This lemon marinated chicken kebabs recipe is one of my favorites. We’ve made it for years, and everyone loves it. Some links in this post are affiliate links and earn me a commission if your purchase through them.
Summer – as you may have heard me say once or twice – means I avoid using my stove or oven as often as possible. That counts for both main dishes and desserts.
The same holds true for main dishes and sides. I love a good salad, whether it’s a garbage salad with all the veggies and toppings I can find in my fridge or my favorite goat cheese and dried cherry salad.
You know my grill gets a workout, too. We do the usual burgers and hot dogs, but we’re always looking for something different, too. Kefta kebabs work for us, as they’re a different flavor with the ground beef so many of us have on hand.
We do as much chicken as we can, too, so we’re always looking to change it up wherever possible. These lemon chicken kebabs get marinated for just a couple hours before stringing them up to grill.
They become so juicy and perfectly flavored, and they’re so much fun to eat, too. Serve them with rice and some grilled baby bok choy for extra veggies or just by themselves as part of a BBQ.
One tip: we always make extra because these taste just as amazing the next day for a cold lunch or chopped up in a salad. Cook once, enjoy twice!
When I make these, I use red or yellow peppers (whichever is cheaper at the store that week), cherry tomatoes, and onion. Feel free to sub in or out your favorites, whether that’s mushrooms or green peppers or even zucchini or broccoli.
Need more ideas for recipes that don’t use your stove or oven? Check out some other great ideas at the end of this post.
How to Make Lemon Marinated Chicken Kebabs
Marinating your lemon chicken kebabs
This is one of the few places where I’ll often use chicken breasts rather than just thighs. You can absolutely use whichever one you prefer. The marinade helps keep it juicy while also giving it a great flavor that chicken breast frequently lacks.
Prep your marinade first. Again, you have your choice on where to marinate the lemon chicken kebabs. I used to use plastic zip top bags that let me squish all the air from them, but I hate the waste of them. I use containers that seal tight now and make sure I shake the marinade around or even flip the container upside down – because I know it won’t leak – to ensure the chicken gets an even swim in the marinade.
Peel and mince your garlic. Don’t know how to quickly peel garlic? Check out this fast video showing exactly what you need to do:Add the minced garlic to your container. Pour lemon juice, salt, and pepper over the garlic, then add the oil and stir.
Clean your chicken by removing the easy to access fat with a chef’s knife. Cut the chicken into cubes. You want them to be at least an inch cubed, but you can make them up to an inch an a half.
The goal is to have pieces big enough that they won’t cook too fast and dry out while being small enough to qualify as bite size. Note that they will shrink slightly as they cook, so take that into account as you cut.
Add the chicken straight to the marinade as you cut the cubes. Once all the chicken is in your container, seal it and shake to ensure all the chicken gets coated by the marinade.
Place in the fridge and marinate for one or two hours but no more than three or your chicken may turn out mushy because the lemon juice actually cooks the chicken and starts to break it down.
Prepping your lemon chicken kebabs
If you’re using wooden skewers, make sure you soak them in water for at least a half hour before you string your skewers. If you use metal skewers, make sure you purchase skewers that are square or oblong rather than round so your meat stays in place as you flip it on the grill.
When you’re close to ready to grill, prep your veggies. Cherry tomatoes just need to get washed.
To create the onion chunks, peel your onion and slice off the root and head. Cut it into thirds like the equator and tropics on a globe. Use a knife to slice into just the first two or three layers of the onion round, then move an inch to the side and repeat. Remove that piece of onion and repeat.
For your pepper, slice off the top, then cut from top to bottom to cut it in half. Remove the seeds and white ribs inside. Lay each half down and cut into approximately one inch by one inch pieces.
Get your skewers, veggies, and chicken set up on the counter with a platter to hold the skewers to grill. I love using a big cutting board with grooves to hold any juices.
Head outside and heat your grill to medium.
Prep your skewers by sliding the meat and vegges onto your skewers. Alternate them to make the skewers pretty. You want the pieces to touch but not be squished together. This helps keep the foods from cooking too fast and drying out.
Grilling your lemon chicken kebabs
Grill the lemon chicken kebabs for about 12 minutes total, flipping them from time to time to ensure all sides cook evenly.
Serve immediately with rice or just by themselves. I don’t need to tell you to use a clean platter and tongs to remove the chicken from the grill and bring it back inside, right? Store any leftovers in the fridge in a tightly sealed container for up to three days.
Have you ever made lemon marinated chicken kebabs?
Check out more fun summer recipes that don’t require a stove or oven:
- BBQ Asparagus
- Grilled fruit kebabs
- No bake lemon cheesecake jars
- Shaved brussels sprouts salad
- Steak Salad
- Strawberry frozen yogurt
- Grilled corn salad
- Raw pad thai with a spicy peanut sauce
- Bread loaves made on the grill
- Strawberry spinach salad
- Strawberry shortcake ice cream
- Grilled chicken foil pockets
- 1 1/2 lb chicken breasts
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/3 c lemon juice
- 1 t salt
- 1/2 t pepper
- 1/4 c olive oil
- 15 cherry tomatoes
- 1 red onion
- 1 red pepper
- Peel and mince garlic and add to marinating container. Pour lemon juice, salt, and pepper over garlic, then add the oil and stir.
- Clean chicken, as needed. Cut chicken into 1-1 1/2 inch cubes. Add chicken to marinade as you cut it.
- Once all chicken is cut, seal container and shake to ensure all the chicken gets coated.
- Place in fridge for one or two hours but no more than three. While chicken marinates, soak skewers, if needed.
- Preheat grill to medium heat, and prep veggies. Wash cherry tomatoes. Cut onion and pepper into one inch square slices.
- Alternate chicken and veggies on skewers, then place on grill.
- Cook for 12 minutes total, flipping from time to time to ensure all sides cook evenly.
- Serve immediately with rice or just by themselves.
- Store any leftovers in fridge in a tightly sealed container for up to three days.
- For this recipe, you can use chicken thighs or chicken breast, your choice. The quick cooking and marinade keeps the chicken juicy and provides flavor, something often lacking with chicken breasts.
- Feel free to swap in or out your favorite veggies - mushrooms, yellow or green peppers, or even zucchini or broccoli.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 2 skewers
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 241Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 146mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 0gSugar: 2gProtein: 13g
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