Rainbow Chicken Skewers with Spicy Pesto Sauce

Rainbow Chicken Skewers with Spicy Pesto Sauce

Rainbow Chicken Skewers with Spicy Pesto Sauce ~ my easy chicken skewers are a quick and healthy 30 minute meal, and you can make them on the grill or in the oven ~ so enjoy them all year long.

Rainbow chicken skewers with chunks of chicken and colorful bell peppers

Rainbow Chicken Skewers are one of my favorite 30 minute meals because they’re so versatile ~ you can throw them over quick cooking couscous, or go low carb on a bed of leafy greens. We had ours with mini potatoes and corn on the cob that I roasted right along with them. And I don’t know about you, but I’ll take any excuse I can get to use those gorgeous colorful peppers in the produce section.

chicken and pepper skewers

Grocery list:

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 each red, green, yellow, and orange bell pepper
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 bunch fresh basil
  • 1 jalapeno pepper
  • 1 lemon

Pantry staples:

  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • garlic

oven grilled rainbow chicken skewers

You can assemble these rainbow chicken skewers ahead of time and grill them in minutes right before dinner. I cut the chicken breasts in 1 inch chunks, and cut the peppers and onions to match. That means everything will cook quickly and evenly. Thread the skewers, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate until needed.

rainbow chicken skewers with pesto sauce

Food Stylist’s TIP: to get beautiful (and flavorful!) char marks on your skewers without a charcoal grill, place the baking sheet and skewers as close as possible to the flame during the last few minutes of broiling. I place a muffin tin on the rack and then put the pan with the skewers on top of that to get right up next to the flame for a brief time. Use caution and don’t wander away!

4.2 from 5 votes

Rainbow Chicken Skewers with Spicy Pesto Sauce

Rainbow Chicken Skewers with Spicy Pesto Sauce ~ my easy chicken skewers are a quick and healthy 30 minute meal, and you can make them on the grill or in the oven ~ so enjoy them all year long.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Yield 4 servings
Author Sue Moran


  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 1 orange bell pepper
  • 1/2 red onion

spicy pesto sauce

  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 bunch fresh basil leaves about 2 packed cups
  • 1/2 jalapeno pepper more to taste, remove seeds for less heat.
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper


  • Cut the chicken, peppers, and onion into similar 1 inch pieces. Thread them on skewers, alternating the chicken chunks with the peppers and onions in any pattern you like.
  • Make the pesto sauce by putting the garlic, basil, jalapeno, and lemon juice in a small food processor and processing until minced. Add enough olive oil to make a loose sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Keep refrigerated until needed.
  • Put the chicken skewers on a baking sheet and brush lightly with olive oil. Set the pan on the highest rack level and broil on high for about 10 minutes. Turn the skewers over. Put a muffin tin on the oven rack, and then put the baking sheet back in so that the skewers are very close to the flame. Watch carefully and let them cook until they are nicely charred. Make sure the chicken is done to 165F.
  • Serve the skewers with the sauce on the side.
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although theviewfromgreatisland.com tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.


  • Use boneless skinless chicken thighs if you prefer dark meat.
  • Another way to get the flavor of charring without a grill is to use a kitchen torch. They aren’t as scary as they seem, and they come in handy for créme brûlée, too!
  • Check out my other easy SKEWER RECIPES~ for instance, if you like fish, try my RAINBOW SALMON SKEWERS, and beef lovers will want to check out my STEAK FAJITA SKEWERS. And don’t worry, I haven’t left vegetarians out ~ I’ve even got a recipe for TOFU SKEWERS!


Thanks for pinning these Rainbow Chicken Skewers!


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    Leave a Reply

    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    May 31, 2017 at 3:44 pm

    I always find an excuse to put bell peppers on my kebabs! And a rainbow of peppers is even better. These look fabulous plus I love that you added some heat to the pesto!!!

  • Reply
    Laura | Tutti Dolci
    May 8, 2017 at 6:14 pm

    I just love these skewers for summer grilling season, and the spicy pesto sauce sounds fab!

  • Reply
    Milena | Craft Beering
    May 8, 2017 at 12:09 pm

    Your spicy pesto sounds like the ideal finish for the caramelized sugars and charred goodness of the skewers. Perfect quick dinner, so true!

  • Reply
    May 8, 2017 at 11:43 am

    Love the colors!

  • Reply
    Karen @ Seasonal Cravings
    May 8, 2017 at 11:08 am

    Loving those rainbow veggies and wishing our grill wasn’t broken right now!

    • Reply
      May 8, 2017 at 11:28 am

      Do it right in the broiler Karen!

  • Reply
    May 8, 2017 at 9:57 am

    Aww this is so cute.. Such a cool way to get kids to eat their veggie too! So fresh and refreshing.. Spice in the pesto.. yum..

    • Reply
      May 8, 2017 at 11:27 am

      It would be cute to make mini skewers for the kids with tiny bite sized pieces…

  • Reply
    Cheyanne @ No Spoon Necessary
    May 8, 2017 at 9:43 am

    Oh my goodness, Sue, these skewers are seriously SO pretty!!!! This gives a whole new meaning to the saying ‘taste the rainbow’! I looove that you added spice to the pesto! YES! I could eat this every night for dinner and not get bored! Pinning to try! Cheers!

  • Reply
    May 8, 2017 at 8:45 am

    The colors here look great! I love kabobs in grilling season, and adding pesto here sounds wonderful!

    • Reply
      May 8, 2017 at 9:29 am

      I’ve taken to using pesto all summer long on things like roasted veggies and potatoes, too. It’s such a vibrant sauce I never want to be without it.

  • Reply
    Elaine @ Dishes Delish
    May 8, 2017 at 8:22 am

    These chicken skewers look so incredibly good. Love the colors and I’m betting the flavors are simply divine! I’ll be trying this soon!

    • Reply
      May 8, 2017 at 9:11 am

      Thanks Elaine ~ the flavor is fabulous with the sweetness of the onions and peppers, and the chicken stays nice and tender ~ hope you enjoy it 🙂

  • Reply
    Luci's Morsels
    May 8, 2017 at 8:13 am

    This recipe is perfect for summer and I am in love with the colors. This looks delicious and beautiful and bonus points for this recipe being healthy! Thank you for sharing!

  • Reply
    Sandi G
    May 8, 2017 at 8:04 am

    What a beautiful kabob. I will have to serve this up for one of our pool parties this summer.

    • Reply
      May 8, 2017 at 9:30 am

      Perfect for a pool party ~ wish I could join you!

  • Reply
    Dawn - Girl Heart Food
    May 8, 2017 at 7:46 am

    These look fabulous!! Love all the colours; it’s hard not to smile looking at it 🙂 Love the addition of pesto – such a lovely way to add more flavour. Pinning and making this upcoming grilling season!

    • Reply
      May 8, 2017 at 9:31 am

      I love that, Dawn, I’ve had that same ‘smile’ response sometimes when I come across a great recipe ~ I’m thrilled that these make you happy!

  • Reply
    Jennifer @ Seasons and Suppers
    May 8, 2017 at 6:00 am

    So beautiful and no doubt absolutely delicious! I’m so looking forward to grilling season 🙂

  • Reply
    Chris Scheuer
    May 8, 2017 at 4:08 am

    So very pretty Sue and I love your tips for indoor grilling!

    • Reply
      May 8, 2017 at 7:03 am

      Thanks Chris, I’ve gotten pretty good at indoor grilling since I haven’t had an actual outdoor grill for a few years now…

  • Reply
    Tricia @ Saving Room for Dessert
    May 8, 2017 at 4:06 am

    I LOVE these colorful skewers! What a beautiful dinner with so much flavor. I also love the effortless part – great for entertaining or an easy weeknight meal. Sharing!

  • Reply
    [email protected]'s Recipes
    May 8, 2017 at 3:21 am

    Colourful food always makes me happy! These chicken skewers look so fresh and delicious with pesto sauce, Sue.

    • Reply
      May 8, 2017 at 7:15 am

      Me too Angie ~ hooray for bell peppers!

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