This grilled chicken kabobs recipe is made with pesto-marinated chicken and colorful vegetables of your choice. These are all threaded onto skewers and grilled to perfection. A simple dinner that can also be baked in the oven!
Grilled Chicken skewers are a classic in the summer. This version is a Mediterranean chicken kabob with plenty of fresh vegetables. Serve your chicken kabobs over rice, cauliflower rice, or mashed potatoes for a complete meal.
These Mediterranean chicken shish kabobs are so tender, juicy, and flavorful that you’ll never want to make them any other way! The chicken is marinated in a classic Italian basil pesto, I use this one, then grilled over an open flame until the chicken, and the vegetables are slightly charred. The result is a chicken kabob that is bursting with flavor and is sure to be a hit at your next cookout.
Ingredients for Grilled Chicken Kabobs Recipe
While you can use either chicken breast or chicken thighs, all I had on hand were the thighs pictured.
- Chicken breasts or thighs
- Basil Pesto - Homemade Pesto is the best!
- Vegetables - I like to use a combination of veggies like mushrooms, tomatoes, peppers, and zucchini.
See the recipe card for quantities.
How To Make This Easy Pesto-Marinated Grilled Chicken Kabob Recipe
You can use either chicken breast or chicken thighs. Cut the chicken into cubes about 2" square.
Place in a bowl and add the prepared pesto sauce. Marinate for at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours. The longer it marinates the more tender it will be.
Skewer the chicken and add salt and pepper if you prefer.
Grill the chicken until the veggies are charred and the chicken is done. A meat thermometer should register 160-165 ℉.
Hint: I love to use skewers that are flat in shape instead of round. The veggies and chicken will not spin as much on the skewer when turned over on the grill. These are the ones I have been using.
Popular Substitutions or Variations
There are many ways you can change up the marinade on the chicken kabobs:
- Veggies - choose the veggies that you prefer and that work for you! I typically stick with mushrooms, onions, peppers, tomatoes, or zucchini but the choice is really up to you!
- Chicken - If you are using chicken breast, switch it up and use chicken thighs! Or, if you would prefer beef, use a tender cut of beef that absorb the marinade well.
- Yogurt - Add yogurt to the Basil Pesto marinade. I'm a big fan of using yogurt in marinades as it will help to break down the protein and make it more tender than without. It will also add a tanginess that may not be present in the pesto.
- Marinade - there are many different chicken marinades that you can use. Sometimes I make a simple vinaigrette as a marinade. Or, I use soy sauce, honey, garlic, and salt, and pepper. Keep it simple and you can't go wrong. Even bottled dressings work nicely for marinades.
- Pesto - if you prefer to use a store-bought pesto instead of making your own, it will taste similarly. Just make sure to read the label. Pesto should only have a handful of fresh ingredients like basil, garlic, pine nuts, and olive oil. Or, if you use your own for this recipe there are many variations that you can make, including a dairy-free option. See my Homemade Basil Pesto recipe for options.
- What to serve with the skewers - While rice or cauliflower rice is the easiest, I typically serve them with a salad or another vegetable to keep the carb count low.
If you want to save time right before grilling, marinate the chicken while on the skewers! Place the skewers on a sheet pan and pour the marinade over the top. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or longer.
FAQ's about Grilled Chicken Kabobs Recipe
Grill the chicken kabobs until done. This should take approximately 10-15 minutes. Make sure you turn the kabobs frequently so that all sides get charred.
The lid should be closed as much as possible so the chicken cooks quickly. Use a meat thermometer to monitor the chicken. The chicken should reach an internal temperature of 160-165 ℉.
If covered tightly, the kabobs should last 3-4 days. I usually take the chicken and veggies off of the skewer for storage as it's easier. You can re-warm the chicken and veggies in the microwave or eat them cold. When I eat them cold, I throw them on arugula to make a salad.
The best way to prevent your chicken kabobs from burning is to use a meat thermometer. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken and grill until it reaches an internal temperature of 160-165°F.
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Grilled Chicken Kabobs Recipe
- 4 Skewers
- 4 chicken breasts
- 1 cup pesto
- 1 bell pepper
- 8 oz button mushrooms
- Heat your grill.
- Cut the chicken into 2" chunks.
- In a bowl, combine the chicken and the pesto.
- Marinate for 30 minutes or up to 24 hours
- Skewer the chicken and the vegetables.
- Grill until the chicken is done and the vegetables are charred.