Kalyn's Kitchen

Sanpete County Grilled Turkey Kabobs

Use chicken or turkey for these Sanpete County Grilled Turkey Kabobs flavored with soy sauce, sesame oil, horseradish, garlic, and diet lemon-lime soda!

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Sanpete County Grilled Turkey Kabobs top photo of finished kabobs on plate

I’m so happy to be updating this recipe for Sanpete County Grilled Turkey Kabobs! This marinade for grilled turkey (or chicken) is famous all over Utah, and when I recently made it to update the photos, I discovered the recipe had been missing a key ingredient. UGH. I hate making a mistake like that! And my site has gone through so many changes since the original version was first posted that I don’t know how long it had been wrong. I haven’t gotten any complaints, but my apologies for the error, whenever it happened.

So today I’m bringing you this new-and-improved version of the famous grilled turkey recipe that I’ve researched and tested thoroughly! I consulted my sister Val who’s from Sanpete County (the turkey capital of Utah), and she’s been making this recipe for years. Val reminded me that she always uses the tasty marinade on turkey breast, and after I updated my recipe and tested it on turkey it was so good that I decided that’s the version I’d share with you! Of course you can also make this with chicken breasts like I did for the original version if you prefer.

What makes this turkey or chicken marinade unusual is the addition of horseradish and sugar-free lemon-lime soda, which combines with the other ingredients to give great flavor and a slightly-spicy kick. When I was researching I found that some cooks don’t add much horseradish, but my recipe has a generous amount. I also use a little sesame oil for plenty of Asian flavor notes.

Kara and I tested this a couple of times to make sure the new version will be a WOW for you, and we loved these kabobs! I hope you’ll try it on boneless turkey breast if you want to switch up your grilling options! Or make it with chicken breasts if that’s what you have on hand.

Sanpete County Grilled Turkey Kabobs process shots collage

How to Make Sanpete County Grilled Turkey (or chicken) Kabobs:

(Scroll down for complete recipe with nutritional information.)

  1. Trim poultry as needed and cut turkey breast or chicken breast into large cubes.
  2. I use Diet 7-Up; any diet lemon-lime soda will work (or use regular soda if you don’t care about carbs.) You’ll have half a can of soda to drink while you work!
  3. Whisk together diet lemon-lime soda, soy sauce or Gluten-Free Soy Sauce (affiliate link), Peanut Oil (affiliate link) or other vegetable oil, sesame oil (affiliate link), ground horseradish (affiliate link), garlic powder, and coarse-ground black pepper.
  4. Let turkey or chicken pieces marinate at least 8 hours in the refrigerator. (Or longer.)
  5. When you’re ready to cook, drain turkey or chicken in a colander placed in the sink.
  6. Thread the pieces onto six skewers, or just make four larger kabobs if that’s how many skewers you have. 
  7. Rub the grill with olive oil or spray with grill spray, then preheat to medium high heat while skewers come to room temperature.
  8. If you want grill marks turn kabobs several times, lifting to check and turning when you see marks appearing on one side.
  9. Total cooking time will be about 15 minutes.
  10. For best results I recommend using an Instant Read Meat Thermometer (affiliate link) and cook until the poultry reaches a temperature of 165F/75C.
  11. I’d make the full recipe of six kabobs because the leftovers are great added to stir-fried veggies, eaten in pita bread, or served over salad!

Sanpete County Grilled Turkey Kabobs close-up photo of cooked kabobs on plate

Make it a Meal:

Serve Sanpete County Grilled Turkey Kabobs with something like Pan-Fried Asparagus Tips, Green Bean and Tomato Salad, or Napa Cabbage Asian Slaw for a low-carb meal!

More Grilled Turkey or Chicken:

Low-Carb and Keto Grilled Chicken Round-up
Grilled Chicken with Balsamic Vinegar
Very Greek Grilled Chicken
Grilled Middle Eastern Turkey Burgers
Grilled Sriracha-Sesame Turkey Meatballs

Weekend Food Prep:

Leftovers are great from this recipe, so it has been added to a category called Weekend Food Prep  to help you find recipes you can prep or cook on the weekend and eat during the week!

Sanpete County Grilled Turkey Kabobs close-up photo of cooked kabobs on plate

Sanpete County Grilled Turkey Kabobs

Yield 6 kabobs
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Additional Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 30 minutes

These Grilled Turkey (or chicken) Kabobs are flavored with an interesting marinade, and this recipe is from Sanpete County, Utah!

Ingredients

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs. boneless turkey breast, cut into pieces (see notes)

Marinade Ingredients:

  • 6 oz. diet lemon lime soda (see notes)
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce (see notes)
  • 1/4 cup peanut oil (see notes)
  • 2 T sesame oil
  • 2 T horseradish (or more, see notes)
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • coarse ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Trim visible fat or undesirable parts from turkey or chicken breasts, then cut into pieces that are 1 1/2 - 2 inches square.
  2. Whisk together diet lemon-lime soda, soy sauce or Gluten-Free Soy Sauce (affiliate link), Peanut Oil (affiliate link) or other vegetable oil, sesame oil (affiliate link), ground horseradish (affiliate link), garlic powder, and coarse-ground black pepper to make the interesting marinade. (Taste before you add more horseradish if you're a horseradish fan.)
  3. Put turkey or chicken pieces into Ziploc bag or a plastic container with a snap-right lid, pour in marinade, and marinate at least 8 hours in refrigerator. (You can definitely marinate this much longer. When I was testing the improved recipe, several times I marinated overnight and cooked the next afternoon.)
  4. When ready to cook, drain the poultry into a colander placed in the sink.
  5. Thread the turkey or chicken pieces on to skewers, pushing them together tightly, especially if you don't have double skewers (affiliate link) or blade-type Skewers (affiliate link) like mine.
  6. While skewers come to room temperature, rub the grill grates with olive oil or spray with grill spray, then preheat grill to medium-high heat. (You can only hold your hand there for 2-3 seconds at that heat.)
  7. If you want grill marks on your kabobs, after they've cooked for a couple of minutes check  by lifting one kabob with tongs, and turn kabobs several times as you see grill marks starting to show.
  8. Total cooking time will be about 15 minutes, but actual cooking time depends on your grill temperature and how thick the pieces of chicken or turkey are. For best results I recommend using an Instant Read Meat Thermometer (affiliate link) and cook until the poultry reaches a temperature of 165F/75C.
  9. Serve hot.
  10. Leftover chicken or turkey is great to add to a stir-fry, eat in pita bread, or sprinkle over a salad.

Notes

If you prefer to use chicken, use six boneless, skinless chicken breasts. I used half a can of Diet 7-Up, but any lemon-lime soda will work. Use Gluten-Free Soy Sauce (affiliate link) for the recipe if needed. I like the flavor from Peanut Oil (affiliate link) for this recipe, but other vegetable oil will also be fine. If you're a big horseradish fan like me, start with 2 T horseradish, whisk the marinade ingredients together, and taste it on a spoon before you add more horseradish.

I found a version of this recipe years ago in the Salt Lake Tribune and updated the recipe with assistance from my sister Val, who's a proud Sanpete County resident!

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 371Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 121mgSodium: 1341mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 0gSugar: 4gProtein: 48g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.

If you make this recipe I'd love to hear how it turns out. Leave a star rating or share on social media with the hashtag #KALYNSKITCHEN, thanks!

Sanpete County Grilled Turkey Kabobs square image of turkey kabobs on serving plate

Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
As long as it’s made with diet soda, this recipe is perfect for any phase of the original South Beach Diet or other types of low-carb diet plans.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Grilling Recipes to find more recipes like this one.Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You can also Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

Historical Notes for this Recipe:
This recipe was first posted August 2006, adapted from a recipe I found in The Salt Lake Tribune. The recipe was updated and improved in July 2020. At that time I found an error in the original version, so this new recipe has been thoroughly researched and tested, with much consulting with and advice from from my sister Val, who lives in Sanpete County!

Sanpete County Grilled Turkey Kabobs Pinterest image

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    34 Comments on “Sanpete County Grilled Turkey Kabobs”

  1. Can I use chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts?

  2. There will be bacteria in the marinade from the raw chicken (sounds like you know that.) But if you boil it on the stove for a little bit, it would be fine as a sauce for this, and very tasty. I'd cook it at least 5-10 minutes before you taste the marinade and then continue to simmer and reduce until you like the flavor. (It will eventually get too strong, but I think that would take quite a while.)

  3. Thank you Kalyn! Are you of the school to not use marinade to cook with? If I heated it could I use it in stir fry?

  4. Oh, that recipe note is assuming you marinated the chicken as per the recipe. Then you would not need much of a sauce, just what sticks to the chicken. I was assuming you didn't want to make the marinade.

  5. I don't understand. This is a note on your recipe to do this in stir fry pan with the veggies. I don't know what would taste right with it as I have never had this before.

  6. I'd suggest you look at the Stir Fry Recipes on the site and find a sauce recipe that sounds good.

  7. to do it stir fry style, what would you use for sauce?

  8. Marianne, I will have to look for that!

  9. Zevia makes a gingerale with stevia in it. And I have some, think I will try this.

  10. Thank you so much for the link Kalyn! I'm bookmarking this recipe 🙂

  11. Glad to hear you liked it!

  12. Made this last night using diet gingerale.It was delicious. My family really enjoyed it. Thanks for a great dinner idea. Alton Brown has an easy carrot recipe using gingerale (don't want to waste the other 1/2 of the can)that I made last summer w/ carrots from the farmer's market that was very good.

  13. This marinade sounds so exotic. I make chicken kebabs pretty often – varying them between Mediterranean to South Asian. I must try yours.