Fire up the grill for Teriyaki Chicken kabobs! An ideal dinner for warm summer nights, this citrus teriyaki marinade adds a flavorful twist to a healthy and simple grilled favorite. Include oven and grill instructions as well as tips for making the perfect kabobs!
These Teriyaki Chicken Kabobs are the epitome of summer! During those lazy days, nothing beats a delicious and easy dinner cooked al fresco. Our Favorite Grilled Chicken Thigh Marinade, Mexican Street Corn or Cajun Blackened Chicken are some fun recipes that will add to your next barbecue. There’s simply no substitution for the summery flavor of food fresh off the grill with the added benefit of less of a kitchen clean up! Yesss!
For this recipe, succulent pineapple is paired with soy sauce and then combined with honey, lemon and ginger for a knock-your-socks-off flavor profile. The marinade is perfect for chicken or pork dishes as well as elegant grilled salmon. With all the tips and tricks I’ve got, these kabobs are so moist, delicious, and, yet, a healthy summertime treat!
Marinade Ingredients and Notes
Here is an overview of the ingredients you will need to make the teriyaki marinade.
Pineapple Juice: I use the juice straight from the canned pineapple chunks that I grill on the skewers.
Soy Sauce: I generally use low sodium but regular is fine.
Ginger: This recipe works well for both store-bought minced and fresh ginger. To mince fresh ginger, peel the skin with the edge of a spoon and then cut into tiny pieces. You can also substitute ½ teaspoon of ground ginger if you don’t have fresh on hand.
Lemon Juice: Squeeze 1 half of a fresh lemon or use 1 teaspoon Lemon Juice.
How To Make Great Kabobs
For teriyaki chicken kabobs, cut the meat and vegetables between 1.5-2 inches thick. Uniform thickness is key for even cooking. You want the pieces to be like a larger bite size or even two bites.
Select any vegetables you prefer for your skewers. I love a mix of colorful veggies. They are much more fun and appealing. It’s like sprinkles made for savory foods! Some of our favorites are:
- Red Peppers
- Green Peppers
- Mini Sweet Pepper mix
- Yellow Squash
- Pineapple Chunks (canned or fresh)
- Red Onions
- Yellow or Orange Peppers
I absolutely love grilled pineapple because the grill caramelizes the pineapple edges slightly. This juicy bite plays well with the teriyaki marinade.
I pack ours tightly on the kabob skewers. This keeps the moisture in while the outside is crispy with fire roasted goodness.
Tip: Most of the time I grill the chicken ALL on one skewer and grill the veggies on their own skewers (i.e. a pepper skewer, a pineapple skewer, etc.) While the skewers are much prettier when alternating, separating allows the best cooking method because different meats and vegetables have different cooking times. Bonus: Everyone can pick what they like!
Tips and Tricks for Making Chicken Kabobs
Cut Everything on the larger side
You want everything cooked as a large bite size, maybe 2 bites. Larger pieces will cook more evenly and still remain moist at the center. I cut the chicken and vegetables at the same size – about 1.5 inches. While canned pineapple chunks will be about half that size, they are much more resistant to the heat because of their inherent juiciness.
Soak Your Wooden Skewers
I use metal skewers like these and loooove them! They work great for kabobs, roasting marshmallows, hot dogs over a fire, and even stirring large pitchers. Just watch out for the ends as they can easily burn your hands.
If you are using wooden or bamboo skewers, soak them in water to make sure that the skewers don’t burn or dry out. They need to be soaked at least an hour so I find it easiest to submerge the skewers while putting the marinade together.
Marinate Your Teriyaki Chicken Kabobs
The flavor is all in the marinade. I always marinade my meat at least two hours, but preferably overnight in the refrigerator. You don’t need to marinate the veggies, but you can use the extra marinade to brush over the kabobs as they cook. Just make sure to either reserve ½ cup marinade or boil it for at least 5 minutes if reusing from the chicken.
How To Make Teriyaki Chicken Skewers in the Oven
No grill at home? No problem, you can get the delicious taste by making these in the oven.
- Preheat oven to 450F. Marinade chicken 2 hours or up to overnight.
- Place on baking sheets lined with aluminum foil.
- Place marinated chicken and veggies on skewers. Brush reserved marinade over veggies.
- Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, flipping the skewers about half way through and brushing again with the reserved marinade.
- Check to make sure the chicken is cooked all the way through. You may need to cook for an additional 5-10 minutes depending on the size of your chicken chunks.
- You can broil your kebabs for a few minutes to get a bit of that yummy charred flavor.
Serving and Storage Suggestions
Throwing a summer soiree? Play off the kabob theme and go skewer-crazy! Thread fresh fruit, antipasti and mini dessert bites on skewers. If theme park visits have taught us anything, it’s that food on a stick is simply more fun.
Store: Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Lasts 3-4 days.
Freeze: You can freeze the marinating chicken or the cooked kabobs. Allow it to thaw before grilling or baking in the oven. Lasts about 3 months if in an airtight ziplock bag and sealed well.
Yes! Reserve ½ cup of the marinade and brush the veggies with the extra marinade juice. To reuse the raw chicken marinade, marinades are only safe if they are boiled for five minutes according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s website.
You can grill on top of aluminum foil to prevent burning vegetables, although you will also reduce the charring effect of roasting the vegetables and meat. The best way is to make kabobs individually rather than layered with meats (i.e. a pepper kabob, a mushroom kabob, etc). This allows for the best adjustment of cooking times so each component is perfectly cooked.
Yes! If you want to build the skewers the night before, you can prepare and marinate the skewers in a shallow roasting pan or dish in the refrigerator.
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Teriayki Chicken Kabobs
- 1.5 tablespoon Vegetable Oil
- 3 tablespoon Tomato Paste
- ½ cup Low Sodium Soy Sauce
- ⅓ cup Honey
- ½ cup Pineapple Juice
- 1 teaspoon Minced Ginger substitute ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon Lemon Juice
- 1 can pineapple chunks or use fresh pineapple when in season
- 5 cups vegetables cut into 1.5 inch chunks red pepper, mushrooms, red onions, and zucchini are excellent
- 2.5 lbs chicken breasts, cut into 1.5 inch chunks about 4 breasts
- Kabob Skewers
- Whisk all marinade ingredients together in a bowl.
- Reserve ½ cup of marinade for brushing on the grill. Pour the rest over chicken and coat well. Marinate for 2 hours or overnight.
- Cut veggies into 1.5 – 2 inch chunk size pieces. The vegetables should ideally all be the same size as the chicken.
- Pre-heat grill to med/med-high.
- Thread the chicken and veggies using kebab skewers or bamboo sticks.
- Grill 12-16 minutes or until cooked through. Rotate as needed during grilling.
- If you are using wooden skewers, soak in water at least an hour. I find it easiest to submerge the skewers while putting the marinade together.
- Larger pieces will cook more evenly and still remain moist at the center.
- Cut the chicken and vegetables at the same size – about 1.5 inches.