These tasty chicken kabobs are ready in about 30 minutes. They are seasoned with olive oil, salt and pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and thyme. It's a simple flavor combination that works well with chicken.
Once seasoned, they are baked in the oven, then finished under the broiler. The result: juicy and flavorful kabobs that everyone will love!
Admittedly, grilling is the natural method for preparing kabobs. I do have this excellent recipe for grilled chicken skewers and I make them often in the summer.
But if you don't own a grill, or if it happens to be raining (or snowing!) outside, you can absolutely make chicken kabobs in the oven and enjoy a juicy and flavorful meal without ever firing up the grill.
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make these tasty kabobs. The exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
Olive oil: I love this delicious oil! But if you'd rather use an oil with a high smoke point, you can use avocado oil instead. Melted butter is also an option.
Sea salt and black pepper: If using coarse kosher salt, you can increase the amount you use.
Spices: Garlic powder, onion powder, and dried thyme. Make sure they are fresh! A stale spice can easily ruin a dish.
Chicken breasts: I use boneless skinless chicken breasts in this recipe.
How to cook chicken skewers in the oven? It's so easy! Scroll down to the recipe card for detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
You start by mixing the olive oil and spices in a large bowl.
Next, you cut the chicken into cubes and toss it with the seasoned olive oil.
Thread the chicken pieces on skewers, then bake them for 15 minutes at 450°F.
If your pan is broiler-safe, you can finish the dish by broiling the skewers for a minute or two.
Why this recipe works
My family loves these kabobs. They are delicious and very juicy. I love making them because, as you can see from the steps listed above, it's such an easy recipe. You simply cube the chicken, toss it in a marinade, thread on skewers, and bake.
Finishing them under the broiler is not mandatory, but it does brown them nicely.
I also like making this recipe because let's face it, chicken breast is not that exciting. Yet, it's accessible and affordable, so I buy it quite often.
Turning chicken breast into kabobs makes it much more flavorful because the ratio of meat to oil and seasonings is better than when you bake a whole chicken breast. Plus, who doesn't like food on a stick? 🙂
You can add the chicken pieces to the marinade a few hours ahead of time. Cover them, refrigerate, and allow them to marinate. But it's also fine to skip the marinating and bake them immediately after coating them in the oil and spice mixture.
Frequently asked questions
Kabob (or kebab) is an Arabic word. It means cubes of meat, marinated and cooked on a skewer, usually over an open fire.
I like to use olive oil, salt and pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and thyme. It's a simple flavor combination that works really well with chicken.
But you can play with this recipe and use whatever seasonings you like. Chili powder, smoked paprika, and oregano will all taste great in this recipe, so don't be afraid to experiment with your own combination of spices.
If you bake them in a hot oven (450 degrees F), they only need about 15 minutes to be fully cooked. I do like to finish them under the broiler to give them that extra browning.
Yes, but just as you would do when using them on the grill, you should soak them in water for 20 minutes before using them.
I also recommend placing thin foil strips on their exposed edges to prevent them from burning. Do keep a close eye on them, especially under the broiler.
Variations and substitutions
I love this recipe as is and almost always make it as written. But in case you'd like to vary the basic recipe, here are a few ideas for you:
- Use cubed chicken thighs instead of chicken breast. The result will be juicer.
- Use different spices. Chili powder and cumin are wonderful with chicken!
- You can thread vegetable pieces between the chicken cubes. Good candidates include red onions, mushrooms, zucchini, and bell peppers.
These kabobs are great with any number of side dishes, but I most often serve them with one of the following sides:
You can also serve them topped with homemade tahini sauce. It's a really good flavor combination.
You can keep the leftovers in the fridge, in an airtight container, for 3-4 days. Reheat them gently, covered, in the microwave on 50% power. They're also good cold as a salad topping.
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Oven Chicken Kabobs
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 large chicken breasts (12 oz each)
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line a rimmed broiler-safe baking sheet with foil.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and thyme.
- Cut the chicken breasts into cubes as shown in the video. Add to the bowl and toss with the seasoned olive oil.
- Thread the coated chicken cubes on skewers. I use metal skewers that I bought on Amazon. If you use wooden skewers, soak them in water for 20 minutes before using them, and place thin foil strips on their exposed edges to prevent them from burning.
- Bake the kabobs for 15 minutes. Switch the oven to broil, place the baking sheet under the broiler, and broil just until browned, about 1 minute.