Make tender, juicy and flavourful air fryer chicken kabobs in just 15 minutes! These chicken kabob skewers are marinated in flavourful spices and skewered with vegetables for a delicious all year meal.
Chicken Kabobs in the Air Fryer
I think air fryers were made for chicken! The air fryer cooks chicken in (usually) half the time a conventional oven takes, and it yields chicken that's crispy and caramelized on the outside, and perfectly juicy on the inside. I especially love making drumsticks in the air fryer, like these pomegranate drumsticks, and also these sticky and tangy pomegranate wings.
This chicken kabobs recipe uses a really simple marinade with no additional chopping to make an easy recipe even easier. It only takes 12-13 minutes to cook in the air fryer.
There are a few key things to keep in mind for excellent results:
- Marinate the chicken for a few hours or overnight to get a lot of flavour!
- Use chicken thighs because they have a bit more fat than chicken breast and retain juiciness. Breast works too if that's all you have though!
- Skewer some vegetables with the chicken to enjoy as well and to make the chicken go a long way.
I love using this Cosori air fryer, which I've had for over a year. It is precise and heats up really fast!
What Type of Skewers to Use in the Air Fryer
You can use wooden skewers or metal skewers in the air fryer. I prefer using bamboo wooden skewers for easier clean up.
Using wooden skewers also means its easier to cut them down to fit the size of your specific air fryer.
If you're using metal skewers, make sure that you use tongs or oven mitts when removing them from the air fryer as they will get really hot.
TIP: To avoid the wooden skewers getting darker, you can soak them in water for 15-20 minutes before using them.
Ingredients You'll Need to Make This Recipe
The main components of this recipe are the chicken and the spices and marinade ingredients. The vegetables are optional and you can switch them out for whatever you have on hand.
Here are some notes on the ingredients:
- Chicken thighs or chicken breast, cut into even 1.5 inch pieces
- Spices including: onion powder, garlic powder, allspice, paprika, curry powder, black pepper, and salt
- If you don't have allspice, replace with middle eastern seven spice. If you don't have curry powder, replace with a mix of turmeric, cumin, and black pepper.
- Ketchup and vinegar for the wet marinade ingredients. Yes trust me on the ketchup! It adds a lovely sweetness. As for vinegar, white vinegar or apple cider vinegar both work well. The vinegar will work to tenderize the chicken.
- I love to use zucchini, red peppers, and red onions for skewering vegetables because they're flavourful and quick to cook. You can also omit using any vegetables.
How To Make Air Fryer Chicken Kabobs, Step by Step
First, start by cutting your skewers down to fit your air fryer if needed. I had to trim mine about 2-3 inches to fit into my Cosori air fryer.
Next, soak the skewers for 15-20 minutes while you prepare the ingredients.
Next, cut the chicken into cubes that are roughly 1.5 inches in size. Ensure you cut them as evenly as possible to help them cook evenly.
Place the chicken in a large mixing bowl and combine with all of the marinade ingredients (the spices, the ketchup and the vinegar).
Mix well using your hands. If you have time, place the marinated chicken in the fridge for 2-4 hours or overnight. The longer they marinate the more flavourful they will be!
Next, if you choose to use vegetables, slice or cut them into even sized pieces. My favourite vegetables to use are small zucchini, red peppers, and red onions. These three add a beautiful pop of colour and cook well in the time it takes the chicken to cook.
Then, skewer the chicken. You can alternate between a piece of chicken and a piece of vegetable, or skewer the chicken only. Be sure to not to push the chicken too much into each other and leave some breathing space to allow them to cook evenly.
Place the chicken kabobs in the air fryer, in one layer. My air fryer fits about 6 skewers. Avoid layering them on top of each other to ensure the chicken browns nicely.
Air fry the chicken kabobs at 380F for 12-13 minutes. You can turn them halfway if you feel your air fryer needs it. Check one piece to ensure it is white on the inside and that the juices run clear.
Serve and enjoy!
What to Serve with Chicken Kabobs
I love serving these air fryer chicken kabobs with a sauce like toum (a middle eastern garlic sauce typically served with chicken). You can also serve with a tahini based sauce, the simplest of which is to mix tahini with lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper.
FAQs on Air Fryer Chicken Kabobs
Can I make these chicken kabobs without an air fryer? You can cook these on a stove top grill for 3-4 minutes on each side, turning until they cook through. You can also bake in the oven for approximately 10-15 minutes at 380F and check to ensure the chicken is cooked through.
Can you put skewers in an air fryer? Yes you can. An air fryer is similar to a conventional oven and you can use both wooden and metal skewers in it.
Chicken thighs vs Chicken breast? This is a matter of personal preference. I prefer thighs because of the additional fat, but chicken breast will work really well too. Use what you have on hand!
What temperature are chicken kabobs cooked at? Using 380F in the air fryer ensures the chicken does not overcook and remains juicy.
Other Chicken Recipes You Will Love
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15-Minute Air Fryer Chicken Kabobs (Chicken Skewers)
- 1 kg chicken thighs or chicken breast boneless and skinless
- 2 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 ¼ teaspoon curry powder
- 1 teaspoon allspice powder
- 1.5 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 4 tablespoon ketchup
- 2 tablespoon vinegar
Vegetables for Skewering
- 1 red pepper optional
- 1 red onion optional
- 2 small zucchini optional
- In a large dish filled with water, soak the bamboo skewers for 15 minutes. If you need to cut the skewers down to fit your air fryer, do so before soaking
- Cut the boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts into skewer sized pieces, roughly 1.5 inches in size. Try to cut them evenly to ensure an even cook.
- Combine the chicken with all the spices along with the ketchup and vinegar
- Mix well and marinate for a minimum of 1 hour or overnight for maximum flavour. If you don't have time, you can use them right away as well
- Slice the zucchini into rounds if using
- Chop the onion and red pepper into skewer sized pieces if using
- Skewer the chicken alternating with the zucchini, red pepper and onion. Alternatively, simply skewer the chicken pieces if using only chicken
- Lightly spray your air fryer with oil. Place the skewers in the air fryer basket in one layer
- Air fry the skewers at 380 F for 12-13 minutes, turning over halfway if needed
- Serve right away and enjoy!
- Recipe makes 13-15 skewers if using just chicken and 20 if skewers with the vegetables.
- If you don't have an air fryer, you can also grill them over the stove top or on an outdoor grill for 3-4 minutes on each side until cooked through.