Kids are so easy to wow when they are young. My kids are actually impressed by how fast I can put my shoes on, and I’m not even trying. They are also very impressed when I put food on sticks for them. Hot dog on a stick? Amazing!
Kabobs are always a fun choice and a great way to celebrate grilling season. These Chicken and Pineapple Kabobs are not only kid friendly, but adults will love them, too. The combo of marinated chicken and charred sweet pineapple is an instant classic, so add these to your repertoire ASAP!
WHAT KIND OF CHICKEN WORKS FOR KABOBS?
I used chicken breasts for my kabobs, but you could use chicken thighs if you like a little more richness. Or you could use a mix if you wanted to.
Just try to chop the pieces into similar sizes, so they cook evenly. That’s more important than the exact cut of chicken you use.
SAUCE OPTIONS FOR CHICKEN PINEAPPLE KABOBS
- You could go with barbecue sauce (maybe this Pepper Sauce) for these kabobs if you were so inclined, but I decided to keep it a bit lighter with a lemon yogurt sauce.
- You could also brush them with some teriyaki sauce while they are on the grill. Teriyaki sauce enhances the savory elements of the chicken and the sweetness of the pineapple, so it’s a perfect pairing.
How to Keep the Kabobs Moist
There are four things to keep in mind when cooking kabobs.
- Marinate the chicken. It adds some fat to the kabobs and infuses flavor. The fat helps keep the chicken from drying out. I like to keep my marinade simple with olive oil, garlic, pineapple juice, and a little soy sauce.
- Place a pineapple piece next to a chicken piece on the skewers. This is because the pineapple keeps the chicken from drying out.
- Don’t overcook the kabobs. Many people completely zap their kabobs of flavor and moisture by grilling them for way too long. Fifteen minutes over medium-high heat should be plenty of time to cook the chicken through.
- Use a digital thermometer to test the chicken, or cut into a larger piece to make sure it’s done. Don’t let them just sit on the grill until they are dry hunks. Pull the kabobs off when they are done!
STORING AND REHEATING KABOBS
Kabobs store really well in the fridge for a few days, and you can reheat them by tossing them back on the grill until warmed through, or you can reheat them in a 350˚F oven until they are warm, about five minutes.
The DAD ADD: Spicy Yogurt Sauce!
I really wanted to add some spice to my kabobs but needed to keep them kid friendly, so this spicy yogurt sauce was my answer. It’s just sriracha and yogurt stirred together, but I use it liberally when I serve these kabobs to adults who like spicy food.
My full kabobs were a bit too big for my children, so I actually split one kabob between them. I made mini kabobs for them by chopping the ingredients into smaller pieces and re-skewering them on tinier bamboo skewers. If you don’t have smaller skewers you could just break a larger bamboo skewer in half for the kiddos.
My kids had a blast eating these, and both of them pretty much finished a whole kabob. We served them with rice. Also, my two-year old ate about four servings of the lemon yogurt sauce. “More yogurt, please!” Go for it, kid!
Food on sticks is a win for kids!
LOVE FOOD ON A STICK? HERE ARE MORE RECIPES TO TRY!
Chicken and Pineapple Kabobs RecipePrint
If you are using bamboo skewers, be sure to soak them in water before assembling the ingredients on the skewers. Alternately, you can also buy metal skewers, such as these.
For the lemon yogurt sauce:
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 lemon, juice only
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
DAD ADD: Spicy Yogurt Sauce
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt
- 1 tablespoon sriracha chili sauce
For the kabobs:
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup pineapple juice
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 pounds chicken (breast or thighs), cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 pineapple, peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped into 1-inch pieces
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped into 1-inch pieces
- Couscous or rice, for serving
- Bamboo or metal skewers
1 Make the sauces: In two separate small bowls, stir together the ingredients for the lemon yogurt and spicy yogurt sauces. If you aren’t using the spicy yogurt sauce, you might want to double the lemon yogurt sauce recipe.
2 Marinate the chicken: Whisk together olive oil, pineapple juice, garlic, soy sauce, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Add chicken to bowl and stir to coat with the marinade. Let marinate for 20 to 30 minutes, or overnight.
3 Heat a gas or charcoal grill to medium-high heat.
4 Assemble the kabobs: Add the pineapple, peppers, and chicken to the skewers in any order you like, alternating between chicken, veg, and fruit. I like to have one piece of pineapple touching each piece of chicken to keep it moist.
Try to divide the ingredients evenly among the eight skewers.
4 Grill the kabobs: Right before you add your kabobs to the grill, rub the grates with some oil to make sure the kabobs don’t stick.
Add the kabobs and let them cook for 5 to 6 minutes per side, until they get a nice char on them. Flip a few times until total grilling time reaches the 15-18 minute range.
Test a larger piece of chicken to ensure doneness. You can use an instant thermometer to make sure the chicken reaches 165˚F, or just cut into the piece a bit to check that it’s cooked through.
5 Serve the kabobs: Remove from the grill immediately (so they don’t dry out). Serve grilled kabobs with yogurt sauce and either rice or couscous.
Leftover kabobs will keep great for a few days in the fridge, and you can reheat them on a medium-low grill or in a 350˚F oven until warmed through, about 5 minutes.
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