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Grilled Chicken Kabobs (w/ Chimichurri Marinade)

grilled chicken kabobs on a platter with chimichurri

Kabobs are not only fun to serve, they make flipping things like chicken pieces, and shrimp on the grill super easy. These grilled chicken kabobs pack a ton of flavor, and the charred peppers and onions are the perfect pair for the tender and juicy chicken thighs.

The key to this delicious grilled chicken kabobs recipe is the chimichurri marinade. It might seem a bit weird, but trust me on this one; using this method sends the chicken and veggies over the top.

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close up of grilled chicken kabobs

What’s The Difference Between a Skewer and a Kabob?

These terms are often used interchangeably, which is understandable. To define exactly the difference would be subject to a ton of opinion, to be sure. For the majority of people, either term is used for cooking food on a stick of some sort.

For my purposes, and the purposes of this blog, I’ll define a skewer as a thin, wood or metal rod with a sharp, pointed end. A kabob on the other hand, is a skewer loaded with meat and or veggies.

Skewers come in both round and flat designs. I prefer the flat design because they make turning the food easier. When you have a kabob put together with a single round skewer, the food tends to spin on the skewer as opposed to flipping.

grilled chicken kabobs with skewers

So, if you’re using the round style, I suggest using two skewers per kabob to prevent this spinning from happening when you turn the kabob on the grill.

Skewers also come in either wood or metal, I prefer the metal design. Not only are they reusable, they don’t require soaking in water to prevent them from burning on the grill.

How Long Do You Cook Kabobs on the Grill?

How long you cook grilled chicken kabobs on the grill will depend on several other factors. For example, how hot are you running your grill? Are you using chicken breast or chicken thighs?

I always find it better to answer this sort of question by saying this. Cooking for a certain amount of time is helpful for planning dinner time, but not for cooking the best food. Instead, you should be cooking to a desired internal temperature.

grilled chicken kabobs on the grill

Having said all of that, these grilled chicken kabobs take about 20 minutes to grill; plus some rest time. The rest time is important for carry over cooking because the chicken kabobs will be pulled off the grill prior to them being completely done.

What Temperature Do You Grill Chicken Kabobs?

You’ll want to have a reliable quick read thermometer when grilling these kabobs, or any food really. I find it one of these to be the most used tool in my toolbox.

For these chicken kabobs, grill them till the meat reaches an internal temperature of 155°F. Keep in mind, these are made from thigh meat, that temperature would change if you were using white meat.

The covered rest period after grilling them will allow them to come to a safe eating temperature for dark meat chicken.

What Is the Best Way To Grill Kabobs?

For grilling kabobs, I recommend starting with medium high direct heat. This will make for a nice char on the outside of the chicken and veggies, and that char is all flavor.

charred grilled chicken kabobs on the grill

Then, once the desired char is achieved you’ll move the kabobs over to the indirect heat side of the grill. Allowing them to finish cooking over indirect heat creates the perfect doneness.

How Do You Grill Chicken Kabobs Without Burning Them?

Burning chicken on the grill is often a product of using only direct heat. Doing so will have the outside of the chicken burned, before the inside is done.

So, to grill chicken kabobs without burning them, be sure you set your grill up for two zone cooking. After charing the chicken over direct heat, move them to the indirect heat as described above.

The indirect heat will finish the chicken off, without burning the outside of the meat or vegetables.

About The Ingredients

  • Chicken: You can use white or dark meat chicken, but I strongly prefer chicken thighs for this. They have more fat than chicken breasts, and that’s what keeps them super moist and flavorful.
  • Mayonnaise: The mayo will not add any flavor to the chicken, but it helps to keep the chimichurri on the kebabs while they are grilling, prevents them from sticking to the grill, and produces an incredible char.
  • Chimichurri: If you have a favorite recipe for this, by all means use it. That said, I’d love you to try my recipe for chimichurri, it’s literally one of my favorite things in the world to eat on chicken, beef and even fish.
grilled chicken kabobs dressed with chimichurri

How To Make Grilled Chicken Kabobs

Prep Time: 20 minutes | Cook Time: 20 minutes | Serves: 4

Ingredients
3 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs
½ cup mayonnaise
1 ½ cup fresh chimichurri sauce – divided
2 red bell peppers – seeded and cut into 1 ½” squares
2 green bell peppers – seeded and cut into 1 ½” squares
1 medium red onion – cut into 1 ½” squares

Step 1: Cut the chicken into 2″ squares and place them into a sealable plastic zip top bag. Then, whisk together the mayo and ¾ cup of the chimichurri in a small mixing bowl.

chicken in a bag for grilled chicken kabobs

Step 2: Pour the mayo and chimichurri mixture over top of the chicken, remove as much air from the bag as possible and seal the bag. Massage the chicken to ensure even coating and place the bag inside the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, or overnight.  

chicken for grilled chicken kabobs marinating in a plastic bag

Step 3: After the chicken has marinated, light your grill and set it up both up for two zone medium high direct heat. While the grill is preheating, thread the chicken and vegetables onto the metal skewers.

uncooked assembled chicken kabobs on a tray

Step 4: Place the chicken kebabs on the grill over direct heat. Turn the kabobs by a quarter turn, every 90 seconds. This will ensure all sides get even exposure to the direct heat, resulting in a uniformed char. Once the even char has been achieved, move the kebabs over to indirect heat, and close the lid allowing them to continue cooking.

grilled chicken kabobs on the grill over direct heat

Step 5: Remove the kebabs when the chicken is cooked to 155°F, about 10 minutes. Then, place them on a plate, and tent with aluminum foil, allowing them to carry over cook for five minutes.

grilled chicken kabobs ready to serve on a platter

Step 6: Dress with remaining chimichurri and serve hot, or over a bed of rice.

grilled chicken kabobs on a bed of rice
grilled chicken kabobs on a platter with chimichurri

Grilled Chicken Kabobs (w/ Chimichurri Marinade)

5 from 5 votes
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs chicken thighs boneless skinless
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • cup Chimichurri divided
  • 2 red bell pepper seeded and cut into 1½" squares
  • 2 green bell peppers seeded and cut into 1½" squares
  • 1 medium red onion cut into 1½" squares

Instructions

  • Cut the chicken into 2" squares and place them into a sealable plastic zip top bag. Then, whisk together the mayo and ¾ cup of the chimichurri in a small mixing bowl.
  • Pour the mayo and chimichurri mixture over top of the chicken, remove as much air from the bag as possible and seal the bag. Massage the chicken to ensure even coating and place the bag inside the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
  • After the chicken has marinated, light your grill and set it up both up for two zone medium high direct heat. While the grill is preheating, thread the chicken and vegetables onto the metal skewers.
  • Place the chicken kebabs on the grill over direct heat. Turn the kabobs by a quarter turn, every 90 seconds. This will ensure all sides get even exposure to the direct heat, resulting in a uniformed char. Once the even char has been achieved, move the kebabs over to indirect heat, and close the lid allowing them to continue cooking.
  • Remove the kebabs when the chicken is cooked to 155°F, about 10 minutes. Then, place them on a plate, and tent with aluminum foil, allowing them to carry over cook for five minutes.
  • Dress with remaining chimichurri and serve hot.

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