oven roasted joojeh kabob

oven roasted joojeh kabob

This oven roasted joojeh kabob is a nod to my dad’s specialty without an outdoor grill. Joojeh kabob is a delicious Persian style barbecued chicken. It’s traditionally served with saffron stained basmati rice, yogurt, shirazi salad, and juicy charred tomatoes.

oven roasted joojeh kabob

My dad is known for his many amazing qualities. He is full of love and incredibly hardworking but he’s also the most talented Persian Kabob cook out there! His specialties are koobideh (a ground beef and/or lamb kabob skillfully formed around wide metal skewers and cooked over an open flame) and joojeh (marinated chicken thighs barbecued until slightly charred on the outside and juicy in the center). Thanks to my privileged kabob childhood I’m constantly disappointed when I eat kabobs in restaurants and even in other Persian homes (sorry Iranian friends). Truly they all pale in comparison to my dad’s masterpiece. Since becoming an adult, I’ve yearned to replicate the delicious flavor of my childhood joojeh.

oven roasted joojeh kabob


Going straight to the master for advice, my dad and I brainstormed a way to bring his classic recipe to the patio-less masses. First, we developed a simple marinade of pureed onions, yogurt, salt, and saffron to keep the chicken thighs delicious and succulent. After an overnight rest in the marinade, I arranged the chicken on a baking rack and roasted until fully cooked. The broiler setting on my gas oven worked wonderfully during the last few minutes of cooking and resulted in juicy, flavorful chicken thighs dotted with blackened “barbecue” spots. We sliced tomatoes in half, dressed them with olive oil and salt and roasted them alongside the chicken to replicate the Persian classic.

I’ve been using this recipe as a healthy weeknight go-to for months now. I simply marinade several pounds of chicken overnight then batch cook them in the oven with minimal effort. After a long day at work we measure out the perfect portions of lean protein for a healthy, satisfying dinner.

This healthy, delicious chicken recipe is now a mainstay in our weeknight meal repertoire and I hope you make it a part of yours!

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oven roasted joojeh kabob

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  • Author: Sep Campos


This recipe makes a lot of chicken and it’s what my husband and I use to meal prep in the beginning of a busy week. If you don’t want 4.5 pounds of chicken, keep the marinade proportions the same and just use less chicken.


  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup plain full fat yogurt (not Greek style)
  • 1 Tablespoon sea salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon powdered saffron
  • 4.5 pounds chicken thighs (boneless, skinless) (or as little as 2 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 3 roma or hothouse tomatoes
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Sumac, optional
  • white rice cooked per package directions, for serving


  1. Puree the onion in a food processor until completely broken down (the grated onion and its juice will flavor the chicken). If you don’t have a food processor you can grate the onion on the big holes of a box grater.
  2. Combine the grated onion (and its juices), lemon juice, yogurt, salt, and saffron powder in a large bowl.
  3. Add the chicken and toss to coat completely. Cover the bowl and place in the refrigerator to marinade overnight, or at least 30 minutes.
  4. When you’re ready to roast the chicken, preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  5. Cut the tomatoes in half. Grease the skin side of the tomatoes with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
  6. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil and place a baking rack inside the lined baking sheet.
  7. Grease the baking rack with canola oil and use tongs to arrange a single layer of marinated chicken on top of the baking rack (use more than one baking sheet and rack set up or bake in batches if the chicken doesn’t fit in one layer)
  8. Place the tomatoes on the rack next to the chicken, skin-side up.  
  9. Bake in the oven for 20 – 30 minutes, or until fully cooked (internal temperature should be 165 degrees fahrenheit).
  10. Turn on the broiler and char the chicken and tomatoes until starting to blacken, about 3 minutes.
  11. Serve with basmati rice, yogurt, shirazi salad, and sprinkle generously with sumac!


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