These Traeger Chicken Kabobs are loaded with marinated chicken, pineapple, onions, and peppers. They have a tropical feel and they're perfect for summer. We make ours on our Traeger, but you can make them on any pellet grill.
Why We Love This Recipe
- It's super easy: This recipe just requires a little bit of prep time and some hands-off grilling time, and then it's done! It requires very little skill or hands-on time. Clean up is also super fast! You can make these skewers on a Traeger, pellet grill, electric grill, or even on a gas or charcoal grill (see our recipe notes for alternative cooking instructions).
- It's delicious: This recipe is as close to fool-proof as you can get, thanks to the marinade keeping the chicken super moist.
- It's perfect for summer cookouts: These Hawaiian chicken skewers are super summery and perfect for cookouts. We love to serve them with typical BBQ foods, like baked beans, potato salad, pasta salad, and mac and cheese.
📋 Key Ingredients and Substitutions
For the skewers:
- Chicken breast: You can use chicken thighs if you prefer. You just need to be able to cut them into reasonably-sized chunks.
- Pineapple: We love the Hawaiian, tropical-feel that the pineapple adds to these skewers. If you don't like pineapple, you can leave it off or swap it out for another veggie.
- Red onion: Cooked, marinated onions taste so much better than raw onions, plus the purple-ish color is so perfect for adding a bit of the rainbow to these kabobs. If you really can't get behind onions, though, you can leave them off. Try adding extra peppers instead.
- Red bell peppers: You can substitute yellow, orange, or green bell peppers if you prefer.
For the marinade:
- Frank's RedHot Original Hot Sauce: Frank's RedHot is a cayenne pepper hot sauce and it's delicious. You can substitute your favorite hot sauce, but honestly, why would you?
- Soy sauce: Substitute coconut aminos for a gluten-free or Paleo option.
- Maple syrup: Use real maple syrup, not fake pancake syrup. If you are looking for a substitute, try honey instead.
- Garlic: Fresh minced garlic works best, but pre-minced garlic will work in a pinch.
See recipe card for amounts.
🔪 Step-by-Step Instructions
Step 1: Combine Frank's RedHot, maple syrup, soy sauce, and garlic in a gallon plastic bag (we place a gallon bag inside of another one to make it extra sturdy). Then add the chicken, red onion, pineapple, and bell peppers.
Step 2: Place in the refrigerator for at least one hour and up to 12 hours.
Step 3: Pre-heat your Traeger or pellet grill to 450°F. Drain the marinade from the gallon baggie, then add the chicken, pineapple, onions, and peppers to skewers. If you're using wood skewers, make sure you soak them in water for at least 30 minutes first.
Step 4: Grill the skewers for 20-25 minutes, turning halfway, or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F.
🍽 Serving Ideas
Wondering how to serve Hawaiian chicken kabobs? Here are a couple of ideas:
- In a rice bowl: We love these Traeger chicken kabobs with coconut rice or our cilantro lime hearts of palm rice. If we're looking for something really easy, we use the frozen microwavable Jasmine rice from Trader Joe's.
- With traditional BBQ foods: We also love serving these kabobs with traditional American BBQ foods, like baked beans, potato salad, pasta salad, and mac and cheese.
💭 Top Tips
- If you're using wooden skewers, make sure you soak them in water for at least 30 minutes prior to grilling.
- Don't overcook the chicken. Depending on how well your grill stays at temperature, your chicken may cook faster or slower than ours. Check the temperature every once in a while (especially once you get close to the 20-minute mark) to see if it's done early.
- In the past, we've had issues with our marinade leaking from the gallon baggie. To prevent this, we use two baggies layered on top of each other. We also place our baggie on top of a sheet pan in the refrigerator to catch any leaks.
- The longer you marinate the chicken, the more flavorful it will be. I've found the sweet spot to be around 4 hours.
Frequently asked questions
Ours take anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes, depending on how well our Traeger stays at temp. Yours may cook a little faster or slower than ours. Check the internal temperature of the chicken every once in a while to see if it's done early.
Yes! Heat your grill to high heat and cook for 5-7 minutes on each side, or until the chicken reaches 165°F.
These summer drinks go perfectly with these grilled chicken kabobs: