tom kerridge chicken shawarma recipe

Tom Kerridge’s skewer recipes are perfect for summer BBQ sessions

Posted by for Food and Drink

From minty courgette and halloumi to shawarma chicken with tahini dressing, these new skewer recipes by chef Tom Kerridge will take your barbecue to the next level.

After what often felt like a tragicomically miserable spring (according to provisional figures, the UK is on track to have endured its wettest May on record), we’re now facing the extremely welcome prospect of warmer weather. While the Met Office has steadfastly refused to predict a heatwave, spokespeople have said they think June will stay mostly dry, with temperatures hovering around what you’d expect for the start of summer. To which we can only say: THANK GOD FOR THAT.

Planning on hosting a barbecue to celebrate the departure of May’s cursed climate? We’ve got you covered, whether you’re contemplating how to decorate your garden or what to wear (we suggest 70s-style retro sunglasses, a summer dress and black chunky sandals). 

Tom Kerridge’s Outdoor Cooking book
Tom Kerridge’s Outdoor Cooking is out now with Bloomsbury Absolute

Food-wise, the choices are endless, whether you fancy making delicious veggie and vegan burgers, jerk chicken or grilled prawns with watermelon. But no barbecue is complete without skewers to nibble on – which is where Tom Kerridge’s new book Outdoor Cooking comes in.

Below, the chef shares three of his barbecue skewer recipes, starting with a classic courgette and halloumi option. The time-honoured vegetarian combination is elevated by a chilli and mint dressing that’s equal parts tart, spicy and fresh – just make sure to grill enough for all the meat-eaters who’ll inevitably want in on the action. 

Kerridge’s second recipe is his riff on a shawarma chicken wrap. Chicken thighs are marinated in Middle Eastern spices before being threaded onto metal skewers and barbecued over hot coals, served with intensely garlicky chilli sauce, nutty tahini yoghurt and homemade flatbreads.

And while you may not have barbecued fish before, you’ll want to give Kerridge’s tandoori salmon skewers a go. Richly spiced and surprisingly stress-free, they’re also supremely Instagrammable thanks to a vivid pink topping of pickled red onions. Serve up on fun and frilly plates and accompany with a batch of homemade daiquiris – did someone say ‘best barbecue ever’? 

  • Courgette and halloumi skewers

    tom kerridge courgette halloumi skewers recipe bbq
    BBQ skewer recipes: Tom Kerridge's courgette and halloumi skewers

    Tom says: “I love cooking halloumi on the barbecue. It caramelises beautifully on the outside but doesn’t melt – perfect for kebabs! The salty flavour and firm texture work so well with grilled courgettes, which are a barbecue staple for me. A chilli and mint dressing gives the skewers a fresh lift.”

    Makes 8


    • 3 x 225g packs halloumi
    • 3 medium courgettes (500g in total)
    • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    • salt and freshly ground black pepper

    For the chilli mint dressing:

    • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 tbsp sherry vinegar
    • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
    • 1 long red chilli, deseeded and finely diced
    • 2 tbsp finely chopped mint leaves
    • 1 tsp dried mint


    You will need 16 short wooden skewers, 12cm long.

    Pre-soak them in water for 30 minutes to avoid scorching on the barbecue.

    Cut the halloumi into 1cm batons. Do the same thing with the courgettes. Skewer a piece of halloumi onto each pair of skewers, placed parallel to each other 3–4cm apart, then thread a courgette baton on. Repeat until you have at least 3 pieces of halloumi and 3 courgette batons on each pair of skewers.

    For the chilli mint dressing, put all the ingredients into a bowl, mix well to combine and season with salt and pepper to taste; set aside.

    Brush both sides of each skewer with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place on a medium heat on the barbecue and cook for around 3–4 minutes on each side. Once the halloumi is a lovely golden-brown colour, they are ready to remove from the heat.

    Pile the courgette and halloumi skewers onto a warmed serving plate and spoon over the dressing. These are best served with a green salad on the side.

  • Shawarma chicken wrap

    tom kerridge chicken shawarma recipe
    BBQ skewer recipes: Tom Kerridge's chicken shawarma

    Tom says: “Not just a late-night snack on the way home from the pub, here kebabs are given the respect they deserve. They come with charred chilli sauce, cooling tahini yoghurt and a bit of crunchy cabbage. It’s worth making the flatbreads too, as they really round the whole thing off.”

    Makes 6


    • 800g skinless, boneless chicken thighs
    • 300g red cabbage
    • juice of ½ lemon
    • salt and freshly ground black pepper

    For the marinade:

    • 1 heaped tsp ground cumin
    • 1 tsp ground coriander
    • 1 tsp hot smoked paprika
    • 1 heaped tsp sumac
    • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
    • 2 heaped tsp baharat spice blend
    • 3 tbsp yoghurt

    For the charred chilli sauce:

    • 1 whole garlic bulb
    • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 red onion, halved (skin on)
    • 2 red peppers
    • 2 tomatoes
    • 2 long red chillies
    • 2 long green chillies
    • 1 tbsp sherry vinegar

    For the tahini yoghurt:

    • 200g natural yoghurt
    • 1–2 tbsp tahini
    • juice of ½ lemon

    To serve:

    • yoghurt flatbreads (see recipe below)
    • pickled chillies


    Cut the chicken thighs into 4cm pieces. Mix the marinade ingredients together in a bowl. Add the chicken and season liberally with salt and pepper. Mix well and leave to marinate for 1–2 hours. Finely shred the red cabbage, toss with the lemon juice and set aside to pickle.

    For the sauce, put the garlic bulb on a piece of foil, drizzle with a little of the olive oil and wrap to seal.

    Place on the hot barbecue with the onion and peppers.

    Cook, turning the veg carefully for 10 minutes, then add the tomatoes and chillies and cook all the veg until charred all over. As each item is cooked, transfer to a bowl; keep tightly covered with cling film.

    Let the charred veg steam in the bowl for 5–10 minutes, then remove and peel away their skins. Halve and deseed the peppers and chillies then chop all the veg finely and place in a bowl. Squeeze out the flesh from 4 roasted garlic cloves, finely chop and add to the veg.

    Mix in the sherry vinegar, olive oil and a little seasoning.

    For the tahini yoghurt, squeeze the flesh from 2 roasted garlic cloves and chop finely. Mix with the yoghurt, tahini, lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.

    Thread the chicken onto 6 metal skewers. Barbecue for 4–5 minutes on each side. Also, heat the flatbreads on the barbecue, for 1–2 minutes on each side.

    Serve the chicken skewers with the warm flatbreads, chilli sauce, pickled cabbage, tahini yoghurt and pickled chillies.

    Yoghurt flatbreads

    Tom says: “My yoghurt flatbreads are easy and puff up amazingly on the barbecue.”


    • 280g self-raising flour, plus extra to dust
    • 250g natural yoghurt
    • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 tsp nigella seeds


    In a large bowl, mix the flour, yoghurt and olive oil together with a large pinch of salt and a grinding of pepper, to form a smooth dough.

    Tip onto a floured surface and knead well for a few minutes. Place in a bowl and leave to rest for 30 minutes.

    Once rested, divide the dough into 6 even-sized balls.

    Dust the surface of each ball with a little more flour and roll out thinly. Sprinkle with the nigella seeds and roll each flatbread one more time to embed the seeds into the dough.

    Sprinkle with flour and lay the flatbreads one top of the other – ready to barbecue.

  • Tandoori fish skewers

    Tom Kerridge tandoori fish skewers recipe bbq
    BBQ skewer recipes: Tom Kerridge's tandoori fish skewers

    Tom says: “Salmon has a high fat content so it stays lovely and moist when cooked over direct heat. It can also be eaten a bit pink in the middle, so you don’t need to worry about undercooking it either. Quick pickled red onions cut through the rich flavours, as well as adding amazing colour.”

    Makes 8

    • 8 skinless salmon fillets (about 125g each)
    • 2 large garlic cloves, grated
    • 2.5cm piece of fresh ginger, grated
    • juice of 1 lime
    • 200g Greek yoghurt
    • 1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
    • 1 tsp ground turmeric
    • 1 tsp ground cumin
    • 2 tsp ground coriander
    • 2 tsp sweet smoked paprika
    • a little vegetable oil to brush
    • salt and freshly ground black pepper

    For the pickled red onions:

    • 2 small red onions
    • 125ml water
    • 125ml white wine vinegar
    • ½ tsp fennel seeds
    • ½ tsp cumin seeds
    • 1 tbsp salt
    • 2 tbsp sugar

    To serve:

    • naan bread or roti
    • a handful of coriander leaves
    • 1 long green chilli, finely sliced
    • lime halves
    • sweet chilli sauce


    Prepare your pickled red onions an hour or so ahead.

    Slice the onions and place in a clean jar or bowl. Put the water, wine vinegar, fennel and cumin seeds, salt and sugar into a small pan over a medium heat and stir until the sugar and salt are fully dissolved.

    Pour the hot pickling liquor over the onions and leave to cool slightly. Pop the lid on (or cover the bowl) and place in the fridge to pickle.

    To prepare the salmon, cut each fillet into 4 equal-sized chunks. Place these in a bowl with the garlic, ginger and lime juice and mix well.

    In another bowl, mix the yoghurt with the spices and some salt and pepper. Add this spiced yoghurt to the salmon and mix well again. Leave to marinate in a cool place for at least 20 minutes, or up to an hour.

    Meanwhile, if using wooden skewers soak eight of them in water to avoid scorching on the barbecue.

    Once marinated, thread the salmon onto your skewers, putting 4 chunks onto each skewer.

    Brush the hot barbecue grid lightly with a little oil then lay the skewers on it. Cook for 2–3 minutes on each side until golden brown and lightly charred.

    Meanwhile, warm the naan or roti on the edge of the barbecue.

    Once cooked, transfer the skewers to a warm plate.

    Serve the skewers on the warm naan or roti. Scatter over a little pickled red onion, some coriander and sliced green chilli. Serve with lime halves for squeezing over, and sweet chilli sauce on the side.

Tom Kerridge’s Outdoor Cooking: The Ultimate Modern Barbecue Bible by Tom Kerridge (£22, Bloomsbury Absolute) is out now

Photography: © Cristian Barnett

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