Grilled Chicken Kabobs with Vegetables

5 from 5 votes

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Super simple, gorgeous, and very flexible, these chicken and vegetable skewers should be on your list of summer must-makes.

Grilled Chicken Kabobs with Vegetables

Grilled chicken and vegetable kabobs are probably my number one go-to kebob of summer. A whole meal on a stick! You really don’t need anything else, but if you want, you can serve them on top of Cilantro Lime Rice or alongside a helping of Israeli Couscous Salad. Or slide the chicken and veggie from the skewer and stuff them into a pita with some Tzatziki,

Grilling things on sticks is one of the most primal and satisfying ways to cook dinner during the summer months, and frankly during any month you can stand to be outside for the 10 minutes it takes to get ‘er done. The reason it’s so quick, of course, is because the food you’re cooking has been cut into cubes which cook up very quickly on a hot grill.

For other great meals on a skewer, try Greek Lamb Kebabs, Indian-Inspired Lamb Kebobs, or Beef Teriyaki Kebabs.

Grilled Chicken Kabobs with Vegetables set on a white platter.

Chicken and Vegetable Kebabs: Flexible make and fun to eat. These colorful chicken and veggie kebabs are one of the quintessential grilled dishes of summer.

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Chicken and Vegetable Kebob Ingredients

For the kabobs:

  • Boneless skinless chicken – You can use breasts or thighs, both are amazing.
  • Vegetables – I used red onion, cherry tomatoes, and mushrooms. Any vegetables could work: try bell peppers, zucchini, summer squash, or lightly cooked cauliflower or broccoli.

For the Citrus-Basil Marinade:

  • Orange – Use both the juice and the zest for extra citrusy flavor.
  • Lemon or lime juice – Whichever one you have around.
  • Garlic – See how to mince garlic finely.
  • Olive oil – Helps the chicken and vegetables get nicely caramelized on the grill
  • Basil – Make sure to use fresh basil for the summeriest flavor.
White bowl of red onion, mushrooms, and tomatoes.

Variations on Grilled Kabobs

  • This recipe is for chicken but you can also use shrimp, scallops, cubes of firm fish (like swordfish), or cubed turkey tenderloin or tender cuts of meat. In the red meat category, just be sure you don’t grab a package of stewing meat, such as chuck or brisket, because those meats need long, slow cooking to reach tenderness. For pork, you’ll want to use pork chop meat, not shoulder or butt or any of the longer cooking, tougher cuts.
  • You can use another marinade if you prefer and still follow the recipe instructions. Try Indian Curry Yogurt Marinade, Lemon-Garlic Chicken Marinade, or Ginger, Mint, and Lime Marinade. Or you can simply use olive oil and salt.
  • You might also think about a dipping sauce for the kebabs, such as Arugula-Basil Dipping Sauce or Herb Dipping Sauce. Also, offer lemon wedges or, even better, grilled lemon halves to squeeze over them after they are cooked.
  • You can use any vegetables, such as red onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, zucchini, summer squash, eggplant, whole cherry tomatoes, or lightly cooked cauliflower or broccoli.

How to Make Chicken Vegetable Kebobs

  1. Soak the skewers: If you’re using wooden skewers, make sure to soak them in water for at least 30 minutes to prevent them from catching on fire on the grill.
  2. Make the marinade: Mix together the orange juice and zest, lemon or lime juice, garlic, olive oil, and basil. Add the chicken and vegetables and mix, then refrigerate for 30 minutes to 2 hours.
Woman tossing vegetables with citrus-basil marinade.
  1. Make the kabobs: Pierce the chicken and vegetables with the skewers, alternating chicken and veggies. Season.
Woman placing a hunk of red onion onto a skewer.
  1. Grill: With the grill preheated to medium-high, grill the kabobs until charred and cooked through.
  2. Finish cooking: Before flipping the kabobs, brush on some of the remaining marinade. Grill until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender and nicely browned.
    Grilling skewered Chicken Kabobs with Vegetables.

    Make Ahead Chicken and Veggie Kabobs

    If you’re using wooden skewers and want to skewer things ahead of time, you might end up with sticks that catch on fire since they will have dried out while you are waiting to grill the kebabs. If you want to make them ahead, cook them within the hour, or use metal skewers, which don’t need to be soaked and won’t burn.

    You can marinate the chicken and vegetables for up to 1 day before kebabbing them. If time is a factor, you can just toss everything with the marinade before grilling, but marinating definitely deepens the flavor. Leftover cooked skewers can be eaten cold, at room temperature, or gently rewarmed in the oven or on the grill.

    How To Make Chicken and Vegetable Kabobs in the Oven

    Broiling is also an excellent option. Place the kabobs on a rimmed baking sheet (spray the sheet with nonstick cooking spray, and/or line with foil or parchment for easier clean up). Broil 4 to 6 inches away from the heat source for the same amount of time, 4 to 6 minutes per side (longer for thighs, shorter for breast meat), until the chicken is cooked through.

    What to Serve With Grilled Chicken and Vegetable Kabobs

    Grilled Chicken Kabobs with Vegetables on picnic table plate.

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    5 from 5 votes

    Grilled Chicken Kabobs with Vegetables

    Super simple, gorgeous, and very flexible, these chicken and vegetable skewers should be on your list of summer must-makes.
    Prep Time: 30 minutes
    Cook Time: 10 minutes
    Marinating time: 30 minutes
    Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
    Servings: 8 People
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    Equipment

    Ingredients 

    • 1 ½ pounds boneless skinless chicken (breasts or thighs) (cut into 1-inch chunks)
    • 3 cups vegetables (cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces, such as red onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, zucchini, summer squash, whole cherry tomatoes, or lightly cooked cauliflower or broccoli)

    For the Citrus-Basil Marinade:

    • ¼ cup fresh orange juice
    • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon or lime juice
    • ½ teaspoon grated fresh orange zest (optional)
    • ½ teaspoon minced garlic
    • 3 tablespoons olive oil
    • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
    • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper (to taste)

    Instructions 

    • Soak about 20 6-inch wooden skewers, or 10 12-inch skewers, in water to cover for 30 minutes. You can also use metal skewers, which do not need soaking.
    • Combine the orange juice, lemon or lime juice, garlic, olive oil, and basil in a small bowl or plastic container and mix well.
    • Place the chicken in a large bowl. Add the vegetables, then pour over the citrus-basil marinade and mix well. Marinate for 30 minutes at room temperature, or refrigerate, covered, for at least 2 hours and up to a day.
    • Thread the skewers with chicken and veggies, creating appealing patterns (the 6-inch skewers will take about 5 pieces of chicken, alternated with veggies, the 12-inch double that amount). Lightly salt and pepper the skewers.
    • Meanwhile, preheat the grill to medium-high. Grill the kebabs 4 inches from the heat source, until the meat or seafood is cooked through and everything has a nice grill-marked exterior, 4 to 6 minutes on each side (longer for dark chicken meat, shorter for white chicken meat), 8 to 12 minutes total. Brush the kebobs with some of the marinade left behind in the bowl as they cook. Serve hot.

    Notes

    This recipe is for chicken but you can also use shrimp, scallops, or cubes of firm fish (like swordfish) or turkey or tender cuts of meat.  In the red meat category, just be sure you don’t grab a package of stewing meat, such as chuck or brisket because those meats need long, slow cooking to reach tenderness.  For pork, you’ll want to use pork chop meat, not shoulder or butt or any of the longer cooking tougher cuts.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 192kcal, Carbohydrates: 10g, Protein: 20g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 54mg, Sodium: 131mg, Potassium: 481mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 3534IU, Vitamin C: 14mg, Calcium: 24mg, Iron: 1mg
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    About Katie Workman

    Katie Workman is a cook, a writer, a mother of two, an activist in hunger issues, and an enthusiastic advocate for family meals, which is the inspiration behind her two beloved cookbooks, Dinner Solved! and The Mom 100 Cookbook.

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