Yogurt Marinated Shish Kebabs

Yogurt Marinated Shish Kebabs


  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Aleppo pepper* or 2 teaspoons dried crushed red pepper plus 2 teaspoons Hungarian sweet paprika, plus additional Aleppo pepper or paprika for sprinkling
  • 1 cup plain whole-milk Greek-style yogurt** (8 ounces)
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled, flattened
  • 1 large lemon; 1/2 thinly sliced into rounds, the other half reserved to top the finished chicken.
  •  2 pounds skinless boneless chicken (thighs and/or breast halves), sliced into strips, 1/4 inch thick
  • Special equipment: Flat metal skewers


If using Aleppo pepper, place in large bowl and mix in 1 tablespoon warm water. Let stand until thick paste forms, about 5 minutes. If using dried crushed red pepper and paprika combination, place in large bowl and stir in 2 tablespoons warm water and let stand until paste forms, about 5 minutes.

Add yogurt, olive oil, red wine vinegar, tomato paste, 2 teaspoons coarse salt, and 1 teaspoon black pepper to spice mixture in bowl; whisk to blend. Stir in garlic and lemon slices, then chicken. Cover and chill at least 1 hour. Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled.

Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Thread chicken pieces on metal skewers, dividing equally. Discard marinade in bowl. Sprinkle each skewer with salt, pepper, and additional Aleppo pepper or paprika. Brush grill rack with oil. Grill chicken until golden brown and cooked through, turning skewers occasionally, 10 to 12 minutes total. Transfer skewers to platter. Surround with lemon wedges and serve.

*A slightly sweet Syrian pepper with a moderate heat level; available at some specialty foods stores and from

** A thick yogurt;  If unavailable, place regular yogurt in cheesecloth-lined strainer set over large bowl. Cover and chill overnight to drain.

Note: One note about this recipe:  I marinated overnight, but after about an hour and a half of marinating, I cooked up a “test” kebab. It was hot – but after their overnight soak, the flavors had mellowed and there was very little discernible heat.  Consider this when planning for the recipe.


Keywords: Bargain Meals, Click here for Fabulous Food Posts and tagged Bargain Meal of the Week, Bon Appetit, Chicken, Grilled or Smoked, Hot Peppers, Lemon, Marinate, Tomato paste, Turkish, Vinegar, Yogurt

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