This Jerk Chicken Kabobs recipe is a fun and tasty variation on traditional Jamaican jerk chicken. These jerk chicken skewers feature succulent spicy chicken marinated in jerk seasonings and grilled with sweet pineapple and bell peppers. Feel free to customize these skewers by adding your favorite veggies!
A fun twist on traditional Jamaican jerk chicken, these Jerk Chicken Kabobs are easy to make and are absolutely delicious!
What is Jerk Chicken?
Jerk chicken is a traditional dish from Jamaica that is famous for its bold and spicy flavors. It’s made by marinading pieces of chicken in what is called jerk seasonings or jerk sauce and then grilling or smoking the meat. Jerk seasoning features a blend of scotch bonnet peppers for heat along with onions and garlic and a host of spices including allspice, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and thyme. The combination of these ingredients creates the unique and complex flavor profile that jerk chicken is famous for. Check out our recipe for traditional Jamaican Jerk Chicken.
Today I’m sharing a fun variation of this, Jerk Chicken Kabobs!
Tips for Making Jerk Chicken Skewers
Marinate the chicken for at least a couple of hours or up to overnight. Don’t skimp on the marinating time because this is what will infuse the chicken with those incredible flavors. Along with the jerk seasonings we’re adding soy sauce, freshly squeezed lime juice, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar and honey to create a delicious marinade. Be sure to set aside some of the marinade to use for basting the skewers while they’re grilling. This will add more flavor and ensure the meat is moist.
If you’re using wooden skewers instead of metal you’ll need to soak them in advance, for at least 30 minutes or for as long as overnight.
What to Serve with Jerk Chicken Kabobs
Jerk chicken is often served with traditional Jamaican accompaniments plantains, coconut rice, rice and beans, and Jamaican fried dumplings. Grilled pineapple or fresh mango slices are also popular accompaniments but in the case of these skewers, the fruit conveniently comes with them already!
This vibrant Mango Salsa also makes a fresh and tasty accompaniment to your jerk chicken skewers.
Jerk Chicken Kabobs Recipe
These kabobs can be prepped well in advance. The chicken can be put in the fridge to marinate the evening before and all the vegetables can be cut up in advance. The skewers can also be assembled in advance and kept in the fridge until you’re ready to grill them (still be sure to have soaked the skewers before threading them if you’re using wooden ones).
- First make the Jerk Sauce which will serve as the marinade. This can be made well in advance, up to a few days.
- Place the chicken pieces in a gallon ziplock bag other container and pour most of the jerk marinade over them, reserving about 1/4 cup of the marinade. Massage the chicken in the bag to evenly coat the pieces. Let them marinate in the fridge for at least a couple of hours, preferably overnight.
- If you’re using wooden skewers be sure to soak them for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
- Heat the grill to medium high heat.
- Remove the chicken from the marinade, letting the excess drip off. Discard the remaining marinade. Thread the chicken onto the skewers, alternating between the red bell peppers, pineapple and onion if using. Grill for about 5-7 minutes on each side or until the chicken is done, using the reserved jerk sauce for basting.
- Serve immediately with your choice of sides (see suggestions above).
Jerk Chicken Kabobs
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thigh meat , cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 batch homemade jerk sauce (click link for recipe)
- 3 red bell peppers , stems removed and cored, cut into 1 inch pieces (feel free to substitute or add other favorite veggies)
- 1 fresh pineapple , cut into 1 inch pieces
- 2 red onions , cut into 1 inch pieces (optional)
- Put the chicken pieces in a gallon ziplock bag or other container and pour all but 1/4 cup of the jerk sauce over the chicken. Massage or stir the chicken to thoroughly coat the pieces. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight. If using wooden skewers soak them for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
- Heat the grill to medium high heat.Remove the chicken from the marinade, letting the excess drip off. Discard the remaining marinade. Thread the chicken onto 8 skewers, alternating between the red bell peppers and pineapple. Grill for about 5-7 minutes on each side or until the chicken is done, using the reserved jerk marinade for basting.Serve immediately. This Mango Salsa makes a great accompaniment.See blog post for serving suggestions.