Grilled jerk chicken kabobs feature a spicy homemade jerk marinade coating juicy chicken thighs, sweet pineapple, and fresh vegetables. Serve with hot rice and beans for an incredibly flavorful summer meal!
Ready to dust off that grill for the summer? I’m here to tell you that these kabobs should be FIRST on your lineup!
As a rule, kabobs are literally always a good idea to have at any cookout, but jerk chicken style? It’s a whole new level.
We are seriously SO excited to finally be sharing these kabobs with you! We first made them last month anddd…many more times since then. They are absolutely just that good.
Jerk food is traditionally pretty heavy on the heat and these kabobs are NO exception! They pack the perfect punch of heat and no shortage of flavor.
Your cookout game is about to be the strongest one in the neighborhood this summer, I promise you that.
These Jerk Chicken Kabobs feature…
- A spicy, incredibly flavorful homemade jerk marinade
- Juicy boneless chicken thighs that soak in the marinade
- Sweet, juicy fresh pineapple cubes
- A rainbow of fresh kabob vegetables including mini sweet peppers, zucchini, and sweet onion
Making the Jerk Chicken Kabobs
(scroll to the bottom of the post for the full recipe!)
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs (breasts will also work, but we love how juicy the thighs cook up)
- Habanero Peppers
- Fresh Parsley
- Green Onion
- Lime Juice
- Soy Sauce
- Vegetable Oil
- Kabob Vegetables (keep reading for suggestions!)
Making the Jerk Marinade
Full disclosure: this jerk marinade packs quite a punch of heat, as is typical of traditional jerk food. I do not recommend this recipe for anyone who is sensitive to spice.
The marinade is made completely in the food processor for the ultimate convenience. You can also use a blender!
We recommend marinating the chicken at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight. Longer marinade = juicier and more flavorful jerk chicken!
Pro tip: Set aside about 1/4 cup marinade, then add the rest to chicken. We’ll use this reserved marinade for drizzling over the kabobs once they’re grilled.
Can I Make Kabobs Ahead of Time?
Absolutely and we highly recommend it!
- Jerk marinade may be made and stored in fridge up to 6 days.
- Chicken may be marinated up to 12 hours.
- Veggies + pineapple can be cut and stored in fridge up to 2 days.
When you’re ready to grill, just thread chicken, pineapple, and veggies onto skewers and grill as recipe directs.
What Kind of Vegetables Should I Use?
We love the simple combo of mini sweet peppers, sweet onion, pineapple, and zucchini, but here’s a few more options!
- Whole button mushrooms
- Red onion
- Summer squash
- Cherry tomatoes
Tips for Perfect Kabobs
- Soak wooden skewers – you will want to soak your skewers in water for 10 minutes – this helps prevent the skewers from breaking from the heat of the grill. Alternatively, you can also use reusable metal skewers!
- Preheat grill – ideally, you want your grill ripping hot for kabobs (around medium-high or 400F)
- Cook kabobs in two batches – this makes it a little easier to juggle the grill when you don’t have to monitor a ton of kabobs at the same time.
- Turn kabobs often while grilling – the chicken and vegetables char fast, so keep continually turning kabobs to ensure they do not burn.
- Drizzle kabobs with extra reserved marinade – this adds one last little punch of flavor! We highly recommend.
What to Serve with Jerk Chicken Kabobs
We love serving these kabobs with a hearty side of seasoned black beans and hot fluffy rice. It gives this entire dish a very Caribbean feel.
We’ve even thrown a few scoops of homemade guacamole on the plate before. SO good!
These kabobs are just plain fantastic, y’all. They’re herby, perfectly spiced, PACKED with the heat, and everything good jerk food should be.
Paired with the sweet pineapple and tender charred vegetables and it’s just a flavor home run.
Also, the CHICKEN?? It’s honestly insane how tender and juicy the chicken gets from the marinade. UTTERLY insane!
Highly recommend lining your grill with these kabobs for any cookouts in your future! You won’t regret it.
A few more grilling ideas for your next cookout!
- Lemon Ginger Soy Marinated Chicken
- The Best Grilled Tandoori Chicken Skewers
- Greek Grilled Chicken Burgers
Grilled Jerk Chicken Kabobs
Jerk Chicken Marinade
- 4 small scotch bonnet or habanero peppers, seeded and roughly chopped
- 3 medium cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onion
- 3/4 cup fresh parsley leaves
- 1/4 cup freshly-squeezed lime juice
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon honey or agave syrup
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- 2 teaspoons five-spice powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
- 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 3 cups fresh pineapple, cut into 1-in chunks
- 36 mini sweet peppers (or 2 large bell peppers cut into 1-in chunks)
- 2 medium zucchinis, trimmed and cut into 1-in slices
- 1 large sweet onion, cut into 1-in chunks
- Hot rice and beans for serving, optional
Jerk Chicken Marinade
- In a blender or food processor, combine peppers, garlic, ginger, green onion, parsley, lime juice, soy sauce, agave, and spices. With blender or food processor running, drizzle oil through top. Pulse several times until marinade is smooth, scraping down sides as necessary. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Reserve 1/4 cup marinade in a small bowl or container and refrigerate. Pour remaining marinade in a large bowl or container and nestle chicken into marinade until evenly coated. Cover bowl, refrigerate, and allow chicken to marinade at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
- If using wooden skewers, soak in cold water 10 minutes. Once chicken is done marinating, remove from marinade and thread onto skewers with pineapple, sweet peppers, zucchini, and onion.
- Preheat grill to medium-high heat and grill kabobs 10-15 minutes, turning occasionally until chicken is cooked through to 165F and vegetables are slightly charred and tender.
- Just before serving, drizzle warm kabobs with reserved jerk marinade and serve with hot rice and beans if desired. Enjoy!