Lebanese Shish Tavuk: Middle Eastern Chicken Skewers Recipe

Updated on February 4, 2020
Sherry H profile image

Sherry loves restaurant-style dishes and constantly looks for easier and tastier recipes to try.


I have always been a fan of Middle Eastern dishes, and shish tavuk has always been my favourite meal. I love this dish more and more now that I know how to cook it myself. I cook it at least once every two weeks. Trust me, it is much easier than it looks. All you have to do is prepare the marinade, keep it in refrigerator for some time, thread the chicken on the skewers, grill, and—TA-DA!—it is done.

Shish tavuk is a traditional marinated shish kebab of Middle Eastern cuisine served in every Lebanese and Turkish restaurant.

Shish tavuk is eaten in Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Iran, and Israel. In some other countries, it is called 'Shish kebab' or 'Sheekh kebab,' prepared with slight variations.

Origin of the Name

'Shish' means skewers in Turkish, and 'Tavuk' comes from 'takagu' meaning 'chicken.'


This dish can be served with rice, yogurt, and skewer-grilled vegetables. The Syrian and Lebanese versions are served with toum, hummus, and tabbouleh—all of which are amazingly delicious and equally as easy to make.

I prepared it with little variation each time I make it. You can prepare the same appetizing shish tavuk by removing or adding ingredients to suit your taste and health choices.

5 stars from 1 rating of Shish Tavuk

Cook Time

Prep time: 4 hours 30 min
Cook time: 20 min
Ready in: 4 hours 50 min
Yields: Serves 6 people 2 pound of skewer-grilled chicken


  • 1/4 cup Lemon, Juice
  • 1/4 cup Vegetable oil
  • 1 cup Plain yogurt (hung yogurt)
  • 4 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 2 teaspoons Tomato, Paste
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Oregano, Dried
  • 1/4 teaspoon Black pepper, Ground
  • 1/4 teaspoon Allspice, Ground
  • 1/4 teaspoon Cardamom, Cinnamon, Cumin together, Ground
  • 1/2 cup Flat leaf Parsley, Chopped
  • 2 pounds Boneless Chicken, Cut into 2 inch cubes
  • 2 Onions, Cut into large wedges
  • 1 Green large bell pepper, Cut into large wedges
  • 1 Hot chilli pepper, Cut into wedges
  • 4-5 leaves Cabbage
  • 1 Tomato, Cut into wedges
  • 1 Tomato, Cut into wedges
  • Pinch Red color, Usually not used. I used it to match the colorful cuisines theme.


  1. In a bowl, mix all the marinade ingredients (yogurt, garlic, tomato paste, oil, lemon juice, salt, oregano, black pepper, allspice, cardamom, cinnamon and cumin) together.
  2. Add the chicken cubes to the above mixture and coat the pieces with the marinade completely.
  3. Similarly, add the wedge-cut onion, bell pepper, hot chilli pepper, cabbage and tomatoes into the marinade to coat them.
  4. Transfer the marinade coated chicken and vegetables into a sealable plastic bag and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, up to overnight. The longer you keep the marinade in refrigerator the tastier it gets.
  5. Preheat your grill for medium-high heat and lightly oil grate.
  6. Thread the chicken pieces onto the pre-soaked skewers one after one, adding onion, tomato and pepper pieces in the middle.
  7. Cook until the chicken is golden and cooked in the centre, after keeping it for about 5 minutes depending on the heat turn the skewers upside down for the other side to cook.
  8. Sprinkle parsley on the top.
  9. Serve the shish tavuk with flat bread or rice and yogurt. Hummus and toum are delicious dips if you already have these at home or you can make these easy 10 minutes dips watching the videos I have added below.
Preparing the marinade
Preparing the marinade | Source
Shish Tavuk (Skewer-grilled chicken)
Shish Tavuk (Skewer-grilled chicken) | Source

A Quick Hummus Recipe

Toum Recipe

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1
Calories 1015
Calories from Fat261
% Daily Value *
Fat 29 g45%
Saturated fat 6 g30%
Unsaturated fat 0 g
Carbohydrates 32 g11%
Sugar 14 g
Fiber 8 g32%
Protein 151 g302%
Cholesterol 400 mg133%
Sodium 1040 mg43%
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

Good Cooking Tips

  • You can keep the marinade prepared for using any time you want.
  • Skip using spices that your health cannot keep up with.
  • I used red colour to give it a colorful look. The non-colored shish tavuk looks more authentic, though there is no change in the taste of course.

Do try this tasty recipe and tell me how it was and also tell me what variations you used.

© 2018 Sherry Haynes


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    • Sherry H profile imageAUTHOR

      Sherry Haynes 

      2 years ago

      Hummus is my favourite too! But, I failed to prepare it at home. Apparently, the hummus from outside has set a standard of taste which I could not produce.

    • CaribTales profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks for sharing the recipes. Hummus is among my favorite foods.


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