Spicy Sweet Chicken Kabobs

Take advantage of those cool fall evenings and grill your family some of these spicy-sweet chicken kabobs.  Tender and full of flavor, these kabobs make an easy weeknight meal, especially if you make and marinate the chicken the night before.

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Pewter platter with spicy sweet chicekn kabobs, garnished with persulane and jalapeno.

At my Florida home, we grill all year round, but the cooler evenings of October lend themselves to a very pleasant grilling – no blazing heat, cool ocean breezes.  It’s lovely and these delicious kabobs with their sweet and spicy glaze are one of my favorites and something we make almost weekly.

I like to serve the kabobs with a cool and refreshing Israeli Salad, Rosemary Garlic Grilled Vegetables, and Basic Biryani Rice, or for a low-carb option – Brown Butter Garlic Parmesan Spaghetti Squash.

Ingredients Needed For Spicy Sweet Chicken Kabobs

  • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts – you could also use pork tenderloin or beef fillet as well.
  • Pineapple juice – orange juice would also work. 
  • Soy sauce – I use low sodium soy sauce.
  • Vegetable oil
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Scallions
  • Brown sugar
  • Garlic
  • Fresh ginger
  • Jalapeno pepper
  • Red pepper jelly
  • Metal or wooden skewers

Pewter platter with spicy sweet chicekn kabobs, garnished with persulane and jalapeno.

How To Make This Recipe

  1. If you’re using wooden skewers, soak them for at least 1 hour so they don’t burn while grilling.
  2. Cut the chicken into chunks
  3. Make the marinade by combining all the marinade ingredients, pour them into a ziplock bag, and add the chicken chunks.  Seal and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
  4. Thread the marinated chicken chunks onto the skewers and grill, rotating the skewers for even cooking.
  5. Mix the glaze ingredients and microwave until the jelly melts.  Brush the glaze onto the skewers, turning each kabob so they get caramelized edges.

Tips And Substitutions

  • Cut the chicken into even pieces to ensure that they cook evenly.
  • For the marinade, consider using apple juice instead of pineapple juice when using pork chunks.
  • If your family doesn’t like cilantro, use parsley instead.
  • Fresh ginger puree in a squeeze tube is an easy and economical way to add fresh ginger.  You can find this by the fresh herbs in your grocery store.
  • If you’re not a fan of spice or heat, omit the jalapeno pepper and use green bell pepper jelly for the glaze.  You can also use pineapple preserves, apple jelly, or apricot, or peach jam in the glaze instead of the red pepper jelly.
  • If you use wooden skewers, be sure to soak them in water before you thread the chicken.  I like using metal skewers.  They don’t have to be soaked and they’re reusable.

Pewter platter with spicy sweet chicekn kabobs, garnished with persulane and jalapeno.

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Pewter platter with spicy sweet chicekn kabobs, garnished with persulane and jalapeno.

Spicy Sweet Chicken Kabobs


Take advantage of those cool fall evenings & grill some spicy-sweet chicken kabobs. They’re tender, flavorful, & make an easy weeknight meal.



For the marinade:

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup minced cilantro
  • ¼ cup sliced scallions
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (about 3 cloves)
  • 2 teaspoons minced ginger
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, minced

For the glaze:

  • 1 (10-ounce) jar red pepper jelly
  • ¼ cup pineapple juice
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce


Make the marinade.

In a large bowl, whisk together all of the marinade ingredients.  Add the chicken chunks and stir to combine.  Either pour the mixture into a ziplock bag or cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 12 hours.

Make the glaze:

In a medium-size, microwave-safe bowl, stir together the red pepper jelly, pineapple juice, and soy sauce.  Microwave on high in 30-second intervals, stirring after each interval until the pepper jelly has melted and the glaze ingredients are fully incorporated.  Set aside.

Make the kabobs:

Remove the chicken from the marinade and discard the marinade.

Thread the chicken chunks onto the skewers pushing the pieces tightly together. Set aside.

Spray or brush oil on the grates of a grill and preheat the grill to medium-high heat.

Add the kabobs and cook for 2-3 minutes.  Rotate the kabobs and continue to cook for 2-3 minutes until all sides are cooked.

During the last minute or two of cooking, brush each side of the kabobs with the glaze until the kabobs take on a light caramelization and have some bits of char.

Remove from the grill and serve hot over hot rice.

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Marinating time: 4 hours or overnight
  • Cook Time: 16 minutes
  • Category: Main Dish - Chicken
  • Method: Grill
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: spicy sweet chicken kabobs, chicken recipes, grilling recipes, spicy recipes, marinated chicken, glazed chicken

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