One of my favorite grilling recipes! These Smoked Paprika Chicken Kabobs are marinated in a spiced yogurt sauce, which makes them incredibly tender and delicious.
These Grilled Smoked Paprika Chicken Kabobs win the top grilling prize around here. That may not mean much outside of our house, but I can assure there are some pretty discerning taste tasters around here, especially when it comes to anything cooked on the barbecue.
When asked what my favorite grilled food is, I vacillate wildly between carnivorous and herbivorous tendencies. While I adore meatless meals, such as Grilled Zucchini & Eggplant Parmesan or Grilled Thai Vegetable Tacos, I am never one to turn down a meaty meal if it’s grilled to perfection.
And then there are kabobs. All the meat and veggies you could want, all on one handy stick. The best kind of summertime eating!
Marinating chicken in yogurt, like in this yogurt chicken kabob recipe, is common in tandoori and many Middle Eastern recipes. The yogurt helps to tenderize the meat while also adding a tangy flavor that takes on a variety of spices with the greatest of ease.
I opted for smoked paprika and rosemary, one of my favorite spice combinations. It's fantastic on everything from grilled potatoes and onions to popcorn. If you haven't tried Smoked Paprika & Rosemary Olive Oil Popcorn, you haven't lived!
What you need for these smoked paprika chicken kabobs:
These are the main components of this recipe (affiliate links included):
- Chicken thighs: A little more than 2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces.
- Vegetables: Red onion and red bell pepper pieces are alternated with the chicken pieces.
- Greek yogurt: The recipe calls for plain nonfat Greek yogurt, but use full fat if preferred.
- Lemon: Use the juice of ½ lemon.
- Seasoning: I used my favorite combination of smoked paprika and crushed rosemary, along with garlic powder, kosher salt and ground black pepper.
- Olive oil: For coating the onion and bell pepper pieces.
How to make grilled smoked paprika chicken kabobs:
Start by mixing together the marinade ingredients in a large bowl – yogurt, lemon juice, smoked paprika, rosemary, salt and garlic powder.
Cut the chicken thighs into 1-inch pieces and mix into the marinade until coated. Cover the bowl and marinate the chicken in the fridge for at least 1 hour and up to 8 hours.
If you’re using wooden skewers, be sure to soak them in warm water for at least 30 minutes before assembling the kabobs so that the skewers don’t burn or catch on fire while grilling. For chicken and meat kabobs, I LOVE these hefty metal skewers. Nothing slips off of these suckers!
Toss the red onion and bell pepper pieces with some olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Thread the marinated chicken pieces onto the skewers, shaking off the excess marinade as you go, alternating with the veggies. I like to arrange them on a baking sheet, which makes it easy to carry the kabobs to and from the grill (use a clean baking sheet for the cooked kabobs).
Grill! Over medium-high heat, they cook in about 12 to 15 minutes. Turn the kabobs halfway through cooking.
What to serve with these yogurt chicken kabobs:
Some of our favorite sides with this meal…
Frequently Asked Questions:
Can I use chicken breasts instead of thighs?
I highly recommend that you use thighs, but breasts can be substituted if needed. Chicken thighs retain their moisture much better than breasts when grilled and I prefer the flavor. If using chicken breasts, take care not to overcook them so that they don’t dry out.
Can these kebabs be cooked in the oven?
If you don’t have a grill or it’s the middle of winter and you don’t feel like leaving the warmth of your kitchen (I feel you!), baked chicken kabobs are a great option.
Line a sheet pan with foil, then place a rack on top of the foil. Spray the rack with cooking spray for easier clean up. If using wooden skewers, remember to soak in warm water for at least 30 minutes so they don’t burn while the chicken cooks.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line up the kabobs on the rack. Bake until the chicken is cooked through, about 25 to 30 minutes, turning the kabobs halfway through.
Other grilled chicken recipes:
Grilled Smoked Paprika Chicken Kabobs
- 1 ½ cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
- juice of ½ lemon
- 1 ½ teaspoons smoked paprika divided
- 1 ½ teaspoons crushed dried rosemary
- 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt divided
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 ¼ pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, trimmed & cut into 1-inch pieces
- ¼ red onion rings separated & cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 red bell pepper cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
- In a large bowl, stir together the yogurt, lemon juice, 1 ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika, rosemary, 1 teaspoon salt and garlic powder. Add the chicken pieces and stir to coat. Cover and marinate in the fridge for at least 1 hour and up to 8 hours.
- Place the onion and red bell pepper pieces in a medium bowl. Toss with olive oil, ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper.
- Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. If using wooden skewers, soak in warm water for at least 30 minutes. Lightly brush the grill with canola oil.
- Thread the chicken (shake off and discard excess marinade), onion and red bell pepper pieces onto 6 skewers. Sprinkle with remaining ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika and ¼ teaspoon salt.
- Grilled until the chicken is cooked through, 12 to 15 minutes, turning halfway through cooking. Serve.
To cook in the oven:
- Line a sheet pan with foil, then place a rack on top of the foil. Spray the rack with cooking spray for easier clean up. If using wooden skewers, remember to soak in warm water for at least 30 minutes so they don’t burn while the chicken cooks.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line up the kabobs on the rack. Bake until the chicken is cooked through, about 25 to30 minutes, turning the kabobs halfway through.
This post was first published on May 16, 2017 and updated on April 16, 2021.
Disclosure: I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.