Also known as Shish Kabobs or Skewers, these Chicken Kabobs with Margarita Marinade will keep you coming back for more! The marinade recipe is quick and easy and produces the most tender and juicy morsels of chicken breast you could imagine!
This recipe includes a Cilantro Lime dipping sauce which kicks it up a notch. This sauce can also be made on its own as a delicious salad dressing or served over roasted or grilled vegetables. Other dipping sauces will work as well with these chicken skewers such as my Simple Tzatziki Sauce or this Spicy Ranch Dip.
- Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Ingredients For Chicken Kabobs
- Margarita Marinade
- Other Marinades for Chicken Kabobs
- How to Make This Chicken Kabob Recipe
- Ingredient Substitutions
- Can I bake these in the oven?
- Equipment Recommendations
- Storage and Freezing
- Recipe FAQs
- Perfect Sides For Chicken Kabobs
- 📖 Recipe
- 💬 Comments
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- It's quick and easy enough for a weeknight meal but sophisticated enough for a dinner party.
- The marinade acts as a brine that tenderizes the breast meat so it doesn't dry out. Try out another brining recipe with these Easy Grilled Pork Chops.
- The sauce does double-duty as a delicious salad dressing.
Ingredients For Chicken Kabobs
Here's what you will need to make this recipe. As you can see it only takes a few simple ingredients to whip these together! For quantities see the recipe card below.
Ingredients clockwise from top: Tequila, fresh limes, chicken breast cubes, chili flakes, honey, lime zest.
The marinade is basically a flavored brine. A brine is a perfect balance of salt, sugar, and water (with added flavoring) which, in a nut shell, tenderizes and moistens meat by changing the structure of the protein. Brining is a great option for grilling chicken breast kabobs as it prevents the meat from drying out. This marinade also works perfectly for whole chicken breasts or thighs.
Other Marinades for Chicken Kabobs
If you aren't into Tequila or alcohol in general, try using my Teriyaki recipe or this Honey Mustard marinade. Keeping it in line with the same flavors as the Margarita recipes this Cumin Lime Dressing can also be used as a delicious marinade.
How to Make This Chicken Kabob Recipe
You are going to love how easy and quick these kabobs are to make!
- Prepare the marinade and cut the chicken into cubes. Marinate the chicken pieces for 30 to 60 minutes. Don't over-marinate or the chicken can become soggy.
2. Skewer the chicken pieces and cook on a pre-heated grill for 10 to 14 minutes, turning halfway through. Check for doneness by cutting into a piece to make sure it's no longer pink inside. Or check that the internal temperature reads 165 degrees F.
- Chicken breasts - chicken thighs can be used instead of breasts
- Tequila - for a different flavor you could use rum or gin. Or leave the alcohol out altogether and increase water by ¼ cup and salt by 1 teaspoon.
- Honey - sugar or maple syrup can be used instead
- Mayonnaise - substitute by using all yogurt
- Yogurt - use sour cream instead
Can I bake these in the oven?
Don't have a grill or it's not the right weather for it? Never fear! You can easilly bake these skewers in the oven. First, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Then line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place skewers on the tray and bake for 25-30 minutes, turning them once or twice, until no longer pink inside or a thermometer reads 165 degrees F.
Wooden skewers are great (don't forget to soak!) but if you like to make a lot of kebab recipes I suggest treating yourself to these Flat Metal Skewers. They aren't expensive, will last forever, and the flat shape stops your ingredients from sliding around when you try to flip them. I absolutely LOVE them!
If you are looking to invest in a quality quick read thermometer I recommend a Thermaworks Thermapen. They are the best and most accurate quick read thermometers on the market!
I was also asked recently about indoor grills. Nothing beats an outdoor grill but if I am forced indoors for my grilling my #1 choice is nothing but a good 'ole Cast Iron Grill Pan.
Storage and Freezing
Chicken kabobs will keep covered in the fridge for 4 days. Reheat in the microwave or in a preheated 350 degree F oven for 10 minutes.
You can also freeze the skewers before cooking. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and freeze for one month. Defrost in the fridge overnight before cooking.
- Don't over-marinate the chicken. This marinade includes alcohol and lime juice which can start cooking the chicken if it is left to sit for too long. Chicken breast meat can also become soggy if over marinated. If you would like to read more about marinating meat check out this article from Carnivore Style.
- Snuggle the chicken pieces together for more even cooking and to keep the chicken tender.
Marinating not only adds flavor but also keeps the meat tender and juicy. Kabobs cook quickly on the grill so the extra step of marinating can make all the difference.
If your chicken is cut to approximately one-inch cubes they will take 10 to 14 minutes (5 to 7 minutes per side) on a preheated medium-high heat grill. Check for doneness by cutting into a piece to see it is no longer pink inside.
If the marinade includes acidic ingredients like lemon or lime juice, don't marinate for more than one hour otherwise you risk the meat starting to cook. Otherwise, you can marinate for 30 minutes or up to overnight.
Perfect Sides For Chicken Kabobs
- Cumin and Lime Coleslaw
- Tex-Mex Black Bean Salad
- Tabbouleh Salad with Quinoa
- Summer Succotash
- The Best Grilled Vegetable Salad
Chicken Kabob Recipe with Margarita Marinade
- ¼ cup tequila
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- ¼ cup water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon honey
- zest of one lime
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch cubes (470 g/16 oz)
Cilantro Lime Yogurt Sauce
- ½ cup plain yogurt
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¼ cup cilantro finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice ½ a lime
- fresh lime wedges
- fresh cilantro, finely chopped
- If using wooden skewers, submerge in cold water for at least 30 minutes before grilling to prevent them from burning.
- In a large bowl or container whisk together all of the marinade ingredients. Add the cubed chicken making sure it is submerged in the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes.
- Meanwhile make the sauce by whisking together all the ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. Cover and refrigerate.
- Preheat grill or grill pan to medium-high heat. Thread the pieces of chicken onto the skewers making sure they are snug up against one another. Once the grill is hot add the kabobs spacing them evenly. Grill for 5 to 7 minutes per side or until cooked through (no longer pink inside) or a thermometer reads 165 degrees F.
- Transfer skewers to a clean platter and serve warm with Cilantro Lime Yogurt sauce, fresh lime wedges, and chopped fresh cilantro.