I try to eat outdoors every chance I get, so when the weekend rolls around, the barbecue grill is almost always fired up … even in the cooler months! I love hearing the birds, the neighbourhood chatter and our children playing outside. There’s nothing like the smoky aromas of the barbecue wafting through the garden and house. And food cooked on the outdoor grill somehow always tastes better – with that charry, caramelised deliciousness!

Garlicky BBQ Chicken Kebabs
All you need for this recipe are simple, low-cost and accessible ingredients and you are left with the juiciest, garlicky chicken skewers that go with just about anything!

Although the convenience of premade kebabs from the supermarket is sometimes welcome, I am never thrilled about the ingredients in them and the flavour tastes almost artificial (is that just me?!). I have been making these homemade chicken kebabs for years now and truly nothing store-bought compares to them. Only a handful of simple ingredients are needed to make these kebabs and they are ready in 30 minutes. I regularly make a big batch to freeze and, after making them again recently, have vowed to experiment with some different flavours … because they are seriously that good. The ingredients are simple, low-cost and accessible and you are left with the juiciest, garlicky chicken skewers that go with just about anything!

What can I serve with Garlicky BBQ Chicken Kebabs?

Anything and everything goes with these chicken kebabs. They are fantastic as a quick and easy dinner or as a part of a larger banquet. We love them with:
Homemade Coleslaw
Oven Baked Crispy Potato Wedges
Potato Salad
Easy Fried Rice
Potato Gratin
Pumpkin, Pearl Couscous & Feta Salad
Beetroot, Feta and Wild Rice Salad
Kale, Quinoa and Halloumi Salad
Whole Cheesy Cauliflower Bake
Pesto pasta Salad

Garlicky BBQ Chicken Kebabs
Food cooked on the outdoor grill somehow always tastes better – with that charry, caramelised deliciousness, and these Garlicky BBQ Chicken Kebabs are no exception.

Do I need a barbecue grill to make these?

While these are delicious cooked on an outdoor barbecue grill, they are equally great cooked indoors in a pan on the stove. A cast-iron pan will get hot enough to give you the delicious caramelisation that you are after. You can also use a ridged griddle/chargrill pan to achieve the classic char marks.

What kind of skewers are best for kebabs?

I used bamboo skewers for years. They do the job, but just make sure you submerge and soak them in tap water for 10 minutes prior to using them, to stop them from burning while cooking. I’ve recently purchased metal skewers and, while they are a bit of an extra investment, I’ve found they are a lot more accessible and cheaper than they used to be. Aside from being a more sustainable option (they are durable and reusable), they conduct heat efficiently, resulting in the chicken cooking more evenly.

Garlicky BBQ Chicken Kebabs
Although these Garlicky BBQ Chicken Kebabs are delicious cooked on the outdoor barbecue, they can also be cooked on the stovetop in a ridged cast-iron griddle/chargrill pan.

Can I add vegetables to the skewers?

Yes! Try adding wedges of red onion, slices of capsicum (bell pepper), cubes of zucchini (courgette), cherry tomatoes, whole button mushrooms, pineapple chunks or eggplant (aubergine) pieces.

Tips for cooking chicken skewers with success

Even pieces – Cut the chicken into even-sized pieces to ensure the chicken cooks evenly. If you decide to add vegetables, ensure these are cut a little larger as they will take less time to cook. 

Cook a test piece – Although this marinade is delicious as it is and doesn’t need ANY tweaking, if you find yourself playing around with different flavours or spices to suit your family’s tastes (which I often do when I’m trying new recipes), once you have marinated the chicken, cook one piece in a frying pan BEFORE threading all the chicken onto the skewers. Try it and make any adjustments to the seasoning that you see fit.

Rest before serving – The most underrated tip! Resting the chicken for a few minutes after cooking ensures the juices stay locked in the meat, which results in extra juicy and tender chicken. 

What are some other quick and easy weekend family dishes?

If you enjoyed these chicken kebabs, you are sure to love:
Chicken Satay Skewers
Portuguese Chicken Burger
Beef Quesadillas
Big Mac Tacos
Mediterranean Pizza

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Garlicky BBQ Chicken Kebabs

Garlicky BBQ Chicken Kebabs

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Only a handful of simple ingredients are needed to make these delicious, quick and easy Garlicky BBQ Chicken Kebabs, which are ideal for cooking outdoors on the barbecue.

  • Total Time: 30 mins
  • Yield: 4 1x


  • 12 skewers (bamboo or metal)
  • 1 tbsp sweet paprika
  • 1 tbsp freshly minced garlic
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp cracked black pepper
  • 800 g (1 lb 12 oz) boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces (chicken breast can also be used, see note 1)


  1. If using bamboo skewers, submerge them in tap water for 10 minutes prior to cooking, to stop the skewers burning.

  2. In a large bowl, combine the paprika, garlic, olive oil, red wine vinegar, brown sugar, salt, black pepper and chicken. Combine well using tongs or your hands so that the chicken is evenly coated in the marinade. Use immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours to intensify the flavours (although I rarely do this for quick weeknight dinners).

  3. Thread the chicken onto the skewers, repeating until you have used up all of the chicken. You should have enough chicken for roughly 12 skewers with 5–6 pieces of chicken on each (depending on how big your chicken pieces are).

  4. Preheat the barbecue (or a griddle/chargrill pan on the stovetop) over medium–high heat. Cook the chicken for 8–10 minutes, turning regularly.

  5. Allow the chicken to rest, loosely covered in foil, for 3–5 minutes before serving.



Note 1 – My preference is chicken thigh as I feel it produces the best, juiciest results, but chicken breast can also be used. Cook the chicken for 8–10 minutes or until it is cooked through.

Make ahead:

Chicken – Marinate the chicken and thread the skewers up until 24 hours prior to cooking. Refrigerate in an airtight container until ready to use.


Refrigerate leftover chicken skewers for up to 3 days in an airtight container. Reheat in the microwave for the best, juiciest results. Not suitable to freeze.

  • Author: Nicole
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Category: Appetisers , mains , starters , entrees , side dishes , soups , stews , salads , sandwiches , burgers , pasta , rice , seafood , vegetarian , desserts , baking , drinks , snacks , breakfast , gluten-free , dairy-free , low-carb , grilling , barbequing , barbecuing , BBQ , holiday favourites , batch cooking , meal planning , budget-friendly , quick and easy , one pan , freezer friendly , chicken , beef , pork , lamb
  • Method: Barbequing-grilling , Barbecuing,grilling , BBQ-grilling , roasting , baking , frying , sauteing , boiling , simmering , steaming , slow cooking , grilling-broiling , braising , pan
  • Cuisine: Mexican , Italian , American , French , Asian , Greek , Thai , German , Indian , Middle Eastern , Mediterranean , Australian