Chicken Kebabs over Cauliflower Couscous

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Spring and summer are the seasons of friendship. As the sun heats up, moods lift and everyone comes out of winter hibernation to plan warm-weather fun. Sunshine sets the stage for a myriad of casual social events, from BBQs to picnics to camping trips. Now that we’ve compared gas and charcoal BBQ grills, hopefully you’re ready to join me for some outdoor fun.

My family owns a gas grill that we fire up often in the summer. Though the smoky flavor imparted by a charcoal grill is phenomenal, the convenience of setup and ease of cleanup make gas a winning option for casual dinners. One of our favorite family recipes for Sunday dinner is chicken kebabs served over couscous. I’ve been working on my Paleo version of couscous for awhile, and I’m excited to share this meal with you today!

chicken kebabs paleo cauliflower couscous

Cauliflower is such a star performer in the Paleo kitchen. Whether you rice it to make sushi, use it in a curry, or mash it with carrots and thyme for heavenly comfort food, cauliflower can take on many different flavors and textures.

Here, I use riced cauliflower spiced with turmeric and curry to make a fluffy, greens-studded faux couscous. Each forkful combines crisp green onions, earthy turmeric, and bold Italian parsley for a savory delight.

Chicken marinated in a blend of lemon juice, olive oil, and simple seasonings makes for succulent kebabs that will disappear in a flash. Crumbled bay leaves add to the inviting scent of grilled chicken as it wafts through the kitchen or from the deck. I’ve recently made these kebabs in the oven, as I have yet to purchase a grill of my own.

Whether you own a grill or work your kitchen magic, this simple dish is an invitation to sit and savor a spring evening with friends and family. I mix the leftovers with spinach or arugula for an easy-to-pack workday lunch. Hope you enjoy!

Chicken Kebabs over Cauliflower Couscous
Recipe Type: Main Dish
Author: Alicia of
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 12 mins
Total time: 32 mins
Serves: 4
Lemony, tender chicken over savory cauliflower couscous
  • For the chicken kebabs:
  • 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon lemon juice, divided
  • 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
  • 6 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 bay leaves, crumbled
  • 1.25 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 2 medium bell peppers
  • 10 small shallots
  • salt and pepper
  • *14 10-inch wooden skewers
  • For the cauliflower couscous:
  • 1 large head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/4 cup chopped Italian (flat leaf) parsley leaves
  1. For the chicken: In a large mixing bowl, combine 1/3 cup lemon juice, 1/3 cup oil, garlic, and bay leaves. Add salt and pepper as desired.
  2. Cut chicken into 3/4-inch cubes, add to marinade, and mix til evenly combined. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate in the fridge for 1-4 hours. Four hours makes the chicken amazingly moist- perfect for a weekend BBQ.
  3. Thirty minutes before you begin cooking, place skewers in a shallow pan and cover with water. Soaking will prevent them from blackening while cooking.
  4. Core bell peppers and chop them into kebab-sized slices. Halve shallots and discard skin. Toss the vegetables in a bowl with 1 tablespoon each lemon and olive oil.
  5. Place one oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the broiler on high. Line a baking sheet with foil and place an oven-safe metal rack on top of it. Thread chicken and vegetables onto skewers and place them on the rack.
  6. Broil for 6 minutes, turn the kebabs to cook on the other side, then broil for 5-6 minutes until lightly browned and no longer pink in the center. Your broiler may be slightly hotter or cooler than mine-check the skewers while cooking and adjust time as needed.
  7. Alternatively, you can use a gas grill per the original recipe: indirect/medium heat for 9-10 minutes.
  8. For the cauliflower couscous:
  9. You may need to process and cook this in two batches (as written). It’s a quick dish!
  10. Heat one tablespoon coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Place half the cauliflower florets in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the S-blade (basic chopping blade). Pulse 8-10 times or until cauliflower is the size of couscous grains.
  11. Pour cauliflower into the skillet and mix in turmeric, curry, and salt. Cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the couscous to a large bowl and repeat with the other half of the cauliflower.
  12. When the second half is done, turn off the heat and mix green onions and parsley into the couscous in the skillet. Mix until evenly combined with the other half and serve.
adapted from a recipe in Grill By The Book: Chicken and Other Poultry from Weber & Sunset

paleo chicken kebabs cauliflower couscous leftovers

About Humble Foodie

While we both love to eat well, life as AmeriCorps volunteers doesn’t afford us the budget to try every new restaurant and type of cuisine. With many post-graduate expenses and limited financial resources, what’s a foodie to do? The answer is here, at The Humble Foodie. Instead of spending our hard-earned cash paying other people to cook for us, we’re spending as frugally as possible making delicious meals at home.
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12 Responses to Chicken Kebabs over Cauliflower Couscous

  1. This looks really great Alicia! Reminds me that we have not done kabobs in awhile and it’s time to break out the skewers again! 🙂 I like the idea of the Cauliflower Couscous as well!

    • Alicia says:

      Thanks Kenley! I will probably put every food possible on a stick this summer. I really want to do fruit kebabs served with ice cream and maybe a homemade caramel sauce…skewers have so many possibilities. They also make great origami flower stems!

  2. You’re making cauliflower rice so alluring. Have yet to try, though I’ve commented a million times over that I’m interested. The mix of curry and turmeric sounds amazing.

    Kabobs are my summertime jam, too! Looking forward to parties on the patio and kabobs on the grill.

  3. I was never a huge fan of cauliflower until I tried cauliflower “rice” a few years ago, and oh my gosh, it is delicious. That said, I still don’t cook with it all that often–you may have changed that, though. 😉

    • Alicia says:

      Right?! I tend to eat cauliflower more when I’m pretending it’s something else (rice, cous cous, mashed potatoes) than cooked on its own. Poor maligned cauli…as a kid I would only eat it covered in Thousand Island dressing. I think I prefer these new versions!

  4. Julie says:

    Yum! This looks so delicious. Why am I so much more interested in chicken once it’s in kebab form? Truly a mystery.

  5. This looks amazing! Been thinking about couscous for a while but was going to try it with quinoa – cauliflower would be a much better option, thanks. As for the chicken kebabs…I can NEVER resist any food that is served on a stick 🙂

    • Alicia says:

      Thanks Cat! I do enjoy quinoa occasionally, but I really like having fluffy “cous cous” like we used to have with these when I was younger. I’m excited to make mini versions of these to serve as summer appetizers!

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