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Shish Tawook

This grilled Shish Tawook uses tender chicken thighs that are marinated in yogurt, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, paprika and cayenne pepper and then grilled to create a juicy, flavorful meal. Pair this with a Mediterranean Eggplant Salad, rice, pita bread and a big dollop of yogurt. 

Shish Tawook on silver plate


Grilling season is still going strong and today’s Shish Tawook is the perfect way to continue celebrating summer.

Just because the kids are going back to school doesn’t mean summer has to end, right?

We can hold onto those last days of golden sunlight, warm air and backyard BBQs!

In our house, we actually grill year round, even when there is snow on the ground. Crazy? Maybe. But so worth it.

Today’s Shish Tawook Recipe is best grilled but can easily be cooked a variety of other ways from baked or braised in the oven, fried or fricasseed. 

We love grilled chicken and often rotation between Shish Tawook, Margarita Grilled Chicken, Tandoori Grilled Chicken, Yogurt Marinated Chicken, Chicken Souvlaki Recipe, Chicken Kofta and this Greek Marinated Chicken.

Shish Tawook on white plate

The most important part of today’s shish tawook chicken recipe is the marinade that helps pack in all of the flavor.

The marinade keeps the chicken tender and juicy when grilled — just the way it should be.

The base of the marinade is plain or Greek yogurt and lemon juice and then mixes in rich, warm spices creating a great punch of flavor for the chicken. And don’t forget the best part of grilled chicken thighs — the crispy skin!

Growing up in a Lebanese family we often ate Shish Tawook along with tabbouleh, pita bread, lemon potatoes, laban {yogurt} and of course a side of garlic yogurt sauce or plain yogurt to drizzle on the chicken.

Typically it is a grilled kebab eaten with rice or lentils, hummus, a fresh salad or on a pita. 

Shish Tawook with parsley

If kebabs are more your thing you can easily chop up the chicken thighs into pieces and skewer them for your grill.

You will see this type of dish in many Mediterranean restaurants but with variations.

That is one thing I love about the Mediterranean diet is the variety you see.

Each region of the Mediterranean has its own twist on the classic recipes.

Shish Tawook with Eggplant Salad


CHICKEN THIGHS: The main ingredient in this recipe is the chicken. I used chicken thighs because I find that they stay juicy on the grill. Feel free to use your favorite cut of chicken. 

GREEK OR PLAIN YOGURT: The yogurt is a big part of the marinade for the chicken. It helps hold in the flavors and juices. You can use plain or Greek yogurt. 

SPICES: This recipe uses a combination of cayenne pepper, paprika, thyme, cumin and allspice. These spices work nicely together to create the warm flavors. 

TOMATO PASTE: The tomato paste adds a nice punch of flavor to the marinade. Don’t skip this ingredient! 

LEMON JUICE:  The lemon juice adds sweetness and some acid to the recipe. Make sure to add this in!

Shish Tawook above

For today’s recipe, I used Just BARE Chicken Thighs .

If you have been hanging around A Cedar Spoon for any length of time you know I love Just BARE Chicken – their mission and commitment to providing natural, no-antibiotic chicken makes me happy.

Shish Tawook on metal plate

Chicken thighs are versatile and can be baked or braised in the oven, grilled, fried or fricasseed.

The best part of today’s recipe is it really is just a delicious marinade that can be used on your chicken thighs and then you can choose the way you prepare the chicken – maybe grilling isn’t your thing?

You should try baking your chicken thighs. Do you like that extra crispy skin? Heat up the skillet.

Shish Tawook with parsley

Shish Taouk Chicken Thighs with Garlic Yogurt Sauce

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

Shish Taouk Chicken Thighs with Mediterranean Eggplant Salad are a twist on traditional shish taouk grilled chicken kebabs. Instead of using chicken breasts for kebabs, this recipe uses tender chicken thighs that are marinated in yogurt, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, paprika and cayenne pepper and then grilled to create a juicy, flavorful meal. Pair this with the Mediterranean Eggplant Salad, rice, pita bread and a big dollop of yogurt. 


For the Shish Taouk:

  • 1 package Just BARE Chicken Thighs {4 chicken thighs}
  • 3 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt {or plain Greek Yogurt}
  • 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil

For the Mediterranean Eggplant Salad:

  • 1 large eggplant {or about 3 lbs.}
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1 teaspoon za'atar
  • 3 beefsteak tomatoes, diced {about 3 cups of diced tomatoes}
  • 1 bell pepper, seeds removed, chopped {I used half a red and half a green}
  • 5 green onions, green parts chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • Dash of salt & pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon za'atar


For the ShishTaouk:

  1. In a large Ziploc bag put the garlic, lemon juice, yogurt, tomato paste, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, paprika, thyme, cumin, allspice and olive oil. Add the chicken thighs and seal the Ziploc bag closed. Use your hands to massage the marinade into the chicken. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. Grill chicken thighs over medium-high heat, about 6 to 8 minutes per side, until done and there is no hint of pink in the meat and an internal temperature of 165°F.
  3. To make the Mediterranean Eggplant Salad follow this recipe.
  4. Serve the cooked chicken thighs with the Mediterranean Eggplant Salad, rice, pita and yogurt.

For the Mediterranean Eggplant Salad:

  1. Heat the grill to medium heat. Slice the eggplant into rounds. Rub salt on each side of the eggplant and lay on a baking sheet for an hour. Use a paper towel to pat the eggplant dry and then brush each side of the eggplant generously with olive oil. Sprinkle each side of the eggplant with salt, pepper and za'atar {the za'atar is optional}.
  2. Place the eggplant on the grill and cook for 5 minutes. Flip eggplant and grill until browned on bottom and soft. Let the eggplant cool and then chop into small pieces.
  3. In a large bowl mix the eggplant with the remaining ingredients and toss lightly to combine.


For the eggplant if you want to roast it follow these instructions: Preheat oven to 475°F. Cut eggplants into cubes and spread evenly on two baking sheets. Drizzle olive oil, salt, pepper and za'atar. Roast for 15 minutes, turn the eggplant over and roast for 10-15 more minutes, until the eggplant is soft. Cool and add to the Mediterranean Eggplant Salad.

Thanks to Just BARE Chicken for sponsoring today’s post. As always, opinions are 100% my own. Thanks for supporting the brands that help support A Cedar Spoon. 

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