Southwest Chicken Kabobs

southewest Chicken shish kabobs

This Southwest Chicken Kabobs Marinade is the perfect addition to your grilling night! It’s packed with flavor, has just a little spice, and a little sweetness too.  It’s amazing on steak or chicken.  It’s fancy enough for a dinner party and casual enough for a night in with the family.


Southwest marinade on a chicken shish kabob


What are the best vegetables to use on 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?

I love potatoes in every way shape and form.  Potatoes are a great option on a shish kabob but there are a few things you can do to ensure they are well done in the middle and a little crispy on the outside.  The way to get the perfect potato on your kabob you’ll need to pre-cook your potatoes a little.  This can look several different ways.  I like using potatoes when we have some leftover baked potatoes.   They can easily be cubed up, brushed with butter and seasoned.

Another method that works really well is to microwave them for several minutes until you can poke a fork in them.  They don’t need to be 100% cooked but almost.  Your steak or chicken will only take about 12 minutes to cook.  If your potatoes are already cooked, 12ish minutes gives them just long enough to crisp on the outside.


chicken kabobs on the grill with peppers and onions


How big should my Vegetables be for shish kabobs?

My other favorite vegetables to use are onions, red, white, or yellow onions, or peppers.  All colors of peppers work great here too. Cut them up into 1 1/4″  pieces.  That way you can have some tender vegetables with the edges caramelized and crisped on the grill.

Tomatoes and zucchini are a great choice 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.

Here are some more grilled recipes your family will love!

Are you looking for another incredible kabob marinade?  Here’s an Asian flavored Beef Marinade your family will love, here.

Another one of our favorite grilling recipes is this Cilantro Lime Chicken.

And Grilled Pizza too!


Tips for making shish kabobs and a great southwest chicken marinade:

  • Cut your chicken into 1 1/4″ 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 Marinade for Chicken Shish Kabobs
Prep Time
10 mins
Total Time
10 mins

This Southwest Chicken Kabobs Marinade is the perfect addition to your grilling night! It's packed with flavor, has just a little spice, and a little sweetness too.  It's amazing on steak or chicken.  It's fancy enough for a dinner party and casual enough for a night in with the family. 

Servings: 6 people
Calories: 400 kcal
  • 3-4 large Chicken Breasts (6 oz for each person)
  • 1/4 Cup Avocado Oil
  • 3 large Garlic cloves (minced)
  • 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp Chili Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin
  • 1/4 tsp 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
  1. Cut your chicken breasts into 1 1/4" cubes and put them in a large ziplock bag.

  2. If you're using wooden kabob sticks, soak them in water for at least a couple hours.  

  3. To make the marinade: In a small bowl, add all the other ingredients besides the lime.  (you will squeeze the lime on the kabobs after you pull them off the grill)

  4. Add the marinade to the chicken. Put the chicken and marinade in the fridge for at least a couple hours and up to 6 hours.

  5. Cut up your favorite kabob veggies and assemble the kabobs. (It works best to use an onion on the ends.  They seem to be the best veggie for keeping everything on the kabob stick.)

  6. Cook the kabobs on a medium-high grill.  Turn the kabobs every 3 minutes or so until all sides are cooked.  If you have a temperature thermometer on your grill, cook them at 350-375 degrees.

  7. Use a meat thermometer to make sure your chicken is cooked thoroughly. 

  8. Pull the kabobs off the grill and squeeze with fresh lime juice. Enjoy!

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Southwest Chicken Shish Kabob Marinade


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