These chicken and sausage kabobs require no grilling, are made without skewers and conveniently baked in the oven on a sheet pan. Get that summer BBQ feeling, any time of year!
There we were in the carpeted kitchen of one of the first apartments, listening to the neighbor’s cats roam in our bushes and fumbling with shish kabob skewers.
Ironically that apartment in upstate NY only had carpets in the kitchen and bathroom but hardwoods everywhere else… Tim and I were still navigating off campus living and living together in general so it only made sense for us to ditch the late night hot wings and incorporate more home cooked meals.
Turns out not all kitchens come equipped with countertops though, so we set up shop at a big round table and laid out all of our chicken and sausage kabob ingredients. We made this meal often and always sought improvements that saved us time since filling the skewers took forever!
We tried wooden skewers that needed to be soaked in water before use. We tried metal skewers that quickly rusted. And then we wised up and ditched the skewers altogether.
These deconstructed kabobs are one of the few meals we made in that carpeted kitchen that has stuck around a decade later. And for good reason!
Making chicken kabobs without skewers!
As evidenced by our college cooking days, placing food on skewers takes a lot of time and proper skewer maintenance. If you’re having a party, sure, go all out and skewer it up. But if you just want a tasty weeknight meal, I recommend the deconstructed kabob route. This way all you have to do is chop everything up, place it on a sheet pan and bake!
For these kabobs the star ingredients are pineapple, peppers, chicken breast and jalapeño chicken sausage.
Since it’s accompanied by a sweet, tropical glaze it goes great with pineapple kabobs or spicy sausage but you can swap for others things you like more.
Substitutions for kabobs baked in the oven:
- Yellow Squash
Grilled chicken kabobs vs. Baked chicken kabobs
Grilled chicken kabobs, when cooked well (*note the caveat), are absolutely delicious! Grilling however takes time to perfect. The quality of the final product depends on the type of grill, whether you use wood or charcoal and of course, your own patience.
If picking out grilling gear makes your head spin, you can avoid a traditional grill altogether and just buy a grill pan. You can put it directly on your stove top. It will give you those perfectly charred grill lines and smokey flavor. But even with stove top grilling, you’ll need to monitor these kabobs closely so that they don’t burn or dry out.
Pros of baking chicken kabobs in the oven:
- Juicy chicken, every time!
- Charred flavor without your house or yard getting smokey
- No cleaning grill grates
- No fishing for chicken that has undoubtedly fallen between the grates
What should you eat these chicken kabobs with?
They honestly would taste good with a shoe but when we have chicken kabobs at home we usually eat it with heavily spiced brown rice. I use brown rice instead of white rice for the nutritional value but you can use any rice you like.
To make the spiced brown rice:
- 2 packets of pre-cooked brown rice (I like the frozen kind from Trader Joe’s or the frozen steamed brown rice from Grain Trust)
- 1 1/2 tbs smoked paprika
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 2 tbs water
- salt and pepper to taste
- Heat a non-stick skillet to medium heat. Add all of the ingredients to the skillet. Stir occasionally for about 3 – 5 minutes until grains are defrosted. Cover until you are ready to eat. Tip: The rice grains should look translucent rather than frosty. Sample some rice to check for done-ness, it shouldn’t be cold.
And if you don’t want rice, you can also enjoy these chicken kabobs with salad, cous cous or cauliflower rice.
- 6-7 chicken breast tenderloins, cut in cubes I like the tenders rather than standard chicken breast because it doesn't dry out in the oven
- 4 spicy chicken sausage links, sliced Jalepeno or andouille work well
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 1 20 oz can pineapple chunks (in juice) If you use fresh pineapple, it would be 1 whole pineapple
- 1 red bell pepper, cut in cubes
- 1 onion, cut in cubes
- 2 tbsp smoked paprika
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper look for the pepper grinder version so it can be freshly cracked
- 1/4 cup apricot or mango jam
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees and turn your broiler on to high.
- Get 3 baking sheets ready, 1 for the sausage, 1 for the veggies and 1 for the chicken.
- Add pineapple, onions and peppers to a lined baking sheet. Toss with 1 tbs olive oil and bake for 15-20 minutes until tender. Pour any excess liquid from the cooked fruits and veggies into a bowl and set aside. Move the baking sheet into the broiler for 5-8 minutes to get a nice char.
- Place the chicken sausage on another lined baking sheet, toss with 1 tsp olive oil and place in the broiler. Cook 8-10 minutes until slightly charred.
- Place chicken chunks into a bowl and toss with smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, salt, black pepper and 1 tbs of olive oil. Pour the chicken onto a lined baking sheet and spread the pieces out. Bake for 5 minutes (it will be under-cooked). Pour off any excess liquid from the cooked chicken into the bowl with the fruit and vegetable liquid. Move the baking sheet into the broiler for 3-4 minutes to get a nice char.
- Add the apricot or mango jam to the veggie/chicken baking liquid. Throw in a pinch of salt and pepper and microwave for 1 minute. To serve, get a little bit of everything on your plate and drizzle with the sauce. Enjoy!
Did you try this recipe? I’d love to see how it turned out! Snap a picture and tag @brightrootskitchen or use #brightrootskitchen on Insta.