Chicken Doner Kebab (Tavuk Döner)

Chicken doner wraps on a wooden board, pickled, French fries, tomato and onion slices on the side.

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5 from 2 reviews

Let's make a delicious, tender and juicy chicken doner kebab at home. It is easier than you might think. The spiced yogurt marinade is the key to make this Turkish street food recipe. Marinate the chicken, bake it on skewers, carve it and enjoy in wraps, sandwiches or on a plate with rice and salad.


  • 2 lbs / 1 kg chicken thighs (skinless and boneless), cut in half

Chicken Döner Marinade:

  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (or vinegar)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 and ½ teaspoons salt

To Make Wraps or Sandwiches:

  • Flatbreads for wraps, doner bread pita for sandwiches
  • Finely sliced lettuce
  • Finely sliced red cabbage
  • Onion sliced
  • Tomatoes, sliced
  • Cucumber, chopped

To Serve On Plates:

  • Rice
  • Potato Chips
  • Salad with finely sliced lettuce, red cabbage, onions, tomatoes, cucumber
  • Pickles


Marinade The Chicken:

  1. In a large bowl, mix together yogurt, oil, lemon juice, tomato paste, garlic powder, cumin, paprika, black pepper and salt.
  2. Add the chicken thighs in the marinade and toss well. Make sure to coat each chicken piece well with the marinade.
  3. Cover the bowl and let it sit in the fridge for 3 hours. It is even better if you marinate it overnight.

Skewer The Chicken and Bake: 

  1. If you are using bamboo skewers, soak them in water for 20-30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400 F / 200 C. Line a large pan with foil. We will place the skewers on the top rim.
  2. Remove the chicken from the fridge. Take two skewers and thread chicken pieces onto them, one side on one skewer, the other side on the second skewer. Push each chicken piece you thread against the previous one.
  3. Repeat with another 2 skewers for the remaining chicken pieces.
  4. Place the skewers on the top rim of the prepared pan. Make sure the chicken pieces are hanging only and not touching the bottom of the pan.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes or until it gets a nice golden color.
  6. Remove from the oven, flip the kebabs, take a spoonful of the juices in the pan and pour over the kebabs. Bake for another 25 minutes.
  7. Remove from the oven, baste again with juice and let it sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Carve The Chicken Doner Kebabs:

  1. Place the kebabs upright and slice as thinly as possible using a sharp knife.

Serve In Wraps or Sandwiches: 

  1. To make wraps, put some salad (finely chopped lettuce, red cabbage, onions, tomatoes, cucumber) on a flatbread, top it with chicken doner kebab pieces and roll it up.
  2. To make sandwiches, fill a doner bread (or pita) with some salad and chicken doner and enjoy.
  3. To serve it on plates, prepare a doner plate by assembling chicken doner, rice, potato chips(optional), salad with lettuce, red cabbage, tomatoes, cucumber and pickles all on a plate. You can still add some flatbread on the side.


  • Use chicken thighs, not breasts.
  • Cut the chicken thighs in half.
  • Don’t skip the marinade. You will get juicy and soft doner kebab thanks to this marinade.
  • Use a thermometer if you are not sure about the doneness of the chicken. The internal temperature should be 165 F.
  • To grill: Preheat the grill to medium-high heat (400 F). Place the kebabs on grates. Close the grill and let them cook for 15 minutes. Flip them over and cook the other side of kebabs for 15 minutes.
  • To cook on the stove top: Heat a little (about 1 tablespoon) oil in a large cast iron skillet over high heat. Place the chicken in a single layer and cook it for 5-7 minutes. Flip it over, reduce the heat to medium and cook this side for 7 minute or until it is cooked.
  • Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes before carving.
  • To make yogurt sauce: Whisk together 1 cup of Greek yogurt, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 clove of garlic (grated), 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  • To store in the fridge, let the chicken pieces cool completely and store them inside an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
  • When ready to eat, reheat chicken in the microwave at 30 second intervals or in a pan on the stove top with a little oil. Then serve it wraps, sandwiches or over rice.
  • To freeze the cooked chicken doner, let the carved chicken pieces cool completely. Put them in resealable freezer bags and keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  • To freeze the chicken in the marinade, cover it well and keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. When you are ready to cook, thaw the chicken in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Nutrition information includes the marinated chicken only and is approximate and meant as a guideline only.