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Lemon-Garlic Chicken and Tomato Skewers with Basil Chimichurri

Grilled chicken doesn’t always need a long marinade to be full of flavor. These spend just a few minutes in a lemony-garlicky mix before they’re grilled to charred perfection. The hot chicken absorbs the flavor of the fresh basil chimichurri, and the grilled cherry tomatoes bring sweetness and acid.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time20 mins
Servings: 4 -6
Author: Emily Clifton - Nerds with Knives


For the kebabs (makes 6 12-inch skewers)

  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs (or boneless skinless chicken breasts)
  • 1 pint large cherry tomatoes
  • 3 garlic cloves grated or minced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Zest from one lemon finely grated
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup or honey
  • 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the Basil Chimichurri:

  • 1 1/4 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 small garlic clove grated (1 teaspoon)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


  • Preheat your grill to a medium-high heat. Clean and oil grill grates. If you’re using wooden/bamboo skewers, immerse them in warm water to prevent them catching on the grill.
  • In a large bowl, mix together the garlic, oil, red pepper flakes, lemon zest and juice, maple syrup, salt and pepper.
  • Prick chicken thighs all over with a fork, then cut into two-inch chunks. Add to the marinade bowl and mix to coat. It only needs to sit for around five minutes.
  • While the chicken marinates, make the chimichurri : add all ingredients to a food processor and pulse until the herbs are coarsely chopped. Check seasoning to taste. Leave at room temperature until the chicken is ready.
  • Thread the chicken onto metal (or pre-soaked bamboo) skewers. Make sure to leave a little room between pieces on the skewers so they cook evenly.
  • Thread the tomatoes onto separate skewers, brush with olive oil and sprinkle with a little sea salt.
  • Grill the chicken kebabs until lightly charred and cooked through, turning skewers occasionally. This should take around 10 minutes.
  • Transfer the skewers to a platter and serve with the chimichurri sauce.
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