Keto Persian Chicken Kebabs are savory, delicious grilled chicken skewers with a super flavorful marinade and a magical lemon saffron butter basting sauce.
Simple marinated & grilled, low-carb chicken kebabs with a paleo option.
The inspiration for this recipe comes from a Persian celebration we always enjoyed being invited to.
For many years, except for the last two years, my family always goes to my husband's best friend's Chahar Shanbeh Soori fire jumping party.
Chahar Shanbeh Soori is a celebration Iranians have on the last Wednesday before Nowruz (the Iranian New Year).
The celebration we go to always has the most dreamy Persian food and jumping over small to larger bonfires after sunset in the street. The fire department gave permission and helped with that part of the celebration, of course.
The traditional Persian food served at these parties is so mouth-watering and flavorful, especially the grilled chicken. I asked for the recipe and made a keto version, although it was already reasonably low carb.
These are the best kebabs I’ve ever made and the chicken is not dry at all, and just melts in your mouth with such flavors!
I used the tasty marinade and divine saffron lemon butter sauce for grilled chicken skewers, but you can also use the marinade and lemon butter for bone-in grilled chicken thighs.
Ingredients List for Shopping
- Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, or Thighs
- Saffron, Ground & dissolved into 2 tablespoons Hot Water, divided
- Plain Unsweetened Full Fat Yogurt, or Coconut Yogurt (for Paleo)
- Avocado Oil
- Fresh Lemon Juice (juice of about 2 lemons), divided
- Cloves Garlic, Minced
- Lemon Pepper Seasoning
- Sea Salt
See the recipe card for quantities and full directions.
Hint: Serve Persian Chicken Kebabs with grilled vegetables basted with the lemon-butter or cauliflower rice.
- For Paleo - instead of using traditional dairy yogurt, you can use plain unsweetened coconut yogurt.
- Outdoor Grill or Gas Grill - use an indoor grilling machine or etra large grilling pan.
- Saffron- Instead of saffron, in a pinch you can use ground tumeric.
- Don't own any skewers- Get bone-in chicken thighs, don't cut upthe chicken, and marinate and grill whole chicken thighs.
- Lemon Pepper Seasoning- You can also use homemade lemon pepper seasoning.
- Mortar & Pestle
- Outdoor Grill, Gas Grill, Large Indoor Grill or Grilling Pan
- Metal Skewers
- Basting Brush
Chicken in the marinade can be stored covered in the fridge for up to 12 hours. Cooked chicken kebabs can be stored in a covered container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Any leftover marinade or basting butter that was used on the raw chicken should be disposed of.
Common Questions About Keto Persian Chicken Kebabs Recipe
You can make this recipe without the skewers by using bone-in chicken thighs and grilling a little longer until the chicken is thoroughly cooked.
Saffron is a fantastic and yummy spice found in most grocery stores' spice section but is far less expensive to purchase saffron here online. In a pinch, you can substitute with ground turmeric.
You can use plain unsweetened coconut yogurt instead of the traditional plain yogurt to make this recipe paleo.
You can use an indoor grill or grilling pan as long as the skewers will fit in them. If the skewers are too long to fit in the pan and cannot be shortened, it could be a problem. You may prefer not to cut the meat into pieces and grill the chicken breasts or thighs whole without the skewers
Keto Persian Chicken Kebabs Printable Recipe Card
Keto Persian Chicken Kebabs
- Mortar & Pestle
- Basting Brush
- 1 ½ lb Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts or Thighs
- ¼ of a Onion Chopped
- ½ teaspoon Saffron Ground & dissolved into 2 tablespoons Hot Water, divided
- ½ Cup Plain Unsweetened Full Fat Yogurt or Coconut Yogurt (for Paleo)
- 2 tablespoons Avocado Oil
- 5 tablespoons Fresh Lemon Juice juice of about 2 lemons, divided
- 2 Cloves Garlic Minced
- 1 teaspoon Lemon Pepper
- 1 teaspoon Sea Salt
- 3 tablespoons Butter
- Cut chicken into 2-inch pieces. Set aside.
- Using a mortar & pestle, grind the saffron threads into a powder. If you don’t have a mortar & pestle just rub saffron threads between fingers to crumble it.
- In a small pinch bowl mix saffron powder with 2 tablespoon hot water and mix. Se aside.
- In large mixing bowl or zipper freezer bag combine: chopped onions, half of saffron water (1 tablespoon of saffron water), yogurt, avocado oil, minced garlic, sea salt, lemon pepper, and 3 tablespoons of the lemon juice. Mix until combined.
- Add the chicken to the marinade in the bowl or freezer bag and stir and turn to coat chicken in marinade.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or up to 12 hours.
- Remove chicken from the fridge and let come to room temperature.
- Preheat outdoor or indoor grill until smoking hot.
- Slide chicken pieces onto metal or bamboo skewers, leaving room on both ends of skewer for turning. Set aside.
- In a small sauce pan add butter, remaining tablespoon of saffron water, and remaining 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Cook & stir over medium heat until melted and combined.
- Grill chicken kebabs for 8 to 15 minutes, turning occasionally, and using a brush to baste chicken with the lemon saffron butter sauce often. Chicken is done once juice running out is no longer pink.
- Remove from grill, slide meat off skewers with tongs or fork and serve.
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- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove