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Nigerian Chicken Suya

A traditional Nigerian street food, Suya is meat on a stick. A spicy peanut seasoning is rubbed into the meat and served as a condiment after cooking over an open flame. This meat on a stick is portable and fun to eat.

Nigerian Chicken Suya

What is Suya?

Suya is a West African kebab. It is thinly slice meat, usually beef, ram or chicken, seasoned with a spicy peanut mixture and cooked over open flame. It is the Nigerian national dish and is the most popular street food.

Suya is also popular in Ghana and Cameroon. The different suya recipes are the result of individuals personal recipes rather than distinctive national differences in this particular cuisine. They are all made with peanuts ground with spices, skewered and cooked over open flame. What is readily available and personal preferences has more to do with the different suya recipes than a national culinary identity.

How to Make Suya

In a food processor

Add the peanuts and spices. Process until finely ground. Reserve about one third of a cup of the mixture to serve as a garnish.

In a large bowl

In a medium mixing bowl, add the rest of the mixture and oil, make a paste. Add the thinly sliced meat and massage the mixture into the meat.

Skewer the meat

I use bamboo skewers but metal ones work great too. Sometimes I soak the skewers in water to prevent burning but you don’t have to. They won’t be exposed to heat for very long. I like to crowd the meat a little so that the meat won’t cook too quick and dry out. You can BBQ these over an open flame or broil four inches under the heating element in your oven. I have done both and these two methods work well.

Serve with lime wedges

Serve immediately with lime wedges, reserved suya seasoning and some cooling vegetables like cucumbers, tomato, cabbage and onion. I also like to serve this with flat bread and yogurt sauce.

Suya spice and peanut Ingredients in a food processor.
Ground ingredients in a food processor.
Skewed chicken on a rack in oven.
Cooked Nigerian Chicken Suya on a skewer.

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Overhead shot of chicken skewers.
Overhead shot of chicken skewers.

Nigerian Chicken Suya

Yield: 5 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

A traditional Nigerian street food, Suya is meat on a stick. A spicy peanut seasoning is rubbed into the meat and served as a condiment after cooking over an open flame. This meat on a stick is portable and fun to eat.


  • 1/2 cup dry-roasted peanuts
  • 1 Tbs paprika
  • 1 Tbs ground ginger
  • 1 Tbs garlic powder
  • 1 Tbs onion powder
  • 1 Tbs brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 4 Tbs vegetable oil
  • 2 lb of boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut thinly and into 1 inch strips
  • lime wedges



  1. Place first 9 ingredients in a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles crumbs.
  2. Place 1/3 of the mixture aside and use for garnish.
  3. In a large mixing bowl place the spice mixture, oil and chicken.  Massage the spice mixture and oil into the meat.
  4. Place meat on skewers, packing them tightly so as to not dry out the meat during cooking.  Place skewers on a foil lined rimmed baking sheet with a rack. 
  5. Broil skewers about 4 inches under the heating element in your oven and cook 3-5 minutes per side.  Being careful not to burn or over cook the meat.  The meat is done when the meat is no longer pink inside and juices run clear.  Rest meat for 5 minutes.
  6. Sprinkle fresh lime juice on meat, sprinkle reserved spice mixture on top.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 5 Serving Size: 2 skewers
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 512Total Fat: 32gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 25gCholesterol: 221mgSodium: 1083mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 3gSugar: 3gProtein: 48g

Did you make this recipe?

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Thursday 2nd of June 2022

I really like the flavors this has! but mine came out a little dry. Whenever I use nuts in a marinade my chicken thighs tend to be dry. Any tips?


Thursday 2nd of June 2022

Hello Justine, chicken thighs are higher in fat than breast so I like them for this application. It is easy to over cook any meat on a skewer because of the large surface area exposed to heat. My suggestion is to lessen the chance of over cooking by placing meat further away from heat and rotate more frequently, cutting larger pieces of meat or cooking slower over lower heat. I am not aware of nuts causing drier meat but if anybody has any insight, please chime in!

Trish Bozeman

Monday 9th of September 2019

The spices are absolutely perfect! Love the addition of the peanuts. Thanks for the great recipe.


Wednesday 4th of September 2019

These are amazing! So much flavor packed into every bite. And I absolutely love the addition of peanuts. I've used peanuts in savory cooking before, but never quite like this. It's perfect.

Marisa F. Stewart

Monday 2nd of September 2019

Meat on a stick is one of our favorites. It's great for entertaining and easy to prepare ahead of time, then just grill. The seasonings you use on the chicken is making my mouth water. I'm planning on making the recipe on Thursday.


Monday 2nd of September 2019

Interesting take on kebobs. I like the way the nuts and spices are pulsed up together to form a crunchy and tasty coating. YUM.

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