Grilled Teriyaki Chicken Kabobs

Grilled Teriyaki Chicken Kabobs

Kabobs are the perfect summer food! These grilled teriyaki chicken kabobs reminded me that we do not make kabobs often enough.

I mean really, let’s be honest here, food on a stick is like the best thing ever.

Why? I don’t really know…

Maybe it reminds us of being kids or perhaps it’s just something different for a change. Not to mention the ingredients look so much prettier displayed on a stick skewer. When you love food, food on display is definitely pretty to look at.

grilled teriyaki chicken kabobs

This recipe for grilled teriyaki chicken kabobs is a fun and flavorful recipe for the grill. The kabobs are made with tender juicy chicken, portobello mushrooms, fresh pineapple, bell peppers, and red onion. The best part about this recipe is that they are easy enough to make on a weeknight when the weather is nice outside. They are also perfect for an outdoor family dinner or BBQ.

How to Make Grilled Teriyaki Chicken Kabobs

What kind of chicken do I use?

Chicken breast tends to get a bad rep because it has a tendency of drying out and lose flavor. This recipe calls for a double whammy of teriyaki. The chicken is marinated in teriyaki sauce which really boosts the flavor of the chicken. A teriyaki basting sauce is also brushed onto the kabobs on the grill for a nice rich caramelized flavor. The basting sauce helps to lock in the flavors and juices of the chicken, vegetables, and fruit and keeps them from drying out during grilling.

Make sure all the chicken is cut to the same size. We found that cutting the chicken breast into 2-inch cubes will help keep the chicken moist when grilling over direct heat.

If you don’t have time to marinate, you can always skip the marinade and use chicken thighs instead of chicken breast. Thighs have more fat, which makes them juicier.

How long do I marinate the chicken in the teriyaki sauce?

Typically, you want to marinate the chicken in the teriyaki sauce for at least 4 hours.

I’ve read countless times that when you use marinades that contain citrus or vinegar will cook the meat. The acids in the citrus or vinegar breakdown the meat causing it to be mealy. Although the teriyaki sauce does contain vinegar, we have always marinated the chicken overnight without any problem with the texture of the meat. So, marinate away!

chopped vegetables and fruit

What kind of fruit and vegetables do I use for the kabobs?

For this recipe, we used portobello mushrooms, fresh pineapple, peppers, and red onion. We love this combination of fruit and vegetables, but feel free to use whatever you like.

How do I cut the fruit and vegetables?

The fruit and vegetables should be cut into 2-inch cubes just as you cut the chicken. This will ensure even cooking. You may need to stack several layers of the peppers and onions to make them the same thickness on the skewer. Just eyeball it and use your best judgment.

What kind of skewers should I use?

Wooden and metal skewers each have their advantages. We like the metal skewers, and we don’t have to soak them.

Metal skewers are reusable, but that is also a disadvantage because you have to clean them when you are done using them.

Bamboo skewers are inexpensive and easy to find, however, you have to soak them well, or they will burn over the flames of the grill. Just plan ahead. Soak the bamboo skewers in water for at least 30-minutes prior to lighting the grill.

You’ll definitely want to use disposable bamboo skewers when feeding a large crowd, so you won’t have to deal with all the cleanup!

We have a set similar to THESE that can be purchased from Amazon.com.

teriyaki chicken kabobs on grill

How do I set up the grill for cooking the kabobs?

Teriyaki sauce has a tendency to burn because of the sugar used in the sauce. To prevent unwanted scorching, set up the grill for using a two-zone method in which the lit coals are piled up on one side of the charcoal grate, leaving the other side empty. This will allow you to be able to move a skewer that is darkening too much over to indirect heat which will slow the cooking down and prevent it from scorching.

grilled teriyaki chicken kabobs and mountain view

How do I grill the teriyaki chicken kabobs?

Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Dip a wad of paper towels into some oil (canola); using tongs, carefully wipe the grate of the grill.

Place the kabobs on the preheated grill. Grill the kabobs, over medium heat, covered. Turn each kabob a quarter turn every 2 minutes, brushing the kabobs with the Teriyaki basting sauce each time.

Cook the kabobs 10 to 15 minutes or until the chicken has cooked through (internal done temperature of 165 degrees F when using an instant-read thermometer like this one) and the fruit and veggies are tender. If the kabobs start to scorch, move them over onto the cooler side of the grill.

grilling kabobs

What do I serve with grilled teriyaki chicken kabobs?

The kabobs are basically a meal on a stick. However, David and I made some steamed basmati rice to go along with the kabobs. Basmati is Indian rice, but we love it for its long grain and its nutty fragrance. Rice of any kind is a great accompaniment to grilled teriyaki chicken kabobs.

I really hope you will try this recipe this summer. Enjoy!

grilled teriyaki chicken kabobs
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Grilled Teriyaki Chicken Kabobs

Grilled teriyaki chicken kabobs is a fun and flavorful recipe for the grill, made with tender juicy chicken, mushrooms, pineapple, peppers, and red onion.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Asian
Keyword chicken, grilled, Kabobs, teriyaki
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Marinade Time 1 day
Total Time 1 day 35 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 356kcal
Author Debbie Spivey

Useful Equipment:

  • 4 to 6 12-inch skewers (wooden skewers need to be soaked in water for at least 30 minutes before grilling)

Ingredients

Marinade:

  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • cup brown sugar
  • teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 cloves minced garlic regular not seasoned
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ginger freshly grated

The Kabobs:

  • 1 ½ pounds chicken breast marinated in teriyaki for 4 to 24 hours, cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 8 ounces portobello mushrooms whole
  • 1 ½ cups pineapple fresh, cubed
  • 1 green bell pepper cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 red bell pepper cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 yellow bell pepper cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 red onion cut into 1-inch cubes

Teriyaki Basting Sauce:

  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • cup brown sugar
  • teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 cloves minced garlic regular not seasoned
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ginger freshly grated
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch

Instructions

Marinate the Chicken:

  • Cut the chicken breast into 2-inch cubes and place the cubes inside a large zip-top plastic bag; set aside.
  • Combine all marinade ingredients in a small bowl. Whisk until the sugar has dissolved. Pour the teriyaki marinade into the bag covering the chicken. Gently massage the chicken so that the marinade coats each piece of chicken. Then seal the bag pressing out as much air as possible. Refrigerate for 4-hours or overnight.
    Turn the bag occasionally while the chicken is marinated to ensure it coats the chicken evenly.
  • Prepare the Kabobs:
  • Remove the chicken from the teriyaki marinade with a slotted spoon and discard the marinade.
    Alternately thread the marinated teriyaki chicken, mushrooms, pineapple, peppers, and onion onto metal or water soaked wooden skewers.
    Repeat the pattern 2 to 3 times until the skewer is filled with meat, vegetables and fruit, leaving about 2 to 3-inches at the end. Continue to thread the skewers. You should have about 4 to 6 12-inch skewers.

Fire Up the Grill:

  • Light a chimney full of charcoal. When the coals are lit and gray with ash, pour out the coal into the grill and set up the coals for a two-zone method for indirect heat.
    Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Dip a wad of paper towels into some oil (canola); using tongs, carefully wipe the grate of the grill.
  • Prepare the Teriyaki Basting Sauce:
  • Meanwhile, add the soy sauce, rice vinegar, brown sugar, sesame oil, garlic and ginger to a small saucepan over medium-high heat.
    In a small glass, add the cornstarch to ¼ cup cold water. Whisk until all of the cornstarch clumps have disappeared. Pour the cornstarch mixture into the saucepan with the other ingredients.
    Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, until thickened; about 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Grill The Kabobs:
  • Place the kabobs on the preheated grill. Grill the kabobs, over medium heat, covered. Turn each kabob a quarter turn every 2 minutes, brushing the kabobs with the Teriyaki basting sauce each time. Cook the kabobs 10 to 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the veggies are tender. If the kabobs start to scorch, move them over onto the cooler side of the grill.
  • Remove the kabobs from the grill. Allow the kabobs to cool for about 3 to 5 minutes. Serve warm.

Notes

4 to 6 (12-inch) skewers for this recipe (wooden skewers need to be soaked in water for at least 30 minutes before grilling) 

Nutrition

Calories: 356kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 42g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 109mg | Sodium: 1833mg | Potassium: 1201mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 25g | Vitamin A: 23.8% | Vitamin C: 183.1% | Calcium: 5.2% | Iron: 12.2%
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