This tutorial is all you need to make the BEST grilled chicken kabobs! Thanks to a tasty Mediterranean chicken kabob marinade with the right combination of spices; garlic; citrus; and olive oil, these skewers are perfectly tender and packed with flavor!
Grill them outdoors or indoors. You can even broil these kabobs in the oven! Watch the video and grab all my tips and suggestions for what to serve along below.
Today’s chicken kabobs are on my all-time-favorite list (although, if we’re talking Middle Eastern flavors, I’m equally in love with chicken shawarma!)
Grilled Chicken Kabobs
The gist: Well-marinated chicken pieces and colorful veggies, thread into skewers and grilled to perfection. You can grill them on an outdoor grill, indoor griddle, and you can even broil them in your oven.
How long to grill chicken kabobs? They’ll take about 10 to 15 minutes in total, and the are absolutely divine! And for me, a generous drizzle of tahini sauce on top is a must!
Chicken kabob marinade
The secret to the best chicken kabobs is in the marinade.
My marinade combines some bold Mediterranean spices–paprika, thyme, nutmeg, and a hint of green cardamom–with onions, a generous dose of fresh garlic, citrus and Greek extra virgin olive oil. How Mediterranean can you get, right?!
How long to marinate chicken?
If you have the time, I highly recommend you let the chicken marinate for 2 to 4 hours in the fridge (up to 8 hours refrigerated.) But if you don’t, at the very least for 30 minutes.
Time will allow the chicken to soak up as much flavor as possible, it also helps tenderize the chicken, particularly if you are using chicken breast like I am.
How do you grill kabobs?
- Soak the skewers (if using wooden skewers) and thread the marinated chicken and vegetables (peppers and onions) through, alternating.
- Heat the grill or griddle to medium-high heat (make sure to lightly oil the surface)
- Grill the kabobs anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes, turning the skewers about until the chicken is fully cooked.
- Chicken is ready when internal temperature registers 165 degrees.
Don’t have a grill? Broil in the oven!
And if no grill or griddle is available, you can even broil chicken kabobs in the oven!
When you’re ready, preheat the oven broiler. Lightly oil a sheet pan and arrange the skewers in a single layer on the pan. Broil for 5 minutes, then flip the skewers and broil on the other side for 5 more minutes.
Why are my kebabs dry?
There are a few tips that ensure tender, juicy chicken kabobs even if you use chicken breast.
- Cut the chicken to the proper size. Typically for chicken breasts, 1 1/2-inch pieces work best. Try to cut them all to the same size for even-cooking. If you go for larger cubes, they will take longer to cook and may give you burnt exteriors and a raw center.
- Don’t thread the meat and veggies too tightly! Allow a little bit of room between the chicken and vegetables so that the heat can move about freely to cook everything more evenly.
- Allow sometime for the chicken to marinate. Especially if you’re using chicken breast, giving it a bit of time in the tasty kabob marinade infuses it with flavor while working to tenderize it. Ideally 2 to 4 hours, but even if you have just 30 minutes, that should help.
What to serve with these chicken kabobs?
Chicken kabobs are so fun to serve even with just a little tahini and some warm pita bread. But they can totally be the star of a big Mediterranean bbq, and I have a bunch of options for you to serve along:
Mediterranean Grilled Chicken Kabobs
For the Chicken Kabobs
- 2 tsp Spanish paprika
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground green cardamom
- Salt and pepper
- 2 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts Cut into large cubes (1 1/2-inch or so in thickness)
- 1 yellow onion sliced
- 1/2 cup Extra virgin olive oil I used Private Reserve Greek EVOO
- 15 garlic cloves minced
- 3 lemons or limes juice of
- 1 green bell pepper cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 red bell cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 red onion cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
For the Tahini
- Make tahini sauce according to this recipe Store in fridge until ready to use.
- In a small bowl, combine the paprika, thyme, nutmeg,cardamom, and a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Generously coat the chicken with the spices.
- Place the chicken cubes in a deep dish with the sliced yellow onions. Combine the minced garlic and lemon juice and add them to the chicken dish. Add a generous drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Toss the chicken to make sure it's well-coated. Cover and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours (if you don't have the time to marinate, allow the chicken about 30 minutes or so at room temperature before grilling).
- A few minutes before grilling, thread the chicken cubes, green peppers, red peppers and red onion onto wood skewers (skewers must be soaked in water for at least 1 hour before using).
- Lightly oil and heat a gas grill or griddle to medium-high heat. When ready, grill the chicken kabobs, turning occasionally, for 10 to 12 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked and juices run dry (internal temperature should register 165 degrees F.)
- Serve chicken kabobs with warm pita and tahini sauce with other bright sides and salads (see suggestions)
- Cook’s Tip: If you are using bamboo or wooden skewers, be sure to soak them in plenty of water for 1 hour.
- Cook’s Tips: Allow some time for marinating, 2 to 4 hours or up to 8 hours in the fridge will help the chicken soak up all the wonderful flavors as it tenderizes. But even just 1 hour of marinating will help.
- Broiler Instructions: Preheat your oven broiler. Coat a sheet pan with a little oil. Arrange the skewers in a single layer on the sheet pan. Broil for 5 minutes, then flip the skewers and broil on the other side for 5 more minutes.
- What to Serve Along? I’ve shared lots of ideas for dishes that work with chicken kabobs in the post, but here are a few: tabouli, chickpea salad, watermelon salad to grilled vegetables and Greek potatoes
- Leftovers? You can refrigerate leftover chicken kabobs in tight-lid containers for 3 days.
- Recommended for this Recipe: our Private Reserve Extra Virgin Olive Oil (from organically grown and processed Koroneiki olives!). Our all-natural nutmeg, cardamom, allspice, and paprika.
- SAVE! Create your own 6-pack of our all-natural and organic spices; or try the Ultimate Mediterranean Spice Bundle.
- Visit The Mediterranean Dish Shop for quality Mediterranean products!
*This post originally appeared on The Mediterranean Dish in 2015. It has been recently updated with new media and information for reader’s benefit.