A simple recipe for juicy grilled chicken skewers. The secret is to season them with a tasty marinade and avoid drying them out on the grill.
Chicken breast is so EASY. It's always there in the fridge, affordable, available, versatile. I'm grateful for this simple ingredient!
These grilled chicken skewers are amazing. They are juicy, succulent, well-seasoned and grilled to perfection. They are very easy to make and everyone enjoys them. So we make them almost weekly in the summer.
The ingredients you'll need
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make these tasty skewers. The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
Fresh chicken: In this recipe, we use boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed.
Olive oil: I love cooking with this delicious oil. But if you'd rather use an oil with a higher smoke point, you can use avocado oil instead.
Soy sauce: Adds saltiness and that wonderful umami flavor.
Spices: Black pepper and garlic powder, which I actually prefer to fresh minced garlic in this recipe because it more evenly coats the chicken pieces.
How to make grilled chicken skewers
It's so easy! Scroll down to the recipe card for the detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
1. Heat your grill to medium-high. You don't want to cook the chicken on high and char it too much. So medium-high is good.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, soy sauce, black pepper and garlic powder. Reserve a bit of the marinade for later, then toss the chicken pieces in the marinade.
3. Your next step is to thread the coated chicken pieces on skewers.
4. Grill the chicken, turning occasionally, until it's cooked through, about 10 minutes. Brush with the reserved marinade and serve.
This recipe works on any grill - an outdoor grill, a grill pan, or a dual-contact grill. Plan to grill for a total of about 5 minutes if using a dual-contact grill.
How to make them juicy
The problem is that chicken can end up too dry. Actually, that's a problem with anything made with chicken breast, a lean piece of meat that tends to dry out easily.
The secret to keeping grilled chicken skewers juicy is to cook them over fairly high heat and to avoid cooking them for too long.
This is much easier to do with chicken cubes than with a whole chicken breast because there's less risk of them remaining raw in the middle.
Should I soak wooden skewers?
There seems to be a debate on whether this is effective or not. I tend to use reusable metal skewers. But in the past, when I was using wooden skewers, I listened to the experts and I did soak them in water for 30 minutes prior to using them.
What should I serve with grilled chicken skewers?
They are excellent with a side of grilled vegetables. I like to serve them with grilled broccolini, with grilled portobello mushrooms, or with grilled zucchini. You can also serve them with a salad such as this creamy cucumber salad.
Additions and substitutions
A nice addition to the marinade is a tablepsoon of honey. It promotes caramelizing and balances out the savory flavor of the soy sauce.
Sometimes I use balsamic vinegar instead of the soy sauce, adding a teaspoon of kosher salt to the marinade. You can also use the marinade as written, adding a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar.
Another tasty addition to the marinade is a pinch of cayenne, especially if you like your food spicy. It adds a hint of spice, nothing too empowering.
What to do with leftovers?
You can keep leftovers of these grilled chicken skewers in the fridge, in an airtight container, for 3-4 days. Reheat them gently, in the microwave on 50% power. Or shred them and use them cold in salads (such as this chicken cobb salad) or in a lettuce sandwich.
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Grilled Chicken Skewers
- 1 ½ lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into 1-inch chunks
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce or a gluten-free alternative
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- Optional step: If using wooden skewers, soak them in water for 30 minutes. I use metal skewers.
- Heat your grill to medium-high.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, soy sauce, black pepper and garlic powder. Measure out two tablespoons of the mixture, add them to a small bowl, and set aside.
- Add the chicken pieces to the large bowl and toss to coat.
- Thread the coated chicken pieces on skewers.
- Grill the chicken skewers, turning occasionally, until cooked through, about 10 minutes.
- Brush the cooked chicken pieces with the reserved marinade. Serve immediately.