Hawaiian Chicken Kebabs

June 15, 2019  ·  Published July 28, 2015

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Super satisfying Hawaiian Chicken Kebabs made with bright pineapple, red onion, bell pepper and the most delicious flavor packed, marinated chicken. After soaking up the seasoning of the marinade they’re perfectly grilled for a light char to get that final flavor enhancement.

Grilled Hawaiian Chicken Kebabs on a white platter.

Easy Grilled Chicken Kebabs!

I first shared these chicken pineapple kebabs four years ago, but every summer they’re still a reader favorite so I decided to re-share them in case you’ve been missing out. Have you tried them yet?

Kebabs Video

I mean, who doesn’t love a tasty kebab recipe? And what better entree to serve on a warm summer day than these Hawaiian chicken kebabs? One bite of these will leave you craving more!

You will love the light sweetness and bright tang here paired with the pineapple, bell pepper and red onion. And the chicken turns out perfectly flavorful and tender thanks to the simple chicken kebab marinade.

Threading everything onto the kebabs may take a little effort, but it’s well worth it! These are so fun for summer parties or an exciting island-inspired weekend dinner.

It’s a flavorful chicken dinner to switch things up and one the whole family can agree on!

Chicken Skewers Ingredients

Hawaiian Chicken Kebabs Ingredients

You don’t need any special ingredients to make these chicken shish kebabs, just pantry staples!

Chicken kebab marinade :

  • Ketchup
  • Brown sugar
  • Soy sauce
  • Pineapple juice
  • Olive oil
  • Rice vinegar
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Sesame oil

Skewer ingredients:

  • Chicken breasts
  • Bell pepper
  • Pineapple
  • Red onion

Pineapple red onion and bell pepper pieces on a wooden cutting board.

How to Make Hawaiian Chicken Kebabs

  • Stir together marinade ingredients: in a mixing bowl whisk together ketchup, brown sugar, soy sauce, pineapple juice, 2 Tbsp olive oil, rice vinegar, garlic, ginger and sesame oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Add marinade to chicken, rest: place chicken in a gallon size resealable bag. Reserve 1/2 cup of the chicken kebab marinade in refrigerator, then pour remaining marinade over chicken. Seal bag and refrigerate 1 hour.
  • Preheat a grill over medium heat to 400°F (200°C).
  • Toss fruit and veggies with oil and season: drizzle 2 Tbsp olive oil over red onion, bell pepper and pineapple and toss, season with salt and pepper.
  • Thread ingredients onto skewers: thread red onion, bell pepper, pineapple and chicken onto skewers until all of the chicken has been used.
  • Cook through on grill: grill chicken on oiled grill grates 5 minutes then brush along tops with 1/4 cup of remaining marinade. Rotate to opposite side and brush remaining 1/4 cup of marinade on opposite side.
  • Allow to grill about 4 minutes longer, or until chicken registers 165°F (75°C) in center on an instant read thermometer.

Chicken kebabs with bell pepper red onion and pineapple. Shown before cooking.

Can I Bake Chicken Kebabs Instead of Grilling?

Some readers have mentioned they’ve had success baking these chicken pineapple kebabs as well (I haven’t yet tried myself because I love this grilled version). 400 degrees F on a well greased baking sheet about 15 – 20 minutes, rotating occasionally.

What to Serve with Chicken Skewers

These chicken shish kebabs pair nicely with any number of summer sides. A few of my favorite things to pair with kebabs are:

Can I Make Extra Sauce for Rice?

Yes, if you’d like some sauce to pair with a side of white rice then you can make 1 1/2 the chicken kebab marinade recipe then reserve 1/3 of it for topping. Thicken it with a teaspoon or two of cornstarch mixed with equal parts water in a saucepan, bring to a simmer.

You can never have too much sauce, right?

Marinated hawaiian chicken skewers on a white serving plate.

Can I Use Chicken Thighs Instead?

Yes, you could also use boneless skinless chicken thighs in place of chicken breasts they’ll just need to cook a bit longer, and reduce grill temperature as needed so they don’t burn.

Can I Prep Chicken Kebabs in Advance?

You can certainly marinate the chicken in advance and thread the veggies onto the skewers, but I don’t recommend cooking these chicken pineapple kebabs in advance and then reheating them. I worry that the chicken would become tough and dry that way.

Likewise, I don’t recommend assembling and then freezing these chicken shish kebabs. The vegetables would turn to mush and the texture of the chicken would also change.

Stack of chicken skewers on a plate.

Tips for the Best Chicken Kebabs

  • If using wooden skewers, make sure to soak them in cold water for at least 1 hour before using so they don’t burn while cooking.
  • For best results, don’t use canned pineapple in place of fresh. The flavor isn’t near as good and the canned cubes aren’t very large.
  • Don’t forget to baste the chicken skewers while grilling so they don’t dry out. This will also add extra flavor.

More Delicious Skewers Recipes To Try:

 

Hawaiian chicken kebabs on a plate
5 from 53 votes

Hawaiian Chicken Kebabs

Chicken pieces are soaked in a simple, flavorful, sweet and tangy marinade then threaded onto skewers along with fresh pineapple and colorful peppers and onions. Amazingly delicious and the perfect summertime dinner! 
Servings: 9 -10 kebabs
Prep25 minutes
Cook15 minutes
Chill time1 hour
Ready in: 1 hour 40 minutes

Ingredients

Marinade:

  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup canned pineapple juice
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil , divided, plus more for brushing grill
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 4 garlic cloves , minced (4 tsp)
  • 1 Tbsp minced ginger
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Kebabs:

  • 1 3/4 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast , chopped into 1 1/4-inch cubes
  • 3 cups (heaping) fresh cubed pineapple (about 3/4 of 3 lb pineapple)
  • 1 1/2 large green peppers , diced into 1 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1 large red onion , diced into 1 1/4-inch pieces

Instructions

  • In a mixing bowl whisk together ketchup, brown sugar, soy sauce, pineapple juice, 2 Tbsp olive oil, rice vinegar, garlic, ginger and sesame oil. Stir in 3/4 tsp pepper and season with salt if desired.
  •  Place chicken in a gallon size resealable bag. Reserve 1/2 cup of the marinade in refrigerator then pour remaining marinade over chicken. Seal bag and refrigerate 1 hour (meanwhile soak 10 wooden skewer sticks in water for 1 hour).
  • Preheat a grill over medium heat to 400°F (200°C). Meanwhile, drizzle remaining 2 Tbsp olive oil over red onion, bell pepper and pineapple and toss. Season red onion and bell pepper with salt and pepper, then thread red onion, bell pepper, pineapple and chicken onto skewers until all of the chicken has been used. 
  • Brush grill grates with olive oil then place skewers on grill. Grill 5 minutes then brush along tops with 1/4 cup of remaining marinade. Rotate to opposite side and brush remaining 1/4 cup of marinade on opposite side. 
  • Allow to grill about 4 minutes longer, or until chicken registers 165°F (75°C) in center on an instant read thermometer. Serve warm.

Notes

  • If using wooden skewers, make sure to soak them in cold water for at least 1 hour before using so they don't burn while cooking.
  • For best results, don't use canned pineapple in place of fresh. The flavor isn't near as good and the canned cubes aren't very large.
  • Recipe source: Cooking Classy
Nutrition Facts
Hawaiian Chicken Kebabs
Amount Per Serving
Calories 262 Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Fat 10g15%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Cholesterol 55mg18%
Sodium 443mg19%
Potassium 512mg15%
Carbohydrates 21g7%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 17g19%
Protein 21g42%
Vitamin A 150IU3%
Vitamin C 44.6mg54%
Calcium 29mg3%
Iron 1.1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition values are estimates only. See full disclaimer here.

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224 Comments

  • April M

    Best marinade ever! We made them on our Blackstone griddle and stir fried the chicken and veggies and served over rice rather than putting on skewers. Our new favorite meal and so easy!

  • Grace

    Absolutely delicious! It is a big hit every time I make them. I make it with shrimp and I use red, green, orange, and yellow bell peppers….alternating the colors and it looks so beautiful and tastes great. I prep them the night before brush with the glaze and put them in an airtight container. The next day you have appetizers that bbq’s in minutes and the guests are truly impressed. It gives you time to get the rest of the food done without anyone breathing down your neck. Lol you can also put them under the broiler keep an eye on them and not too close to the flame.

  • Sylvie Brind’Amour

    So delicious. Marinated my chicken and froze it as it was one of my meals on my camping trip. Highly recommend.

  • Michelle Pykett

    This is my favorite marinade. I could live on these kabobs all summer. I don’t want to bore the family so I only make it once a month. Fantastic

  • Anita

    Soooooo yummy! We doubled the recipe and added extra veggies since we are veggie lovers. My family enjoyed it for days, and was still sad when it was all gone. We will definitely be making this again next week.

  • Jessica

    This recipe is DEEELISHHH!! I’m wondering has anyone made this in a crock pot? I know it would shred the chicken & that’s ok! Just wanting to make sure it has the same flavor!

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