Turkish Chicken Kebabs


This chicken kebab recipe uses a flavorful, yogurt-based marinade. I'd like to think that all the chicken coming off American grills this summer will be as tasty, juicy, and tender as these. Even inexperienced grillers can produce impressive results! I'm not sure how "Turkish" this is — it's loosely based on a lamb marinade I've used for a long time.

Prep Time:
15 mins
Cook Time:
12 mins
Additional Time:
2 hrs
Total Time:
2 hrs 27 mins
4 large portions
close up view of Turkish Chicken Kebabs, tomatoes and cucumbers on a platter

Chef John


  • 1 cup whole-milk Greek yogurt

  • 6 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, or more to taste

  • 2 tablespoons ketchup

  • 1 tablespoon Aleppo red pepper flakes

  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt

  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon paprika

  • teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 2 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, halved

  • 4 long metal skewers


  1. Whisk yogurt, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, ketchup, red pepper flakes, salt, cumin, black pepper, paprika, and cinnamon together in a large bowl.

    Whisk together yogurt ingredients for yogurt marinade.

    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

  2. Place chicken thigh halves into the yogurt marinade and coat them thoroughly on all sides. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate, 2 to 8 hours.

    Place chicken thighs in yogurt marinade.

    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

  3. Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat and lightly oil the grate.

  4. Using 2 skewers for each kebab, thread half of the chicken thighs onto each pair of skewers making a fairly thick "log" shape.

  5. Place kebabs on the preheated grill. Do not try to turn them until they begin to unstick from the grill, 3 or 4 minutes. Turn kebabs and grill the other side for 3 to 4 minutes. Continue cooking and turning until chicken is no longer pink in the center, about 6 minutes more. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 165 degrees F (74 degrees C).

    Continue cooking until browned.

    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

539 Calories
33g Fat
8g Carbs
52g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 539
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 33g 42%
Saturated Fat 9g 46%
Cholesterol 186mg 62%
Sodium 1722mg 75%
Total Carbohydrate 8g 3%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 52g
Vitamin C 8mg 42%
Calcium 47mg 4%
Iron 4mg 20%
Potassium 574mg 12%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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