Sweet Maple Barbecue Chicken Kabobs – a touch of caramelized sweetness, this takes your traditional barbecue sauce and elevates it to a whole new level.

Chicken kabobs are a staple at our house during the summer and we just love these maple chicken kabobs. They are glazed with a homemade maple BBQ sauce that’s a little sweet, a little tangy, and a little sticky for the best summer dinner.

chicken kabobs on a plate with corn on the cob.

We go a little skewer crazy during the summer. Anything we can thread on sticks and grill is pretty much a winner at our house and I have the best chicken skewer recipe to share with you today.

The sauce might just be my all-time favorite BBQ sauce, but I need to let you in on a little secret… it was made by accident! Don’t you love it when those things happen, and it turns out to be better than your original recipes?

You see, I went to reach for the honey and grabbed the maple syrup instead, distracted by some shrill screams coming from the backyard. I started to pour in the syrup then realized what I had done.

Instead of starting over, I decided to go with it, and I’m so glad I did. I love the touch of caramelized sweetness the syrup adds to my traditional sauce. However, it isn’t overly sweet like some honey barbecue sauces can be.


  • Chicken tenders
  • Brown sugar
  • Ketchup
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Water
  • Pure maple syrup
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Ground mustard
  • Paprika
  • Kosher salt and black pepper

How do you make Sweet Maple Barbecue Chicken Kabobs?

Combine the brown sugar, ketchup, red wine vinegar, water, pure maple syrup Worcestershire sauce, ground mustard, paprika, kosher salt and pepper in a large bowl.

Place the chicken in the marinade. Cover and marinate it for at least two to four hours or overnight. You can also combine the ingredients in a large Ziplock bag and marinate the chicken that way.

Thread the chicken tenders onto skewers and place them on a plate. Once you’ve threaded all of the chicken, you can drizzle a little extra marinade over the top.

Grill the chicken kabobs over medium heat. Turn them every three minutes or until they are cooked through. They should be at least 170°F in the thickest part with the juices running clear.

What can you serve with Chicken Kabobs?

These skewers pair with so many side dishes! Here are a few of our favorites.

Great to serve with grilled corn on the cob, cornbread – my favorite Sweet Jalapeno Cornbread and coleslaw.

Try adding some Potato Salad or Mexican Corn Salad on the side.

Recipe Tips

If you are using wooden skewers be sure to soak them in water for 30 minutes. This will keep them from burning up when they are on the grill.

I love this recipe because the leftovers are great. Use them to make sandwiches or salads for the next day. The maple chicken is delicious cold from the refrigerator or you can warm it up in the microwave.

I already have this on the menu again for next week. From my accidental recipe kitchen to yours. Enjoy! XOXO San

Want More Summer Recipes?

Sweet Maple Barbecue Chicken Kabobs

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 25 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 403 kcal
With a touch of caramelized sweetness, this takes your traditional barbecue sauce and elevates it to a whole new level.


  • 2 pounds chicken tenders
  • 1 cup brown sugar packed
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup plus a little more if desired
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons ground mustard
  • 2 teaspoons Paprika
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper



  • Mix brown sugar, ketchup, red wine vinegar, water, pure maple syrup Worcestershire sauce, ground mustard, paprika, kosher salt and pepper in a large bowl. Place chicken tenders in the marinade. Cover and let the chicken marinate for at least 2-4 hours or overnight. I like to throw all the ingredients in a Ziplock and let it marinate this way.
  • If you are using metal skewers skip this part, if you are using wood skewers follow the directions below. I know there is a debate whether or not to soak your skewers and to each their own. But I soak mine, I have found that I get less wood pieces in the chicken and they don’t go up in flames.
  • I completely soak my skewers for at least 30 minutes. Make sure the entire stick is completely dredged in water. Once they have soaked, remove and start to assemble the skewers.


  • Remove the chicken from the fridge, one piece at a time grab a tender and lace through the skewer. I start at the chunkier end and do a weave motion. Or you can just slide the entire tender on the kabob and not make it all fancy like a wave. Either way, they will taste the same. Set kabob on a plate and repeat the process. Once completed drizzle extra marinade over the chicken, and let it sit while grill is heating up.
  • Heat gas or charcoal grill, remove chicken from marinade. Place chicken on grill over medium heat. Cover grill and cook 3 minutes, then turn over the kabob and cook another 3 minutes. At this point check the chicken. To know if the chicken is done the juices should be clear and the center of thickest part is cut (170°F). If not done, continue to cook, at this point I leave the lid open and just turn the kabobs so they are cooked evenly on both sides. My chicken takes about 8-10 minutes.
  • Remove from grill and serve immediately. Or cover with foil and serve later.
  • Great to serve with grilled corn on the cob, cornbread – my favorite Sweet Jalapeno Cornbread and coleslaw.
  • Use the leftovers the next day for a grilled chicken salad.


Total time does not include the time to marinade.
Calories: 403kcalCarbohydrates: 57gProtein: 33gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 97mgSodium: 773mgPotassium: 816mgFiber: 1gSugar: 53gVitamin A: 583IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 68mgIron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know what you think!

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  1. I am drooling over here! How do you get that LOVELY dark carmelization on the chicken!? I think I always pull mine off the grill too soon.SO yummy looking!

  2. I love this recipe. It’s perfect for us here in Dallas since we want to bbq everything now that summer is here.

    1. Kebabs make summer grilling easy, and there is nothing better than great food that is easy to make! Have a great time making them! xo San

  3. Oh my goodness, my mouth is watering… This sounds delicious, as do all the rest of the recipes in the Foodie roundup. Thanks so much for sharing

  4. I love sweet maple sauces and glazes. They are delicious and add such a wonderful taste to meat.

    1. Thanks girl! I can’t wait for you to make this dish for yourself! It’s perfect for summer! xo San

  5. Yummy! I would love it if you joined and contribute your awesome posts at my link party at City of Creative Dreams, starts on Fridays 😀 Hope to see you there at City of Creative Dreams Link Party.

  6. Mmm. Love kabobs and this recipe and the others look and sound delicious. Hope to see you tomorrow at the Gingerly Made party.

  7. These look fabulous. I’m never great at pre-meditation when it comes to cooking, but I came up with a great trick. I make several batches of marinade, put it in a Ziploc with the chicken and then freeze it. That way all I have to do is thaw it and I’m ready to grill!

  8. I’m thinking this marinade would also be delish on chicken breasts. I shall add it to my I-will-never-make-all-these-recipes, even-if-I-live-to-be-100 recipe collection. Thanks for the yumminess.

  9. Cooked these for our 4th of July family gathering. De-lish! They also made a beautiful presentation. Someone suggested using chicken thighs, but the breast tenders were very moist cooked this way. After mixing the marinade, I set a little aside (before adding the raw chicken) and used it while cooking to basted the skewers. I used an outdoor George Foreman grill. This is a definite keeper and will be a frequent on our lunch and dinner menus! Thanks for posting and sharing!

  10. This looks perfectly yummy but we don’t have a griller. Can I just bake it or pan fry it then put in skewers?

  11. Made these last night – prepped them in the morning before I left for work. Used your Ziploc bag suggestion. They were delish. Thanks for the great recipe. This one is most definitely a keeper!!!

  12. Made these the other night, they were an absolute hit in my house! Unfortunately, I forgot skewers at the store. I improvised and made chicken tenders with roasted veggies and corn on the cob for the sides. Also, I put some chicken breast in the used marinade for a second dinner… couldn’t let it go to waste! Grilled those bad boys up tonight for dinner. My only question is I’m unsure of the calorie and nutrition info. I tried to figure it out based off of what is in the marinade, but I think I’m off. Do you happen to have the nutrition information for this chicken/marinade? Thank you!

  13. Disappointed. Too much of a ketchup taste and made way too much marinade for the amount of chicken. Won’t keep this recipe to make again.

  14. I have just made this recipe and put it over the chicken. We will BBQ while watching the Wimbledon final. The marinade tasted gorgeous. Can’t wait for the Kebabs. Cheers from England!

  15. This is an awesome marinade. We soaked some boneless skinless chicken thighs & grilled over charcoal. It charred just right & was delicious.

  16. Look’s delicious. My mouth watering 🙂 Just one thing need to know. when I will Marinade that time what am I marinade on the normal place or freeze?


  17. 5 stars
    I had never heard of this recipe ever and yesterday I stumbled upon this article. I gave it a go and it was so delicious. We all enjoyed it.
    I will make it again and again.

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