Learn how to make Grilled Chicken Skewers! Juicy grilled chicken marinated in Greek yogurt skewered with peppers and onions and served with a lemon-basil dressing. A great kabob recipe to have on hand for grilling season!
Hosting a Greek feast dinner party or a summer cookout? These grilled chicken skewers are a great main course for parties and gatherings!
This recipe comes from Cooks Country (a division of America’s Test Kitchen). They are specific about details and steps. For as many times as these recipes have been tested, you can trust they are delicious.
This recipe makes a yummy combination of juicy, flavorful grilled chicken and fork-tender veggies served straight from the stick! This fresh and flavorful grilled chicken recipe is simply the perfect summertime meal! I mean, who doesn’t love chicken-on-a-stick? Have I mentioned that I want these right now and that this is one of my favorite meals of all time? Enjoy!
Ingredients for Grilled Chicken Skewers //
For the Grilled Chicken Marinade:
- Plain Greek Yogurt – slowly tenderizes chicken resulting in melt-in-your-mouth juicy grilled chicken.
- Olive Oil – adds moisture to the marinade.
- Garlic Cloves (minced) – add the garlic-y goodness any good marinade needs.
- Dried Thyme & Oregano – adds great Mediterranean-inspired flavor.
- Cayenne Pepper – adds subtle heat.
- Salt & Pepper – enhances all of the flavors and balances the tangy Greek yogurt.
- Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts (cut into 1″ cubes) – You can also use boneless, skinless chicken thighs if you like dark meat.
For the Lemon-Basil Dressing:
- Fresh Basil (chopped) – adds a fresh flavor.
- Olive Oil – is the base of the dressing.
- Garlic Cloves (minced) – add even more flavor.
- Lemon Juice – The sweet and sour citrus flavor of the dressing pairs PERFECTLY with the tangy and savory chicken marinade.
For the Kabobs:
- Bell Peppers (red and/or yellow) – I like using a variety. The contrasting colors look so pretty served on a platter.
- Red Onion (quartered) – Grilling a red onion mild outs the pungent onion flavor resulting in a sweet and savory fork-tender onion.
- Kabob Skewers
To Serve (optional):
- Pita Bread
- Yogurt Herb Dipping Sauce
How to Make // The Steps
- Step 1: In a large container whisk together the ingredients for the marinade.
- Step 2: Add the chicken and marinate for at least 3 hours but no more than 6.
- Step 3: In another bowl, make the Lemon Dressing. You will brush this on the skewers after they come off the grill.
- Step 4: Get your veggies ready and thread on skewers that have been soaked in water for about 30 minutes. Otherwise the wood skewers will catch on fire. Don’t ask me how I know that.
- Step 5: Grill over high heat until the chicken and vegetables are charred around the edges on all four sides and cooked through. About 3 minutes per side. Put on a platter and brush with the Lemon Dressing before serving.
Tips & Tricks //
- Feel free to use regular yogurt if that is what you have on hand. They both are great for tenderizing chicken. The marinade will be thinner with regular yogurt but it won’t change the flavor.
- Test Kitchen is very specific about how long to marinate chicken. You need to marinate the chicken for at least 3 hours to get the maximum flavor but no more than 6 hours. After 6 hours, the chicken will become too tender from the yogurt and turn to mush.
- However, you can prep the chicken and vegetables the day before and then toss them in the marinade 3 to 6 hours before it’s time to grill.
- If using wooden skewers, soak them in water for at least 30 minutes before skewering to keep them from burning on the grill.
- To ensure chicken and vegetables cook at the same rate, make sure threaded skewers are room temp before placing them on hot grill.
- Lay the skewers across the grill grates diagonally and rotate 180 degrees with each flip to achieve perfect grill marks.
- Choose which platter you’ll be serving the skewers on ahead of time, and if you are a super geek like me, label the platter with a Post-it note so that you know what is going where.
Why are Grilled Chicken Skewers So Good?
- You can prep the skewers ahead of time and then throw the kabobs on the grill when it’s party time.
- It is DELICIOUS. The Greek-yogurt marinade and lemon-basil dressing add so much flavor to the chicken and vegetables.
- It’s healthy!
- You can follow these instructions and use any combination of meat and vegetables.
The options for foods you can grill on a stick are limitless. Using this marinade and dressing, try making grilled skewers with the variations listed below!
- Grilled Steak Kabobs; use a tender cut of beef (like sirloin).
- Grilled Seafood Kabobs; sub chicken breasts for salmon (or large shrimp/scallops).
- Grilled Vegetable Kabobs; add mushroom caps, tomato wedges, yellow squash, zucchini, or any combo of fresh veggies.
- Grilled “Hawaiian” Kabobs; add fresh pineapple chunks to each kabob.
How to Store //
Let grilled chicken skewers cool completely before placing them in an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Make-Ahead and Freezer Options //
If freezing, it’s best to freeze the threaded skewer before grilling. First, freeze raw skewers in a single layer on a baking sheet. Then wrap each frozen skewer tightly in plastic wrap and store it in a freezer-safe bag in the freezer for up to a month. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before grilling.
If the chicken and vegetables are uniform in size (1″ pieces), these kabobs should take about 3 minutes to cook on each side.
Closing the grill creates a convection effect inside the grill ensuring the food is exposed to heat on all sides. Food cooked in a closed grill will have a smokier flavor.
Grill chicken skewers over medium-high to high heat (at least 375 degrees). High heat will help lightly char the meat and veggies while keeping them cooked perfectly.
Make sure you cut the vegetables into a size wider than the space between the grill grates and if cooking alongside meat make sure everything is the same size.
More Grilled Recipes
Grilled Chicken Skewers
For the chicken and marinade:
- 1/2 cup plain Greek Yogurt
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 minced garlic cloves
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into one inch cubes
For the lemon dressing:
- 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 minced garlic cloves
- 3 Tablespoons lemon juice
To make the kebobs:
- 2 red peppers or 1 red and 1 yellow
- 1 large red onion cut into chunks
- long wooden skewers
- pita bread
- Yogurt Herb Dipping Sauce
- In a large container whisk together the ingredients for the marinade.
- Add the chicken and marinate for at least 3 hours but no more than 6.
- In another bowl, make the Lemon Dressing. You will brush this on the skewers after they come off the grill.
- Get your veggies ready and thread on skewers that have been soaked in water for about 30 minutes. Otherwise the wood skewers will catch on fire. Don’t ask me how I know that.
- Grill over high heat until the chicken and vegetables are charred around the edges on all four sides and cooked through. About 3 minutes per side. Put on a platter and brush with the Lemon Dressing before serving.