This Chicken Kabobs recipe features chicken that’s ultra tender and flavorful from an easy yogurt-based marinade. Serve the marinated chicken kabobs, grilled to perfection, with a fresh, bright Meyer lemon salsa. Every bite is pure sunshine!

A plate holds three chicken kabobs with Meyer lemon salsa with more salsa in a bowl next to it.


Tender Grilled Chicken Kabobs

These Grilled Chicken Kabobs with Meyer Lemon Salsa are absolutely delightful, with a bright fresh lemon salsa that’s pure, delicious sunshine! This winter has been crazzzzzy, with the mildest temps and earliest spring I’ve ever experienced. So of course, we’ve been grilling even more than usual through the winter months – and this chicken kabobs recipe has been a real treat through citrus season. The chicken is tender and flavorful from a yogurt-based marinade that’s infused with coriander and turmeric, and extra delicious with gorgeous char from the grill.

Why This Marinated Chicken Kabobs Recipe Shines

Here’s my family’s highlight reel, the top reasons why we love this recipe:

  • Fresh flavor. A salsa made from lemons? Yes, this definitely works! Meyer lemons are much milder than regular lemons, and perfectly LOVELY with grilled chicken.
  • Hearty + tender. Chicken is a regular on our menu, a great source of protein that can adapt to any flavor. And yogurt has those same qualities. This chicken kabobs recipe is a natural fit for our family, a satisfying main dish with super tender chicken thanks to the yogurt-based marinade.
  • FUN! Seriously. Who doesn’t like to eat food grilled on a stick? Beef kabobs, pork kabobs, and grilled shrimp skewers – we love it ALL!
Ingredients for A plate of Chicken Kabobs with Meyer Lemon Salsa are shown: chicken, Meyer lemon, coriander seeds, turmeric, yogurt, salt, serrano chile, green onions, garlic, sugar, vegetable oil, cucumber, cilantro.

Recipe Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to make these grilled kabobs. Scroll down the printable recipe card at the end of this post for the exact ingredient amounts.

Meyer Lemon Salsa

  • Meyer lemons – This type of lemon is milder and sweeter than regular lemons, with a much thinner peel. They’re actually a cross between a mandarin orange and a lemon, how beautiful is that? (So don’t substitute Meyer lemons for regular lemons in this recipe – it just won’t be the same!)
  • Cucumber – I like to use a large English cucumber or smaller Persian cucumbers because they have less seeds or no seeds. Otherwise, use a regular cucumber and remove the seeds.
  • Green onion – For fresh, mild onion flavor.
  • Serrano chile – This gives a touch of contrasting heat to the sunny salsa. You can use as little or as much as you like.
  • Sugar & salt – Just a little bit of each helps to bring the salsa flavors together.

Chicken Kabobs

  • Chicken – I like to use tender, flavorful (skinless, boneless) chicken thighs in this recipe.
  • Salt & pepper
  • Cilantro If you don’t like cilantro, parsley also works great.
  • Yogurt – Yogurt gently tenderizes the chicken by slowly breaking down the proteins in the meat. (As opposed to an acidic marinade that can toughen meat and make it rubbery.)
  • Vegetable oil – Or use olive oil if you prefer.
  • Garlic – DELICIOUS in this grilled chicken recipe!
  • Seasonings – Coriander seeds and ground turmeric add delicious flavor and beautiful coloring.

How To Make Chicken Kabobs with Meyer Lemon Salsa

First, make the salsa, then grill the chicken. Make sure to allow at least 20 minutes for the chicken to marinate. Find the detailed instructions in the recipe card lower down.

  • Prep the lemons. Cut off the peel and white pith from the lemons, then cut between the membranes to release the lemon segments. Here’s a little more info on how to segment citrus.
  • Make the salsa. Cut lemon segments into bite-size pieces and combine with the rest of the salsa ingredients.
  • Make the marinade. Puree the cilantro, yogurt, vegetable oil, garlic, coriander, and turmeric.
  • Marinate chicken. Season the chicken with salt & pepper, then let it rest in the marinade.
  • Grill. Thread marinated chicken onto skewers, then grill until the chicken is cooked through.
A plate of Chicken Kabobs with Meyer Lemon Salsa.
  • Serve. Garnish the kabobs with cilantro and green onion, and serve with the Meyer lemon salsa.
Chicken kabobs with Meyer lemon salsa are arranged on a plate

Tips for Success + Variations

I’ve outlined a few tips below, to help you make both the salsa and the chicken kabobs:

  • Use Meyer lemons. I can’t stress this enough. Do not substitute the Meyer lemons for regular lemons. Because Meyer lemons are a hybrid, they have a lovely mildness and bit of extra sweetness that’s very different from regular lemons.
  • Segment the lemons. It does take a little extra time to segment the lemons, but it’s worth the effort. This step ensures that the salsa texture is delicate – it practically melts in your mouth!
  • Soak the skewers. If you are using wooden skewers to make the kabobs, soak them for at least 1 hour before you thread on the chicken. This will help them to not burn so quickly on the grill.
  • Marinate longer. You really only need to marinate the chicken for 20 minutes, at room temperature. But for maximum tenderness and flavor, you can marinate for up to 2 hours, covered in the fridge.
  • Add vegetables. If you wish, add some veggies to the skewers. Some of my favorites include mushrooms, bell pepper, red onion, and cherry tomatoes. Just toss them in a little olive oil and give them a sprinkle of salt & pepper before adding them to the skewers.
  • Go spicier. Or not! I know that not everyone embraces the spicy heat of chile peppers. It’s fine to leave the chiles out of the salsa if you’re sensitive, or to replace them with minced bell pepper. On the other hand, if you love to feel the burn, definitely add more!
Chicken kabobs are shown with a portion of Meyer lemon salsa next to them.

Serving Suggestions

Serve marinated chicken kabobs at your next gathering, along with some of these suggestions:

How To Store & Reheat Leftovers

Here’s what to do with any leftover grilled chicken kabobs:

  • Fridge – Place cooled chicken, either on or off of the skewers, in an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  • To Reheat – You can reheat the kabobs on a baking sheet covered with foil in the oven at 350℉ until warmed through. Or, to reheat the chicken in the microwave, remove it from the skewers, place in a microwave-safe dish, and reheat in 30-second intervals until hot.

More Easy Chicken Recipes

A plate of Chicken Kabobs with Meyer Lemon Salsa.

Chicken Kabobs with Meyer Lemon Salsa

Yield: 6 servings
prep time: 15 minutes
cook time: 8 minutes
Additional Time: 20 minutes
total time: 43 minutes
This Chicken Kabobs recipe features chicken that's ultra tender and flavorful from an easy yogurt-based marinade. Serve the marinated chicken kabobs, grilled to perfection, with a fresh, bright Meyer lemon salsa. Every bite is pure sunshine!
5 Stars (1 Review)


For the meyer lemon salsa

  • 5 Meyer lemons (do not substitute for regular lemons)
  • ½ cup diced English cucumber
  • 3 tablespoons thinly sliced green onion, divided
  • 1 tablespoon seeded and minced serrano chile
  • ½ teaspoon sugar (add more if your lemons are particularly tart)
  • kosher salt, to taste

For the chicken kabobs

  • pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1½″ pieces
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, divided
  • ¼ cup plain whole-milk yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 large garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cracked coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric


For the Meyer lemon salsa

  • With a sharp knife, cut all the peel and white pith from the lemons and discard. Working over a medium bowl, with a sharp paring knife, cut between the membranes to release the lemon segments (aka "supremes") into the bowl. You want only the empty membranes remaining in your hand. Squeeze juice from the membranes into the bowl and discard the membranes. Strain juice into another bowl; remove any seeds. Cut segments into ¼" to ½" size pieces.
  • In a small bowl, combine lemon segments, 1 tablespoon of the strained lemon juice (reserve the rest for another use), cucumber, 2 tablespoons green onion, chile, and sugar. Taste and add salt as desired. Set aside.

For the chicken kabobs

  • Place chicken pieces in a medium bowl and season with salt and pepper.
  • In a mini processor or small blender, or with an immersion blender (needs to be small, as this is a small amount to blend), make the marinade. Puree ¼ cup of the cilantro, plus the yogurt, vegetable oil, garlic, coriander, and turmeric. (The marinade can be made 1 day ahead. Just cover and chill until you’re ready to marinate the chicken.)
  • Pour marinade over chicken and fold to coat evenly. Let marinate at room temperature for 20 minutes – or place in the fridge, covered, to marinate for 1-2 hours.
  • Heat grill to medium/medium-high heat. Make sure grates are scrubbed clean and then oiled well (see Notes).
  • Thread marinated chicken onto skewers. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste. Place assembled kabobs on grill and cook until you see nice char marks, then rotate them. Continue to rotate until all sides are nicely charred and the chicken is cooked through to 165°F. This should take about 10-12 minutes or so, depending on grill heat and size of chicken pieces.
  • Garnish kabobs with remaining 2 tablespoons cilantro and 1 tablespoon green onion, and serve with the Meyer lemon salsa.


If using wooden skewers: Soak the skewers in water for at least 1 hour prior to threading the chicken onto them. This will help them to not burn up as quickly on the grill.
To oil the grill grates: Add some vegetable oil to a small bowl. Then fold a heavy paper towel a few times to make a smaller square. With a tongs, grasp the folded paper towel and dip it into the oil until the paper towel is soaked. Then run the paper towel over the clean, hot grates, repeating until all grill grates are thoroughly oiled.
Adapted from bon appetit, January 2012

Nutrition Information:

Serving: 1 Calories: 342kcal Carbohydrates: 11g Protein: 42g Fat: 17g Saturated Fat: 5g Polyunsaturated Fat: 11g Cholesterol: 199mg Sodium: 577mg Fiber: 3g Sugar: 3g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Spoonacular. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your own favorite calculator.
Did you make this recipe?Please leave a comment below. And share a photo on Instagram with the hashtag #afarmgirlsdabbles or tag @farmgirlsdabble!

This post was first published in 2012, then updated in 2024.