An easy recipe for Grilled Chicken Skewers topped with a delicious Olive Pesto. Fire up your grill on those hot summer nights or any time you want a fresh, healthy meal option. Great for backyard barbecues, too!
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Chicken Skewers with Olive Pesto Recipe

An easy recipe for Grilled Chicken Skewers topped with a delicious Olive Pesto. Fire up your grill on those hot summer nights or any time you want a fresh, healthy meal option. Great for backyard barbecues, too!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword chicken, olives
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Marinate Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 537kcal
Author Meggan Hill

Ingredients

For the olive pesto:

  • 1 bunch fresh parsley finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup California Black Ripe Olives and/or California Green Ripe Olives, drained and finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons scallions finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon capers drained and rinsed, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 2 lemons zested and juiced
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the chicken skewers:

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary finely minced
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon honey or sugar, optional
  • 2 teaspoons Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast or thighs, cubed
  • 1/2 large red onion cut into 1 1/2-inch dice
  • 2 medium bell peppers cut into 1 1/2-inch dice
  • 16 ounces mushrooms white button or cremini, stemmed

Instructions

To make the olive pesto:

  • In a medium bowl, combine parsley, olives, pine nuts, oregano, basil, scallions, garlic, lemon zest and juice. Stir in olive oil until combined and season to taste with salt and pepper. 
  • Serve with chicken skewers or cover and refrigerate up to one week.

To make the chicken skewers:

  • Soak bamboo skewers if you have not already done so.
  • Combine olive oil, lemon juice, rosemary, garlic, honey or sugar (if using), salt and pepper in a jar and shake until combined. Set aside.
  • Place the cubed chicken in a zipper-top plastic bag or a large bowl. Pour marinade over the chicken and cover. Marinate in refrigerator for at least 1 hour or overnight.

To grill the skewers:

  • Preheat indoor or outdoor grill for direct heat on one side and indirect heat on the other side. Remove chicken from the marinade, reserving marinade to brush on skewers before grilling. Thread chicken, onion, bell pepper, and mushrooms onto metal or pre-soaked bamboo skewers. Brush each skewer with the reserved marinade, then discard.
  • Oil grill grates and place skewers on grill. Sear the skewers on each side over direct heat, then move to the indirect heat to finish cooking (usually about 5 to 10 minutes per side). Turn skewers over as needed to avoid burning. Chicken and vegetables should be cooked to a minimum of 165 degrees when tested with an internal thermometer
  • Remove from grill and cover with foil until ready to eat. Brush with olive pesto before serving.

To bake the skewers:

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil for easy cleanup.
  • Remove chicken from the marinade, reserving marinade to brush on skewers before grilling. Thread chicken, onion, bell pepper, and mushrooms onto metal or pre-soaked bamboo skewers. Brush each skewer with the reserved marinade, then discard.
  • Bake the skewers about 10 to 15 minutes per side. Chicken and vegetables should be cooked to a minimum of 165 degrees when tested with an internal thermometer
  • Remove from oven and cover with foil until ready to eat. Brush with olive pesto before serving.

Notes

Israeli Couscous Salad (in photos above):

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup Israeli couscous, cooked according to package directions
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup green onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups baby spinach, roughly chopped or baby arugula
Directions:
  1. Combine everything except the spinach or arugula. Cover and refrigerate.
  2. Just before serving, stir in spinach or arugula and serve chilled or at room temperature.

Nutrition

Calories: 537kcal