Balsamic Chicken Kebabs

  • By Jackie Sun
  • August 24, 2014

Weeknight meals via @CookSmarts: Balsamic Chicken Kebabs #recipe

Grill season is the perfect time to have guests over to indulge in delicious foods with a charred, smoky flavor. There’s just something about being in good company, sharing conversations over barbecued meat and veggies!

Take this quote by Julia Child – ”It’s fun to get together and have something good to eat at least once a day. That’s what human life is all about – enjoying things.” Eating is a lot more enjoyable with company, and we happen to think that breaking out the grill calls for friends and family time! While we don’t need everybody to come over, it definitely makes the effort to open the outdoor grill more worth it.

“I really enjoyed this meal! So fun and colorful (and delicious, of course).” -Jenna

So whenever we decide to grill, we plan on making other grill-friendly meals, so that we’re not only using the grill for one item. This saves on time, since we’re making majority of the things on the grill. And did we mention that it’s pretty impressive?

Grilling seals in all of the natural juices from the meat and veggies with its high cooking temperatures, making grilled food juicy and flavorful. You don’t have to put in a lot of work to make something taste great and wow your guests.

Balsamic Chicken Kebabs #recipe via @CookSmarts

But speaking of having guests over for an awesome grilled meal, we think that the simplest, quickest meals are best for entertaining. Grilling is great, but who wants to constantly stand at the hot grill while everyone else is in the shade, cracking open a cold beer?

Which is why we love kebabs. Everything can be prepped and skewered ahead of time, and then on to the grill they go! They cook for 10 minutes (or less, depending on the ingredients), and then they make their way to the table to all of the hungry bellies, which means there is more room on the grill for other barbecued goodies.

“The chicken was so tender. My 2 year old kept asking for more. I swapped out the red onion for sweet onion and it was delicious.”

For this week’s recipe, our protein choice for these amazing kebabs is chicken. Chicken needs to be cooked through completely, so making them into kebabs is a great way to cut back on the cooking time for chicken. The small skewered pieces get cooked quickly, and because each piece has been tenderized before hitting the grill, every bite is punctuated with flavor.

To get our veggies in for the day, we add cherry tomatoes and red onions. The onions add crunch and slight sharpness, while the tomatoes burst with sweet and tart flavor. All of this deliciousness is tied together with a balsamic vinaigrette that gets brushed on the kebabs and drizzled at the end as a finishing sauce.

Lastly, here’s a nice bonus: there’s no need for forks! (That means less dishes to wash!)

Other quick and easy grilled meals for entertaining:

For More Smarts:

You can still enjoy this meal as a quick and tasty weeknight meal without the skewers. Just toss altogether in a wok for a flavorful stir-fry!

Prepping Smarts:

Prep is minimal for this dish – just tenderize your chicken for ultimate flavor and chop your onion into chunks. Here’s how:


How to Season & Tenderize Proteins with a Fork

Maximize flavor and tenderize proteins with this little trick.


How to Slice an Onion

Learn the most efficient way to slice, dice, and chop onions so that your prep always goes smoothly.

Equipment Smarts:

A whisk is an inexpensive and useful tool for mixing vinaigrettes.

A gas grill makes for easy entertaining and delicious summer meals.

Weber Grill from
A grill pan is a great alternative to an outdoor grill and convenient to use.

All Clad Grill Pan
For more kitchen and equipment and tool smarts, visit our ‘Essential Kitchen Cookware and Tools’

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Balsamic Chicken Kebabs

You will want to lick your fingers after eating these chicken kebabs with tomatoes and red onions. Glazed in a balsamic vinaigrette, these are sure to be hit at your next summer potluck!

Prep time: 30 min

Cook time: 15 min

Total time: 45 min

Serves: 4


  • Chicken breasts - 1 lb.
  • Skewers - 8 to 16
  • Red onion (small) - 1/2, chopped
  • Cherry tomatoes - 1/2 pint
  • Oregano - 1/4 tsp
  • Dijon mustard - 2 tsp
  • Balsamic vinegar - 1 1/2 tbsp
  • Cooking oil - 3 tbsp



  1. Chicken – Chop into 1” wide cubes. Season with salt and pepper and tenderize with a fork, like this. (Can be done up to 1 day ahead)
  2. Skewers – Soak in water for ~30 minutes.
  3. Red onion – Prep as directed. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
  4. Prepare kebabs – If using flat skewers, thread skewers through chicken, red onions, and tomatoes. If using round skewers, use two skewers / kebab to prevent rolling when flipping kebabs. (Can be done up to 1 day ahead)
  5. Vinaigrette – Whisk together oregano, Dijon, balsamic vinegar, and oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper and separate into two separate bowls (one will be used on raw chicken). (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)


  1. Brush both sides of kebabs with one bowl of the vinaigrette.
  2. If making kebabs on grill: Preheat grill to 500 degrees, keeping one part on higher heat and another part on lower heat. Clean grates and add kebabs to higher heat part. Sear on each side for 3 minutes (keeping cover closed). Move to lower heat and cook for another 2 to 4 minutes (or until chicken is cooked through) with cover closed. If you still have more vinaigrette left in your first bowl, you can brush more on when moving the kebabs to lower heat.
  3. If making kebabs on stovetop: Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Add kebabs to hot grill pan and sear for 4 to 5 minutes on both sides. If you still have more vinaigrette left in your first bowl, you can brush more on during the cooking process. Remove from pan and cover with foil to continue cooking.
  4. Enjoy freshly grilled kebabs, drizzled with other half of vinaigrette!


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