Grilled Pineapple Chicken Kabobs

Grilled Pineapple Chicken Kabobs

Get ready to taste paradise with these Grilled Pineapple Chicken Kabobs! Juicy chicken and sweet, caramelized pineapple come together in a tantalizing blend of flavors that will transport you to a tropical oasis. Fire up the grill and embark on a culinary journey that’s both savory and refreshing. Grilled kabobs, also known as kebabs, have a rich history that spans centuries and cultures, showcasing a diverse culinary tradition.

a pile of wooden skewers ready to be soaked in water

Ancient Origins:

  • Middle Eastern Roots: The origins of kabobs can be traced back to the Middle East, particularly to ancient Persia (modern-day Iran) around 1,000 AD. Historical records suggest that Persian soldiers used their swords to grill meat over open flames, creating a dish called “kabāb,” which means grilled meat.

Spread Across Cultures:

  • Expansion through Trade and Conquest: As trade routes expanded and empires flourished, the concept of skewered, grilled meats spread across the Middle East, Central Asia, and eventually reached the Mediterranean and South Asia.

Diverse Variations:

  • Cultural Adaptations: Each region adapted the kabob according to local tastes and available ingredients. For instance:
    • Shish Kebabs: In Turkey and surrounding regions, “shish kebabs” emerged, featuring skewered meat, often lamb or beef, cooked over charcoal.
    • Souvlaki: Greek cuisine developed “souvlaki,” similar to kabobs, typically comprising skewered pork or chicken.
    • Tandoori Kebabs: In South Asia, especially in India, the “tandoori kebabs” cooked in a clay oven (tandoor) became popular, incorporating marinated meats like chicken, lamb, or fish.

Modern Influence:

  • Global Popularity: Kabobs gained international popularity with the influence of various cuisines and the globalization of food. They’re now a staple in barbecue culture and outdoor cooking worldwide.

Evolution and Diversity:

  • Vegetarian and Seafood Variations: Contemporary versions include vegetarian options like vegetable kabobs or seafood versions with shrimp, fish, or scallops.

Grilled kabobs have evolved from ancient cooking techniques into a versatile dish cherished in various cultures worldwide. The concept of skewering and grilling meat has transcended boundaries, offering a delicious and adaptable culinary experience enjoyed by many.


grilled pineapple and chicken kebabs turned into tacos


For the Pineapple Chicken Kabobs

  • Chicken – Boneless, skinless chicken breast, chopped into 1 ½ -inch cubes
  • Fresh pineapple – Chopped into 1 ½ -inch cubes
  • Bell peppers – Cut into 1 ½-inch pieces. Use assorted colors for a pretty contrast.
  • Red onion – Cut into 1 ½-inch pieces.
  • Extra virgin olive oil – You’ll need a little for the veggies plus additional as needed for brushing the grill
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


For the Marinade and Basting Sauce

  • Reduced sodium soy sauce
  • Canned 100% pineapple juice
  • Ketchup
  • Dark brown sugar
  • Extra virgin olive oil 
  • Minced garlic
  • Minced fresh ginger root
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Cornstarch and water – A cornstarch slurry thickens some of the reserved marinade so it can be used as a glaze.


  1. Marinate – Combine the marinade ingredients in a small mixing bowl then measure out and transfer about half to a small container and refrigerate for the basting sauce you’ll make later. Place the chunks of chicken in a resealable plastic storage bag and pour the remaining marinade over the chicken in the bag. Press out as much air as possible, seal the bag, and transfer it to the refrigerator to marinate for at least 1 hour and no more than 3 hours.
  2. Prep the Pineapple and Veggies – While the grill is heating, place the pineapple, peppers, and onion in a large bowl and toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  3. Assemble the Kabobs – Thread equal amounts of chicken, veggies, and pineapple on 10- to 12-inch metal skewers.
  4. Grill and Baste – To create the basting sauce, pour the reserved marinade into a small saucepan and place it over medium-low heat. Add the cornstarch slurry and stir, cooking until the mixture has thickened. Grill the kabobs, brushing with the basting sauce, until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.



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