Baking chicken kabobs is one of the most flavorful ways to prepare juicy, seasoned chicken all year round. A favorite protein among many, these baked chicken skewers make the perfect meal with fresh zesty marinade, succulent meat, and easy cleanup. Even better, when you give this delicious recipe a quick broil at the very end, your chicken kabobs will taste very similar to its grilled version.
Ingredients You’ll Need to Make Baked Chicken Skewers
You’ll need two sets of simple ingredients to make oven-cooked chicken kabobs:
- Marinade: The seasoning for chicken shish kabobs is inspired by my Mediterranean
seasoning. You’ll need the following:
- Olive oil
- Lemon zest and fresh lemon juice
- Spices and herbs: Dried thyme, dried oregano, garlic powder, Kosher salt, and ground black pepper.
- Chicken: You will need two pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts or chicken thighs sliced into one-inch chunks.
- Vegetables: It is optional, but you can easily turn these into chicken vegetable kabobs by including veggies such as red onions, green bell peppers, and yellow peppers.
In terms of equipment, you’ll need metal, bamboo, or wooden skewers to assemble the kabobs.
How to Cook Chicken Shish Kabobs in the Oven?
Baking chicken kabobs in the oven is a quick and tasty way to enjoy five-star Mediterranean fare all year round. No grill, no problem! Simply follow the instructions below:
- Prepare the chicken kabob marinade: In a large bowl (one that is big enough to accommodate all the chicken pieces), whisk together the olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, dried thyme, dried oregano, garlic powder, Kosher salt, and black pepper. Set it aside.
- Dry and cut the chicken: Dry chicken breasts using a sheet of paper towel on both sides. First, cut them into strips and then each strip into 1-inch cubes.
- Marinade: Add the cubed chicken to the bowl of marinade, and toss to ensure each piece of chicken receives an even coating. Cover the bowl of chicken with plastic wrap. Press down on the layer to remove any air, and seal the bowl tightly. Place the meat in the fridge for at least one hour or for up to 12 hours.
- Soak the skewers: If you are using wooden skewers, soak them in water 30 minutes before cooking.
- Remove the chicken: 20 minutes before assembly, take the marinated chicken out of the fridge.
- Preheat the oven: Set the oven to 450 degrees F., and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set the prepared sheet pan aside.
- Assemble the kabobs: Loosely thread the pieces of chicken on each skewer, discarding any excess liquid. If desired, alternate the chicken chunks with onion and peppers. For 2 pounds of chicken, you should have 8 skewers, with each skewer having 5 pieces of cubed chicken.
- Place the kabobs on the sheet pan: Arrange the assembled kabobs on the parchment-lined baking sheet, ensuring not to crowd the skewers.
- Bake the chicken kabobs: Place the skewered chicken in the oven and bake for 16 minutes, flipping it halfway through baking. When rotating the chicken kabobs, I recommend removing the sheet pan from the oven as it is easier (and safer) to rotate the skewers, especially if you are using wooden ones.
- Broil: Switch the oven to the broil setting and cook the chicken kabobs for one minute on each side, not exceeding a total of two minutes. Check for doneness by inserting a meat thermometer (affiliate link) into the center of one of the chicken chunks. When the meat reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F., remove the kabobs from the oven.
- Rest and serve: Loosely cover the oven-roasted kabobs with a sheet of aluminum foil, and let them rest for 5-10 minutes. Once the resting process finishes, serve!
How to Make Ahead, Store, and Reheat?
Oven-baked chicken kabobs are excellent for anyone who enjoys easy meal prep. Prepare these kabobs, and simple meals will be ready throughout the week.
- Make ahead: To transform this chicken skewer recipe into an easy 30-minute meal, prepare your chicken marinade up to two days in advance. Store the chicken and marinade in an airtight container in the fridge, and assemble your chicken kabobs when you are ready to bake them.
- Storage: Let your baked shish kabobs reach room temperature before storing them. Then, place the skewers (or, if you prefer, you can remove the meat from the skewers) in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Your leftover kabobs will stay fresh for 2-3 days.
- Reheat: You can reheat the leftovers in a preheated 350 degrees F. oven for 10-12 minutes or until heated through. If they look dry, you can lightly brush the chicken pieces with a teaspoon of olive oil before placing them in the oven. You can also reheat your chicken kabobs in the microwave for 1-1½ minutes (checking every 30 seconds), until they are warmed thoroughly.
What to Serve with Baked Chicken Kebabs?
When you bake chicken skewers, you’ll unlock countless delectable menus fit for a restaurant. This simple collection has everything to satisfy your table, from savory grains to crisp salads.
- Rice and grains: Jasmine rice is a simple classic, while other seasoned options—such as my Herbed Quinoa, Simple Wild Rice Pilaf, and Tabbouleh—perfectly capture the herby, hearty taste of a Mediterranean menu.
- Pasta: Tender, filling, and simple, orzo is one of my favorite sides to prepare when I bake kabobs in the oven. Looking for a richer, more decadent pairing? Buttery Garlic Pasta is the ultimate crowd-pleaser for sophisticated pasta sides.
- Yogurt Sauce: Nothing complements baked chicken shish kabobs like a creamy, tangy, and irresistibly rich dipping sauce. My authentic Tzatziki is a classic pairing, while my Dill Yogurt Sauce is a quicker alternative that you can put together in 5 minutes.
- Salads: If you want a delicious, low-carb pairing, any of my easy quinoa salad recipes will do the trick. Or, if you’re looking for a simple green salad, my Spring Mix Salad and Caprese Pasta Salad only require a handful of pantry-ready ingredients for a garden-fresh side.
Yes! Oven-roasting chicken skewers is the best way to cook kabobs without a grill. Not only is this process much easier than grilling, but it also gives your chicken a juicy, tender texture and an irresistibly delectable taste.
Cut your boneless chicken breast into one-inch chunks before threading them through the skewers. Uniform pieces will ensure that your skewers bake evenly.
I recommend baking your chicken shish kabob for 15-16 minutes at 450 degrees F., flipping it halfway through the cooking process. Then, broil your kabobs for one minute on each side to give them a crisp, golden-brown exterior.
The ideal temperature and time is 450 degrees F. for 15 minutes. However, with a two-minute broil, you can cook your skewers in the oven at 350 degrees F. for 35-40 minutes. Or, roast your chicken kabobs at 375 degrees F. for 30-35 minutes and finish with a two-minute broil.
You should broil chicken kabobs for one minute on each side to ensure optimal browning. However, keep an eye on your chicken during this process to keep them from burning under the broiler’s heat.
If you don’t have any skewers on hand, you can easily prepare deconstructed chicken kabobs in the oven. First, line a sheet pan with parchment paper, add your marinaded chicken cubes and vegetables, and roast the sheet pan chicken kabobs, flipping the meat and veggies once during baking.
Other Baked Chicken Recipes You Might Like
- Whole Roasted Chicken with Potatoes
- Lemon Mediterranean Chicken
- Baked Chicken Parmesan
- Bone in Baked Chicken Breast
If you try this Baked Chicken Kabobs recipe, please take a minute to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. It is a great help to others who are thinking of making the recipe. And if you took some pictures, be sure to share them on Instagram using #foolproofeats so I can share them on my stories.
Chicken Kabobs in Oven Recipe
For The Marinade
- ¼ cup olive oil or avocado oil
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 4 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt plus more for seasoning
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
For the Kabobs
- 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast or boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1 red onion quartered and sliced into 1-inch thick then separated into single layers
- 2 green bell peppers seeded and sliced into 1-inch pieces
- 2 yellow bell peppers seeded and sliced into 1-inch pieces
- Make the marinade: Whisk together olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, dried thyme, dried oregano, garlic powder, kosher salt, and black pepper in a large bowl (one that is large enough to accommodate all the chicken.)
- Place the cubed chicken into the bowl. Toss to make sure all of the chicken is evenly coated with the marinade.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, pressing down to remove any air, and seal tightly. Place it in the fridge for at least an hour but up to 12 hours.
- If you use wooden or bamboo skewers, soak them in water for at least 30 minutes before cooking kabobs in the oven.
- When ready to assemble, start by preheating the oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside.
- Loosely thread the chicken chunks on the skewer tapping off any excess marinade, and alternate with the onion and peppers. For 2 pounds of chicken, you should have 8 skewers, with each skewer having 5 pieces of cubed chicken. If your chicken is thin, you can fold it when threading on the skewer so all pieces cook evenly.
- Place the kabobs on the parchment-lined baking sheet in a single layer. If desired, sprinkle them with ½ teaspoon kosher salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper.
- Bake for 16 minutes, rotating once during baking. When rotating the skewers, I recommend removing the sheet pan from the oven as it is easier (and safer) to flip the skewers, especially if you are using wooden ones.
- At the end of 15 minutes, switch the oven to broil and broil* the chicken kabobs for 1 minute on each side (no more than 2 minutes total.) This step helps brown the chicken. Check for doneness by inserting a thermometer into one of the cubes. It should be done when it reaches 165 degrees F.
- Remove kebabs from the oven, cover loosely with aluminum foil, and let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Serve.
- Yields: This recipe makes 8 skewers, with each skewer having 5 pieces of cubed chicken. The approximate nutritional values listed below are per skewer.
- Broiling: * Broiling chicken kabobs at the last minute help mimic the flavors of grilled chicken kabobs. However, if you prefer not to broil them, I recommend extending the cooking time in the oven to 20 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees F.
- Make ahead: To transform this baked chicken skewer recipe into an easy 30-minute meal, marinate the chicken up to two days in advance. Store it in an airtight container in the fridge and thread your skewers when you are ready to bake them.
- Storage: Let your kabobs reach room temperature before storing them. Then, place the skewers (or, if you prefer, you can remove the meat from the skewers) in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Your leftover kabobs will stay fresh for 2-3 days.
- Reheat: You can reheat the leftovers in a preheated 350 degrees F. oven for 10-12 minutes or until heated through. If they look dry, you can lightly brush the chicken pieces with a teaspoon of olive oil before placing them in the oven. Alternatively, you can warm them up in a grill pan until heated through.