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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

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Servings: 4
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes


  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron
  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground paprika
  • 1 teaspoon kosher 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


  • 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.
  • In a bowl, stir together the saffron liquid, yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, paprika and salt.
  • 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.
  • Preheat the oven to broil or turn on the grill.
  • Alternate threading the chicken and onion slices onto skewers. Grill or broil for 5 minutes. Flip over and cook for 5 more minutes.
  • 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.


Calories: 170kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 75mg | Sodium: 770mg | Sugar: 5g
Did you make this recipe?Mention @Weelicious or tag #weelicious!

About the Author

Catherine is a mama of three. A Kentucky girl living in California. Here’s what I know: all kids can be great eaters and mealtime must be easy. I create simple, healthy recipes the whole family will love.


  1. 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?

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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

  5. Hi!
    Just wondering why you would worry about your child being Lebanese when eating Persian Kabobs? LOL. Lebanese are not Persian 🙂

  6. 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!

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