Marinated chicken and colorful, fresh vegetables are skewered and grilled to make these delicious, tender and juicy Chicken Kabobs. Though they are a summertime favorite, these kabobs can also be made in the oven or air fryer, any time of year!
Easy Grilled Chicken Kabobs
Chicken Kabobs have always been one of those recipes for me – they are the epitome of good summer eating. Cubed chicken breasts are marinated in a sauce that is spicy, savory, and sweet all at the same time, and then grilled to juicy-crispy perfection on the grill. To round out the meal, brightly colored veggies like zucchini and yellow squash are grilled right alongside the chicken. So, no side dishes needed if you’re in a rush!
As a matter of fact, grilled chicken kabobs are one of my go-to recipes during the summer when I don’t know what to make for dinner, because no one can turn down a delicious plate of chicken skewers! The flavors from the marinade combine with the smoky char from the grill grates, and the result is perfectly-cooked, tasty chicken that everybody will rave over.
Try these kabobs for yourself, and you’ll see what I mean!
What You’ll Need
So other than chicken and a couple of veggies, what goes into constructing these grilled chicken kabobs?
Quite a few things, as it turns out! Here’s some information on the essential kabob ingredients:
For the Chicken Kabobs
- Chicken Breast or Thighs – Choose your favorite pieces of chicken, marinate them, and then cut them into 1″ chunks to grill.
- Vegetables – I chose zucchini, yellow squash and red onions, but asparagus, corn on the cob, Brussels sprouts, potatoes, peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms, broccoli, or cauliflower are also great grilling veggies.
- Skewers – I prefer metal skewers that I can use over and over. They also heat up and cook the chicken from the inside as well, which is nice. But you can use wooden skewers if you want to, just make sure to soak them for at least 30 minutes before using so they don’t catch on fire.
For the Marinade
- Smoked Paprika – This is one of my favorite herbs because it’s great for marinades. I also love that it adds color as well as flavor.
- Garlic – Fresh garlic will give you the best flavor.
- Cilantro and Parsley – You can use all parsley if you want.
- Lemon Juice – Fresh-squeezed is best.
- Red Wine Vinegar – This helps tenderize and flavor the meat.
- Honey – This gives the marinade great balance flavor-wise.
*For the full list of marinade ingredients, see the recipe card below!
How to Make Grilled Chicken Kabobs
As mentioned above, grilled chicken kabobs are a great option for a quick warm weather dinner! The marinating can take a while (which is necessary for great flavor) but the rest of the prep work will only take you about 20 minutes.
Kabob construction can be broken down into two processes: marinating the chicken and cooking the kabobs. Here’s how you do it:
Marinate the Chicken
Mix Marinade Ingredients: Combine the marinade ingredients in a large ziplock bag.
Marinate the Chicken: Place the chicken in the ziplock bag and close tightly. Shake to coat and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour, or overnight.
Prepare the Skewers: If using wooden skewers, soak for 30 minutes before continuing with recipe. Remove the chicken from the marinade and discard remaining marinade.
Assemble & Cook the Kabobs
Arrange the Chicken and Vegetables: Place a piece of chicken on the skewer and alternate with vegetables until all the skewers are full.
Preheat the Grill to 350°F and Cook: Set on medium heat. Place the skewers on the grill and grill each side for 4 to 5 minutes, until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F. Serve immediately!
Tips for Success
Chicken kabobs are an easy summer dinner, there’s no doubt about that, but even easy dinner recipes have tips that can make the results turn out even better! These kabobs are no different:
- Let the Kabobs Marinate for a While: The kabobs can be made after only one hour of marinating, but if you let the chicken sit overnight in the refrigerator you’ll get even better flavor.
- How to Tell If the Chicken is Done: The chicken needs to get to 165°F to be done. If you have a meat thermometer, check it from time to time.
- Don’t Touch the Metal Skewers After Grilling: This may sound obvious, but it’s so easy to forget that these skewers are really hot, which is something you don’t have to think about as much with wooden skewers. Make sure to use an oven mitt, or the edge of a potholder, to hold the skewers with while you’re removing the chicken.
- Don’t Overstuff the Skewers: The chicken and veggies should touch each other a little bit, but don’t pack them on too tightly or the chicken might not cook all the way through.
- Meal Prep Tip: I like to chop up leftover chicken and veggies and make an easy chicken salad for weekday lunches.
Serving Suggestions for Chicken Kabobs
Now that you have a plate of delicious chicken kabobs to serve, what should you serve them with? You can’t really go wrong, but these are a few of my favorite summer sides for kabobs:
- Tzatziki Sauce: Serving chicken kabobs with BBQ sauce is always a safe (and tasty) choice, but I also love to serve them with homemade Tzatziki sauce!
- Rice: Keep it simple and serve your kabobs over a bed of rice. You can go with white rice, brown rice, quinoa, or some other type of grain – whatever best fits your preferences!
- Pita Bread: If you like tzatziki sauce with your kabobs, why not make some pita bread as well? It’s super easy, and it’s such a versatile appetizer/side dish.
- Salad: Sometimes I like to chop up the grilled veggies and toss them in a light green salad. You can also make some more roasted or grilled veggies to go on the side of your kabobs if you like (see ingredient info section above for ideas).
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
You can store leftover vegetables and chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. To reheat, you can microwave them in 30 second intervals, heat them up in a skillet on the stovetop, or pop them on a tray and bake them in the oven until warmed through.
Can I Freeze Extras?
Sure! Extra veggies and chicken can be saved in an airtight container and frozen for 2-3 months. Make sure you remember to leave the container in the fridge to thaw overnight before eating again.
Can I Cook Them In The Oven Or Air Fryer Instead?
Yes to both! If you don’t have a grill or would like to skip going outside and braving the weather, you can also make these chicken kabobs in the air fryer or in the oven.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a rimmed broiler-safe baking sheet with foil. Bake the chicken kabobs for 15 to 18 minutes, until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F. Then switch the oven to broil and place the baking sheet under the broiler, and broil just until browned, about 60 seconds.
Air Fryer Directions:
Place the skewers in a greased air fryer basket. Cook for 10 minutes at 350°F. Open the air fryer and flip the chicken skewers. Cook for an additional 7 to 9 minutes, until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.
For the Marinade:
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice, fresh squeezed
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
- ¼ cup parsley, chopped
- 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon honey
- 1 Tablespoon garlic, minced
- 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
For the Kabobs:
- 4 chicken breasts (about 1.5 lbs of chicken), cut into 1 inch cubes
- 2 zucchini, sliced thick
- 2 yellow squash, sliced thick
- 1 red onion, cut into large pieces
- Combine the marinade ingredients in a large ziplock bag.
- Place the chicken in the ziplock bag and close tightly. Shake to coat and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour or overnight.
- If using wooden skewers, soak for 30 minutes before continuing with recipe.
- Remove the chicken from the marinade and discard remaining marinade.
- Place a piece of chicken on the skewer and alternate with vegetables until all the skewers are full.
- Preheat the grill to 350°F. Set on medium heat.
- Place the skewers on the grill and grill each side for 4 to 5 minutes, until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.
- Serve immediately!
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 557Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 136mgSodium: 776mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 6gSugar: 17gProtein: 56g
More Grilling Recipes
Looking for more easy grilling recipes to take on this summer? Try out these ones:
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