Salt-free lemon chicken kebabs

By January 5, 2014Recipes

Too much salt in your daily diet can be bad for you, but how do we still enjoy tasty meals if we’re trying to cut down on the amount of salt we eat? Our top tips for this are:

  • Start by eating less prepared and processed foods
  • Use more fresh food, and cook from scratch as much as possible
  • Choose cooking methods that add flavour – like sautéing onion and garlic for sauces, soups and stews, and roasting or grilling rather than frying your food
  • Season with fresh herbs, salt-free spices and ingredients like garlic, ginger and lemon

Make your own marinade that’s salt and preservative free – a combination of fresh herbs, lemon juice and rind, honey and balsamic vinegar make a delicious marinade. When it comes to cooking chicken, for example in our recipe below, don’t overcook it as it can become tough and dry. Also, feel free to experiment with a variety of ingredients – the different textures and flavours limits the need for salt.

Salt-Free Lemony Chicken Kebabs


  • 30 ml (2 tbsp) olive or avocado oil
  • juice and finely grated rind of 1 lemon
  • 30 ml (2 tbsp) fresh thyme leaves or dried thyme or origanum
  • 10 ml (2 tsp) Dijon mustard
  • 30 ml (2 tbsp) honey
  • 15 ml (1 tbsp) balsamic vinegar
  • black pepper to taste
  • 600-700 g chicken breast fillets, cut in cubes
  • 16-24 soft dried Turkish apricots
  • 1 red or yellow pepper, seeded and cut in pieces
  • 12-15 lemon leaves
  • 1 red onion, cut in wedges
  • Kebab sticks
  • Fresh rocket leaves to serve
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  1. Mix oil, lemon juice and rind, thyme, mustard, honey, vinegar and pepper in a large bowl until well combined.
  2. Add chicken to the marinade and mix to coat the chicken. Allow to marinade for 20 minutes.
  3. Thread chicken with apricots, red peppers, lemon leaves and onion on kebab sticks.
  4. Heat a thin layer of oil in a large frying pan and fry kebabs on all sides until golden brown. Add remaining marinade, cover with a lid and reduce the heat. Simmer for 4-5 minutes or until cooked through.
  5. Alternatively, braai kebabs over medium coals for 5-6 minutes on each side or until the meat is cooked, but still juicy. Serve with fresh rocket.


  1. If you are going to braai your kebabs, soak wooden kebab sticks in water for 15-20 minutes to prevent them from burning.
  2. This marinade is also delicious with pork or beef. Use a variety of fruit or veggies, like pineapple, baby tomatoes and mushrooms.

Serves 4 – 6

Recipe Author: Food Consultant, Heleen Meyer