These Grilled Chicken Kabobs make a delicious and easy dinner any night of the week. Made with chicken breast that has been seasoned with a homemade jerk marinade and then threaded with fresh pineapple and grilled for a perfectly sweet and spicy Chicken Kabob recipe.
These chicken kabobs are a Carribbean-infused dish that is simple to make, full of flavor, and also low in fat, carbs, and gluten-free.
Grilled Chicken Kabobs have a reputation for being boring or dried out.
But my recipe for Chicken Kabobs is ANYTHING but boring.
Chicken is brought to life with the jerk seasoning marinade I learned to make from an authentic Jamaican Chef while vacationing in Jamaica with my husband years ago.
I decided that after 30 years of cooking in Jamaica, this guy knew a thing or two and I should most certainly take his advice!!
The chef taught me that the best technique for Jerk Chicken was to throw fresh ingredients into the blender and create a thick paste to serve as the marinade, and while today’s recipe is for chicken, you can use this Jerk Marinade on any type of Chicken, Fish, Meat, or Vegetables.
- Habanero Peppers: You can replace the habanero pepper with a jalapeno pepper for a milder jerk seasoning.
- Maple Syrup: You need a bit of sweetness to balance the flavors. But feel to use honey, agave, or brown sugar in place of the maple syrup. Granulated sugar is not a good option for this recipe.
- Oil: To keep this Jerk Seasoning, Paleo, use coconut oil or avocado oil in the marinade. If you aren’t paleo, feel free to use canola oil.
- Lime Juice: Be sure to use FRESH limes, not bottled lime juice.
- Ginger: Use peeled fresh ginger root, NOT dried ground ginger. If you have leftover ginger, peel it and pop it in a freezer-safe bag in the freezer and pull out to grate from frozen ginger. See my tips on how to freeze ginger and more here.
- Spices: Allspice, oregano, and nutmeg are used to add flavor to this marinade. Garlic cloves are used in place of dried garlic for maximum flavor.
- Chicken: Use boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into 1-inch cubes.
How to Make Jerk Chicken Kabobs
- Prepare marinade by placing all ingredients into the blender or food processor and blend until fully processed.
- Cube up chicken breast or chicken thighs into 1-inch cubes.
- Place in a gallon-sized storage bag and pour jerk marinade over chicken and toss to coat chicken in marinade.
- Leave in the marinade for at least 30 minutes or up to 4 hours. Do not leave in longer than 4 hours or the acid will break the meat down.
- While the chicken is marinating, soak wooden skewers in water for at least 30 minutes so that your skewers will not burn when grilling. Alternatively, you can use metal skewers.
- Remove chicken from marinade and discard marinade.
- Thread marinated chicken and pineapple on wooden skewers in an alternating pattern.
- Preheat grill to medium-high heat and grill kabobs for about 12 minutes total, turning every 3-4 minutes.
Short on Time? If you are short on time and don’t have time to marinate your chicken in the jerk marinade, toss the cubed chicken with jerk seasoning blend and then after grilled squeeze fresh lime juice over the chicken.
You make like to serve Chicken Kabobs with
No go ahead, transport yourself to the Islands, and experience a bit of “No Worries”, as they say in Jamaica, as you dig into this easy dinner.
Grilled Jerk Chicken Kabobs with Pineapple
- 1/4 cup avocado oil or melted coconut oil or canola oil
- juice of 1 lime
- 1 inch piece of ginger peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 habaneros or jalapeno peppers cut into large chunks, unseeded (for more authentic jerk--use habeneros--I just happened to have jalapenos)
- 3 garlic cloves peeled
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey or agave
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon dried allspice
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into 1" chunks
- 1/2 fresh pineapple peeled, cored and diced into 1" wedges
- Place the oil, lime juice, peppers, ginger, maple syrup, and seasonings into a blender and blend until smooth.
- Pour the marinade over the chicken and let sit in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours.
- If using wooden skewers, soak in water for 30 minutes.
- Heat gas grill or charcoal grill to medium-high temperature.
- Remove the chicken from the marinade and thread unto skewers, alternating with pieces of fresh pineapple. Discard the marinade.
- Grill chicken for 6 minutes per side.