These chicken kabobs are marinated in a popular chicken kabob marinade, resulting in a flavorful and juicy chicken skewer. This is a family favorite for summer get-togethers and barbeques.

Chicken kabobs are such a classic item in the heat of the summer months. I like to marinate the meat the night before and then, in the morning, put them together on the pre-soaked skewers and refrigerate until I’m ready to put them on the barbecue. It saves time and avoids having to prepare a meat course in the heat of the day. I also like that almost every kind of side imaginable goes with a chicken kabob.

Why you’ll love this recipe

  • Full of Flavor This pantry-friendly marinade is savory and slightly sweet with a few seasonings.
  • Baked or Grilled This recipe allows you to place it on the grill or bake it in the oven, which allows you to cook it all year.
  • Lightly cooked veggies I like to reserve a little bit of marinade to add to the vegetables as they are cooking to give them a smoky and charred flavor.

Ingredients needed for Chicken kabobs

Chicken kabob

  • Chicken Either chicken breast or chicken thighs will work here. I prefer chicken breast because I find cutting it into pieces easier. If you’re using a chicken thigh, I suggest bending one piece back over itself to create a thicker piece.
  • Zucchini Use a small to medium zucchini; you want something smaller to match the chicken pieces, and larger pieces of zucchini will start to have seeds and will be tough.
  • Bell Pepper I like to use a variety of colors of bell peppers. I find yellow, red and orange the sweetest of the peppers.
  • Red Onion The red onion, I find, is the best choice for grilling or baking because it will stand up, but it also becomes sweet and tangy.

Chicken marinade

  • Olive Oil use a good quality olive oil for the best flavor.
  • Soy Sauce use a low sodium soy sauce to help control the salt level in the marinade.
  • Balsamic Vinegar This adds a subtle sweetness and tanginess; you want balsamic vinegar with the best flavor.
  • Lemon juice will brighten up the flavor of the marinade and tenderize the chicken. Fresh is always better, but the bottled container will work too.
  • Brown Sugar The sweetness of the sugar helps to balance out the soy sauce, balsamic, and lemon juice. Once the chicken has marinated, the brown sugar will also caramelize on the grill as it cooks.
  • Worcestershire Sauce Adds umami flavor
  • Seasonings Dried oregano, dried basil, dried thyme, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes
chicken kabobs with peppers

Variations

  • Lemon Juice  instead of lemon juice you can use red wine vinegar
  • Balsamic Vinegar instead of balsamic vinegar you can use red wine vinegar
  • Seasonings you can add more or less of your favorite seasonings
  • Make it spicy if you want a little more heat you can add some extra chili flakes
  • Swap sugar instead of sugar you can swap it out for honey or agave syrup
  • Swap protein use another type of protein like beef, pork, lamb, or seafood, you just need to adjust time cooking time for the type of protein your using
  • Meat and Vegetables instead of alternating the meat and vegetables you can make it all chicken and all vegetables or add other vegetables like mushrooms (this is my favorite)
chicken kabobs with no vegetables.
Grilled chicken on bamboo skewers

How to Make Chicken Kabobs

Marinade

  • Step 1: whisk the marinade ingredients together in a large bowl or freezer bag. Reserve 3 tablespoons of the marinade for the veggies.
  • Step 2: cut the chicken into 1-inch pieces
  • Step 3: Place the chicken into the marinade in the bowl or Ziploc bag
  • Step 4: marinade the chicken in the refrigerator overnight (or at least 4-6 hours)

Assemble

  • Step 5: If you are using wooden skewers, you will want to soak them in warm water for at least 20 minutes.
  • Step 6: Thread the chicken and vegetables onto the skewers. You can add them in any order you would like. Discard any marinade that has been in contact with the raw chicken.

Cook Chicken Kabobs

  • Step 7: When ready to cook, let the chicken sit at room temperature for 20–30 minutes. This will ensure the chicken cooks evenly until it reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees F. You can cook the kabobs on the grill or in the oven. I like to grill because the chicken gets a wonderful smoky flavor.
  • Step 8: If you are cooking the kabobs in the oven, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Bake in the oven for 16–22 minutes or until they reach 160 degrees F, flipping halfway through. If you’re wanting a little more color on the chicken, you can turn the broiler on and broil for a couple of minutes. Be careful not to overcook the chicken and dry it out.
chicken kabobs with onions, peppers, and mushrooms

Tip to make the juiciest chicken kabobs?

  • Don’t chop the chicken too small; if you cut them too small, they will cook quicker than the vegetables and will dry out and be overcooked.
  • Marinate the chicken for at least 4 hours; the longer you can marinate the chicken, the moister and juicier it will be. If I have the time, I like to marinate them the night before and then prepare them the next morning.
  • Allow your chicken to come to room temperature for at least 30 minutes before grilling.
chicken uncooked, cut into pieces
chicken uncooked, cut into pieces

What to serve with chicken kabobs

Frequently Asked Questions

How long should I marinate chicken?

I suggest marinating for 6 hours or more. I prefer to marinate overnight if possible, but if you’re short on time, 30–60 minutes is good too.

What is the best and safest way to eat a skewer?

The safest way to eat a skewer is by sliding the finished ingredients off into a dish instead of eating straight from a stick.

How Long Should I grill chicken kabobs?

Chicken kabobs should be grilled for 8-12 minutes, the cooking time is never exact when it comes to grilling because depending on your grill you might have a hotter area. For tips on grilling look here.

Should I baste the kabobs while grilling?

You don’t need to baste the chicken kabobs while grilling, but I still like to use some of the marinade that has not been marinated in the raw chicken, but it is not necessary.

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Easy Marinaded Chicken Kabobs

These chicken kabobs are marinated in a popular chicken kabob marinade, resulting ina flavorful and juicy chicken skewer. This is a family favorite for summer get-togethers and barbeques.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Marinating 6 hours
Total Time 7 hours
Course BBQ, Dinner
Cuisine American, greek
Servings 12 kabobs

Equipment

  • 12 bamboo skewers

Ingredients
  

Chicken & Marinade

  • 2 lbs Chicken breast or Chicken thighs
  • cup olive oil
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce low sodium
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1-1/2 tsp garlic powder or mined garlic
  • 1-1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp Basil dried
  • 1 tsp Thyme dried
  • 1 tsp Oregano dried
  • 1 tsp paprika or smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ½ tsp red chili flakes

Vegetables

  • 3 bell peppers sliced into 1 1/4” chunks
  • 2 zucchini's cut into 1/2” slices
  • 1 large red onion cut into 1 1/4” chunks

Instructions
 

Marinade

  • whisk the marinade ingredients together in a large bowl or freezer bag. Reserve 3 tablespoons of the marinade for the veggies.
  • cut the chicken into 1-inch pieces
  • place the chicken into the marinade in the bowl or Ziploc bag
  • marinade the chicken in the refrigerator overnight (or at least 30 minutes)

Assemble

  • If you are using wooden skewers, you will want to soak them in warm water for at least 20 minutes.
  • Thread the chicken and vegetables onto the skewers. You can add them in any order you would like. Discard any marinade that has been in contact with the raw chicken.

Cook Chicken Kabobs

  • When ready to cook, let the chicken sit at room temperature for 20–30 minutes. This will ensure the chicken cooks evenly until it reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees F. You can cook the kabobs on the grill or in the oven. I like to grill because the chicken gets a wonderful smoky flavor.
  • If you are cooking the kabobs in the oven, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Bake in the oven for 16–22 minutes or until they reach 160 degrees F, flipping halfway through. If you’re wanting a little more color on the chicken, you can turn the broiler on and broil for a couple of minutes. Be careful not to overcook the chicken and dry it out.
Keyword chicken, kabobs, marinade, summer
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