Home » Recipes » 5-ingredient Grilled Chicken Thighs (Chicken Shashlik)

5-ingredient Grilled Chicken Thighs (Chicken Shashlik)

5-ingredient Grilled Chicken Thighs Recipe aka Chicken Shashlik is made with a simple marinade of onions, mayo, and sriracha making a deliciously creamy sauce with a bit of heat and tons of flavor. It’s great for making ahead because you can throw the chicken in the marinade the night before and it’s ready to go the next day!

I look forward to grilling chicken thighs every time summer rolls around! Grilling season just wouldn’t be the same without my husband’s recipe for grilled chicken thighs because they are absolutely the best!

The chicken pieces are placed on skewers and they’re grilled to perfection!

grilled Chicken Thighs with mashed potatoes

It might remind you a bit of a classic Russian chicken shashlik recipe (meat skewers). 

Ingredients Needed for Chicken Marinade

Ingredients Needed for Chicken Marinade

  • Chicken thighs – A budget-friendly cut of meat that has a ton of flavor and will be nice and juicy. Trim the fat and cut each chicken thigh into 2-inch cubes. 
  • Large onions – Sliced onions add aromatic flavor to the marinade that penetrates deep into the meat the longer it marinates. 
  • Mayonnaise – A rich and creamy condiment made mostly of egg yolks, oil, and vinegar. It’s very neutral and mild in flavor so it pairs well with more flavorful ingredients. 
  • Salt & Pepper – To Taste
  • Sriracha sauce – You can use the same amount as I do, or add as much as you like. If you like yours a little more robust and a bit spicier, add more. If not, add less. 

How to marinade Chicken

How to Grill Chicken Thighs

Step 1: Pour all of the ingredients into a Ziploc bag or mixing bowl, including the chicken pieces. If you’re using a bag, make sure it is sealed and toss it back and forth with your hands to combine the ingredients and make sure the chicken is well coated. Allow it to marinate for at least 2 hours, but overnight is even better!

Step 2: Prepare your skewers. If you’re using wood skewers, you want to soak them in the water ahead of time. This helps to prevent them from catching fire and burning. Metal skewers are great because you don’t have to soak them. Preheat the grill to medium/high heat.

Step 3: Remove the chicken pieces from the marinade and thread pieces onto each skewer. Don’t discard the marinade yet!

Step 4: Place the skewers onto the grill and cook for about 4-5 minutes on each side. Be careful when flipping them over. Use a heatproof glove or tongs.

Step 5: Grab the large onion pieces from the marinade and grill them on a piece of grill-approved pan or foil paper. Now discard the rest of the grilled chicken thighs marinade!

Grill until golden in color and slightly charred!

how to grill chicken thighs

Serve with homemade cheesy mashed potatoes with caramelized onion and a broccoli cucumber salad. Enjoy!

Cooking Tips

  • Allow the chicken kabobs to rest for a few minutes once off the grill. Tent them with a piece of foil paper and give the juices a chance to settle and redistribute throughout the meat.
  • Do not overcook the chicken thighs! This is a fast way to dry out your meat.
  • Add some veggies to your skewers in between the pieces of meat. Think bell peppers, zucchini, or eggplant.
  • You could even chop up veggies and cook them in a foil pan while you’re grilling the meat.
  • When serving kids, you may want to consider removing the meat from the skewers first to avoid poking things that don’t need to be poked!

What to Serve with Grilled Chicken Thighs

Everyone loves a delicious dipping sauce! A little extra sriracha and mayo would be fun. Have some lime wedges for anyone who wants a little citrus finish.

Serve with a side of cabbage salad and cucumber tomato salad, with some scalloped potatoes to make it a complete meal!

During the summer I like to always have fresh fruit available so this easy fruit salad recipe is perfect!


Do I Have to Soak My Skewers?

If you are using wood or bamboo skewers then yes! This is especially important if you’re using lower heat and will be keeping them on the heat for longer. It’s also good for those times you want to get a really nice char on the outside of your meat so you use a bit of a higher flame.

In the end, if you can get your hands on reusable metal skewers, it might be better in the long run!

grilled Chicken Thighs with mashed potatoes

How Long to Grill Chicken Thighs?

If you’re using medium-high heat, grill for a total of 8-10 minutes. If you’re using medium-low heat or indirect heat you’re going to want to keep them on for longer.

The time will be determined by how hot your grill is, so the best way to determine if the chicken is cooked all the way through is to use a thermometer. It should read 165 degrees.

How Do You Keep the Chicken From Drying Out on the Grill?

I recommend sticking with dark meat because it’s the juiciest and will provide moist pieces of chicken. If you do use chicken breast, pop them on the grill while they’re still cold. That way the outside can char nicely and lock in the moisture so that the inside has a chance to catch up without drying out.

More Savory Chicken Dinners


grilled Chicken Thighs with mashed potatoes

5-ingredient Grilled Chicken Thighs (Chicken Shashlik)

Love Keil
The chicken thigh pieces are marinated in delicious marinade and then grilled to perfection!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Marinating Time 2 hours
Course Main Coarse
Cuisine Russian
Servings 4 servings
Calories 784 kcal



  • 1 1/2 lb chicken thighs fat removed, cut into 2 inch cubes
  • 2 large onion sliced
  • 1 cup mayo
  • salt and black pepper to taste, we use 1 teaspoon black pepper and 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons sriracha or to taste


  • Add all ingredients to a zip bag or a bowl, mix well with hands. Marinade for at least 2 hours, best overnight. 
    How to marinade Chicken Thighs
  • Preheat the oven to medium/high heat. Using metal or soaked in the water wood skewers, thread chicken onto a skewers. Grill until chicken is cooked thru, about 4-5 minutes on each side, more if cooking on low/medium heat. 
    How to marinade Chicken Thighs
  • Grill onion on a grill-approved pan or foil pepper, until golden color. Serve with homemade mashed potatoes and cucumber salad. Enjoy!
    how to grill chicken thighs



Hi! All content & images are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or simply link back to this post for the recipe. Thank you.


Calories: 784kcalCarbohydrates: 8gProtein: 29gFat: 70gSaturated Fat: 14gPolyunsaturated Fat: 31gMonounsaturated Fat: 21gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 190mgSodium: 747mgPotassium: 483mgFiber: 1gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 186IUVitamin C: 13mgCalcium: 36mgIron: 1mg
Keyword chicken, marinate
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Did YOU like this Chicken Thighs Recipe?

Let me know in the comments below, we would love to hear from you!


Thank YOU for YOUR Comment, Share & Recipe Review!


Quote of the Day

“Life has no limitations except the ones we make.”
– Les Brown


Happy Cooking!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating