Shish Tawook is an authentic grilled chicken kabob recipe that’s enjoyed all over the Middle East. Tender, juicy, and flavor chicken with each bite, these chicken kebabs are quite popular and easy to make too!
You will be surprised at how easy it is to make this shish Tawook which is essentially grilled chicken kebabs/kabobs. Chicken cubes are marinated in an authentic yogurt and spice marinade for the most tender, juicy, and delicious tasting chicken ever!
Shish Tawook is a traditional Middle Eastern cuisine enjoyed in many cultures around the world. Some may argue it originated in Turkey and others will claim it as their own. It is also on the menu of almost every Middle Eastern restaurant. They can be grilled indoors on a grill pan or you can use your outdoor grill. Simple and easy chicken recipe to serve to family and guests. Another great Authentic grilled Kebab you must try is our Kafta Recipe.
Why you will love this recipe
- Scrumptious: there is no doubt that you will love the taste of this chicken shish Tawook recipe. It is full of flavor, tender, and so juicy.
- Many ways to enjoy it: Shish Tawook can be served as a sandwich, with salad, rice, or roasted veggies. Many ways to enjoy this simple and delicious grilled chicken kebab.
- Simple and Easy: All you need is yogurt and some herbs to make the shish tawook. It is easy to put together and then grill.
Ingredients you will need
Below is a list of ingredients you will need to make this Mediterranean Shish Tawook recipe. Full measurements are listed further below.
- Boneless skinless chicken breasts– cut into 1-inch chunks: We prefer using chicken breasts because they are leaner and healthier but you could use boneless and skinless chicken thighs
- Plain whole-milk yogurt: Or Greek Yogurt
- Lemon: use fresh if possible. Bottled lemon juice works but fresh tastes much better
- Olive oil: or any other oil. Avocado oil is a great option.
- Garlic Cloves: we recommend you use fresh garlic. But if you don’t have fresh garlic, dont make a trip to the store just for garlic. Swap it with garlic powder. The taste will vary a bit.
- Tomato paste: store-bought tomato paste is needed. Tomato sauce does not work as well. You need the paste
- Tawook spices: paprika, cinnamon, oregano, ground ginger, salt, and pepper
- Optional to serve with: lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, red onion, yogurt, pita bread
How to make this shish tawook recipe
- Prepare the chicken: First, cut the chicken breast into 1-inch chunks.
- Make the marinade: In a large bowl add all the marinade ingredients and whisk until well combined.
- Marinate the chicken: Then, stir in the chicken chunks. Marinate for at least 30 minutes before threading the chicken onto skewers.
- Grill the chicken: Preheat your grill or a large heavy-bottom grill pan to medium heat. Add skewers and grill, flipping them every couple of minutes; it should take about 10-12 minutes in total.
- Finally, Serve: Serve with crunchy veggies, yogurt, and warm pita bread if desired. Enjoy!
Recipe notes and tips
- It is best to use chicken breast when making shish Tawook. The marinate will work on boneless and skinless chicken thighs which can be grilled as a whole piece.
- Full whole milk plain yogurt and not Greek yogurt to make the tawook marinade
- We prefer using Olive oil, but vegetable oil or avocado oil will do just fine.
- Marinate for at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours. If you can make-ahead the and marinate the chicken the night before, even better.
- You may grill this shish twook on an indoor grill pan if you dont have an outdoor grill.
- Soak the wooden skewers for a few minutes to prevent them from burning especially if you are using an outdoor grill.
Frequently asked questions
The word Tawook means Chicken and the word shish means skewers. Thus the name Shish Tawook.
Even though Shish Tawook is now served internationally, it is said to have originated in Lebanon. The name of the dish actually comes from Turkey since they ruled Lebanon many years ago. Other countries may argue that they were the original creators of the dish.
Shish Tawook is primarily chicken. Shish kebabs on the other hand can be chicken or beef.
A shish Tawook sandwich is just what it sounds like and is a street food found in many Middle Eastern countries. Tawook in a sandwich form. Chicken kebab sandwich (made with the shish Tawook) lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, and a garlic sauce.
What to serve with shish tawook
- Lebanese rice or just plain white rice
- Salads like Coleslaw salad, Cucumber tomato salad, or this Zesty Quinoa salad recipe.
- Middle Eastern Red Lentil Soup
- Pita Bread or Homemade Dinner Rolls
- Creamy Mushroom and Zucchini Skillet
- Grilled Veggies like this Lemon Garlic Grilled Asparagus or this Honey Roasted Balsamic Glazed Carrots
- Healthy Mashed Potatoes
- Crispy Baked Greek Potato Wedges
Other Chicken recipes you may like
- Buffalo Chicken Salad
- Mediterranean Chicken Skillet
- Tuscan Stuffed Chicken Breast
- Asparagus Stuffed Chicken Breast
- Creamy Chicken Spinach
- Chicken Scampi with Zoodles
Storing and reheating
- Storing: If you have leftovers, remove them from the skewers and place them in a sealed container to store in the fridge for up to 4 days. You may also freeze for up to 3 months.
- Reheating: There are two ways to reheat. The easy way is to place them in the microwave and reheat them for 90-120 seconds or until heated through. Another way is to place and wrap them in a foil wrap, and place in a preheated oven at 350F for 6-8 minutes.
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Authentic Shish Tawook
- grill pan
- Chef's knife
- medium bowl
- wooden skewers
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast cut into 1-inch chunks
- ½ cup plain whole milk yogurt
- 1 lemon juiced + zest from half of it
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 3-4 garlic cloves crushed
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tsp paprika
- ¾ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp oregano
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- Optional to serve with: lettuce cucumbers, tomatoes, red onion, yogurt, pita bread
- Cut the chicken breast into 1-inch chunks.
- In a large bowl add all the marinade ingredients and whisk until well combined.
- Stir in the chicken chunks.
- Marinate for at least 30 minutes before threading the chicken onto skewers.
- Preheat your grill or a large heavy-bottom grill pan to medium heat. Add skewers and grill, flipping them every couple of minutes; it should take about 10-12 minutes in total.
- Serve with crunchy veggies, yogurt and warm pita bread if desired. Enjoy!