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Pineapple chicken skewers on a baking sheet.
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4.91 from 10 votes

Pineapple Chicken Kabobs

These Hawaiian-inspired Pineapple Chicken Kabobs are glazed with a tropical basting sauce and grilled until tender and caramelized. A fresh, flavorful summer meal!
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Marinating Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 35 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Hawaiian
Servings: 10 to 12 kabobs
Calories: 223kcal

Ingredients

For the Kabobs

  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, chopped into 1 ½ -inch cubes
  • 3 cups cubed fresh pineapple from 1 pineapple (slice 1-inch thick, then cube)
  • 2 large or 3 small bell peppers cut into 1 ½ -inch pieces (use assorted colors for contrast)
  • 1 large red onion cut into 1 ½ -inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil plus additional as needed for brushing the grill
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 wooden or metal skewers about 10 to 12 inches long

For the Marinade and Basting Sauce

  • cup reduced sodium soy sauce or tamari for gluten-free
  • cup canned pineapple juice 100% juice
  • cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons grated or minced fresh ginger root
  • ¼ teaspoon salt or to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch

Instructions

Prepare the Chicken and Marinade

  • Place the chicken pieces in a gallon size zippered plastic storage bag and set aside.
  • In a small mixing bowl whisk together the marinade ingredients through the pepper (reserve water and cornstarch for later). Measure out and transfer ⅔ cup of the marinade (about half) to a small container and refrigerate for later. Pour the remaining marinade over the chicken in the bag. Press out as much air as possible, seal the bag, and transfer it to the refrigerator. Marinate for at least 1 hour and no more than 3 hours.
  • If using wooden skewers, place 12 in a long container and cover with water. Soak them for the entire time the chicken is marinating to help prevent them from burning on the grill.

Assemble the Skewers

  • When ready to cook, prepare the grill (start the coals or preheat a gas grill over MEDIUM heat).
  • While the grill is heating, place the pineapple, peppers, and onion in a large bowl, toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil and season with ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
  • Assemble the skewers by threading them with an equal amount of chicken, veggies, and pineapple. Discard the chicken marinade.

Make the Basting Sauce

  • Combine the cornstarch and water in a small bowl. Pour the reserved marinade into a small saucepan and place over MEDIUM-LOW heat. Add the cornstarch slurry and stir, cooking until the mixture has thickened. Remove from the heat and set the basting sauce aside.

Grill the Kabobs

  • Brush the grill grates with olive oil, if needed. Transfer the skewers to the grill and cook for 5 to 6 minutes, or until nicely browned. Flip the kabobs, brush the grilled side with the basting sauce, and cook for an additional 4 to 5 minutes or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. Flip them once more and brush with any remaining basting sauce. Transfer the kabobs to a serving platter and serve.

Notes

Make-Ahead Tips
Transfer the assembled kabobs to a baking sheet, cover it with foil, and refrigerate the kabobs for an hour or two. I don't recommend allowing the marinated chicken to rest much longer before grilling because the acid in the pineapple juice can begin to affect the texture. Shoot for no more than a total of 4 hours between marinating and grilling the kabobs.

Nutrition

Serving: 1kabob | Calories: 223kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 58mg | Sodium: 604mg | Potassium: 531mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 843IU | Vitamin C: 57mg | Calcium: 26mg | Iron: 1mg