This Southwest Chicken Kabob Recipe is the perfect grilled chicken recipe. It's packed with flavor, has just a little spice, and is just a touch sweet too. It's a burst of flavor in every bite. It's fancy enough for a dinner party and casual enough for a night in with the family. Fire up the grill and make this tasty shish kabob recipe tonight!
Southwest Chicken Shish Kabobs Video Tutorial
Chicken Shish Kabobs
This southwest chicken kabob recipe is a tasty and slightly spicy grilling recipe that is perfect for anyone who loves bold flavors. It has loads of juicy chicken pieces with an easy-to-make chicken marinade. The chicken is grilled to perfection with your favorite veggies.
The chicken is skewered with colorful bell peppers and sweet onions, which gives it a touch of sweetness and the perfect amount of crunch too. The southwest marinade gives it a unique and fiery flavor and is sure to please your friends and family.
It's easily customizable and you can make it just about any way you'd like. I'll show you all kinds of tips and tricks to make your grilling night a success. You can make these ahead of time and then grill them whenever you're ready.
Best Vegetables to use for Shish Kabobs
You have a lot of choices when it comes to veggies on your shish kabobs. It's easy to throw something together but having it all done at the same time takes just a little planning. So, what are the best ones to use?
- Peppers- These are always a great choice. No need to precook or blanch them. Just cut them into 1 ¼" (or bite sized) pieces and thread them onto your skewer.
- Onions- You can use purple, white, or yellow onion for this recipe. I like using a mixture to give the kabobs a ton of color.
- Mushrooms- Any mushroom will do. Try to keep the mushroom whole and it'll finish cooking in tandem with the chicken.
- Zucchini- If you can find small zucchini, wash and then cut into 1" cubes.
- Squash- Yellow squash with the peel on workds great for this recipe.
- Potatoes- You'll need to pre-cook your potatoes a little to get the perfect potato on your kabob. This can be done in several different ways. You can use leftover potatoes or microwave them for several minutes until you can poke a fork in them.
- Sweet Potatoes- These are a fun, sweet variation too. Microwave them for several minutes until you can poke a fork in them. Cut them into 1" cubes and thread them onto your kabob stick too.
- Eggplant-Just cut into 1" cubes, just like the squash or zucchini.
Another way to get perfectly cooked vegetables is to cook the meat and vegetables on seperate skewers. Onions, peppers, and mushrooms work great cooked with the chicken. Potatoes can be a little tricky to get the timing right. You can always cook several seperate potato skewers to enjoy with your chicken kabobs.
Tomatoes and zucchini are a great choices for grilling. They have a higher water content in them, so it's a little more difficult to get them crispy when cooking on the same kabob stick as your meat. In this instance, you're probably better off cooking a separate just veggie kabob.
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You can marinate chicken for up to 24 hours. Any longer than that and your chicken could end up mushy. The acidity of the marinade breaks down the chicken and could leave your chicken with a soft texture. It's best to aim for 2-12 hours, especially if the chicken is cut up into small chuncks for kabobs.
Yes, this recipe works great for chicken or steak.
The chicken will only take about 12-14 minutes to cook, depending on the size of the chicken chunks, use a meat thermometer to get an accurate reading. The chicken is done when it reaches 165 degrees F.
You bet. You can assemble the Chicken kabobs up to 12 hours before you're ready to grill. It's the perfect recipe for entertaining guests.
Tips for Shish Kababs
- Keep in mind, Your chicken will only take about 12 minutes to cook so you may want to consider pre-cooking some of your veggies. (ie. potatoes). Most vegetables already work great for a kababs but you may need to plan ahead for others.
- Cut your chicken into 1 ¼" pieces before adding them to the marinade. That way more surface area of the chicken soaks up the marinade.
- Put your chunks of chicken and your marinade in a gallon ziplock bag. It makes the cleanup so much easier!
- When you're ready to assemble the kabobs, have your veggies already cut and ready to go.
- If you're using wooden kabob sticks, be sure to soak them in water for at least 2 hours before you use them so they don't catch fire on the grill.
- Before you add your marinade to the chicken chunks, you can save some of it to brush on as you're grilling (optional)
Southwest Chicken Kabobs
Southwest Chicken Marinade
- 2 pounds Chicken Breasts (4-6 oz for each person)
- ¼ Cup Avocado Oil
- 3 large Garlic cloves (minced)
- 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
- 1 tsp Chili Powder
- ½ teaspoon Cumin
- ¼ teaspoon Cayenne Pepper (optional)
- 1 Chili in Adobo Sauce (take the seeds out and mince the pepper)
- 1 large Lime (To squeeze on the chicken after it's off the grill)
- Salt and pepper to taste
Vegetables for kabobs
- 1 small Purple Onion
- 1 medium Red Bell Pepper
- 1 medium Orange Bell Pepper
- 1 medium Green Bell Pepper
- If you're using wooden kabob sticks, soak them in water for at least a couple hours before assembling kabobs.
- Cut your chicken breasts into 1 ¼" cubes and put them in a large ziplock bag.
- In a small bowl, add the avocado oil, garlic cloves, brown sugar, chili powder, cumin, cayenne pepper and adobo sauce. Whisk until combined.
- Add the marinade to the chicken. Put the chicken and marinade in the fridge for at least a couple hours and up to 10 hours.
Assembling the Kabobs
- Cut up your favorite kabob veggies into 1 ¼" pieces and assemble the kabobs as desired. (It works best to use an onion on the ends. They seem to be the best veggie for keeping everything on the kabob stick.)
Cooking the Kabobs
- Cook the kabobs on a medium-high grill. Turn the kabobs every 3 minutes or so until all sides are cooked. (it will take 12-15 minutes to cook the kabobs) If you have a temperature thermometer on your grill, cook them at 350-375 degrees.
- Use a meat thermometer to make sure your chicken is cooked thoroughly. Chicken is fully cooked at 165 degrees F. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Pull the kabobs off the grill and squeeze with fresh lime juice. Enjoy!
More of the Best Chicken Recipes
- Caprese Chicken
- Bang Bang Chicken
- Southwest Grilled Chicken
- Parmesan Chicken
- Chicken Stuffed Shells
- Sheet pan Chicken
- Monterey Chicken
- Spicy Chicken Dip
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Are you in the mood for a delicious and healthy meal? Look no further than these mouth-watering Southwest Chicken Shish Kabobs. Packed with bold and spicy flavors, these kabobs are perfect for any summer barbecue or weeknight dinner. Not only are they simple to make and easily customizable but they are also packed with protein and veggies to keep you feeling full and satisfied. Let's get grilling!