give birth to a Lebanese baby.

A few weeks ago my hubby and I went to a party where to my sheer delight I found nothing on the buffet table but Middle Eastern delights like hummus, tabouleh, rice pilaf and yes, my beloved chicken kabobs! Reunions are so wonderful. Again I overindulged on the kabobs, but since they're pretty darn healthy I decided to live it up!

Marinated in an assortment of savory spices and rich Greek yogurt, this persian chicken kabobs recipe is simple enough to prepare in the morning and refrigerate so you can take it out to grill or broil a mere minutes before dinner time. Serve them up with pita, some sliced tomatoes, and cucumbers and you've got one insanely delicious meal whether you're pregnant or just super hungry!

Persian Chicken Kabobs  (serves 4)

  • Prep Time: 10 mins,
  • Cook Time: 5 mins,
  • Rating:
    Rate this recipe
When I was pregnant with Kenya I had two major cravings (in addition to the pint of ice cream I ate every night): 1) vegetable stir fry for breakfast (yes breakfast, go figure) and 2) chicken kabobs, which I would cajole my husband to go pick up for me...


  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron
  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound boneless and skinless chicken breasts, thighs or a combination
  • 1 small red onion, stemmed, quartered and layers pulled apart
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1 persian cucumber, chopped


  1. 1. Place the saffron in a small bowl and cover with 1 tablespoon of hot water. Allow to soak for 5 minutes then strain and reserve the liquid.
  2. 2. In a bowl, stir together the saffron liquid, yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, paprika and salt.
  3. 3. Cut the chicken into 1-inch cubes and place in the bowl with the sauce. Stir to coat well. Marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour up to overnight.
  4. 4. Preheat the oven to broil or turn on the grill.
  5. 5. Alternate threading the chicken and onion slices onto skewers. Grill or broil for 5 minutes. Flip over and cook for 5 more minutes.
  6. 6. In a small bowl, combine the tomatoes and cucumbers and serve alongside the chicken kabobs. You can also sprinkle the veggie salad with a bit of lemon juice and salt for added flavor.
Persian Chicken Kabobs

Nutrition Information

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  1. Andie Croak

    May 4, 2014 at 10:17 pm

    I bought some marinated chicken breasts at the middle eastern market.., the marinade was orange in color… It didn’t have saffron in it. They wouldn’t tell me what’s in it other than lemon juice. I asked if the orange stuff was oranges. They said no. No orange flavor. But marinade is good. Do you happen to know how to make this marinade?

    • Andie Croak

      May 21, 2014 at 12:32 am

      Can any one give me an answer??

      • Samantha y

        August 30, 2014 at 8:37 am

        I’ve used tumeric in dishes to get that color before. Maybe that since it’s popular in middle Eastern cuisine.

  2. Farnaz

    April 8, 2013 at 7:30 pm

    I love Persian chicken (Jujeh kabob). I make it for my 4 year old all the time… yummy and healthy. I cut up onion and add it to the marinade.

  3. Sheri

    January 21, 2013 at 8:09 am

    What can I use in replace of saffon, since I have everything but that on hand?

    • catherine

      January 21, 2013 at 12:09 pm

      Saffron is such a unique flavor that there really isn’t a replacement for it! I highly recommend using saffron in this dish. I have heard of people mixing dried safflower with ground turmeric to get an okay substitute, but that’s the only I’ve heard of to “replace” saffron.

  4. Tracy

    January 17, 2013 at 6:53 pm

    Another question, sorry! If I’m broiling the skewers, do I put them directly on a baking sheet?

    • catherine

      January 17, 2013 at 6:54 pm

      Yes! Or line the baking sheet with foil to make clean up easier! I also place a piece of foil over the exposed skewers to prevent burning.

      • Tracy

        January 18, 2013 at 12:04 am

        They turned out great (though I’ll probably “drain” off more of the marinade next time) – thanks!!

  5. Ariana

    January 17, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    Just wondering why you would worry about your child being Lebanese when eating Persian Kabobs? LOL. Lebanese are not Persian :)

  6. Tracy

    January 17, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    If I want to skip the trouble of making this into kebabs, could I just keep chicken breasts whole and broil them for extra time?
    Thanks, Catherine!

    • catherine

      January 17, 2013 at 1:54 pm

      Yes! Broil for about 8-10 minutes on each side!

  7. Allison Reed

    January 17, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    Suggestions if we can’t do dairy? Would an oil work? Thx!

    • catherine

      January 17, 2013 at 1:19 pm

      I think a little oil would work! Just add enough to make it into a sauce!

  8. patricia smith

    January 17, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    My husband purchased some for our boat. Anxious to try them this summer! :-)

  9. Amelia

    January 17, 2013 at 10:30 am

    These look fantastic!!