Perfect for when it’s too hot to turn on your oven, these Gluten Free Teriyaki Chicken Kabobs cook up great on your grill. The marinade uses coconut aminos instead of soy sauce, making it both gluten free and Whole30 compliant. Pair it with regular rice or cauliflower rice for bonus veggies in your dinner.
When you’re gluten free it can be nearly impossible to find a good chicken teriyaki without gluten in it. Because traditionally, teriyaki is made from soy sauce, sugar, and a Japanese rice wine called mirin. And we all know soy sauce has gluten in it.
I’ll be honest, when I was developing this recipe I didn’t set out to make teriyaki chicken. But the end result was so similar it’s what it ended up being. Bonus that because it’s made with coconut aminos it’s soy-free and Whole30 compliant.
Now let’s get on to the directions, shall we?
How To Make Gluten Free Teriyaki Chicken Marinade
Making the marinade is basically just dumping everything into a cup, and it’s made even easier by using a large measuring cup so you don’t have to dirty more than one dish. Start with the two ingredients that you have to measure out (the coconut aminos and the balsamic vinegar. Then add everything else in and mix it together.
Next you’ll get out a dish like the one in the picture below and pour about 2/3 of the marinade into it. This you’ll use to toss the chicken in after you’ve chopped it.
Then you’ll get the chicken out, take as much fat off as you can (or want to), and chop it into pieces. This isn’t an exact science, you just have to make sure they’re about the same size (so one doesn’t take longer to cook than the others) and that they’re big enough to place the skewer through without the piece falling off. Mine around about 1.5 inches x 1.5 inches x 0.5 inches (or so, I didn’t take a ruler to them or anything).
Once all the chicken is in the marinade, cover it with plastic wrap and stick it in the fridge for about 25 minutes.
Now onto the veggies and then assembly.
How to Assemble Gluten Free Teriyaki Chicken Kabobs
So first you’ll chop up your veggies. The details are in the recipe at the end of the post, but basically you want to get pieces that will fit on the skewer and not break. You also don’t want really big pieces of one veggie and really small pieces of another as one will be done cooking before the other.
You can see in the picture below where the vegetables are being marinated that the onions and bell peppers are about one inch by one inch. The mushrooms shouldn’t be super large and the zucchini you’ll want to cut to about 1/4 inch thickness.
Once all the veggies are cut, put them on 5 of the skewers. You can do this is any order you want, just make sure to leave a little bit of space in between each one so they can cook. It also makes it easier to marinate them as you’ll want to get the marinade on all sides of each veggie.
Once all the veggies are cut, on the skewers, and covered in marinade, it should be about time to take the chicken out and put it on the rest of the skewers.
You’ll want the chicken on the skewers in roughly the same way you put the veggies on, with a little room between each piece to ensure even cooking.
Next up – bring on the heat.
How to Grill Gluten Free Teriyaki Chicken Kabobs
First make sure you have a clean and oiled grill. Follow these tips from Serious Eats and your grill will be good to go.
Now you’ll want to heat your grill to between 400 and 450 degrees F. This can be tricky as some older grills heat unevenly. If this is your grill, you’ll just need to watch both the veggies and chicken as they’re cooking. If you get any flare ups (like the one in the background of the picture below), move the skewers away from that as otherwise you’ll just get char on the outside and the food will still be uncooked on the inside.
The veggies should be done after about 20 minutes, and the chicken will take about 8 minutes. If you have a meat thermometer, now is the time to bring it out to check the internal temp of the chicken. You’ll want to stop cooking around 165 degrees F. We got a Thermapen as a gift and love it, which is what’s pictured above.
Once everything is done cooking, it’s ready to eat. Plate it up and enjoy!
In need of more dinner ideas? Maybe with some chicken? Here you go.
– Lemon Thyme Chicken Sheet Pan Dinner
– Cashew Grape Chicken Salad
– Easy Sheet Pan Dinner with Sausage and Veggies (this uses a chicken sausage)
A couple last notes about this Gluten Free Teriyaki Chicken Kabob recipe:
– Also for the veggies, you will likely have a little bit leftover, but this is on purpose in case one of the veggie pieces breaks as you’re skewering it. If none of them break, it’s a miracle and I will invite you and your golden hands over to skewer all of my vegetables.
If you try out this Gluten Free Teriyaki Chicken Kabob recipe (or any other recipe) then don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know how it went in the comments below. Seriously, I love hearing from you!
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Recipe for Gluten Free Teriyaki Chicken Kabobs
Gluten Free Teriyaki Chicken Kabobs
- 1/3 cup coconut aminos
- 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 large garlic clove
- 1 x0.5x0.5 inch piece of ginger
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 5 scallions
Meat & Veggies:
- 1.5 pounds chicken thighs
- 1 large zucchini
- 10 whole mushrooms
- 2 bell peppers
- 1/2 an onion yellow or purple
- Oil one with a high heat point to grease the grill, like avocado oil
- Ten 12-inch skewers (wooden or metal - if wooden, soak for at least 8 hours prior)
- A large measure cup
- Measuring spoons
- A garlic press
- A small sharp knife
- A microplane or zester
- A cutting board
- A small whisk or spoon
- A large dish or bowl
- A medium or large sharp knife
- Plastic wrap
- Paper towels
- A basting brush
- A large plate or platter
- An oven mitt
How to Prep Chicken Kabob Marinade
- In a large measuring cup, pour in the coconut aminos and balsamic vinegar.
- Using a measuring spoon, measure out the sesame oil and dump into the large measuring cup.
- Peel a large clove of garlic and put it through a garlic press, scraping the pressed garlic into the large measuring cup with a utensil (knife or spoon)
- Peel the skin off the ginger piece with a small sharp knife, then with a microplane (or other zester) finely grate the ginger into the measuring cup.
- Measure out the kosher salt with a measuring spoon and dump it into the measuring cup.
- Wash the scallions and remove any pieces that are shriveled or brown. Then using a medium or large sharp knife and a cutting board, slice the dark and light green portions into small pieces, dumping them into the cup as well.
- Stir the marinade together with a small whisk or other utensil, .
- Grab a large dish or bowl and pour 2/3 of the marinade into it, reserving the remaining to coat the vegetables.
How to Prep Chicken Kabobs
- Using a cutting board and sharp knife, cut away and discard any fat from chicken.
- Once you remove as much fat as you can, cut the chicken into roughly 1.5 inch (high) x 1.5 inch (wide) x 0.5 inch (deep) pieces (this by no means has to be exact, just large enough to get the skewer through the chicken pieces).
- As you finish cutting each piece, toss it into the dish with the marinade.
- Once finished, cover the dish with plastic wrap and place it in the fridge for 25 minutes.
How to Prep Vegetables for Kabobs
- Wash the vegetables and dry them off with a towel. The mushrooms should be wiped down individually to remove any dirt.
- Using a sharp knife and a cutting board (either a new one or wash the ones you used for the chicken), cut the vegetables into roughly one-inch pieces. Prep for each vegetable is detailed in each following step.
- For the bell pepper, cut the tops and bottoms off with the knife and remove the seeds by hand or by tapping the pepper over the counter or a garbage can. Cut the pepper in half, then slice each half into three pieces. Slice each piece in two and set aside.
- For the onion, slice it with the knife in half. Then depending on the size of the onion, make two or three cuts in the other direction. You want to divide the onion into roughly the same size pieces as the bell pepper (with the outer layers likely being a bit larger and the inner layers being quite a bit smaller).
- For the zucchini, trim off the ends and slice it into coins using the knife. The coins should be roughly a quarter-inch wide.
- For the mushroom, remove and discard the stems.
How To Assemble Chicken Kabobs
- Take half of the skewers and slide the vegetables onto them in whatever order you like, leaving a little bit of space between each vegetable. When placing the onion pieces on, you can include two layers at a time for convenience. Place the finished skewers on a large plate or platter to easily carry them to the grill.
- Using a basting brush, coat the vegetables with the reserved marinade, making sure to get all sides of each vegetable piece.
- Once the chicken is done marinating, remove it from the refrigerator. Take a piece and very gently shake off any residual marinade. Slide it onto a skewer, then repeat the process until all the chicken is on a skewer. Be sure to leave a little room between each piece of chicken to ensure more even cooking.
- Throw away any marinade left over from the chicken. You can use the same dish the chicken was marinating in to carry the chicken kabobs to the grill.
How to Grill Chicken Kabobs
- Oil the grill using a paper towel dipped in (but not saturated with) a high heat oil (like avocado oil). Then heat the grill to a medium heat (400 to 450 degrees F).
- If you have a large grill that heats evenly, you will be able to cook the vegetable and chicken kabobs at the same time. If you don’t, you can cook the vegetable kabobs first as they will take longer, then remove them and cook the chicken kabobs.
- Once the grill is at temperature, put an oven mitt on your hand, place the kabobs on the grill and close the lid. Cook the veggies for 5 minutes on all four sides (20 mins total). For the chicken, cook is 4 minutes on one side, then flip and cook 4 minutes on the other side. The chicken will be done when the internal temperature has reached 165 degrees F.
- Be sure and use an oven mitt (or other safety measure) when cooking on the grill! Those skewers will get hot and I’m betting you like your hands without any burns on them.
- This recipe calls for thighs because a) in my opinion, they taste way better than breasts and b) they don’t overcook as easily as breasts. If you want to try this recipe with chicken breast, feel free, but you’ll have to be much more careful not to overcook the chicken.
- You can use whatever veggies you want for the kabobs, just make sure you cut them in the right size pieces so they won’t all break when skewering and they’ll all be done around the same time.
- Also for the veggies, you will likely have a little bit leftover, but this is on purpose in case one of the veggie pieces breaks as you’re skewering it. If none of them break, it’s a miracle and I will invite you and your golden hands over to skewer all of my vegetables.