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Middle Eastern Grilled Chicken with Toum

This super tender, super juicy, Middle Eastern Grilled Chicken with Toum (a delicious Lebanese garlic spread) and roasted cherry tomatoes is one of those fabulous meals you'll find yourself craving again and again!
Course Grilled Entrees, Main Course
Cuisine Middle Eastern
Keyword Middle Eastern Grilled Chicken, Toum
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 22 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 7 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 270 kcal
Author Chris Scheuer


For the toum:

  • 6 medium-size garlic cloves
  • 2 large egg whites
  • zest of one medium-size lemon
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 ½ cups neutral-flavored oil like grapeseed, avocado, sunflower, safflower, canola or vegetable oil

For the marinade:

  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon mild paprika
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • pounds skinless boneless chicken thighs

For the roasted cherry tomatoes:

  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • ½ cup pitted Kalamata olives
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon garlic salt
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

For serving:

  • ½ cup Greek yogurt
  • 4-6 naan warmed see Café Tips above in the post for how to make store-bought naan come alive
  • fresh cilantro and/or oregano sprigs for garnish


For the toum:

  1. Process garlic, egg whites, lemon zest and lemon juice in a food processor or blender until frothy and smooth. With motor running, slowly stream in half of the oil.

  2. Scrape down the sides of the food processor then continue to blend, slowly adding the rest of the oil. The mixture should thicken and become light and airy. Season with salt, to taste. Cover and chill if not using right away.

For the marinade:

  1. Combine ¼ cup of the prepared toum, lemon juice, tomato paste, coriander, paprika, and 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large ziplock style bag. Squeeze the bag to mix the ingredients.

For the chicken:

  1. Slice chicken thighs into 1-inch strips lengthwise. Add to the bag with the marinade, seal bag, and massage marinade into the chicken. Chill at least 3 hours and up to 12 hours.
  2. Prepare a grill for medium-high heat then oil the grate. Thread chicken onto skewers, folding pieces back and forth accordion-style so they pile onto themselves. Season the skewers generously with salt and fresh ground pepper.
  3. Grill, turning occasionally until browned and beginning to char in spots, 10–12 minutes. Leave the grill on for the tomatoes.

For the roasted cherry tomatoes:

  1. While the chicken is resting prepare the cherry tomatoes by combining tomatoes, olives, olive oil, garlic salt and pepper on a foil-lined sheet pan.

  2. Place sheet pan on the grill and roast tomato mixture for 5-8 minutes, stirring once halfway through. Tomatoes should be shiny, but not bursting open.

For serving:

  1. Combine ½ cup of the toum with ½ cup Greek yogurt and stirl until nice and smooth. Reserve the remaining toum for another use (see the post above). Serve chicken with pitas, toum/yogurt mixture, Zhoug (optional), lemon wedges, and fresh cilantro sprigs.

Recipe Notes

See Café Tips above in the post for more detailed instructions and tips.

Nutritional info does not include Toum.

Adapted from Bon Appetit.

Nutrition Facts
Middle Eastern Grilled Chicken with Toum
Amount Per Serving
Calories 270 Calories from Fat 135
% Daily Value*
Fat 15g23%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Trans Fat 1g
Cholesterol 135mg45%
Sodium 315mg14%
Potassium 557mg16%
Carbohydrates 4g1%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 29g58%
Vitamin A 523IU10%
Vitamin C 18mg22%
Calcium 39mg4%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.