Yogurt-Marinated Chicken Skewers (aka Chicken Shawarma)

by Jul 22, 2016

This spicy yogurt marinade takes chicken dinner to the next level. Skewer and either grill, broil, or pan sear on the stovetop. Recipe originally published in Saveur magazine (May 2015).

Yogurt-Marinated Chicken Skewers (Chicken Shawarma at home)

recipe adapted from Saveur magazine

Servings 4


  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves about 2 pounds
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced and mashed with 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ¼ cup plain yogurt
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Serve with pita or flatbread, lettuce, sliced red onion, and raita


  1. Slice chicken breasts into ¼ -inch slices. Mix garlic + salt, yogurt, olive oil, and spices in a medium sized bowl. Add chicken and coat with marinade. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to overnight.

  2. Heat grill or broiler (rack 4-inches below flame). Thread chicken slices onto skewers and discard remaining marinade. Place chicken skewers in a single layer on broiling pan, or directly onto heated grill. Cook for 10 minutes, flipping the skewers over half way through cooking. Check temperature with an instant read thermometer, it should register 160°F. Remove from heat and let rest ten minutes before serving (temperature will rise about 5 degrees due to the latent heat moving from exterior to interior). Serve with raita and pita bread. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes / Tips

  • Give yourself freedom with the spices, just aim for a total of 2 tablespoons, any tandoori blend would work great!
  • Simple raita: stir some small diced cucumber into plain yogurt with a pinch of salt, squeeze of lemon juice, and some mint or parsley
  • If you’re using bamboo skewers instead of metal, soak them for an hour in water so they won’t burn during cooking
  • Tote along for camping by marinating the chicken in a gallon-sized plastic bag


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