Forget soggy fries, chicken pieces drowned in sauce, and fizzy drinks: this baked chicken kabobs recipe is not only ridiculously healthy, filling, and nutritious, it is also juicy, tasty and so, so versatile!
This recipe calls for chicken cubes to be marinated in a curd-based marinade and then grilled in the oven using skewers, with the option of adding vegetables of choice on the skewers as preferred… the preparation takes only 5 minutes and the rest is up to the spices and the oven!
Let’s talk nutrition!
One hundred grams of skinless and boneless chicken breast has 31g of proteins and has no sugars nor starch, meaning they are carbohydrate-free and have very low amounts of fat as well.
Chicken breast is a great source of phosphorus, vitamin B6, selenium, and niacin. This poultry meat is also known for assisting with building and maintaining muscles, as well as strengthening bones and reducing appetite.
~~ If you are looking to add more low-carb ingredients to your diet have a look at THE 18 BEST LOW-CARB VEGETABLES | POPULAR, VERSATILE, AND EASY TO COOK AND INTEGRATE IN MOST DIETS
What is a kabob?
A kabob or kebab is a Middle Eastern or Eastern Mediterranean dish that consists of grilled or roasted meat, fish, or vegetables on a skewer or spit (rotisserie style).
How to cook baked chicken kabobs?
This dish requires very little ”hands-on” prep time, as most of the flavors come through via the marinade and the baking time.
To prepare the shish kabob marinade, mix together in a large bowl full-fat natural yogurt or curd (it is better than low fat as it is harder for it to split while cooking), sunflower or olive oil, Kashmiri chili powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, garam masala, black pepper, lemon juice (or lime juice), ginger garlic paste and thinly sliced fresh cilantro (coriander) and set aside.
Once the marinade is ready, cut the boneless skinless chicken breasts in dice about 1 – 1 1/2 inches per side (2.5 – 3.5 cm) and then toss them in it, ensuring each cube is completely covered with the marinade ingredients; allow the chicken to marinate for the longest amount of time possible, preferably at least half an hour.
After the meat has marinated sufficiently, skew the pieces of chicken on skewers (together with the desired vegetables) and bake in the oven on the middle shelf at 180 degrees Celsius, Gas 4 or 350 Fahrenheit for 25 minutes or until cooked thoroughly.
Serve and enjoy your chicken kabobs!
Note: Feel free to add your vegetables of choice to the skewers, however keep in mind baking time, as some may over or undercook with the meat. I used bell peppers, sweet peppers and onions; good options are also zucchini and mushrooms. Potatoes would take too long to cook.
How to cook shish kabob in the oven?
To cook shish kabob in the oven properly, there are two main things that are necessary and those are skewers and a baking tray.
The key for this system is to find a baking tray narrow enough that the skewers can be put across it allowing the meat or vegetables not to touch the base of it (as per the pictures below); as the marinade will likely drip a bit from the chicken shish kabobs on to the tray,
In order to obtain a nice grilled color, while still keeping the chicken moist, put the baking tray in the middle of the oven when baking.
What vegetables to put on a shish kebab?
There are many vegetables that work well with these baked chicken skewers, however, as you can see from the pictures, I like to use red onions, sweet peppers and bell peppers; other great options for these chicken kebabs are sliced tomatoes (will work well with keeping the meat moist) or eggplant.
The vegetables do not need marinating, however, should you prefer you could season them with a bit of salt, black pepper, and perhaps a bit of garlic powder, onion powder, and a few red pepper flakes.
What to serve with kabobs?
This kabob recipe is marvelous as it is so, so versatile!
The baked chicken kabobs can be served in wraps (fancy making your own? Try this spectacular Lebanese Mountain Bread Recipe!), with some pita bread, with rice and crunchy vegetables, or used to dress some couscous or bulgur wheat for a healthy dinner idea.
A great way of using this chicken is to have it as a base for meal prep and then use it to bulk up salads for a healthy meal made with crunchy leaves, some grated carrots, fresh peppers, fresh herbs, and a different dressing every day, like a tzatziki-like light delicious sauce, a honey mustard dressing or a honey soy sauce.
For an easy meal, the next day, a fun way of eating leftover chicken is to chop it in small dice and fill a panini or sandwich with it or a nice jacket potato.
Wooden or metal skewers?
I like to use metal skewers, as I have purchased my set of 8 many years ago (I think 6 or 7?) and they are still perfect; they are longer than the wooden skewers, easy to wash, and have a hook on the end, so they are easy to hang and handle.
Should you use this type of skewer, it does not need any preparation before use.
Wooden or bamboo skewers may burn while cooking in the oven (or on the barbecue) so it is recommended to soak them in water for between 10 and 30 minutes; it is important not to oversoak the skewers as the wood may then give splinters while being overly moist.
Can I cook these chicken kabobs on a grill pan?
Absolutely yes! When using a grilling pan, ensure this is warmed up on medium-high heat before putting the chicken skewers to cook; allow each of the four sides to cook against the pan in order to ensure the best flavors come out (yes, char-grilled chicken!) and to keep moist you can sprinkle a few drops of olive oil and lemon juice along the way. No matter what, always ensure the chicken is fully cooked before serving.
My favorite way of cooking these kebabs is on the barbeque, although we know it is (unfortunately) not always grilling season! Before cooking, ensure you have a hot grill and a sheet pan where to put your meat once cooked; to keep it hot, cover with a sheet of aluminum foil.
Can I use other chicken meat other than breast?
Absolutely, a great alternative choice is chicken thighs as they can remain very moist, but they have more calories and fat compared to breast. I would not say for this recipe chicken legs are the right chicken, as they are normally sold with bone, but these could be marinated and cooked whole.
What makes these baked chicken kabobs different?
These are more Indian chicken kebabs as they use a mix of Indian spices, rich yogurt, and fresh lemon or lime juice, compared to more traditional Greek chicken kabobs, which are flavored with traditional Mediterranean herbs (like rosemary) and lemon, or Hawaiian chicken kabobs, which use pineapple.
A few notes:
- Vegetable kabobs: it is very easy to turn these into a vegetarian option! Swap chicken for zucchini, large onion slices, green peppers, and eggplant for great Mediterranean veggie kabobs, although many other fresh veggies will be suitable too. If it is the first time you are cooking these, check on them so as not to overcook them, although most of these veggies will be tasty also al dente (although eggplant needs to be fully cooked to be nice!).
- Alternative oil: if you’d like to try different oils for your chicken kabob marinade, great options are rice bran, peanut, or avocado oil. Traditionally, mustard oil is used for this recipe, however, this is not licensed for food consumption in many places around the world, such as the USA, EU, and Canada.
- Dry rub: this recipe does not require an initial dry rub like many other kebab recipes may, as it is a one-coating-only recipe.
The perfect summer meal: picture yourself wearing a pair of flip flops, sitting by the beach, and enjoying this delicious meal, made of simple ingredients, yet absolutely glorious!
Accompany your baked chicken kabobs with a crunchy salad made of fresh produce, some creamy hummus, or tzatziki sauce and wrap it up in pita bread… seriously, what more can you want? Yes, a bit of tomato and pepper sauce!
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Baked Chicken Kabobs Recipe was first published on 1st February, 2021 and updated on 18th September 2021.
Baked Chicken Kabobs Recipe | Chicken Shish Kebab
- 1 kg Diced Chicken Breast Skinless and Boneless
For the marinade:
- 1 Tbsp Sunflower Oil or Vegetable, Rice Bran or Peanut
- 5 Tbsp Full-Fat Natural Set Yogurt
- 2 tsp Kashmiri Chili Powder
- ½ tsp Turmeric Powder
- 1 tsp Coriander Powder
- 1 tsp Garam Masala
- ½ tsp Cracked Black Pepper
- 2 tsp Lime Juice or Lemon Juice
- 3 tsp Ginger Garlic Paste
- 1 handful Finely Chopped Fresh Coriander
- In a small bowl, add the yogurt with all the other ingredients for the marinade and mix until uniform.
- In a large mixing bowl, add the chicken and the marinade on top, and mix until every piece of chicken is fully coated. Cover the bowl with a lid or cling film and leave to marinate for at least half an hour in the fridge.
- Once you are ready to start preparing and the meat is sufficiently marinated, preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius, Gas 4 or 350 Fahrenheit.
- Choose a baking tray that had lifted edges where you will be able to rest the skewers; divide the meat on the skewers so that each piece is next to each other, without leaving a gap, but without them being too close together that the meat will struggle to cook.
- Place the skewers on the baking tray so that the meat is almost floating (as in the picture in the description above), then put to cook on the middle tray in the oven for approximately 25 minutes, or until cooked.
- Once ready, allow to sit for a couple of minutes before serving and enjoying.