Grilled Chicken Kabobs
Happy unofficial start to grilling season! I’m ringing it in with easy, breezy Mediterranean Grilled Chicken Kabobs.
Juicy chicken flavored with an easy Greek chicken kabob marinade and threaded with a colorful stack of veggies, these all-purpose Grilled Chicken Kabobs can be prepped ahead for a party or assembled at the last minute when you need to land a healthy meal on the table before hangry pandemonium sets in.
In spirit, Memorial Day weekend is the start of summer. We are meant to be in flip flops, eating Pineapple Shrimp Kabobs, wiping away the watermelon juice that’s running down our chins.
In actuality, it’s still cold in Wisconsin (yes, I know I already told you; thank you for indulging my climatary gripes), but that hasn’t stopped me from using our grill at every available opportunity.
Whenever I’m not sure what to make for dinner this time of year, I turn to easy skewer recipes like these Grilled Chicken Kabobs.
They’re fast and healthy, and like a Skinny Margarita on a hot day, chicken kabobs never fail to hit the spot.
While I sometimes like to play around with different flavor profiles with my grilled chicken skewer recipes (Fajita Chicken Kabobs, Grilled Orange Chicken Kabobs, Pesto Chicken Skewers), more often than not, the nights when I grill chicken kabobs are also the nights when I haven’t planned ahead.
That’s where this all-purpose Grilled Chicken Kabob recipe comes in!
Any Night, Every Night, All-Purpose Grilled Chicken Kabobs
I designed the chicken kabob marinade to be made with pantry ingredients so that you can always have what you need to make it on hand.
Chicken breasts are a standard freezer item too, and while I’ve suggested my favorite assortment of vegetables, you can certainly use a smaller or larger variety depending upon your preferences and what you have lurking in your produce drawer.
Here’s the rundown on our go-to Grilled Chicken Kabob recipe.
Start with the Greek Chicken Kabob Marinade
For the chicken shish kabob marinade, I focused on ingredients that I always have in my pantry so that I can pull it together whenever I need it!
- Olive Oil. To keep the chicken from sticking. Also, healthy fats + flavor.
- Red Wine Vinegar. For brightness and pop and to help the chicken tenderize.
- Honey. To balance the acidity of the vinegar and help the chicken caramelize on the grill.
- Dried Herbs. To go with the Mediterranean kabob theme, I selected oregano and rosemary. Feel free to swap thyme or Italian seasoning, or create your own custom kabob mix.
- Garlic. Four cloves, no less. Go ahead and up the amount if you have a house of serious garlic lovers.
- Salt and Pepper. Kabob marinade essentials.
How Long to Marinate Grilled Chicken
One of the biggest challenges I run into when making kabobs (or any grilled meat) is building in time for the meat to marinate.
These Grilled Chicken Kabobs need just 30 minutes!
- Start with the chicken marinade, then set it aside to let it do its tasty thang.
- Move on to chopping the vegetables.
- Tidy up your kitchen and check Instagram. Before you know it, the chicken and vegetable kabobs are ready to grill.
The chicken can rest in the marinade for as little as 30 minutes and for a maximum of three hours. After three hours, the meat will start to break down.
If you are trying to get ahead on the recipe, chop and prep the ingredients but wait to add the marinade to the chicken until closer to the time when you plan to grill.
Here Come the Vegetables
You can use any mix of vegetables for this recipe you like, as long as they all grill in the same amount of time.
- My favorite kabob vegetables for grilling are zucchini, yellow summer squash, bell peppers, and red onions.
- Cherry tomatoes are also a yummy, vibrant addition.
No matter which mix of vegetables you choose, I highly recommend tossing in a red onion. It creates a fantastic, well-rounded element that I know you’ll love.
Skewer with Success
You can make these Grilled Chicken Kabobs with metal skewers or wooden skewers.
- If using metal skewers like these or these, be sure not to touch the skewer ends after the kabobs are cooked, as they will be HOT. Use a hot pad or tongs to hold the skewer end while you remove the chicken and vegetables from them prior to eating.
- If using wooden skewers like these, soak the skewers in water for 20 minutes prior to grilling to prevent them from catching on fire. (Trust me, they will catch if you skip this step.)
My other big skewer tip is not to crowd the vegetables and chicken together too tightly when threading. The chicken and vegetable pieces can lightly touch, but you want to make sure the heat can circulate so that the chicken cooks through.
Fire Up the Grill (or Oven!)
You can make chicken kabobs on any kind of grill, and you can even cook chicken kabobs in the oven.
- If grilling chicken on a propane grill, natural gas, or charcoal grill, preheat the grill to medium high, about 375 degrees F.
- If cooking the chicken kabobs in the oven, preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Since the chicken isn’t touching the oven directly like it does on a grill grate, a higher temperature is needed.
The length of time needed to grill the chicken will vary depending upon the size of your chicken pieces and how much the temperature of your grill fluctuates. Plan on about 10 to 15 minutes total, turning the skewers a few times throughout so that they brown nicely on all sides.
For oven baking, plan on about 25 minutes, turning the chicken once halfway through.
The chicken is cooked when it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F on an instant read thermometer and the juices run clear when a piece of chicken is cut.
Finishing Touches for the Best Ever Chicken Kabobs
The Grilled Chicken Kabobs are tasty right off the grill as-is, but to make them next-level yummy, I like to add a few final ingredients.
- A Squeeze of Fresh Lemon Juice. I almost hate to call this one optional because it adds so much brightness. It’s my most recommended addition.
- Fresh Herbs. That bundle of [parsley/dill/thyme] you bought a few days ago for a different recipe and still have leftover? Chop it up and sprinkle it on your Grilled Chicken Kabobs.
- Feta Cheese. Our Greek chicken kabobs just became a little more Greek. Salty, creamy, and just plain DELISH, you’ll be glad you added it.
Serving Grilled Chicken Kabobs with Vegetables
These grilled chicken kabobs have your protein and veggies covered! You can also serve them with:
- Lemon Rice
- Warm pita bread
- Hummus for dipping
- Chopped romaine, arugula, or spinach, with a drizzle of a creamy dressing or vinaigrette. <—This is my favorite way to eat the leftovers! I like ranch or a simple vinaigrette like the one in my Italian Farro Salad.
Wishing you a lovely long and lazy weekend, the kind tailor made for cool drinks, hot BBQs, and Grilled Chicken Kabobs!
**Updated with a fun fact for the kabob/kebob curious** I looked up if there is a difference between a “kabab” and a “Kebob.” The difference is spelling only. “Kabob” is the US spelling, while “kebob” is the British spelling. Both refer to marinated meat, fish, and/or vegetables threaded onto a skewer and grilled or roasted to tasty perfection.
Grilled Chicken Kabobs
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts — about 2 large breasts
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 4 cloves garlic — minced
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme or dried rosemary
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 small red onion — quartered into 1-inch pieces
- 1 small zucchini — ends trimmed and sliced into 1/2-inch coins
- 1 small summer squash — ends trimmed and sliced into 1/2-inch coins
- 1 red bell pepper — seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
- Canola oil — for grilling
- 1 large lemon — cut into wedges (optional but way better if it's included)
- Chopped fresh herbs of choice (parsley and dill are two of our favorites)
- Crumbled feta cheese
- Cut the chicken breasts into 1-inch pieces and place in a large ziptop bag, shallow baking dish, or bowl.
- In a separate bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, honey, garlic, oregano, thyme, salt, and pepper. Pour over the chicken and stir to coat (or seal the bag, removing as much air as possible, and “squish” to coat). Place in the refrigerator to marinate for 30 minutes or up to 3 hours (do not let the chicken sit for longer or the vinegar will cause it to break down). If using wooden skewers, place the skewers in water to soak for at least 20 minutes.
When ready to grill, preheat the grill to medium-high heat (about 375 degrees F). Brush the grill grates with canola oil or coat with nonstick grill spray.
- Thread the kabobs: Thread a piece of chicken onto the skewer (shake off the excess marinade when removing it from the bag. Add alternating pieces of the red onion, zucchini, yellow squash, and red bell pepper until you've reached the end of the skewer, ending with chicken. Repeat with the remaining skewers, then discard the excess chicken marinade.
- Grill the chicken until fully cooked through and the juices run clear, about 10 to 15 minutes, turning the skewers every few minutes so that each side has grill marks. Transfer to a serving plate and squeeze the lemon over the top. Sprinkle with fresh herbs and feta. Serve warm.
- Refrigerate leftovers for up to 3 days. I love to use them to top salads for lunch throughout the week.
- To make chicken kabobs in the oven, see the blog post above for suggestions.
Nutrition InformationAmount per serving (2 skewers) — Calories: 276, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 73mg, Carbohydrates: 11g, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 8g, Protein: 26g
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