Shish Tawook Chicken

4.71 from 34 votes

Shish Tawook, a traditional Lebanese dish, becomes juicy and tender from a simple marinade of fresh lemon juice and garlic.

Lebanese Chicken Shish Tawook Chicken

If I could eat one food every single day for the rest of my life, it would be Lebanese food.

Liz Squeezing Lemon

People often ask how I came up with "The Lemon Bowl" and ultimately it all goes back to my Middle Eastern roots. Lemon is the star ingredient in almost every Lebanese recipe and I have been watching my mom and aunts use lemons to flavor food since I could reach the counter.

Lebanese Shish Tawook Chicken

I could go on for days about my love of lemons but today I'm going to talk specifically about using lemon as a meat tenderizer. Similar to yogurt or vinegar, the acid in lemon juice helps break down the muscle fibers in meat. This is especially important when you're working with lean cuts of meat like boneless chicken breasts. 

Chicken Souvlaki with Wild and Brown Rice - The Lemon Bowl

Lemon juice plays the starring role in everything from Indian Spiced Grilled Chicken to Beef Shawarma to Chicken Souvlaki and much, much, more.

Lebanese Chicken Shish Tawook Recipe

Chicken Tawook, a native dish of Lebanon and Syria, is marinated chicken cubes that are typically grilled on skewers. Since we live in Michigan where the grill is covered in snow 75% of the year, we most commonly sauté the chicken in a pan with a little olive oil. I've also broiled the chicken in the oven which works well too.

Spelt Tabbouleh by The Lemon Bowl

Leftovers taste delicious wrapped in a pita with cucumber laban and hummus or served on top of my Spelt Tabbouleh with Jalapeño Vinaigrette.

Your fork is waiting.

Lebanese Chicken Shish Tawook Chicken

Shish Tawook Chicken

4.71 from 34 votes
Shish tawook, a traditional Lebanese dish, becomes juicy and tender from a simple marinade of fresh lemon juice and garlic.
PREP: 10 mins
COOK: 7 mins
TOTAL: 17 mins
Servings: 4


  • 20 ounces boneless (skinless chicken breasts - cut in cubes)
  • 1 juice and zest of lemon
  • 2 cloves garlic (grated)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • fresh parsley to serve


  • Place chicken breasts cubes in a glass bowl or large resealable plastic bag.
  • Add lemon juice, zest, grated garlic, salt and pepper to the chicken toss until chicken is evenly coated with marinade. Refrigerate for 20 minutes or up to overnight.
  • Heat pan over medium-high heat and add olive oil. Add chicken to the pan along with all of the marinade. Sauté chicken, stirring frequently, until lightly browned, about 5-7 minutes.
  • Serve with fresh minced parsley on top.


Calories: 160kcalCarbohydrates: 1.5gProtein: 28.8gFat: 5.3gSaturated Fat: 0.4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4.9gCholesterol: 75mgSodium: 869mgFiber: 0.1gSugar: 0.4g
DID YOU TRY THIS RECIPE? Mention @thelemonbowl or tag #thelemonbowl! I would LOVE to see!

Check out more Lebanese recipes on my Pinterest board!

74 thoughts on “Shish Tawook Chicken”

  1. I say this is so delicious! I used a cast iron pan and once all the juices evaporated it browned up just lovely. The taste is so fabulous. Thank you for a great and easy recipe. I ordered the pickled turnip on line and it was so worth it!

  2. Thanks for this recipe! It’s our second time making it. My six year old loved it so much that I’ve tripled the recipe this time.

  3. I think I was Lebanese in former life. A restaurant opened nearby and I could eat there every day. This chicken tastes Very Close to their recipe, so I’m very excited to make this.

  4. This was family really enjoyed it. It was easy to prepare too. I did sauté and I placed all of the marinade in the pan, but I drained it later so the chicken could brown. Thank you!

  5. We will make this again! I liked the marinade a lot. I've learned it's important to salt meat well, I find many don't do this and it leaves it tasting rather deflated.
    We grilled it on skewers with chunks of bell pepper and red onion, served over a garlic rice pilaf from Annie's Eats, and really enjoyed this!!
    Thank you for the recipe!

  6. I hardly ever post comments on recipes but this one deserved it! I absolutely avoid making chicken because it usually comes out plain, overcooked, and bland. This recipe was perfect. I adore lebanese cooking, order it all the time and this shish tawook is on par with what I've had in lebanese restaurants and also made by my Lebanese friends' Moms. SO EASY, SO DELICIOUS. thank you :)

  7. Made the chicken tawook tonight. The favors are fabulous... I overcooked though to get it the light brown color, will know better next time. Great recipe, thank you!

  8. Fantastic recipe! Made it twice so far, with the second a double batch so I could have lots of leftovers for salads and sandwiches. :-)

    If I prepare it on skewers in the oven, what temperature and cooking time do you recommend?

  9. Hey Liz:
    Sabrina's sister in-law here...she recommended your site and I'm blown away by your awesome recipes!!! Cooked up Chicken Tawook for the family last night and they were practically licking their plates...a real winner! Keep up the great work!!

  10. Do you know how to make that amazing garlicky paste/dip that comes with Shish Tawook? I would love a recipe for it! Just tried this recipe and it is delicious. Thanks!

    1. I really love this recipe. Wanted to let you know that I featured it in my monthly round-up of 25 Deliciously Healthy Low-Carb Recipes. I hope a lot of my readers will come over here and try it!

    2. Absolutely love love love this recipe and just shared it on my blog in a post called Friday Foodie Faves where I share my favorite foodie finds from around the web.

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