This meal…oh, this meal.  It is of the happy accident variety.  Well, less “accident” and more “I stopped one day short on my meal planning and am suddenly scrounging to create something resembling dinner.”  Waiting until the last possible moment to start dinner and searching through the freezer and pantry…  If only all my in-a-pinch experiments turned out this well.

I prefer to use a mixture of chicken breasts and chicken thighs for the meat to ensure plenty of flavor and moisture, but you can use all of one or the other if you like.  The marinade is a simple one with chipotle, lime juice and a few other spices but if you are spice-averse, don’t worry…the spices provide flavor here but no real heat.  The slightly sweet, slightly tangy avocado cream sauce is a wonderful compliment to the smoky flavor of the chicken, not to mention good enough to eat with a spoon, or tortilla chips if you have some.

  • Yield about 4 servings


For the chicken:

  • Juice of 2 limes
  • ½ cup of vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • ¾ tsp. chili powder
  • ¾ tsp. paprika
  • ½ tsp. cumin
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 chipotle in adobo, seeded and minced
  • 2 lbs. chicken breasts and/or thighs, cut into 1½-2 inch pieces
  • Minced fresh cilantro, for serving

For the avocado cream sauce:

  • 1 avocado, split and pitted
  • ½ cup low-fat greek yogurt
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  • 01

    In a medium bowl or a baking dish/pie plate, combine the lime juice, oil, spices, garlic, brown sugar, and chipotle.  Whisk together to combine.  Add the chicken pieces to the marinade and mix well to ensure that they are all coated and mostly submerged.  Cover, refrigerate, and let marinate for 30-60 minutes.

  • 02

    Meanwhile, heat a grill to medium-high and oil the grates.  When the chicken is done marinating, thread the pieces onto skewers for grilling.  (If using wooden skewers, be sure to soak them first to prevent charring/burning.)  Dispose of the excess marinade.  Place the kabobs on the grill and let cook, turning once or twice, until all sides are slightly browned and the internal temperature registers 160˚ F on an instant-read thermometer.  Remove to a plate and let rest 5-10 minutes.  Sprinkle with minced fresh cilantro, if desired.

  • 03

    To make the sauce, combine the avocado, yogurt, garlic and lime juice in the bowl of a food processor or a blender.  Process until smooth.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Serve alongside the kabobs for dipping.