Hawaiian Chicken and Pineapple Skewers

These small Hawaiian Chicken Skewers are a great appetizer to feed folks around the grill, or put them on longer skewers for a summer dinner.

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Two Hawaiian chicken bite skewers on a small white plate on a yellow wooden table with more skewers in the background.

Great Grilled Summer Appetizer

Let’s face it, food on a stick is fun! When you’re eating outside, especially at a party, it’s not only fun but frankly super handy to eat food off a stick. These Hawaiian Chicken and Pineapple Skewers are not only fun to eat, however. They are delicious too. The pineapple glaze gives the chicken and vegetables a sweet taste and the warm pineapple just bursts with flavor. On top of it all, they are colorful and pretty. 

Ingredients on a yellow wooden table - marinating chicken, red onion, garlic, ginger, peppers, pineapple, soy sauce, pineapple juice, brown sugar, ketchup, apple cider vinegar and a cruet of olive oil.

Pineapple Marinade

Pineapple juice is a great marinade ingredient. It is sweet and full of flavor, but it is also acidic which helps to break down and tenderize whatever it is you are marinating – in this case, chicken. Add to the pineapple juice some sodium in the form of soy sauce, and then enhance its natural qualities – more sweet in the form of brown sugar, and more acid in the form of cider vinegar. A little ketchup, garlic and fresh ginger add more flavor. This is marinade you could use for whole chicken breasts or pork chops on the grill too.

Looking down on a work station building Hawaiian chicken bites - some skewers done, other ingredients around.

Building the Skewers

My most important tip for building the skewers is to make sure you cut the chicken and the vegetables into large enough cubes. All foods shrink when they are cooked, so plan to make the cubes bigger than you think. It’s also easier to skewer larger pieces than smaller. Finally, try to make all the cubes a similar size. That will allow all the pieces on the skewer to come in contact with the grill grates and cook more evenly as a result. 

Hawaiian chicken bites grilling on an electric grill on a wooden table.

How Long to Grill

How long to grill these skewers depends on a few things. First of all, are you using an outdoor grill or an indoor grill? The outdoor grill will cook the skewers faster than an indoor grill because it is generally hotter and with the lid closed, acts like an oven as well. Pay attention if you are using an outdoor grill to make sure the sweet marinade and glaze doesn’t get too dark. On an indoor electric grill, you can set the temperature to 350˚F and remain a little more in control of the grilling process. It will just take a few minutes longer. The other factor that will effect cooking time is how big or small you cut your chicken and vegetables. The chicken is the most important ingredient. Give a piece of chicken a squeeze with your fingers to check for doneness – it should feel firm and not soft – and then continue to cook until the vegetables are to your liking.

A hand basting skewers of chicken and vegetables on an electric grill.

Basting Builds Flavor

The marinade for the chicken turns into a nice glaze after a few minutes of simmering on the stovetop. Baste the skewers occasionally to enhance the flavor and color. If you’re cooking on an outdoor grill, baste at the end of cooking. If you are using an indoor grill, feel free to baste more regularly.

How to Serve

Honestly, the only thing you need to serve these Hawaiian Chicken and Pineapple Skewers is a whole load of napkins and some cold refreshments. An icy margarita sounds nice. If you are making a dinner out of the skewers, serve with some white rice and a summer salad like this Avocado Tomato Salad or this Tomato Cucumber Salad

Featured Recipe Techniques

More about the skills used in this recipe.

Cooking School
How to Cut a Pineapple

It can be tricky to know how to prepare it, so here's your lesson on how to cut a pineapple.View Technique

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Hawaiian Chicken & Pineapple Bites

  • Prep Time: 15 m
  • Cook Time: 15 m
  • Marinating Time: 4 h
  • Total Time: 4 h 30 m
  • Servings:


  • ½ cup pineapple juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • cup brown sugar
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1- inch fresh ginger grated
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • pounds chicken breast cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 red onion cut into 1-inch pieces
  • ½ pineapple cut into 1-inch cubes
  • ½ red bell pepper cut into 1-inch pieces
  • ½ green bell pepper cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 24 6-inch wooden skewers


  1. Make the marinade by combining the pineapple juice, olive oil, soy sauce, cider vinegar, ketchup, brown sugar, garlic, ginger and black pepper in a bowl. Add the chicken cubes and onions and marinate for at least 4 hours to overnight.
  2. Soak the skewers in water for about 30 minutes.
  3. Build the skewers by threading each with a piece of red onion, red pepper, pineapple, marinated chicken cube and green pepper.
  4. Pour the marinade into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 7 to 10 minutes until it thickens to a glaze. Set the glaze aside to use as a basting sauce.
  5. Pre-heat an indoor or outdoor grill to medium high heat (about 350˚F on an electric grill). Place the skewers on the pre-heated grill and grill for 10 to 15 minutes until the vegetables are soft and the chicken is cooked through. During the grilling process, turn the skewers a few times and brush on the basting sauce.
  6. Remove the skewers from the grill and baste one last time with the remaining sauce. Serve immediately.
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