Tender and flavorful chipotle chicken skewers baked in the oven. Enjoy as a main dish, appetizer or a quick meal prep recipe for pack-n-go lunches. We whip together a simple marinade, and let the flavors meld with the chicken before popping the skewers in the oven.
Chipotle Chicken Skewers In The Oven
Chicken skewers in a peanut sauce have been my favorite meal for years, but I have to say that the chipotle and adobo sauce in these skewers are giving my other recipe some competition. I’ve made these skewers three times in the past month!
Chipotle chili has a smokey rich flavor, which I tone down with a little brown sugar. Great combination and delicious as it is, but you can also whip up a quick dipping sauce that I will share below.
Don’t limit this to cooking in the oven. These chicken skewers can also be cooked cook on the stove top, under a broiler or grilled.
When you bake in the oven, these will take about 10-20 minutes to cook. The exact time will be dependent on how thick the chicken tenders are. The other methods will cook in under 10 minutes with the direct heat.
Remember that according to the Food Safety guidelines, chicken should be cooked until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.
Chipotle chicken marinade recipe
This marinade with chipotle chili and adobo sauce is the star of this recipe. Super flavorful and with a couple of spices. It doesn’t require a lot of time to penetrate through the chicken, so under an hour in the refrigerator will do. However, this tastes best if you give it a full 24 hours to marinade.
- Chicken tenders – these are the thin pieces of meat that are found under the chicken breast. You can find these in most grocery stores. However, if you don’t have them available, then cut boneless chicken breasts into 1/2-inch strips.
- Chipotle Chile in Adobe Sauce – This is found in the Mexican section of your grocery store. You will only use one chipotle and the sauce from the same can. The remaining can be used in other recipes like this chipotle dipping sauce or in this stuffed sausage recipe.
- Brown sugar – you only will need 1/4 cup, but to keep this sugar free for low carb followers, Lakanto golden monk fruit tastes just as delicious. I’ve made this marinade both ways and my family didn’t know the difference. I thought the regular brown sugar was a little sweeter. Kind of obvious.
- Fresh cilantro – to add to the marinade and to garnish.
- Spices – salt & pepper, garlic powder, and chili powder.
Marinade the chicken
After you gather the ingredients you will mix all the ingredients together. It will look like a thick paste. That’s what you want. Fold the marinade into the chicken to distribute the sauce evenly. The moisture from the chicken and water from processing will release perfectly coating all the pieces.
Thread chicken in wooden skewers
When you are ready to bake the chicken, thread each chicken tender through each skewer. You can soak the wooden skewers in water for about 20 minutes if you are concerned about the wood catching fire, but I found that it wasn’t necessary when cooking the chicken in the oven.
Although when I broiled and grilled the chicken in the oven, the wood did get charred on some tips of the skewers. I placed a piece of foil over the exposed wooden skewers closest to the direct heat. In this case, placing the skewers in water would have been a good idea.
Bake chicken skewers in the oven
To cook in the oven, place chicken skewers on a baking sheet with a metal rack. This helps distributes the heat. Cook at 375°F for ten minutes, then flip and cook for another 5 minutes. Finish by broiling a minute on each side before serving.
Direct heat method on the stove or broil in the oven
The direct heat will cook the chicken much faster than the oven method. To cook chicken skewers on a stove top, cook in a skillet over medium heat for 3 minutes, then flip for another 2-3 minutes.
To broil or grill remember to cover the skewers with foil if you didn’t soak the wooden skewers first.
What to serve chicken skewers with
The options are endless, but here are some recommendations:
- Cauliflower Fried Rice – easy stir fry with the traditional ingredients used for fried rice, except the riced cauliflower keeps this meal low carb.
- Pineapple Coleslaw – the chipotle flavor from the oven baked chicken is a great match with the sweet pineapple in this creamy coleslaw.
- Watermelon Salad – sweet watermelon salad with a balsamic dressing is another salad that tastes great with these chicken skewers.
- Slow Cooker Corn on the Cob – tender sweet corn. This recipe also suggests whipping up a cilantro lime butter to top on the corn.
To me this chicken has lots of flavor, not spicy heat. However, if you aren’t used to chili in foods it can taste spicy to some, so when serving guests I like to offer a dipping sauce like blue cheese or homemade ranch.
Let me know how you like these chicken skewers and if you decided to cook in the oven, stovetop, broil or grill! I’ve done them all and think they all yield tender juicy and flavorful chicken!
- 2 pounds chicken tenders or boneless chicken breasts trimmed
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons cilantro leaves, minced
- 1 chipotle chile (canned or jarred), diced
- 2 teaspoons adobe sauce from chipotle chile
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- Prepare chicken if not using chicken tenders. To prepare, slice chicken breasts in 1/2-inch strips (cut across the grain).
- In a large mixing bowl mix together the brown sugar, salt, pepper, chile powder, garlic powder, chipotle chili and adobo sauce.
- Pour sauce over chicken and mix to ensure all pieces are layered with the sauce. Cover and place in the refrigerator for a minimum of 30 minutes and up to 24 hours.
- Thread each chicken piece with a wooden skewer.
- Lightly coat the baking rack with cooking spray. Place each chicken skewer on the rack.
- Adjust the oven rack to the upper middle. Place prepared chicken skewers in a preheated oven at 375°F.
- Bake for 10 minutes, then flip skewers over and bake an additional 5 minutes or until chicken reaches 165°F internal temperature. Broil for 1-2 minutes on each side if desired.
- Serve with a dipping sauce or side dish.
To broil chicken, adjust oven rack to the upper position (about 6 inches from the direct heat). Broil for 2-3 minutes, then flip and broil for an additional 2-3 minutes.
For stove top method, warm grill skillet over medium heat. Place chicken on skillet and cook for 2-3 minutes, then turn an cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.
To grill, lightly grease the grate grid. Over medium heat grill the same time as the stove top method.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 servings Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 160Total Fat: 3.5gTrans Fat: 0gCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 1gSugar: 6gProtein: 21g
Please note that the nutritional information provided are guidelines and may vary based on the brand of products used. For your specific nutritional goals use My Fitness Pal or Verywell Fit recipe calculators. All content within this site is not intended as medical diagnosis or treatment and should not be considered a substitute for professional medical expertise.
Recipe adapted from The Best Light Recipe Cookbook, 2006, Cook’s Illustrated.