Honey Chicken Kabobs
For these Honey Chicken Kabobs, a honey garlic chicken marinade seasons chicken breast and veggies that are skewered and baked. A simple and healthy way to make kabobs in the oven!
I found this recipe idea on BuzzFeed years ago, and this quickly became one of our favorite dinners that I make often. My 8 year old claims it’s one of her favorite dinners of all time!
I’ll show you how I make these Honey Chicken Kabobs in the oven, but you can also make them on the grill. I serve these with rice, so we thought a little sauce would be good to spoon over the chicken and vegetables after baking. I’ve added a quick Honey Soy Sauce that we like to use. These kabobs would be good without rice as a chicken and veggie bowl too.
Marinate the Chicken
The honey garlic chicken marinade reminds me of the sauce I make for my mom’s Garlic Chicken recipe. I grew up calling that recipe Chinese Chicken, so these are essentially Chinese chicken skewers.
To make the marinade, the following ingredients are combined:
I like to whisk them together in a glass measuring cup with a small wire whisk.
The chicken breasts are cut into 1-inch pieces and added to the marinade. I like to use a resealable gallon-sized freezer bag for this. I add the chicken and marinade to the bag, press out the air, seal, then squish it around to make sure the chicken is coated.
The chicken can marinate for just 30 minutes or up to several hours if you have the time. I’ll often get the chicken marinating earlier in the day and then closer to dinner time start prepping the vegetables and rice.
Prepare the Vegetables
I usually use red onions and colored peppers for the kabobs. On this particular night, I only had yellow onions, so I went with those. They are so similar when cooked this way that either will work.
I cut the peppers into roughly 1- or 2-inch pieces. You just want the pieces to all be around the same size so that they cook evenly.
How to Cut Onions for Kabobs
I’m not sure whether there’s a “right” way to do this, but the way I do it is by cutting off both ends of the onion.
Then, with the cut ends facing to the sides, I cut the onion down the center.
Now i have two equal halves of onion.
I then place those slices down on the cutting board and cut each into 4 equal pieces. For large onions, I sometimes cut each slice into 6 wedges. This allows me to thread them on the skewers to keep all of the onion layers intact together.
How to Assemble the Kabobs
Soaking Wood Skewers
I have a set of metal skewers I received as a hand-me-down from my mom. Before she gave these to me, I always used wooded kabob skewers. While the metal ones are ready to use, the wooden ones should be soaked in water for 5 to 10 minutes before using. I make my chicken skewers in the oven, but they can also be made on the grill.
Adding Vegetables and Chicken to the Skewers
Most kabobs are made by alternating meat and vegetables on the same skewer. After many frustrating dinner preparations, usually when making grilled chicken kabobs on our outdoor grill, I was fed up with the chicken and the vegetables cooking at different rates. Sometimes the chicken was done but the vegetables were still raw. Sometimes the veggies were finished and the chicken needed more time.
I finally decided to separate the chicken from the vegetables when I build the kabobs. The photos are not as pretty as when chicken is alternated with brightly colored vegetables, but the food is properly cooked. Separating the chicken from the vegetables allows you to remove whichever kabobs are finished first while still cooking the other.
When I make kabobs in the oven, the chicken and vegetables are usually finished cooking at the same time, but separating the skewers gives me the flexibility to remove one before the other if necessary.
How to Skewer the Onions, Peppers & Chicken
You can see from the picture below how the skewer runs through all of the layers of onion to keep them together.
I repeat this with all of the onion segments.
It’s important not to crowd your skewers. Leave a little space in between each new piece of vegetable or chicken you put on. This will allow the sauce you brush on top to reach more surface area and will also allow for more even cooking. When the chicken is squished together it tends to cook like one large piece rather than small pieces.
I save the chicken marinade to brush on the assembled kabobs.
How to Make Kabobs in the Oven
I’m going to show you my favorite way to make kabobs in the oven. First, I line a sided baking sheet with aluminum foil. Then, I place a metal oven-safe rack on top and spray it with nonstick spray. Next, I place the kabobs on top of the rack.
I then take the reserved marinade and brush it over the vegetables with a silicone pastry brush. After brushing the veggies, I pour the remaining marinade over all of the skewers.
The kabobs are baked for 20 to 30 minutes until the veggies are tender and the chicken is cooked through.
How to Make Grilled Chicken Kabobs
Follow all of the above steps and cook the kabobs on a well oiled grill. Keep on eye on the kabobs, and remove them as they are finished cooking. If some are done before others, remove them and keep them warm while the others finish cooking. I’ve also seen kabobs made in an air fryer, but I haven’t tried this myself.
How to Make the Honey Soy Sauce
The original recipe does not have a sauce. While the chicken and vegetables are well seasoned, we were left feeling like the rice was dry and needed a sauce.
Now I make a quick Honey Soy Sauce to serve on the side. That way, those of us who like sauce can use it, and some of my pickier kids can avoid it!
How to Serve the Kabobs
I like to remove the chicken and the vegetables from the skewers and serve them over white or Jasmine rice with the Honey Soy Sauce spooned on top. Aside from the honey, this is a relatively healthy dinner with lots of brightly colored vegetables!
Gluten Free Honey Chicken Kabobs
Use gluten free soy sauce for an entirely gluten free meal!
Looking for More Asian Recipes?
Check out my favorite Asian-inspired recipes:
Garlic Chicken with Rice Noodles
Garlic Chicken with Rice
Skinny Orange Chicken
Homemade P. F. Chang’s Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Red Curry Rice Noodles with Chicken
Simplified Chicken Pad Thai
Coconut Curry Chicken
Chicken Fried Rice (soy free)
- metal or wooden skewers
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts (cut into 1-inch pieces)
For the Marinade:
- 3 tablespoons Canola oil
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
For the Kabobs:
- 5-6 colored bell peppers (seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces)
- 2 red or yellow onions (cut into 1-inch wedges)
For the Honey Soy Sauce:
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
For Serving (optional):
- white or Jasmine rice
- chopped flat-leaf parsley
Marinate the Chicken:
- Whisk together marinade ingredients. Add to a resealable plastic bag or a bowl with the chicken breast pieces. Marinate for 30 minutes to 2 hours, or longer.
Prepare the Kabobs:
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a sided baking sheet with aluminum foil and place a metal baking rack on top. Spray it with nonstick cooking spray.
- Meanwhile, if using wooden skewers, soak them in water for 5-10 minutes.
- Assemble the kabobs by adding all of the onions, peppers, and chicken to separate skewers, spacing them out a bit.
- Brush the chicken and vegetables with the extra marinade using a pastry brush. Pour remaining marinade over chicken and vegetables.
- Bake kabobs for 20 – 30 minutes until the vegetables are tender and the chicken reaches an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees F with an instant read thermometer.
Prepare the Sauce:
- While the kabobs bake, prepare the Honey Soy Sauce by mixing the honey and soy sauce until the honey dissolves. Warm in microwave for 15 – 30 seconds.
- Serve kabob chicken and vegetables with rice and Honey Soy Sauce, if desired.