It’s easy to get in a routine during the summer of grilling the usual hamburgers and hot dogs. Switch things up by grilling these chicken and pineapple kebabs!
The juicy, caramelized grilled pineapple adds a punch of sweetness that will bring to mind tropical beaches and exotic vacation destinations (and we could all use some vicarious travel right now!).
Kebabs are incredibly versatile and quick to grill! Use veggies, any kind of meat, and even fruit. You can change out the marinade to almost any flavor and spice combo that you like, so the possibilities are endless.
The Caribbean marinade for these chicken and pineapple kebabs tastes like a milder version of jerk chicken, so if you are sensitive to really spicy food, this recipe gives you the jerk taste without burning your mouth.
These kebabs are delicious on their own, or you can serve them with our guacamole recipe like we did! We think this recipe is also delicious with a side of black beans and rice.
And they even taste delicious as leftovers, so don’t be afraid to grill them just for yourself! You’ll have a delicious lunch already made for the next day.
Which to use? Bamboo Wood vs. Metal Skewers for chicken kebabs
Bamboo wood and metal skewers are great for different reasons.
If you only grill kebabs occasionally or need to make a large quantity at one time, bamboo may be for you.
- Relatively inexpensive.
- There’s no clean up and they’re biodegradable.
- With that said, they need to be pre-soaked for 30 minutes and may still burn on the exposed ends, making it difficult to remove the food from the skewer after cooking.
- They can also split and splinter. Be careful when threading the food onto the skewers. It’s easy to poke yourself and break the skin with wooden skewers, which are extra pointy.
- If you grill smaller amounts regularly.
- They’re reusable and usually have convenient closed loops on the end to grip and keep the food from sliding off.
- They won’t burn or cause splinters and don’t need to be pre-soaked.
- You can buy fewer. A set comes in this grill kit and works great
- You have to clean them up after each use, but most are dishwasher safe.
Flat vs. round skewers
We’ve found the flat ones, like the skewers that come in this 13- piece Cuisinart grill set that we got as a wedding gift, work great. Unlike round skewers, flat ones keep the food from rolling around, so you easily flip and sear each side evenly. As the food cooks, flat skewers give it more surface area to hold on to, and you won’t find yourself losing delicious pieces of grilled pineapple and chicken in the grill!
Quick tips when making chicken kebabs
Making kebabs is super simple, but we found these tips make prepping them easier:
- Put down some old newspaper or paper towels on the floor and around your work area. The oily marinade will drip all over the place when assembling and it gets a little messy.
- You may want to wear some kitchen gloves to help you keep a grip on your skewers and minimize hand washings.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this article. As always, comments are welcome and encouraged!Print
Grilled chicken and pineapple kebabs with Caribbean marinade
Our Caribbean marinated chicken kebabs with pineapple are a delicious way to change up your summer grilling. Best served poolside!
- Prep Time: 3 hours 15 min
- Cook Time: 12 min
- Total Time: 3 hours 30 min*
- Yield: 2 to 4 servings 1x
- Category: Main Dishes
- Method: Grilling
- Cuisine: Grilling
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 Tbs minced garlic
- 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley (or 1/8 cup dried parsley)
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp ground allspice
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 large or two medium red bell pepper(s), stemmed, seeded, and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1/2 of a ripe pineapple, cored and cut into 1-inch pieces
- The first 3 layers of a large red onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
- Whisk olive oil, garlic, parsley, spices and salt in small bowl.
- Mix marinade and chicken in 1-gallon zipper-lock plastic bag; seal bag and refrigerate, turning once or twice, at least 3 hours or up to 24 hours.
- Remove chicken from marinade. Thread each of the four 12-inch skewers with chicken, pineapple, pepper and onion. It works best if you end with onion or chicken, since the peppers and pineapple fall off more easily.
- For a gas grill: Turn all burners to high, cover, and heat until hot, about 15 minutes. Leave all burners on high.
- For a charcoal grill: Set up grill for direct heat by lighting a full chimney starter. Allow top coals to get slightly ashy then pour charcoal evenly in grill.
- Clean and oil cooking grate. Place kebabs on grill. For a gas grill, close hood while grilling. Cook for a total of 12 minutes, turning as needed every 3-4 minutes so that all vegetables and chicken are charred around edges and chicken is cooked through.
*The chicken should be marinated for at least 3 hours or up to 24 hours.
Keywords: grilling, kebabs, chicken, marinade