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4.54 from 47 votes

Joojeh Kabab (Persian Saffron Chicken Kebab)

Joojeh kabab is a classic chicken kebob recipe from Iran. Chicken pieces are smothered in a delicious saffron chicken kebob marinade and have such delicious flavor thanks to saffron and lemon. 
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Marinate time3 hrs
Total Time40 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Persian
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 470kcal


  • 2 lb chicken breast cut into 1.5 inch cubes
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 large onion thinly sliced
  • cup olive oil extra virgin
  • 1 lemon juice of
  • ¼ cup bloomed saffron See notes
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  • In a large bowl mix yogurt, sliced onion, oil, lemon juice and saffron and salt. 
  • Place the chicken in the marinade and stir well so all pieces are covered with marinade. 
  • Cover the bowl and refrigerate and let the chicken marinate for at least three hours up to twenty four hours.
  • Once ready to cook, place the bowl in room temperature for 15 minutes. 

Grill Instructions:

  • Thread the chicken pieces into skewers and grill on both sides until they are golden brown on the outside and white and juicy on the inside. 

Stove top instructions:

  • Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large pan over medium high heat. 
  • Put some of the marinated chicken in the pan and let them cook on one side before turning them to cook on the other side, about 3-4 minutes on each side. Do not over crowd the pan. 
  • Repeat with the remaining marinated chicken. 

Oven Instructions:

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. 
  • Thread the marinated chicken into skewers and place them on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. 
  • Cook the chicken in the oven for about 20 to 25 minutes until the chicken pieces are fully cooked. 
  • Turn the broiler on and broil the chicken kebabs until they're golden brown, about 3-4 minutes, turn half way so both sides are golden brown. 


  1. I used chicken breast but this chicken kebab is delicious if it's made with chicken thighs as well. 
  2. Learn how to bloom saffron
  3. Classic joojeh kabab is not spicy, but if you like your chicken kebab to be spicy, add ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper to the marinade. 
  4. If cooking joojeh kabab in a pan, make sure not to stir the meat too much; cook them on medium high heat for about three to four minutes on each side and turn them only once or twice
  5. There are two types of chicken kabob marinades used to make joojeh kabab: with and without yogurt. Both are very delicious and make chicken very tender and juicy. If you prefer to make the marinade without yogurt, increase the amount of olive oil to ½ cup.
  6. This is a different recipe from shish tawook as it has no tomato paste and uses saffron instead.
  7. Marinate the chicken pieces anywhere between three and twenty four hours. The longer they marinate, the more tender and juicy they will be.
  8. Store the leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to two days. To reheat, place them in a pan and heat over medium heat or place the chicken pieces on a baking sheet, cover and heat in the oven at 250°F for fifteen to twenty minutes.


Calories: 470kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 54g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 148mg | Sodium: 865mg | Potassium: 1002mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 68IU | Vitamin C: 20mg | Calcium: 82mg | Iron: 1mg