Skewers are the perfect meal to make on the grill and this Hawaiian Chicken Kabobs recipe, packed with pineapple and veggies, do not disappoint.
For more ideas of what to cook, check out all of our grilling recipes.
Now is the time for summer cookouts. I mean, sure, the calendar says it’s still spring, but Memorial Day Weekend is this weekend and that’s the unofficial start of summer. If you’re looking for us, you can always find us at the grill during the summer weekends. At least once a weekend, we’ll be out there grilling something.
When we’re feeding a crowd, which happens often, we always go with kabobs for a couple reasons. First, it’s easy to cook a bunch of them at once. So that means everyone can pretty much eat at the same time. Second, they’re fun to play with, which is good if people have fidgety hands. And, they’re easy to eat when you’re trying to have a conversation (as opposed to when you’re eating a burger and now someone asked you a question when you have a mouthful of meat).
If you’re looking for more skewer ideas, check out our list of Easy Shish Kabob Recipes. There are both savory and sweet options.
Grilled Hawaiian Chicken Kabobs Recipe
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Grilled Hawaiian Chicken Kabobs Ingredients:
Grilled How To Make Hawaiian Chicken Kabobs:
Cut the chicken into cubes. Put the chicken chunks into a large bowl. Drizzle them with lime juice. Sprinkle lemon pepper and Hawaiian seasoning salt over the top. Stir (using your hands to stir is best to assure all the seasoning gets onto the chicken cubes).
Put the bowl with the chicken in the fridge while you’re cutting up the vegetables.
Cut the pineapple into large chunks. Try to cut them as similarly in size to the chicken as you can. Put the pineapple chunks in a bowl.
Chop the onion, peppers, and zucchini into large pieces. Again, try to keep these as uniform and close to the size of the chicken and pineapple as possible. Put the vegetables in a bowl.
Side note: We use red and yellow peppers because that makes the skewers look really pretty and people eat with their eyes. If you wanted, you could use a green bell pepper because they’re a little bit cheaper. So, if you’re feeding a crowd and need to be frugal, go with those.
You could also use a red onion instead of a white onion. I prefer the white when I’m grilling, but either works.
Now it’s time to actually make the skewers. We use bamboo skewers, but you could use metal skewers.
You want to alternate the food on the skewer. So, start with a piece of chicken, add a piece of pineapple, add a yellow then red pepper piece, then a chunk of onion, some zucchini, and repeat until the skewer is filled.
Continue until you’re out of ingredients.
Drizzle some olive oil on both sides, then place the skewers directly on the grill grate.
Cook them for about eight minutes, then flip and grill for an additional eight minutes. They’ll be done when the pineapple starts to caramelize and release sugars and the internal temperature of the chicken is 165 F. (You can check this by sticking a meat thermometer into one of the chicken cubes. If you’re using metal skewers, make sure you’re not touching that and taking the temperature of the skewer instead of the food.)
Remove the Hawaiian Pineapple Chicken Kabobs from the grill and set them on a tray. Quickly sprinkle them with salt and, optionally, Tajin. Tajin isn’t for everyone, and it’s not authentically Hawaiian, but it’s so good on pineapple and adds tons of flavor to this kabob recipe.
Hawaiian Chicken Kabobs: Frequently Asked Questions
We always use wooden skewers when we’re making kabobs for company because the wood skewers can just be thrown in the trash for easier cleanup. We don’t soak the wooden skewers in water before grilling, although I’ve heard people who have done that.
Flat, metal skewers are ideal for grilling because the food won’t spin around on them like it will on rounded skewers, meaning the food will cook more evenly. But, if you’re making these for a crowd and you’re worried someone might accidentally throw away your reusable skewer, go with metal.
Teriyaki sauce would be amazing to as a basting sauce for the kabobs (spread over them before you place skewers onto the grill). However, that can get really sticky on the grates (case in point: our yakitori recipe. That has a marinade of soy sauce, ginger, brown sugar, and other tasty but sticky ingredients).
We don’t recommend using canned pineapple in this recipe. Canned pineapple doesn’t have that much flavor. It’s also already cubed and generally cubed small so that it can fit in the can. Those pieces aren’t the ideal size for kabobs.
Using fresh pineapple means you have control over the size of the pieces you cut, so you can assure that they’re uniform to the rest of the ingredients you’re using on the kabobs. That way, everything will cook evenly.
We suggest using chicken breast in these skewers because it’s the easiest to cut and cube, assuring it’s the same size and shape as the rest of the ingredients. You don’t get those uniformed pieces when you’re using chicken thighs.
But, if you really prefer dark meat over white meat, you could use it.
The easiest way to store leftover kabobs is by waiting until they cool to room temperature, then remove everything from the skewers. Then, place them in an airtight container with the pineapple in one container and the rest of the chicken pineapple kabobs in a second container. Store the containers in the fridge.
If you try to store everything together, you’ll be in for a rude awakening the next day.
Pineapple contains an enzyme called bromelain, which causes animal protein to break down. But, what happens if you store these together is the enzyme causes the chicken to get really gummy and inedible. Trust me. We learned this from experience (and it was not a great experience).
That’s also why we don’t recommend pouring pineapple juice on top of the skewers before putting them on the grill.
You can store any leftover kabobs in the fridge for about three to four days.
The easiest way to reheat leftover kabobs is to just reheat the pieces (and forget about kabobs). Heat them in a small pan over medium-high heat on the stove until they’re warm. Serve them with a side of white rice to make a full meal.
What to serve with Hawaiian Chicken Kabobs:
When we’re grilling a main dish, like these kabobs, we always suggest grilling the sides as well. That way, you don’t have to worry about running between the grill and the oven. You only have to watch one cooking device at a time.
The best sides for this kabob recipe are Baked Potatoes On The Grill and Grilled Corn On The Cob. We also really like our Grilled Mexican Street Corn Salad with these, especially if you take our suggestion of sprinkling some Tajin on the kabobs. Our corn salad also uses Tajin, so it ties them together really well.
- 3 pounds chicken breast
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon pepper
- 2 teaspoons Hawaiian seasoning salt
- 1 fresh pineapple
- 1 large white onion
- 2 red bell pepper
- 1 yellow bell pepper
- 1 to 2 zucchini
- Olive oil
- Cut the chicken into cubes. Put the chicken chunks into a large bowl. Drizzle them with lime juice. Sprinkle lemon pepper and Hawaiian seasoning salt over the top. Stir.
- Put the bowl with the chicken in the fridge while you’re cutting up the vegetables.
- Cut the pineapple into large chunks. Try to cut them as similarly in size to the chicken as you can. Put the pineapple chunks in a bowl.
- Chop the onion, peppers, and zucchini into large pieces. Again, try to keep these as uniform and close to the size of the chicken and pineapple as possible. Put the vegetables in a bowl.
- Start with a piece of chicken, add a piece of pineapple, add a yellow then red pepper piece, then a chunk of onion, some zucchini, and repeat until the skewer is filled.
- Continue until you’re out of ingredients.
- Drizzle some olive oil on both sides, then place the skewers directly on the grill grate.
- Cook them for about eight minutes, then flip and grill for an additional eight minutes.
They’ll be done when the pineapple starts to caramelize and release sugars and the internal temperature of the chicken is 165 F.
Amount Per Serving Calories 90Total Fat 2gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 1gCholesterol 39mgSodium 185mgCarbohydrates 3gFiber 0gSugar 1gProtein 14g
Have you made this Hawaiian Chicken Kabobs recipe? Let us know what you thought in the comments.