Tender chunks of chicken are soaked in a sweet and salty pineapple marinade, then threaded onto skewers with fresh vegetables in these flavorful kabobs! Seared to pure perfection on the grill, they really are the Best Marinated Chicken Kabobs.
Easy Grilled Chicken Kabobs With Pineapple Marinade
There’s something so irresistible about juicy grilled chicken that’s been infused with a sweet, tangy, smoky marinade. When that chicken is loaded onto skewers with tender-crisp veggies, my stomach suddenly becomes a bottomless pit! These healthy grilled chicken kabobs are about to take your summer grilling sessions to a whole new level.
They’re incredibly easy to make with only 15 minutes of prep time aside from the marination, which is completely hands-off. You could soak the chicken a few hours before you fire up the grill or let it marinate overnight for a meal prep miracle. No matter which option you choose, the explosion of flavor in every bite will sweep you off your feet and catapult you into chicken kabob bliss!
What You’ll Need
Let’s break this down between the marinated chicken and the kebab veggies. See the recipe card toward the end of this post for the amounts associated with each ingredient.
For the Marinated Chicken
- Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast: Cut into 1-inch cubes.
- Pineapple Juice: Freshly squeezed pineapple juice will give you the best results, but the canned stuff works too.
- Tamari Sauce: Check the label to make sure your tamari is gluten-free if needed.
- Lime Juice: Freshly squeezed.
- Smoked Paprika: To enhance the smoky flavor of the char marks once the chicken is grilled.
- Garlic Cloves: Freshly minced
For the Kabob Veggies
- Red, Orange & Yellow Pepper: Cut into 1-inch cubes.
- Large Zucchini: Sliced into half-inch coins.
- Red Onion: Cut into quarters.
How to Make the Best Marinated Chicken Kabobs
No one wants to fuss over a complicated meal, especially during the summertime. You’ll love the simplicity of this crowd-favorite dish!
Marinate the Chicken
Combine Marinade Ingredients: Add the pineapple juice, tamari sauce, lime juice, smoked paprika and garlic to a small bowl. Whisk together until combined.
Add Chicken to Bag: Add the chicken cubes to a large ziplock bag.
Pour In Marinade: Pour the marinade into the ziplock bag with the chicken. Release as much air from the bag as you can and seal it. Toss the chicken around to coat it with the marinade.
Chill & Let Soak: Let the chicken marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, or overnight if possible.
Build & Grill the Kabobs
Remove Chicken From Fridge: Remove the chicken from the refrigerator while you start to assemble the kabobs. Don’t discard the marinade just yet.
Fill Skewers: Thread the prepared zucchini, peppers, onion and chicken onto a metal kabob skewer. Repeat until the skewer is full. Continue assembling the kabobs until everything is used up.
Heat Grill: Preheat the grill to medium-high heat, about 375-400°F.
Cook Kabobs: Place the kabobs onto the grill and cook each side for 3-4 minutes, until charred. Brush the remaining marinade onto the chicken kabobs for one last burst of flavor. Continue to grill the kabobs for another 2 minutes.
Serve: Remove the kabobs from the grill and enjoy!
How Long Should I Marinate Chicken?
You only have to marinate your chicken for 2 full hours, but if you let it soak for longer, the flavor will only improve. I like to marinate mine overnight, or for 12-16 hours. I wouldn’t let the chicken soak for much longer than that – after a while, the marinade could do more harm than good and lead to rubbery meat.
If you’d like, you can place your marinating chicken into the freezer instead of the fridge and keep it frozen for up to 3 months. Just be sure to freeze it as soon as you prepare it, leaving enough extra space in the bag for the liquid to expand as it solidifies. Defrost the marinating chicken in the fridge overnight before you assemble and grill the kabobs.
Tips for Success
Don’t forget to go over these helpful tips before you put on your figurative chef hat. Everyone will be convinced you’re a professional!
- Keep It Fresh: Frozen veggies and bottled lime juice won’t give your kabobs the justice they deserve. Fresh ingredients make for the most mouthwatering results.
- Wooden Skewer Warning: Using metal skewers means you don’t have to soak them in water before you slap them onto the grill. Wooden skewers, on the other hand, must be soaked in warm water for 20-30 minutes before they’re used. This prevents them from flaming up when you put them on the grill, which poses a serious safety hazard.
- Reserve That Marinade: Don’t discard your marinade when you remove the chicken from the bag – you’ll want to brush it onto the kabobs while they’re cooking for an extra boost of yumminess.
- Check for Doneness: Chicken is considered safe to eat (and also happens to be perfectly cooked) once its internal temperature reaches 165°F. Use your meat thermometer to check for doneness before removing your kabobs from the heat.
What Goes Good With Chicken Kabobs?
If you picked a random side dish out of a hat, chances are it’d taste great alongside your marinated chicken kabobs. The following recipes are some of my personal favorite pairings.
- Grilled Corn Salad: I love how the bold flavors of this Spicy Corn Salad complement the sweet and smoky tang of these chicken kabobs. Plus, it’s super easy to grill the corn, turn up the heat and grill the kabobs while you assemble the salad. Dinner will be ready in no time!
- Cilantro Lime Rice: Everything goes well with herby, citrusy Cilantro Lime Rice, and these kabobs are no exception. Whether you serve the rice on the side or remove your kebabs from the skewers and mix them in, you’ll definitely be grabbing seconds.
- Grilled Pineapple: Hungry for dessert? You have to try this Grilled Pineapple With Nutella & Macadamia Nuts. I can’t imagine a more fitting treat to close the curtain with!
- Everyday Salad: You can’t go wrong with salad – some of our classic go-to’s are this Everyday Salad Recipe made with all the staples or my Classic Caesar Salad with Homemade Dressing.
Storage and Reheating
Before you pack up those leftovers, let everything cool completely and remove the chicken and veggies from the skewers. Place the cooled chicken and veggies into an airtight container and refrigerate them for up to 3 days. To reheat them, spread out your leftovers on a lightly greased cookie sheet and bake them at 300°F for 10-15 minutes, or until the chicken’s internal temperature reaches 165°F.
Can I Freeze These?
The texture of the veggies won’t be the same after they’re frozen and thawed, but you can freeze the grilled chicken by itself if desired. Place the cooled cubes of chicken into an airtight container or storage bag and freeze them for up to 3 months. Thaw out frozen chicken in the fridge before you reheat it.
Tender chunks of chicken are soaked in a tangy pineapple marinade, then threaded onto skewers with fresh vegetables in these flavorful kabobs! Seared to pure perfection on the grill, they really are the Best Marinated Chicken Kabobs.
For the Marinated Chicken
- 1.5 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1” cubes
- 1 cup pineapple juice
- 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon tamari sauce
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
For the Kabob Veggies
- 1 large red pepper, cut into 1” cubes
- 1 large orange pepper, cut into 1” cubes
- 1 large yellow pepper, cut into 1” cubes
- 1 large zucchini, cut into 1/2” coins
- 2 red onion, cut into quarters
Marinate the Chicken
- To a small bowl add pineapple juice, tamari sauce, lime juice, smoked paprika and garlic. Whisk together until combined.
- Add chicken cubes to a large ziplock bag.
- Pour the marinade into the ziplock bag with the chicken. Release as much air from the bag as you can and seal. Toss the chicken around to coat the chicken with the marinade.
- Let chicken marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight if possible.
Build & Grill the Kabobs
- Remove the chicken from the refrigerator and start to assemble the kabobs.
- To a metal kabob skewer, add zucchini, red pepper, yellow pepper, onion and chicken. Repeat until the skewer is full. Continue to add on skewers until everything is used up
- Preheat grill to medium-high heat (375-400°F).
- Place kabobs on the grill and grill each side for 3-4 minutes, until charred. Brush the remaining marinade on the kabobs for one last flavor burst. Grill for 2 more minutes.
- Remove from grill and serve!
- Makes 6-8 kabobs.
- To Store: Let everything cool completely, then remove the chicken and veggies from the skewers. Refrigerate cooled chicken and veggies in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
- To Reheat: Spread out leftovers on a lightly greased cookie sheet and bake at 300°F for 10-15 minutes, or until chicken’s internal temperature reaches 165°F.
- Serving Size: 1 kabob
- Calories: 143
- Sugar: 7 g
- Sodium: 766 mg
- Fat: 2 g
- Saturated Fat: 0 g
- Carbohydrates: 12 g
- Fiber: 2 g
- Protein: 20 g
- Cholesterol: 49 mg
Keywords: chicken skewers, chicken kabobs on grill, marinade for chicken kabobs
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