Healthy Recipes: Chicken and Pineapple Kebabs in Salsa Verde

By: Denisse Oller

Labor Day is just around the corner. Celebrate the unofficial end of summer cookouts, and long summer days with these delicious kebabs. I was in a tropical mood when I came up with this recipe. It was summer, on a day that called for BBQ. My great friend, chef Regina Tejada, had brought me a few pineapples, so I was inspired. The rest of the pineapples were used to prepare –you guessed it – frothy piña coladas!

Yields 8 to 10 kebabs


2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, fat removed, cut into 1½-inch cubes
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground thyme
2 teaspoons canola oil
3 thick slices fresh pineapple, cut in chunks *
2 Spanish onions, cut in large chunks
3 red peppers, seeds and veins removed, cut in large chunks
10-12 cherry tomatoes

*If using canned pineapple packed in its own juice, drain, before using

Salsa Verde
2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup cilantro, leaves and thin stems only, finely chopped
1/2 cup parsley, leaves and thin stems only, finely chopped
2 scallions, finely cut
1 jalapeño pepper, seeds and veins removed, small dice (optional)
1/2 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

Special Equipment: 12-inch wooden skewers soaked in water at least 30 minutes to prevent charring.

  1. In a glass bowl, mix chicken seasoning and vegetable oil. Mix well. Add chicken and mix well. Cover with plastic wrap at let rest for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
  1. Thread red peppers, pineapple, seasoned chicken cubes and onions, in previously soaked skewers.
  1. When ready to cook, grease grill lightly with canola oil** and turn to medium-high heat. Grill the kebabs 4-5 minutes on each side or until cooked through. Serve with salsa verde.
  1. To make the salsa verde, in a mortar and pestle, add garlic and a pinch of salt and grind to a paste. In a bowl, mix parsley, cilantro, jalapeno, and crushed garlic. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil and work into the mixture. Season to taste. If using within a few hours, let sit at room temperature. Otherwise, refrigerate and bring to room temperature before using.

To clean your grill once it cools:

Apply high-heat cooking oil (Canola, olive, peanut) when the grates are cold. Cover the grates with the oil and remove the excess with a paper towel. Light your grill, and let it burn until the oil on the grates starts smoking or burns off.