These juicy Balsamic Grilled Chicken Kabobs are the BEST kabobs you will ever have! Tender chicken marinated in a sweet balsamic sauce then skewered with fresh vegetables and grilled to perfection. You can’t beat this healthy dinner idea – it’s a summer grilling must!
Easy Grilled Chicken Kabobs
Ok, true confession. Did you know there is a difference between a kebab and a kabob? I didn’t for the longest time. I just kept thinking, why do some people spell it kebab… it seemed strange to me and honestly, I just thought they were spelling it wrong. Haha! Definitely my blonde moment! There IS a difference! A kebab is a Middle Eastern dish that is essentially meat (chicken, beef, etc) that is marinaded then put on a skewer and grilled. So for example… it would be like my Sesame Lime Chicken with Peanut Sauce.
Kabobs are a combination of meat and vegetables put on a skewer then grilled.
You’re welcome for explaining things to you. You may have already known that, but I did not. So…. I shared the kebab vs. kabob knowledge. 🙂 Now, moving on to this rockstar of a dish!
What You’ll Need
The ingredients for these chicken kebabs are fresh, easy and perfect for summertime grilling!
- Boneless skinless chicken breasts – Cut into 1” cubes
- Peppers – I like to use red and yellow peppers.
- Red onion
- Cherry tomatoes
- Squash – Yellow summer swash and zucchini. You could also use pattypan squash!
What Kind of Chicken Should I Use?
For grilled chicken kabobs I like to use boneless skinless chicken breast because I like the lighter whiter meat. However, you could also use boneless skinless chicken thighs in this recipe as well if you like the flavor from dark meat. Once I have my chicken trimmed, meaning I cut the fat away, I then cut the chicken into larger 1″ chunks so that they are ready to marinate or be skewered.
Other Vegetables/Fruits You Could Use
- Yukon Potatoes
- Patty Pan Squash
How to Make the Chicken Marinade
Marinating your chicken is key – it is what will infuse every bite of your kabobs with intense flavor! Whenever I make a marinade I like to use ingredients that I know are pantry staples so I’m not having to run out to get some random ingredient. My go-to balsamic marinade for chicken and beef is as follows.
- Combine the marinade ingredients in a small bowl. Whisk together and slowly add in the olive oil whisking the entire time.
- Place the chicken in a large bowl and add 3/4 of the marinade. Stir to make sure all the chicken is coated. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to marinate.
How Long to Should You Marinade Chicken?
When marinating chicken I usually do at least 30 minutes, but it’s better to marinate meats for an hour to really get the flavor. However like anything, the longer it sits the more flavor it will get. So honestly, it depends on how much time you have. I’d say at least 30 minutes, but if you have more time let it sit and linger.
How to Make Chicken Kabobs
The most important part of chicken kabobs is the marinade, without a good marinade you’ll have a flavorless kabob. The acid in a marinade will also help break down the protein leaving you with a super tender fully cooked piece of meat. So DON’T skip this step!
- Make Balsamic Marinade: To a small bowl add balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard, honey, dry basil, salt, and pepper. Whisk together and slowly add in the olive oil whisking the entire time.
- Prep Chicken: Pat Chicken dry with a paper towel then cut chicken breasts into thick 1″ cubes.
- Marinate Chicken: Add chicken cubes and three fourths of the balsamic marinade to a medium bowl. Reserve the rest for later. Stir to make sure all the chicken is coated. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to marinade.
- Cut Vegetables: While chicken is marinating. Prep you red pepper, yellow pepper, red onion, yellow squash, zucchini and cherry tomatoes. (cutting instructions below)
- Skewer: Remove the chicken from the refrigerator and start to assemble the kabobs. Alternate veggies with chicken on a skewer until everything is used up.
- Clean Grill: Preheat grill to medium high heat, 375-400° F. Clean grill grates with a brush and then rub with a oil soaked rag or spray with cooking spray.
- Grill: Place kabobs on the prepared grill and grill each side for 3-4 minutes, until charred. The biggest thing to remember when grilling is, if your protein “sticks” to your grill when you’re trying to flip it’s not ready to be flipped. Leave it for another minute or two and then flip.
- Baste Kabobs: With the remaining marinade you reserved, baste the kabobs with a brush for one last flavor burst of balsamic. Grill for 2 more minutes. Remove from grill and serve.
Tips for Success
- Cut Vegetables into larger pieces. Having larger pieces will help you skewer, but also allows you to have evenly cooked (not dried out) kabobs. Plus you won’t lose any little guys down the grill grates.
- Finish with Fresh Herbs: One of my favorite easy tips for any meal is to finish with fresh herbs! It really brightens and revives and dish. In this recipe, fresh basil or parsley would be perfect!
- Skewers: You can use metal or bamboo skewers for kabobs. If you use bamboo skewers I highly recommend soaking the skewers in water for at least 30 minutes before assembling kabobs. Also be sure to check skewers for any splinters ahead of time so they don’t end up in your food. (wink)
There is honestly nothing more satisfying or irresistible than a flavorful perfectly cooked kabob! This chicken is crazy tender and boasts of rich sweet balsamic flavors. Gah! It’s so good! Then, when it’s thrown on the grill, the sugar in the balsamic and honey caramelize up and create this crust on the chicken. Paired with the charred vegetables and you’re in for a treat.
I guarantee it’s going to be one of your favorite dinner recipes!
Bon Appetit friends!
- Instant Pot Cilantro Lime Rice
- Spinach Salad with Apples, Pecans and Gorgonzola
- Creamy Easy Potato Salad with Bacon
- Roasted Tomato Caprese Pasta Salad
- 10 Minute Creamy Cucumber Salad
- Refreshing Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad
- Roasted Red Pepper Pesto
These juicy Balsamic Grilled Chicken Kabobs are the BEST kabobs you will ever have! Tender chicken marinated in a sweet balsamic sauce then skewered with fresh vegetables and grilled to perfection.
- 2.5 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1” cubes
- 2 red pepper, cut into cubes
- 1 yellow pepper, cut into cubes
- 1 red onion, cut into cubes
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- 1 squash, 1/2″ slices
- 2 zucchini, 1/2″ slices
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon dry basil
- salt & pepper
- To a small bowl add balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard, honey, dry basil, salt, and pepper. Whisk together and slowly add in the olive oil whisking the entire time.
- To a large bowl, add chicken cubes and half the balsamic mixture, reserve the rest. Stir to make sure all the chicken is coated. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to marinade.
- Preheat grill to medium high heat (375-400° F).
- Remove the chicken from the refrigerator and start to assemble the kabobs.
- Alternate veggies with chicken on a skewer until everything is used up.
- 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.
- Serving Size: 1.5 cups
- Calories: 251
- Sugar: 7 g
- Sodium: 365 mg
- Fat: 10 g
- Saturated Fat: 1 g
- Carbohydrates: 11 g
- Fiber: 2 g
- Protein: 30 g
- Cholesterol: 81 mg
Keywords: chicken kabob, chicken shish, chicken kabob marinade, grilled chicken