Lemongrass chicken skewers are tender, juicy, and packed with flavor. These Vietnamese chicken kebabs are marinated with fresh lemongrass, soy sauce, fish sauce, sesame oil, honey, and garlic, for that classic Asian flavor. Cook them to perfection on the grill, in the oven, or in the air fryer, and serve with a side of peanut dipping sauce. These kabobs are so delicious that they might just become your new favorite skewer recipe this summer.
Why You’ll Love Lemongrass Chicken Skewers
- Quick and easy to make. We all know that marinades can transform chicken from a bland protein to the star of the show. The quick and easy lemongrass marinade takes just minutes to prepare and at least 1 hour to marinate into the chicken. Then, fire up the grill and cook these skewers in under 20 minutes.
- Vietnamese flavors with fresh lemongrass. There’s a lot of ingredients on the table here that bring great taste to these lemongrass chicken skewers, but using fresh lemongrass definitely packs a unique punch. Combined with other classic Asian flavors, this chicken is delicious and savory.
- Kebabs are fun to make and eat. Chicken breast recipes are always a go-to around here, and sometimes you want to chage things up. Kebabs are always fun to build, grill, and eat! So if you have been feeling a little bored with your recipes lately, throw in these lemongrass chicken skewers into the mix.
- Freezer-friendly and great for meal prep. These chicken skewers can also be made ahead of time and frozen for a rainy day. Just marinate the chicken, freeze without skewering them, and pop into the freezer for up to 3 months. When ready to eat, just thaw and cook. It's a great way to meal prep and plan ahead.
Ingredients and Substitutions
To make these delicious and flavorful lemongrass chicken skewers, you will need the following ingredients (full quantities in recipe card below):
- chicken breast or thighs - boneless and skinless, and cut into 1.5-inch thick cubes.
- vegetable oil
- soy sauce
- fish sauce
- sesame oil
- brown sugar or honey
- lemongrass - I used stalks of fresh lemongrass. If it is hard to get your hands on fresh lemongrass, you can also substitute with 2 teaspoons of lemongrass paste instead.
- green onions - to garnish on top.
- peanut dipping sauce - for serving. Feel free to use store-bought sauce or homemade. It's really easy to make homemade sauce in just a few minutes. You will need hoisin sauce (or dark soy sauce), peanut butter, water, lime juice, and honey (or granulated sugar).
How to Make the Best Lemongrass Chicken Skewers
- Marinate the chicken. In a blender or food processor, add all marinade ingredients (vegetable oil, soy sauce, fish sauce, sesame oil, brown sugar, garlic, lemongrass, and onion) and mix for 1 minute until smooth. Place cubed chicken into a large mixing bowl and pour the marinade on top. Toss well to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (or overnight for the best results). You can also store the marinated chicken in a sealable ziploc bag.
- Skewer the chicken. Thread 4-5 pieces of cubed chicken on each skewer.
- Cook the skewers. You can grill, bake, or air fry the chicken skewers.
- To grill the skewers: Lightly apply cooking oil over chicken skewers using a cooking oil spray or silicone brush. Preheat the grill over medium-high heat for 3 minutes until sizzling hot. Place the skewers evenly apart on the grill pan and grill for 8-10 minutes on each side, or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 F. Do not overlap the skewers at any time to ensure even cooking for all the skewers.
- To bake the skewers: Preheat the oven to 425 F. Place the marinated chicken skewers on a parchment-lined baking sheet or on a lightly oiled roasting rack in a baking pan. Bake for 15 minutes until golden brown and the internal temperature for the chicken reaches 165F. Turn on the broil function on the oven on high and broil for 2-3 minutes until nicely charred on the edges.
- To cook in the air fryer: Do not thread them and place about 10 cubed chicken pieces in the air fryer basket at a time. Cook at 350 F for 25 minutes, shaking the basket halfway through. You won't get the charred grill marks but they taste amazing and so tender.
How to Make Peanut Dipping Sauce
In a medium mixing bowl, combine hoisin sauce, peanut butter, water, lime juice, and honey. Stir well with a spoon and and mix until sauce is smooth and uniform.
Once the chicken is cooked, let it rest at room temperature for 5 minutes. Serve warm with peanut dipping sauce and garnish with green onions.
Recipe Tips and Tricks
- How to store: Keep leftover lemongrass chicken kabobs in an airtight container for up to four days in the refrigerator.
- How to freeze: If you love to meal prep, you need to know that you can marinade, assemble, and freeze these kabobs, then grill them later from frozen. Follow steps one and two, then place your kabobs in a single layer on a clean baking sheet leaving space between each kabob. Cover the entire sheet with aluminum foil and freeze for 3-12 hours until solid. Then, you can transfer them to a Ziplock bag if you want. When ready to cook, allow the chicken to thaw overnight in the refrigerator or for a few hours at room temperature.
- Don’t forget to scrub: When grilling, it’s important to use a grill cleaning brush to scrub off any old stuck-on food or char. Doing this ensures your kabobs won’t stick.
More Chicken Skewer Recipes
- Korean Chicken Skewers
- Teriyaki Chicken Skewers with Pineapple
- Persian Saffron Chicken Kebabs (Joojeh Kabob)
- Chicken Satay Skewers with Peanut Butter Sauce
- Easy Greek Chicken Souvlaki Skewers
- Orange Chicken Skewers
Did you make this recipe? I would greatly appreciate a comment and rating below, letting me know what you thought of the recipe. You can also snap a picture and tag me on Instagram @aheadofthyme or share it on the Pinterest pin so that I can follow along.