Grilled Blackened Chicken Kabobs
Served over pasta with a bit of grated Parmesan cheese, these Grilled Blackened Chicken Kabobs make for a tasty summer meal!
A lot of my posts focus on the main ingredient of a dish. That’s cool. I mean it’s hard to beat the flavor of a steak just off the grill or this amazing cake packed with all sorts of coconut flavor. But this post is different. Let’s focus on one of the often-overlooked ingredients today. Green onions. I keep several bunches of green onions in the fridge pretty much 99% of the time. Whether it’s to add flavor or just simply a colorful garnish, green onions are one of my go-to ingredients. Plus, my love of Cajun food is well-established, and Cajun food wouldn’t be the same without green onions. (The same can be said for Mexican and Asian foods, too.)
Green onions, also called scallions if you want to sound fancy, are just long green stems with a small white bulb at the end. The onion flavor is fairly mild, so green onions can be used either raw (as a garnish) or cooked into a recipe. And the entire green onion can be chopped and used. I once heard a chef say that he fired one of his line cooks for discarding the white bulb portions of green onions. The white parts do have a bit more onion-y flavor, but they can still be eaten raw.
One of our neighbors is a master gardener, and he grew a bunch of green onions last year. Correction — he grew a lot of bunches of green onions last year. I bumped into him in the street one evening, and he asked if I used green onions very often. I told him that I did, and he mentioned that I should come over and just pick some fresh ones from his garden if I needed more. Well, one night, I was out of green onions, and I wandered across the street. Holy cow! He wasn’t joking when he said he had plenty of extra green onions! I pulled several bunches and headed back across the street.
As is often the case, the homegrown green onions had so much more flavor than the store-bought ones. We used those green onions on everything from Cajun food to quesadillas. (A good handful of chopped green onions is one of Laura’s secrets for making the perfect quesadilla!) Inspired by my neighbor’s crop, I decided to plant some green onions in my garden this year. Speaking of growing green onions, I just learned that you can actually regrow green onions from the scrap roots. Even if you aren’t much of an outdoor gardener, this sounds easy enough. Plus, that way you’d have a steady supply of green onions right there in your kitchen!
Grilled Blackened Chicken Kabobs
Switching gears a bit, let’s focus on a recipe that uses green onions. Grilled Blackened Chicken Kabobs. These kabobs are a simple and easy summer meal, and they’re packed with excellent grill flavor! I find that squash (either yellow squash or zucchini) really absorb that grill flavor quite well. Plus, when squash are in peak season, they’re very inexpensive in the store…or “free” in your own garden! Add in some marinated chicken, and these Grilled Blackened Chicken Kabobs make for an excellent summer meal!
Speaking of chicken, I mentioned this in another kabob post, but a good marinade is the key to delicious grilled chicken. And for a good marinade, just remember 3 things: olive oil, vinegar and an acidic juice like lemon or lime. I often start with 2 parts olive oil : 1 part vinegar : 1 part acidic juice. The vinegar can be anything from white vinegar to red wine vinegar to even apple cider vinegar depending on the flavor profile you want. The acidic juice (typically lemon, lime or even grapefruit) helps tenderize the chicken. Add in whatever seasonings you’d like (typically 1 part), and you’ve got a good marinade going. Cover the chicken and refrigerate for 2-3 hours, and then fire up the grill!
I served these Grilled Blackened Chicken Kabobs over a simple pasta mixed with some Parmesan cheese. No sauce. Nothing fancy. I just let the grilled flavor from the chicken and veggies really be the shining star here. So if you’re in the mood for a delicious (and easy!) meal on the grill, these Grilled Blackened Chicken Kabobs are worthy of a spot on your menu. Enjoy!
Grilled Blackened Chicken Kabobs
For the Marinated Chicken
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1½ Tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 Tbsp lime juice
- 1 Tbsp Cajun seasoning homemade or storebought
- 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1½” pieces
For the Kabobs
- 1 medium red onion sliced
- 1 medium zucchini sliced into 1½” pieces
- 1 medium yellow squash sliced into 1½” pieces
- ¼ cup green onions sliced
- 1 pound penne pasta
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese grated
For the Marinated Chicken
- Combine all of the ingredients except for chicken in a small bowl; stir until well combined.
- Place the chicken in a shallow baking dish and add marinade. Turn chicken several times to coat, and then cover and refrigerate for 2-3 hours.
For the Kabobs and Pasta
- If using bamboo skewers, soak skewers in water for at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat grill to medium-high heat (~375°-400°F).
- Remove the chicken from marinade; discard any remaining marinade.
- Thread the chicken, zucchini, squash and red onions onto skewers.
- Grill the kabobs over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, for 10-12 minutes, or until chicken is fully cooked.
- Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package instructions. Once cooked, stir Parmesan cheese into pasta.
- Divide pasta onto plates and top with freshly ground black pepper and two kabobs. Garnish with sliced green onions before serving.
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For the longest time, I would regrow my green onions in a glass of water on the kitchen windowsill. There’s usually enough nutrients stored in the onion to get at least one or two more regrowths out of them. But then I started growing my own amongst the herbs out back — they seem to help keep the squirrels away too — and I’ll never go back.
We grew green onions out back in the garden for the first time this year, and they turned out great. I didn’t realize they are squirrel deterrents…if only they kept the rabbits away, too! Next year, I’ll be rethinking my fencing method in the garden to hopefully keep the rabbits at bay. In the meantime, though, green onions for the win! 🙂 Thanks, Bill!
I like using green onions too. I have never tried growing them in the garden, something I should try to do. The chicken kabobs like yummy. One of my favorite things to grill is kabobs.
Yes! I never thought about growing green onions in the garden, either, but then I saw my neighbors…and I was like, ‘hey, that’s a great idea!’. And I agree with you about kabobs. They’re just fun! Thanks so much, Dawn!
Green onions are a staple in my kitchen too. I add them to just about everything! I love how much flavor they add. But of course I’ve never tried growing them myself–I’m totally saving the roots next time. That’s such a cool idea! Have a great weekend, David!
Yes! I know you live out in the Sahara, but green onions can be grown indoors. Right next to your sink, or window, or someplace with a bit of sun. Just make sure Cookie doesn’t try to gnaw on ’em…haha! Thanks so much, Kelsie. Hope you had a great weekend!
I’m not trying to sound fancy, LOL, but I must admit I am guilty of referring to them them as scallions. Maybe it’s a New Jersey thing but they aren’t even displayed as green onions in the stores here. But whatever you want to call them, they are so versatile! I love using them (including the white part) in so many dishes. Speaking of dishes, I am totally digging these kabobs. They look fabulous over the pasta as you have them, but I’m thinking they can also go well with mashed potatoes, some brown rice or quinoa. OK, I’m really hungry now. 😉
Hah! I remember when I first got into cooking, I thought scallions were some sort of fancy thing that only chefs in restaurants used. Then I learned they were just another name for green onions. Hilarious! And they really are versatile…we always keep a bunch around for topping various recipes. I agree that these kabobs would be great over rice/quinoa, potatoes, etc. They have a ton of flavor just by themselves, too. Now I wish I had some leftovers of these for lunch or dinner today…haha. Thanks, Sherri!
I’m about 50/50 whether I call them green onions or scallions. In recipes, I always say green onions just in case people aren’t familiar with scallions. Lucky you having a generous neighbor with a bumper crop of them!
In the summer, we often toss a whole bunch of them in a little olive oil and throw them on the grill until charred, add a little salt and voila! Amazingly good!
Though I doubt they’re as good plain as they are with these beautiful blackened chicken kabobs of yours! Definitely going to try this recipe before the fall rolls in!
I had no idea how well green onions grow in the garden…that is, until my neighbor had that bumper crop. And they tasted SO good! Wait. Grilling green onions!? I’ve never heard of such a thing…and I’m totally intrigued now. I have to try that next time I get the grill out. (And knowing me, that will probably be tonight. Haha!) Thanks so much, Marissa!
Hi David! Isn’t food on a stick just fun? I don’t care what people call them, but I love green onions. I would use thighs just because they are my favorite. These are on my short list to make SOON!
Yes! These kabobs are super easy, and super flavorful. I agree that thighs would be a good choice here, too. And green onions are one of my secret stars when it comes to cooking. I almost always have a bunch of ’em in the fridge! Hope you and Gary had a great weekend, my friend! Also, I was just telling someone this weekend that I plan to move to your part of the country…hopefully sooner than later. 🙂
LOVE me some green onions! I put them on almost every dinner because they add the perfect pop of flavor and freshness! Your kabobs look amazing, David! I need a good blackened chicken recipe in my repertoire and it looks like I just found it!
I agree that a good blackened chicken recipe needs to be in everyone’s repertoire! I enjoyed serving it over a simple pasta like in this post, but blackened chicken can go in so many other directions…salad, wraps, over rice, you name it. Thanks so much, Christina!
Sounds like you have really great neighbors. It also sounds like you’re a great neighbor yourself.
Why thank you very much, Jeff. If you’re looking to move, I suggest moving in next door to me. Think of all the epic foodie parties we could have!
I use green onions a lot, but haven’t ever really thought about them. I throw them on for flavor or for a bit of garnish. I love that your neighbor has a huge crop that you can harvest from! That’s a great neighbor! This blackened chicken looks great – especially with a sprinkling of green onion!
I totally agree with you about green onions, Kathy! I use em all the time, and I almost always keep a bunch in the fridge…but I never realized how much I used them. They’re the perfect topping for almost everything! Thanks so much, my friend. I hope you and the family had a great weekend…are you ready for school to start back yet?? 🙂
I mostly call them green onion and I love them!! Whenever I use them, I probably use way more that what most people would. I especially love them on nachos! Super easy to grow too! Now these chicken kabobs – with a long weekends coming up and get together with friends, these would be perfect. Who doesn’t love food on a stick?? Happy Monday, David 🙂
Nachos! Yes! Green onions are a requirement on nachos. 🙂 And now I’m craving nachos. Actually, this blackened chicken would be pretty good in nacho form. Ok, now I’m going to have to do that! Yum. Thanks so much, Dawn. I hope you had a great weekend, too!
I’m not sure what sounds more fancy. Scallions or Spring Onions (as we call them)? Still as you say they’re just long green stems with a small white bulb at the end! Ha ha! They do add a nice garnish and they’re great to finish soups off with too. That’s what I like them for. Love this kabobs recipe David!
Interesting! I’ve never heard the term ‘spring onions’ but it totally makes sense. And I agree…both sound fancy! But really they’re just a classic green onion, and I love keeping green onions around the house. Thanks so much, Neil!
Lucky you! My mom also tends her garden with vegetables and herbs. I guess we’re both lucky to have them next to us…free fresh produce! And this chicken kabobs look ‘da bomb! I love how you add green onions to this dish, definitely brings color to this dish and makes this smells so good.
Yes! I totally remember you talking about how your Mom grows all kinds of interesting things in her garden, Linda. Lucky you for sure! And I agree with you about green onions. The pop of color and the mild taste come together as a great way to finish all sorts of dishes. Yum! Thanks so much, my friend!