Berbere-Spiced Chicken Skewers

If you’ve never tried Ethiopia’s signature spice blend berbere, these vibrant chicken skewers get deep flavor from it. Made with dried alliums, chilies and warm spices, berbere features complex flavor and a rich, earthy aroma. Look for it in spice shops or well-stocked grocery stores.

If you can’t find berbere, or don’t feel like purchasing another spice to add to your growing collection, use a mixture of ground coriander and smoked paprika (which is what we did). In this recipe from Milk Street, they combine berbere with softened butter, lime juice and honey, making a spicy-sweet seasoning mix ideal for clinging to the chicken before cooking.

We served our skewers with a Lemon and Herb Farro side dish.

Berbere-Spiced Chicken Skewers

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 4 Tbsp. salted butter, room temperature
  • 2 Tbsp. berbere OR 1 Tbsp. ground coriander plus 1 Tbsp. smoked paprika
  • 2 Tbsp. honey, plus more to serve
  • 1 Tbsp. grated lime zest, plus 2 Tbsp. lime juice, plus lime wedges to serve
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 1½ lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into 1½-inch pieces
  • 2 medium red OR orange OR yellow bell peppers OR a combination, stemmed, seeded and cut into 1½-inch pieces


  1. Set a wire rack in a broiler-safe rimmed baking sheet and mist with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the butter, berbere, honey, lime zest and juice, 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Measure 2 tablespoons of the mixture into a small bowl; set aside for brushing.
  3. Add the chicken and peppers to the bowl with the remaining berbere mixture and mix with your hands to coat.
  4. Thread the chicken, alternating with the peppers, onto four 12-inch metal skewers. Place the skewers on the prepared rack, spacing them evenly. Let stand at room temperature while the broiler heats.
  5. Heat the broiler with a rack about 6 inches from the element. Broil the skewers until lightly charred, 6 to 7 minutes. Remove from the oven, flip and broil until charred on the second sides, another 6 to 7 minutes.
  6. Transfer to a serving platter, brush with the reserved butter mixture and drizzle with additional honey. Serve with lime wedges.

Original recipe from Milk Street


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