Grilled Teriyaki Chicken Skewers (Quick Marinating!)

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Close up photo of perfectly grilled chicken skewers with teriyaki glaze

Dry, flavorless chicken and lengthy marinating times? Those are things of the past, friends. These quick-marinating grilled teriyaki chicken skewers are incredibly flavorful and bursting with umami and salty-sweet perfection!

We love these satisfying skewers with noodle salads, stir-fries, grilled veggies, or served simply with rice and steamed broccoli! Bonus? They come together quickly with 9 ingredients you probably have around. Let us show you how it’s done! 

Tamari, coconut sugar, avocado oil, chicken, red onion, green onion, rice vinegar, sesame oil, garlic powder, and arrowroot starch

How to Make Grilled Teriyaki Chicken Skewers

These flavor-filled skewers start with a quick teriyaki-inspired marinade made with tamari (or soy sauce), coconut sugar, garlic powder, rice vinegar, and toasted sesame oil. The marinade packs major umami, infusing the chicken with flavor with just a quick 30 minute marinating time.

Whisking teriyaki sauce in a bowl

The same ingredients, thickened with the addition of a little arrowroot starch + water slurry, double as a glaze for brushing at the end.

Stirring teriyaki glaze in a saucepan

Next, we assemble the skewers by arranging the marinated chicken between squares of red onion, which adds natural sweetness with every bite.

Teriyaki chicken and red onion on metal skewers

Then they’re ready to grill (on a BBQ or grill pan) until the chicken is tender with charred edges and grill marks galore.

Lastly, brush on the teriyaki glaze and prepare for your dinner guests to be asking When’s the next invite?

Chicken kebabs grilling on a grill pan

We hope you LOVE these grilled teriyaki chicken skewers! They’re:

Umami-filled
Sweet & salty
Satisfying
Versatile
& SO delicious!

They pair especially well with our Creamy Sesame Noodle Salad (30 Minutes!) and grilled veggies like bell pepper, eggplant, and/or zucchini.

And for dessert? Try our Easy Gluten-Free Peach Cobbler, Coconut Lime Watermelon Slushie, or Creamy Dairy-Free Strawberry Ice Cream. Now that’s a satisfying summer meal, friends!

More Delicious Grilling Recipes

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo @minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Teriyaki glaze next to a platter of Grilled Teriyaki Chicken Skewers

Grilled Teriyaki Chicken Skewers (Quick Marinating!)

Flavorful grilled teriyaki chicken skewers that are gluten-free and naturally sweetened! Perfect for serving with noodle salads or rice and veggies. Just 9 ingredients required!
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Plate of grilled teriyaki chicken skewers
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4 (6-inch skewers)
Course Entree, Main Course
Cuisine Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free (optional), Japanese
Freezer Friendly No
Does it keep? 2-3 Days

Ingredients

SKEWERS

  • 1/3 cup soy sauce or tamari (ensure gluten-free as needed)
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar (or sub brown sugar)
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 ½ tsp rice vinegar
  • 3/4 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 ¼ lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs*, trimmed of excess fat, cut into 1-inch chunks (organic, pasture-raised when possible)
  • 1/2 tsp arrowroot powder
  • 1/4 – 1/2 medium red onion, sliced into 1-inch chunks
  • Avocado oil (for greasing grill pan)

FOR SERVING optional

  • Sesame seeds
  • Thinly sliced green onion

Instructions

  • If using bamboo skewers, soak in water for at least 30 minutes before using to prevent them from burning on the grill. We prefer metal skewers.
  • In a wide, shallow glass container, whisk together soy sauce or tamari, coconut sugar, garlic powder, rice vinegar, and sesame oil. Remove about 1/3 of the marinade (~2 ½ Tbsp if making the default number of servings) and reserve for making glaze.
  • Slice chicken thighs into ~1” chunks. Add to the container with the marinade, stir to coat well, cover, and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to marinate. If preparing in advance, you can marinate in the refrigerator for up to 12 hours and let sit out at room temperature for 30 minutes before grilling (this takes the chill off and prevents the chicken from burning on the outside before cooking fully).
  • While the chicken is marinating, whisk together the arrowroot powder and a splash of water in a small saucepan, then add the reserved marinade. Bring to a simmer, whisking frequently until thickened to a glossy glaze — about 2-3 minutes. If it thickens too much, add a little water to thin. If it’s too thin, whisk more arrowroot with water, then add to the saucepan and cook to thicken.
  • Once the chicken has finished marinating, lightly oil a grill pan or grill grate and preheat to medium-high. Thread cubed chicken and red onion onto skewers, alternating with 1 piece of red onion every 1-2 pieces of chicken, and ending with a piece of red onion.
  • Grill, turning every 3-4 minutes, until browned, beginning to char in spots, and fully cooked through (internal temperature reaches 165 F or 75 C) — about 10-15 minutes.
  • Transfer to a serving plate, brush the reserved glaze over the chicken, and sprinkle with sesame seeds and sliced green onion (both optional). These skewers are delicious served with rice and steamed broccoli or alongside our Creamy Sesame Noodle Salad.
  • Leftover grilled chicken keeps stored in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.

Video

Notes

*Prep time includes marinating for 30 minutes.
*We find chicken thighs more flavorful and moist than chicken breasts but breasts are also fine for skewers — cook time is a bit shorter, though.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with 1 tsp avocado oil and without optional ingredients.
*Loosely adapted from Amanda Cooks & Styles.

Nutrition (1 of 4 servings)

Serving: 1 six-inch skewer Calories: 245 Carbohydrates: 14.4 g Protein: 30.3 g Fat: 7.7 g Saturated Fat: 1.5 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0 g Monounsaturated Fat: 0 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 132 mg Sodium: 1453 mg Potassium: 63 mg Fiber: 0.3 g Sugar: 12.7 g Vitamin A: 0 IU Vitamin C: 0 mg Calcium: 31 mg Iron: 1.5 mg

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    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Maggie, we haven’t tried that but it would probably be delish! The cooking time/temp might be a bit different though. Let us know how it goes!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Michelle, we haven’t tried this recipe with cornstarch but we think that would be the best substitute. Hope this helps!

  1. Robin says

    We just made this. I used cornstarch instead of arrowroot and also used 1/2 brown sugar and 1/2 honey for sugar called for. these were fantastic. I was really surprised at how much flavor came out of just a 30 minute marinade. We used the smaller wooden skewers which were easy to manage on grill

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Amazing! Thanks so much for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications, Robin!

  2. Roz Skeen says

    My husband and I really liked this. I have an old favorite teriyaki recipe I have used for years but decided to try yours for a change. Served the grilled skewered chicken over white rice and drizzled the glaze over it all and added sesame seeds and cilantro. It’s a keeper!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Roz. We are so glad you and your husband enjoyed them! Next time, would you mind leaving a star rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! xo

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Cloey, we haven’t tried it so we cannot guarantee results, but we think cornstarch would be a good substitute. Or, if you can have it, all-purpose flour would work in a pinch. Hope this helps!