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Grilled Chicken Shashlik with Zhoug Sauce

Prep Time1 hour
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time1 hour 30 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Keyword: Chicken Kabobs, Chicken Shashlik, Chicken Skewers, Grilled Chicken Kabobs
Servings: 4 people


  • metal or wooden skewers
  • grill


Shawarma Spice Blend

  • 1/4 cup freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp freshly ground white pepper
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 cup ground allspice
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp ground nutmeg

Zhoug - Spicy Herb Sauce

  • 2 Hungarian wax peppers, coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh cilantro leaves, washed and drained
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, washed and drained
  • 2 cloves peeled garlic
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp sherry vinegar

Chicken Shashlik

  • 3 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 large sweet onion, grated or blended to a pulp
  • 1/4 cup mayo
  • 1 tbsp shawarma spice blend (from above)
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt, to taste


Prepare the Zhoug

  • Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend until very smooth. It can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Prepare the Chicken Shashlik

  • If you are using wooden skewers, soak them for at least 30 minutes.
  • Once you make the shawarma spice blend, set aside 1 tablespoon for the marinade and store the rest in a glass jar.
  • Trim the extra fat from the chicken thighs, cut each one into thirds, and put them into a large bowl. Combine with the grated onion, mayo, 1 1/2 tsp salt, and 1 tablespoon of the shawarma spice. Marinade the chicken for at least 4 hours.
  • Thread the chicken onto the skewers, trying not to squeeze the pieces too close together.
  • If you are using a charcoal grill, wait until the fire dies down a bit and the bricks turn white. Then place the chicken skewers on the grill, turning them every five minutes until internal temp reaches 165 F. It will take about 25-35 minutes.
  • Season the shashlik with a sprinkle of salt to taste and serve it with rice or pita bread, a fresh salad, and little bowls of zhoug sauce on the side. Enjoy!