No grill? No worries. Just form the chicken mixture for this Levantine Chicken Kofta into small patties, and then sauté the patties and vegetables in extra-virgin olive oil over medium heat. 

Za’atar is a Middle Eastern spice blend including hyssop (an herb similar to thyme), sumac (a tart powder), and sesame seeds. This herbaceous, tart, and nutty-tasting blend turns most savory grilled things into a real treat. My favorite brand of za’atar is The Spice Way, but you can also find it at many supermarkets.

This recipe was developed by Kate Sherwood, The Healthy Cook. Have a comment, question, or idea? Email Kate at

Serves: 4
Time: 30 minutes


  • 1 lb. ground chicken breast
  • 1 small onion, grated
  • 1 Tbs. za’atar 
  • ¼ tsp. kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 16 cherry tomatoes
  • 2 small zucchini or summer squash, halved lengthwise, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 1 red onion, cut into thin wedges
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 1 Tbs. + 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • Grilled Lemon & Herb Sauce (see recipe)


  1. Soak 20 wood or bamboo skewers in water for 10 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the chicken, onion, za’atar, salt, and pepper. Form the chicken mixture onto 8 skewers (see photo) and refrigerate until ready to grill. 
  3. Thread the tomatoes, zucchini, and red onion onto separate skewers. Brush the zucchini and the cut surfaces of the lemon with 1 Tbs. oil. 
  4. Brush the chicken with the remaining 1 Tbs. oil. Grill the chicken and vegetable skewers and the lemon (placed on the grill, cut side down) over a hot grill until marked and cooked through, 5-12 minutes. The vegetables should be tender-crisp and the lemon lightly charred.
  5. Use half the grilled lemon to make the Grilled Lemon & Herb Sauce.
  6. Serve the grilled chicken and vegetables with the remaining lemon half, the Grilled Lemon & Herb Sauce, and any optional extras (if using).

*Optional extras: whole wheat flatbread or pita, leaf lettuce, fresh mint or cilantro, red onion, cucumber, pickled vegetables

Grilled Lemon & Herb Sauce

Makes: ¾ cup


1 clove garlic, finely minced
¼ tsp. kosher salt
¼ cup mixed soft fresh herbs (mint, dill, cilantro, and/or basil), chopped
¼ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup plain Greek yogurt


  1. In a small bowl, whisk together all the ingredients until glossy.

Nutrition Information

Per serving (2 chicken skewers + vegetables + 3 Tbs. sauce):

  • Calories: 350
  • Total fat: 21g
  • Sat fat: 4 g
  • Carbs: 11 g
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Total sugar: 6 g
  • Added sugar: 0 g
  • Protein: 31 g
  • Sodium: 390 mg

*Nutrition information does not include optional extras.

Healthy Cook's Kitchen Chicken


The Healthy Cook’s Kitchen: Chicken

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