Jerk Chicken Skewers

  • Jump to Recipe
  • Jerk Chicken Skewers make the perfect summer party appetizer, or family dinner. The chicken has a bold Jamaican flavor, and is paired with fresh pineapple, red pepper and red onion for the perfect kabob.

    close up of chicken skewers with jerk marinade

    Jerk Chicken Recipe

    Kabobs are a summertime favorite in my family, and I love being out in the fresh air grilling. These Jerk Chicken Kabobs pack a bold flavor with some spice, but are complemented with the sweet fresh pineapple and crisp veggies.

    chicken skewers on a wood cutting board

    This chicken skewer recipe makes a great party appetizer, or make it a main when paired with cooked rice or beans.

    What is Jerk Chicken?

    Jerk refers to the cooking style in which meat (usually chicken) is coated in an array of spices then cooked over a fire or grilled.

    close up angle of chicken kabobs with pineapple, pepper and onion

    The smoke mixed with the spices gives the distinctive “jerk” flavor. The dish originated in Jamaica, but has roots from all over the Caribbean.

    The ingredient list for a good jerk chicken marinade looks long, but they are pretty basic and also easily verstile. Sure you can slap on some dry jerk seasoning, but marinating gets flavor through to the core of the chicken.

    Here is what you’ll need:

    • Olive oil- or another neutral oil like vegetable or canola
    • Lime juice
    • Pineapple Juice
    • Garlic
    • Jalapeno– scotch bonnets, habaneros or other peppers, omit if you don’t like heat
    • Scallions– or other member of the onion family
    • Maple syrup– or brown sugar or honey
    • Soy sauce
    • Spices: thyme, nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, ginger and sal
    overhead close up of chicken kabobs

    How to Make Jerk Chicken Skewers

    Prepare the Marinade: Chop green onions and remove ribs and seeds from jalapeno pepper, then add all of the remaining marinade ingredients to the bowl of a food processor or blended.

    basting jerk marinade onto skewers

    Blend for 1 minute on medium speed until smooth. Once blended, add half of the marinade to a large bowl with the cubed chicken breast and toss to combine. Cover and marinade in the fridge for at least 20 minutes.

    Prepare other Ingredients: While the chicken is marinating, Slice and chop the red pepper (removing the ribs and seeds) and red onion into large 1 inch pieces. If using a fresh pineapple; peel, core and chop into 1 inch chunks.

    chopped chicken on a cutting board

    Prepare Kabobs: Once the chicken is done marinating, spray 8 10 inch metal skewers with cooking spray. Next, begin to skewer the chicken, chopped red peppers, red onion and pineapple chunks onto each skewer.

    I like to alternate mine. Brush the remaining marinade over the finished kabobs and move on to grilling.

    chicken and veggies on a metal skewer

    Grilled Kabobs

    Spray the cool grill with cooking spray to avoid the chicken from sticking. Next, heat the grill to 400°F.

    Once the grill is heated, add the jerk chicken skewers to the grill and cook 5 minutes per side, or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.

    Kabobs in the Oven

    If you prefer to use your oven instead of grilling these jerk kabobs you can absolutely do so. The cook time will differ, and traditionally jerk chicken is best cooked over open flame or grill, but the idea and concept will be the same.

    close up of grilled chicken skewers and rice

    Preheat your oven to 450°F. Spray a large baking sheet with cooking spray or line with foil.

    Once preheated, add prepared kabobs to the baking sheet and cook on the middle rack for 15 minutes, flipping halfway through. If you want a more charred veggie and chicken you can broil on high for an additional minute.

    Tips & Suggestions

    • Spray your grill with cooking spray before heating it to help the chicken kabobs from sticking.
    • If using wooden kabobs, soak for at least 30 minutes in water before threading.
    • If using metal skewers, aim for square or swirly sticks to prevent meat from spinning.
    • If you are short on time, you can opt out of slicing and using a fresh pineapple and instead use canned pineapple chunks. Another option would be buying pre-sliced pineapple from your local grocery store.

    Chicken Variations

    I love using chicken thighs for my jerk chicken kabobs, because it is more authentic and yields more flavor. You can of course swap in some boneless skinless chicken breasts if you wish.

    fork picking up a piece of chicken

    Makes sure that the chicken pieces are large enough to be thread, but not so big that they won’t be able to cook at the same rate as the vegetables.

    If you love the flavor of these kabobs, you could also use the marinade for chicken wings, chicken legs or even a whole chicken. The cook times and methods will vary depending on the cut you choose, but this jerk chicken marinade is versatile and can be used for a variety of recipes.

    close up overhead of chicken skewers

    What should I serve with jerk chicken?

    For a more traditional side you could go with corn, or rice. Other great options include cooked beans or grilled veggies. Here are a few other favorites:

    Storage & Make Ahead

    Kabobs can be made ahead of time up to 24 hours, but taste best right off the grill.

    Remove the chicken from the kabobs and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Rewarm before enjoying. The oven tastes best, but microwave is good too.

    jerk chicken skewers for pinterest

    More Chicken Recipes:

    Baked Chicken Taquito
    plate of baked chicken taquitos
    Baked chicken taquitos are cheesy, crunchy and delicious! Served with your favorite toppings, these taquitos are a perfect meal.
    Blackened Chicken
    blackened chicken in a skillet
    This EASY Blackened Chicken recipe is perfect for busy weeknight dinners, and ready in 30 minutes. It can be paired on its own with your favorite sauce, or added to a variety of dishes ranging from salads to tacos.
    Chicken Caprese Recipe
    caprese chicken recipe
    This Caprese Chicken is sure to be one of your favorite grilled or baked chicken recipes. Juicy & delicious, it comes together with only 6 ingredients!
    close up of jerk chicken skewers

    CONNECT WITH SAVORY EXPERIMENTS!

    Be sure to follow me on social media, so you never miss a post!

    Facebook | Twitter | Youtube 
     Pinterest | Instagram 

    Get our FREE 8 Day E-Course on How to Be a Better Home Cook. Sign up HERE!

    how to be a better home cook cover
    close up of jerk chicken and vegetables
    Print Recipe
    4.8 from 5 votes

    Jerk Chicken Skewers

    Chicken marinated in a warm spice blend then skewered with red bell pepper, onion and pineapple chunks. Cook on the grill or oven.
    Prep Time15 mins
    Cook Time10 mins
    Marinating Time30 mins
    Course: Main Course, Main Dish
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: jerk chicken skewers
    Servings: 4
    Calories: 468kcal
    Author: Caitlyn Erhardt

    Ingredients

    Jerk Marinade:

    Skewers:

    Instructions

    • Add the oil, pineapple juice, garlic, maple syrup, lime juice, soy sauce, thyme, salt, nutmeg, allsprice, ginger, jalapeno, scallions and cinnamon to a food processor or blender and combine on medium speed until no large chunks remain and everything is well blended.
    • Cut the chicken into 1-inch cubes and add them to a large prep bowl. Pour half of the marinade over the chopped chicken and toss to combine. Reserve the rest of the marinade for grilling, and cover and marinade in the fridge for at least 20 minutes, but up to overnight.
    • Once the chicken is done marinating, spray 8 10-inch metal skewers with cooking spray. Next, begin to skewer the chicken, bell pepper, onion and pineapple onto each skewer, I like to alternate mine.
      skewering chicken and veggies onto a kabob
    • Brush the remaining marinade over top of the skewers.
      brushing on marinade
    • Spray your cool grill with cooking spray to avoid the chicken from sticking. Next, heat the grill to 400°F. Once the grill is heated, add the jerk chicken skewers to the grill and cook 5 minutes per side, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F.
    • Once finished, remove from kabobs and serve topped with fresh cilantro.
      chicken kabobs on a plate
    • If you've tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was in the comments or ratings.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 468kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 111mg | Sodium: 844mg | Potassium: 547mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 1313IU | Vitamin C: 91mg | Calcium: 62mg | Iron: 2mg
    jerk chicken kabobs for pinterest

    You Might Also Like...

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Recipe Rating




    What type of comment do you have?

    Comments

  • Emily Flint wrote:
  • Angela wrote:
  • Michelle wrote:
  • Katherine wrote:
  • side image of peanut butter dip

    Grab our FREE Email Course!

    Sign up to receive our FREE 8 Day Course on How to Be a Better Home Cook! One email per day, delivered straight to your mailbox. 

    You have Successfully Subscribed!