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Chicken Kabobs

5 from 35 votes
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posted: 05/21/24

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This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy

Chicken Kabobs are the exact thing you should throw on the grill this week. The chicken kabob marinade we use will make you fall in love.

close up of chicken kabobs on a plate garnished with parsley

Summer grilling is one of my favorite parts of the season. I love spending time with my family outside, and it makes dinner feel like a treat. We eat hamburgers, grilled corn, steak kabobs, and this perfect chicken kabob recipe.

The simple chicken kabob marinade is what makes this recipe so special. It tenderizes the chicken perfectly. This is a grilling recipe your family will come back to over and over.

Reader Review

Made these last night and they are to die for!!! Marinade is delicious and it’s a keeper in my house! Thank you for a delicious recipe! I added fresh pineapple chunks to them and it added extra goodness.

How to Make Chicken Kabobs

This is a brief overview of how to make this delicious recipe. For the full recipe with all of the ingredients, see the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

  1. Marinate the cut up chicken. This is a key to the recipe as it will both tenderize the chicken and provide the bulk of the flavor of the recipe. Read more about marinating chicken in the sections below, but keep in mind all it needs is about 30 minutes.
  2. Chop up the vegetables. You want to keep them to bite-sized pieces similar to the chicken.
  3. Construct the kabobs. Alternate the kabobs with chicken and vegetables, repeating until you hav made al the kabobs.
  4. Grill the kabobs. These need about 10 to 12 minutes total, flipping them once in the middle of cooking. Your chicken is done when it registers 165 degrees Fahrenheit with an instant read thermometer.
overhead view of chicken in chicken kabob marinade

Chicken Kabob Marinade

This great marinade for chicken kabobs has everything you want in a good marinade. There are lots of different elements to bring sweetness and flavor, while some acids that leave you with perfectly tender chicken. Find the full measurements at the bottom of the post in the recipe card.

  • Olive Oil: This is the base of the marinade. It brings great flavor and also helps the chicken to keep from sticking during the grilling.
  • Lemon Juice: This is the acid in the marinade. It helps break down just the outer most layer of the meat to help the meat absorb the great flavors of the marinade. I encourage you to use fresh lemon juice.
  • Brown Sugar: This helps in the break down of the meat, but primarily balances the acid while adding another great layer of flavor.
  • Soy Sauce: This is one of my favorite ingredients in a marinade. It brings the salt which helps impart the rest of the flavors of the marinade, but it also brings a unique flavor the elevates the whole recipe.
  • Balsamic Vinegar, Garlic, and Black Pepper: These all round out the flavor profile of the marinade.
overhead view of a cutting board with cut up vegetables for chicken kabobs on it

Mariating Chicken

Keep a few things in mind when marinating chicken.

  • Chicken should marinate for 30 minutes to 24 hours. This is a great recipe to start the night before and finish up when you get home from work.
  • Do not marinate chicken for more than 24 hours. It will make the chicken gummy and unappetizing.
  • The purpose of the marinade is only to break down the outer edge of the meat. The marinade is not meant to completely break down the meat.

Veggies for Kabobs

In this recipe we are using zucchini, peppers, and red onion because they all hold up to heat really well. Here are some other vegetables that would also work.

  • Yellow Squash
  • Mushrooms
  • Cherry Tomatoes
raw chicken kabobs on a white plate with metal skewers

Metal Skewers

I would like to encourage you to use metal skewers for this chicken kabobs recipe. They are reusable, and you don’t have to soak them like you do with wooden skewers. You will love having them to make this recipe and my Steak Kabobs.

Keep in mind that you should be careful to avoid the metal skewer when checking the temperature of the chicken for doneness. It will make it seem like the chicken is done well before it is.

After removing the kabobs allow them to cool for a few minutes or the metal skewers will too hot to touch.

TOP PICK

Metal Skewers

Make kabobs all summer long with these great metal skewers!
Product Image
chicken kabobs that have been grilled and garnished with parsley, made with metal skewers on a white plate

How Long to Grill Chicken Kabobs

These pop on the grill for just a short 10 to 12 minutes. It is important to remember that the cooking time will vary on how big the chicken was cut up. When you keep your chicken in one inch cubes, you will be able to grill these kabobs for 5 to 6 minutes, then flip the entire kabob and cook for the remaining 5 to 6 minutes.

For best results use an instant read thermometer rather than the clock to determine when your chicken is done. Chicken needs to be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Insert the instant read thermometer far enough into the chicken piece to get an accurate reading, but not so far that you hit the metal skewer, which will give you an inaccurate reading.

TOP PICK

Instant Read Thermometer

This instant read thermometer is so handy! It has an alarm so you know when you are within 10 degrees of the temperature you need to be.
Product Image

Making Kabobs Inside

We have totally made these in the middle of winter when we are craving the feelings of summer. You can make these exactly as written, but make them on an indoor grill pan. Keep in mind that because they won’t be covered as they cook, they may take a few more minutes. Be sure to rely on your instant read thermometer.

Serving Size

Serving size is always a hard question because different people eat such different amounts. If I were giving a recommendation, I would suggest that you plan on two kabobs per adults and older teens, and one chicken kabob per child. This is especially true if you have other items on the menu. See some suggestions below.

Storing Leftovers

Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days. Warm leftovers in the oven in a covered container. Consider eating the leftovers cold, as heating them up again can dry them out. These would be delicious on a salad with a little balsamic dressing. As with all leftovers, use your best discretion.

FAQ

Can this be made in the oven?

Yes! You will be missing some of the caramelization that happens, but you can definitely throw these in the oven and bake them in a covered baking dish, in a single layer. Bake for approximately 15 to 20 minutes at 375 degrees.

Can you use chicken thighs in this recipe?

Yes! Generally speaking, where you use chicken breasts you can use chicken thighs, but not always the other way around. Chicken thighs would work great here with the recipe as written.

Can these be made without marinating the chicken?

I would not recommend that. The vast majority of the flavor of this recipe comes from the marinade that is also imparted onto the vegetables.

Can I construct the kabobs and then marinate the chicken?

I would not recommend that. The vegetables will become too soft.

close up of grilled chicken kabobs on a plate

What to Serve with Chicken Kabobs

When looking to make side dishes to go with chicken kabobs there are a few that would be delicious.

  • Creamy Cucumber Salad: This salad whips up really quickly and is a great compliment to this fantastic grilled dinner.
  • Broccoli Cauliflower Salad: One of my very favorite recipes for summer cookouts, you will fall in love with this simple salad.
  • Tomato Cucumber Salad: All of my kids love this side dish, even the picky ones!
  • Grilled Corn: This suggestion feels like a no brainer, but we just love grilled corn in the summer.

If you make these grilled chicken kabobs or any of my other recipes, leave me a comment and let me know what you think!

close up of chicken kabobs on a plate garnished with parsley
5 from 35 votes

Chicken Kabobs

Serves: 6 kabobs
(tap # to scale)
Prep: 25 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 2 hours 40 minutes
Chicken Kabobs are the exact thing you should throw on the grill this week. The chicken kabob marinade we use will make you fall in love.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts cut in bite-sized pieces (453.6 grams)
  • 1 medium zucchini sliced
  • 1 red onion diced large
  • 1 red bell pepper diced large
  • 1 orange bell pepper diced large

Marinade

  • 1/3 cup olive oil (66.7 grams or 78.9 ml)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce (63.8 grams or 59.1 ml)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

  • Cut the chicken into bite-sized cubes.
    1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • In a reusable container, whisk together the ingredients for the chicken marinade. Add the cut up chicken and stir to combine. Refrigerate, covered, for 30 minutes to 24 hours.
    1/3 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup soy sauce, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 2 tablespoon brown sugar, 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, 2 cloves garlic, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • After the chicken has marinated, preheat the grill to medium heat.
  • Put the kabobs together by spearing the vegetables and the chicken cubes on the metal kabobs in alternating order to make 6 chicken kabobs. I like to spear two vegetables (onion and red bell pepper) then a piece of chicken, then two more vegetables (yellow bell pepper and zucchini), then another piece of chicken and repeat. Each kabob will take roughly five pieces of chicken.
    1 medium zucchini, 1 red onion, 1 red bell pepper, 1 orange bell pepper
  • Place the kabobs on the grill and grill for 5 to 6 minutes. Then flip them to the opposite side using tongs and grill for 5 to 6 more minutes or until the largest piece of chicken registers 165 degrees Fahrenheit on an instant read thermometer. Be careful not to test the chicken too close to the metal skewer as it will falsely show a higher temperature.
  • Remove from the grill. If using metal skewers, allow to cool for a minute or two before handling. Enjoy!
Serving: 1kabob Calories: 170kcal (9%) Carbohydrates: 10g (3%) Protein: 18g (36%) Fat: 6g (9%) Saturated Fat: 1g (6%) Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g Monounsaturated Fat: 3g Cholesterol: 47mg (16%) Sodium: 288mg (13%) Potassium: 273mg (8%) Fiber: 2g (8%) Sugar: 7g (8%)
Author: Lisa Longley
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
close up of chicken kabobs on a plate garnished with parsley

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Chicken Kabobs

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Hi! I'm Lisa Longley, and I am committed to giving you simple dinner ideas and recipes that are easy to make; recipes that will fill your home with joy. I am the owner and author of SimpleJoy.com and I'm so glad that you are here.

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  1. Lori Massey says

    5 stars
    I made this tonight, and it was delicious !! So glad I found it!

    • Lisa Longley says

      I’m so glad that you liked them, Lori!

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