Fire up the grill and make some easy kabobs the whole family will love. This super easy grilled ranch chicken recipe will give you the most tender chicken with just a few ingredients. The secret is to marinate it for at least 30 minutes but even better overnight. Perfect for a Spring or Summer cook-out.
Once the weather starts turning warm and it’s not dark at 5, I love to cook out on the grill. Truth be told, I love it when Mike cooks out on the grill, he’s always game to cook whatever I hand him. It’s usually something simple like tequila marinated chicken, or peach glazed chicken, but recently I’ve had fun making kabobs and this easy grilled ranch chicken makes the most tender delicious kabobs.
You can eat them with some grilled corn one night and the next night put the leftovers in a gyro. The flavor is not overpowering so you can serve almost anything along side it or serve it on some rice for a simple weeknight dinner.
What I love about making grilled chicken kabobs is that since the chicken is in small pieces, it cooks in just a few minutes and the buttermilk marinade makes it so tender.
To the ranch buttermilk marinade I add one of my two favorite hot sauces, both made here in the Carolinas, Cackalacky – don’t you just love that name, or Texas Pete. It adds some flavor but there’s not enough to make it spicy. If you want a spicer version, you’ll need to add more than the recipe calls for.
Why you’ll love this recipe
- Place the chicken in the marinade in the morning, and you’ll have dinner on the table in 10 minutes!
- Everyone loves ranch flavor and it’s great on chicken.
- Grilled chicken makes a healthy dinner, whether you eat a low carb or keto diet or just want a healthy meal to serve your family.
- The marinade keeps the chicken from drying out.
- You can use the leftovers for gyros or tacos, two meals in one.
What you’ll need
- Chicken breasts – any thickness will work although it’s better if all of your pieces are the same thickness, otherwise the thin small pieces will be overcooked.
- Ranch dressing mix – Hidden Valley or you can make your own but I find this is one mix that’s just easier to purchase.
- Buttermilk– if you don’t have any, add a tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar to a cup of milk and let it sit on the counter for about 5 minutes.
- Hot sauce – use your favorite
- Fresh rosemary
- Metal or wooden skewers – if wooden, let them soak in water so that they don’t burn on the grill.
PRO TIP: To keep rosemary fresh, wrap it in a wet paper towel and seal it in a ziplock bag and store in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator. It should stay fresh for about three weeks.
Step by Step Directions
Step 1: Cut the chicken into about 1 inch pieces and place in a large ziplock bag or bowl. Combine the rest of the ingredients and pour it over the chicken. Cover or seal the container and refrigerate overnight or let it marinate on the counter for 30 minutes.
Step 2: Drain the chicken and thread the chicken pieces onto the skewers.
Step 3: Cook over medium high heat on the grill for 3-5 minutes then flip and cook an additional 3-5 minutes depending on the thickness of the chicken pieces. It should be 165º using a meat thermometer.
PRO TIP: When cooking with chicken breasts, you’ll get the best results if you let them come to room temperature before cooking. This will take about 30 minutes.
FAQs and tips
For grilled ranch chicken, I use chicken breasts, you can also use chicken tenders.
Add a tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar to a cup of milk and let it sit for 5 minutes before using.
Soak them in water before adding the chicken.
Yes, make a large batch and remove from the skewers. Once cool, place in a freezer container and use them for tacos or gyros.
Looking for more ideas for the grill, try some of these
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Grilled Ranch Chicken
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 cup buttermilk
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons hot sauce Texas Pete
- 1 ounce hidden valley ranch dressing mix
- salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons rosemary chopped
- Cut chicken into 1 inch cubes and place in a bowl or heavy duty ziplock gallon bag.
- Combine the remaining ingredients and pour over cubed chicken. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Place chicken cubes on a metal or wooden skewer.
- Preheat a grill to medium high and spray with cooking spray. Grill for 5-10 minutes on each side depending on the thickness of the chicken, flipping halfway. Remove when internal temperature is close to 165º.
Barbara’s Tips + Notes
- If using wooden skewers, soak them in water first to prevent burning.
- You can use this marinade for a full chicken breast, just increase the cooking time.
- Let the chicken sit on the counter for 30 minutes before cooking for the best results.
- If you don’t have buttermilk, add a tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar to a cup of milk.
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