Teriyaki Chicken Skewers

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Teriyaki Chicken Skewers are complemented with fresh pineapple, veggies, and the best sweet teriyaki sauce! Serve these skewers on a bed of coconut rice, garnished with fresh lime and toasted coconut. 

 

Overhead image of Teriyaki Chicken Skewers on a bed of rice, with lime, cilantro and toasted coconut.

Teriyaki Chicken Skewers

I love grilled chicken in any form, but it’s especially fun on a skewer with grilled veggies and fruit. Pineapple gets incredibly juicy and flavorful when grilled and is the perfect complement to the sweet teriyaki sauce and chicken.

Pineapple is a prominent flavor in these skewers — from the actual chunks of fresh pineapple to the pineapple juice in the sauce. Speaking of the sauce, it’s sweet, sticky, and totally addictive! You may recognize it from this teriyaki burger recipe, it’s a definite family favorite.

Additionally, the sauce is very easy to make and serves dual purposes. The chicken marinates in the sauce and the remainder is reserved for topping or dipping the teriyaki chicken skewers in. I’m all for this “two for one” shortcut on busy summer weeknights!

Process shots-- images of the teriyaki sauce being made; the chicken going into the marinade; the skewers being assembled; and skewers being grilled and basted.

Let’s talk chicken

I tested this recipe with both chicken thighs and chicken breast. While my boys typically prefer chicken breasts, thighs won hands down. The thighs remain succulent and moist after grilling.

Chicken breast will work, but it does tend to dry out more, especially when cooked on a skewer (cooking smaller pieces of chicken dries it out quicker).

Grilling tips for Teriyaki Chicken Skewers

  • Cut chicken into same-sized pieces. To ensure the chicken pieces cook evenly it’s important they’re all about the same size — about 2-inch pieces. 
  • Flip and/or stir. Throughout the marinating process, be sure to flip the bag of chicken on the other side or stir the pieces in the marinade. This ensures equal flavor on all parts of the chicken pieces.
  • Generously oil your grill grates. I do this by rolling up a few paper towels, drenching them in oil (canola or vegetable), and with tongs, rub the drenched paper towels along the grill grates. This will contribute to a beautiful sear and ensure the kabobs don’t stick to the grates (it’s always a pain when you lose some of the veggies or chicken on the grill!). 
  • If the kabobs are sticking at all, use a large metal spatula instead of tongs to flip. 

Process shots-- images of the coconut rice being made.

How to make coconut-lime rice

Coconut-lime rice is an optional base for Teriyaki Chicken Skewers, but it really makes the dish extra special. It’s fresh and vibrant tasting, plus it’s hardly any extra effort than making regular rice. Be sure to use a good-quality, full-fat coconut milk and don’t forget to let the rice sufficiently sit (covered) after it’s done simmering; this will keep the rice from becoming sticky and gooey.

Coconut-Lime Rice

  • 1 cup basmati rice (other varieties don’t cook up as well, and become overly mushy)
  • 1 and 1/2 cups full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 large lime (1 teaspoon zest and 2 tablespoons juice)

Combine 1 cup basmati rice, 1 and 1/2 cups full-fat coconut milk, 1/2 cup water, and 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt (or to taste). Stir and place over high heat. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and cover the rice with a lid. Allow to simmer for 13-18 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat, keep covered, and let stand for 10-15 minutes; don’t rush or it will be sticky! Fluff the rice with a fork and then add in the zest and juice of one lime. Stir to incorporate.

Up-close overhead image of prepared Teriyaki Chicken Skewers.

Teriyaki Chicken Skewer tips

  • Use a fresh, ripe pineapple. It grills up and caramelizes into such a sweet addition to the skewers.
  • Garnish. The garnishes add so much to these skewers. We love topping them with unsweetened coconut flakes, green onions, cilantro, and a few squeezes of fresh lime.
  • Let the teriyaki sauce chill thoroughly before marinating. If the sauce is hot when it’s added to the chicken it will begin cooking the chicken, which will really dry it out.
  • Soak wooden skewers. Wooden skewers can burn easily over a hot grill. Soaking them in warm water for 10 to 30 minutes before threading will keep the skewers from burning. More details about soaking skewers? Read this. Metal skewers are a great alternative option. 

QUICK TIP

Sometimes skewers are hard to turn, and the food on them rolls and twists. To give a sturdier base, use two wooden skewers instead of one. You’ll be amazed at how much easier it is to turn them when grilling!

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Teriyaki Chicken Skewers

0 from 0 votes
Teriyaki Chicken Skewers with fresh pineapple, veggies, and the best sweet teriyaki sauce are loaded on a bed of coconut rice and garnished with fresh lime and toasted coconut. 
Print Recipe

Teriyaki Chicken Skewers

0 from 0 votes
Teriyaki Chicken Skewers with fresh pineapple, veggies, and the best sweet teriyaki sauce are loaded on a bed of coconut rice and garnished with fresh lime and toasted coconut. 
Course Dinner
Cuisine Chinese, Lebanese, Mediterranean
Keyword Teriyaki Chicken Skewers 3
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 424kcal
Cost $7.82

Equipment

  • Wooden skewers (See Note 1)

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (130g) regular soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup (79g) honey
  • 1/4 cup (56g) 100% pineapple juice
  • 3 tablespoons EACH: olive oil, rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic (4-6 cloves)
  • 2 tablespoons minced ginger
  • Fine sea salt and freshly cracked pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch (plus 1 tablespoon water)
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into 1-1/2 inch chunks
  • 1 cup (121g) cubed red bell pepper
  • 1 cup (150g) cubed red onion
  • 1 and 1/4 cup (200g) cubed fresh pineapple
  • Optional: coconut lime rice (See Note 2)
  • Optional: unsweetened coconut flakes, fresh lime, fresh cilantro or green onions for topping skewers and rice

Instructions

  • SAUCE: In a small saucepan, whisk together the soy sauce, honey, pineapple juice, olive oil, rice vinegar, minced garlic, minced ginger, and salt and pepper to taste. (I add 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; add to personal preference.) Whisk to combine. In a separate small bowl, add the 1 tablespoon cornstarch and 1 tablespoon water. Use a fork to whisk until smooth. While whisking constantly, slowly drizzle the cornstarch mixture into the soy sauce. Bring to boil and cook about 1-3 minutes until the mixture just starts to thicken. Remove from heat and let cool completely.
  • PREP CHICKEN: Cut the chicken into 1-1/2-inch pieces. Place chicken pieces in a large plastic bag or container. Remove 1/2 cup of the cooled teriyaki sauce and reserve for later. Pour the remaining sauce over the chicken and knead to cover and combine. Marinate the chicken in the sauce in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, and up to 8 hours.
  • PREP SKEWERS: Preheat the grill to medium-high heat (400-450 degrees F). Clean and generously oil grates (I drench a paper towel in oil and, holding with tongs, rub over the grates). Thread the chicken on skewers, along with the chunked peppers, chunked red onion, and pineapple chunks, leaving a small space between each item.
  • GRILL: Grill for 8-10 minutes until the meat is cooked to 160 degrees F (carryover heat will take it to 165 degrees F). Remove from the grill and baste (or drizzle) skewers with reserved sauce. Garnish with green onions, cilantro, and unsweetened coconut flakes as desired. Serve with lime wedges. If desired, serve over coconut lime rice (See Note 1).

Recipe Notes

Note 1: Wooden skewers can burn easily over a hot grill. Soaking them in warm water for 10 to 30 minutes before threading will keep the skewers from burning. Metal skewers are a great alternative. 
Note 2: Coconut Lime Rice
  • 1 cup basmati rice (184g) (other varieties don't cook up as well and become overly mushy)
  • 1 can (13.5oz) full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup water (101g)
  • 1 large lime (1 teaspoon zest and 2 tablespoons juice)
Combine 1 cup basmati rice, 1 and 1/2 cups full-fat coconut milk, 1/2 cup water, and 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt (or to taste). Stir and place over high heat. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and cover the rice with a lid. Allow to simmer for 13-18 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat, keep covered, and let stand for 10-15 minutes; don't rush or it will be sticky! Fluff the rice with a fork and then add in the zest and juice of one lime. Stir to incorporate.

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 424kcal

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Nutrition facts in teriyaki chicken skewers

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2 Comments

  1. Hi Chelsea! I love ur blog soooooo much! I was wondering I’m always looking for shortcuts if I use the boil in the bag rice how could I incorporate the coconut milk? The rice in a bag goes in microwave in little bowl of water for 10 minutes. Thank you!! Also if u have any new turkey burger recipes I’d love to see some!!! Thanks for your help and inspiration!!!

    1. Awe thanks Tina! 🙂 You made my day 🙂 To be honest I haven’t used the boil in a bag rice, but I’m guessing you could replace the water 1:1 with coconut milk. Otherwise you could stir in a few tablespoons of coconut milk and/or some shredded coconut to the rice after it is cooked. I’ll add turkey burgers to my list of recipes to create, thanks for the suggestion!

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