These air fryer chicken kabobs are delicious and very easy to make. Thanks to the spice blend used, they are also super juicy, keeping the moisture inside the meat while being full of flavour. My partner is a big fan. The last time I made them, he finished 8 out of 10 in just a few hours – he would happily eat them all if I didn’t stop him!
Why To Try These Air Fryer Chicken Kabobs
You will love this recipe for various reasons, here are the best of them:
- This chicken kebab recipe is easy and quick – all you need to do is to marinate the chicken, and then stack it on skewers with diced vegetables. A batch of these will cook in an air fryer in under 20 minutes.
- This recipe is perfect for making in advance. The marinade provides the chicken with delicious flavours and helps keeping the moisture in – the longer you leave it, the better and richer the final taste will be.
- They are great for entertaining and parties - simply adjust the number of servings in the recipe card. You may need to cook them in batches. Prepping a large amount and in a rush? Pop them in the oven instead of an air fryer. The recipe is also barbecue and grill friendly. Alternative cooking instructions are included below this post.
- Recommendation: my partner absolutely adores these chicken kabobs! It is hard to keep them away from him once they are cooked – he would easily finish the whole batch in one go!
This recipe contains only 6 basic ingredients. The rest are spices and seasoning that can be found in majority of kitchen cupboards. You will need:
- Chicken thigh fillets – boneless and skinless chicken thighs are great for this recipe, as they cook fast and are very juicy. They are a source of protein and natural fats. Use only chilled (refrigerated) chicken thighs in this recipe; allow extra time to defrost them (overnight) if needed.
- Bell peppers add beautiful vibrant colours to the kebabs, while providing essential vitamins (vit C), minerals and antioxidants. Use red, green, yellow or orange bell peppers – the recipe will always work.
- Onion gives these chicken kebabs a proper dose of sweet, caramelised aroma and flavour, and is one of the ingredients that make them taste so good. Use either regular brown or red onion, both will work.
The marinade is made of the following ingredients:
- Garlic – crushed fresh garlic cloves, garlic paste or garlic granules will work in this recipe.
- Lemon juice gives the marinade zesty flavour and antibacterial properties. Use either fresh or concentrated lemon juice.
- Olive oil provides the marinade with extramoisture and helps prevent the chicken and vegetables from burning and from sticking to the tray (or grill).
- Homemade smoky spice blend – mixture of ground paprika, smoked paprika, chili flakes, caraway seeds, black pepper and salt. Adjust the heat level according to your taste by adding less or more chili flakes.
Check the recipe card at the very end of this article for more details.
Substitutes & Variations
Here is a list of suitable ingredient swaps in this recipe, in case you miss some:
- Chicken breast fillets – boneless and skinless, the recipe will work, and the results will be similar, although breasts are leaner and therefore the kabobs will taste slightly dryer.
- Zucchini (courgette) – instead of bell peppers.
- Add cayenne pepper to replace smoked paprika – use less, as it is hotter.
- Swap caraway seeds for cumin.
You can make this recipe go even further by adding either bacon or halloumi cheese – both of which bake well.
- Bacon – streaky bacon rashers are best for this recipe.
- Halloumi or grilling cheese – cut the squeaky cheese into small bites before adding to the kabobs.
Detailed notes on how to substitute ingredients in this recipe are described in the recipe card.
How To Air Fry Chicken Kabobs
This easy chicken skewers recipe is ready in just 4 steps:
- Dice and marinate the chicken. Prepare the spice blend, coat the chicken with it, and leave it to rest in the refrigerator.
- Prepare and cut the vegetables.
- Fill the skewers with veg and meat.
- Distribute evenly on a baking grill or a tray, and air fry until slightly brown on top. Check the chicken is cooked inside and serve.
As always, find more information and exact measurements in the recipe at the end of this blog post.
Here are some expert tips on how to make these delicious chicken skewers a success:
- Before you start, check you have the correct size of bamboo skewers – do they fit inside of your air fryer? Yes – great! No – cut them short.
- Ran out of skewers? No problem – mix the diced vegetables with the marinated chicken and cook it in a tray in the air fryer (instead on skewers). Turn at least once halfway through.
- Cut the chicken and vegetables evenly – this will help cook them evenly too. Larger cuts will take longer to cook, while smaller chunks of meat will cook faster.
- Do not overfill the skewers – distribute the meat and veg evenly on the bamboo sticks, leaving a slight gap in between the pieces (so that they almost touch).
- Decide on a pattern and stick to it – I like to start with vegetables going first, then meat, the veg, and so on. Find your own pattern and follow it with each skewer – this will result in a nice and tidy-looking plate of food.
- Use leftover marinade to brush the chicken skewers before and mid-cooking process. This way you will make most of the flavours.
Storage & Reheating
These air fried chicken kabobs will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
You can make and cook the kabobs in advance, and then reheat them. Or you can marinade the meat, pre-chop the vegetables and finish the kabobs off later. Store the marinated meat and diced veggies separately in sealed containers or freezer bags in the fridge.
The meat can be marinated for 3 to 48 hours before cooking.
Do not prepare the vegetables more than 12 hours in advance – only wash and cut the veggies prior to air frying, otherwise they will go dry.
Can You Freeze Chicken Kebabs?
Yes, you can freeze chicken kebabs. However, I wouldn’t recommend freezing them with any vegetables. The veggies will become very soft soon after thawing and will loose their crunchy texture, and may even fall off the skewers when you will try to reheat the kebabs.
You have two options: Freeze uncooked or cooked chicken kebabs (meat only in both instances).
When freezing chicken kebabs, wrap them in a clingfilm (plastic food wrap), and place in an airtight freezer bag or container. Keep frozen for up to 3 months.
Cooking frozen uncooked kebabs? Cook them from frozen and add 4-5 minutes to the air frying time.
These juicy chicken kebabs can be eaten hot or cold after they are cooked. You can reheat cooked chicken kebabs in a microwave, in an air fryer or in the oven.
- Microwave –2-3 minutes per serving.
- Air fryer – 5-7 minutes at 180C/356F.
- Oven – 15-20 minutes at 180C/356F.
Regardless of the reheating method, adjust the reheating time according to the power of your appliance and turn the kebabs halfway through.
What to Serve Chicken Kebabs with?
You will enjoy these air fried chicken kebabs with homemade tzatziki sauce and Shopska salad or with pasta salad with sun-dried tomatoes. They will also taste great with rice, mashed potato, couscous, or deconstructed in pitta bread.
Yes, you can cook kabobs in an air fryer. They will be evenly cooked in a short time, helping you save will save energy and time (you don’t have to wait for the oven or grill to preheat).
You can use metal skewers sticks or wooden skewers in an air fryer. When using wooden ones, it is recommended to pre-soak them in water for about 30 minutes before cooking. Dry the skewers with a kitchen or tea towel before adding any meat or vegetables.
You can pre-soak wooden skewers before using them in an air fryer. This helps prevent them from catching fire, which may happen when exposing them to high temperatures. If you wish to pre-soak wooden skewers, immerse the skewers in cold water for half an hour before cooking. Pat them dry, assemble the kebabs - they are ready to go in an air fryer, oven or on a bbq.
📖 The Recipe
Air Fryer Chicken Kabobs
- 10 bamboo or metal skewers that fit your air fryer
- air fryer
- 900 g chicken thigh fillets, boneless and skinless
- 3 bell peppers, any colour
- 1 large onion
For the marinade:
- 1 teaspoon ground paprika
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¾ teaspoon caraway seeds
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon chili flakes, to taste
- 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice, from half a lemon
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- Cut the chicken into same-size cubes (about an inch by inch). Mix the spices with garlic, lemon juice and olive oil, and coat the chicken in the marinade. Leave the marinated chicken to chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, but optimally 3-12 hours.
- Wash and dice the vegetables (same size as the size of the chicken bites).
- Assemble the skewers with veg and meat, following the same pattern each time, if possible. Use any leftover marinade to brush the kebabs before air frying.
- Distribute the skewers evenly on a baking grill, basket or tray, and air fry at 200C/392F for 15-18 mins until slightly charred on top. Turn halfway through, brushing the kebabs slightly with leftover marinade. Ensure the chicken is fully cooked inside before serving (when cut into, the juices run clear). Depending on the size of your air fryer, you may need to do this in batches.
• Chicken breast fillets (boneless and skinless).
• 1,5 zucchini (courgette) instead of bell peppers.
• ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper instead of smoked paprika.
• Cumin instead of caraway seeds. Variations
• Add streaky bacon or halloumi cheese in between the layers. Top Tips: See article above the recipe. Cooking in the oven?
Preheat the oven to 200C (fan)/ 392F before you start assembling the kebabs. Line a deep baking tray with baking paper. Follow the same cooking instructions as above.