Grilled Veggie Skewers

Grilled vegetable kebabs have so much going for them.  For starters, they are gorgeous — I challenge you to think of a summer menu that wouldn‘t be enhanced by the presence of these colorful, Mediterranean-vibed skewers of vegetables. 

Grilled Vegetable Skewers

What Vegetables Are Good for Grilling?

SO many vegetables are great on the grill.  You can grill larger pieces of vegetables in non-kebabed form (more on that shortly), but for handheld ease, and to showcase a nice variety of vegetables, skewers are a smart way to go.  You can grill cauliflower, broccoli, zucchini, summer squash, tomatoes, carrots, onions, peppers, brussels sprouts and more.

Grilling Harder Vegetables

If you are looking to grill more dense vegetables, like potatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, winter squash, and the like, it is usually smart to par cook them before grilling them, meaning to cook them part way through.  Because they are so hard they will take a very long time to become tender on the grill, and because of that you will find it a little too easy to char the outsides before the insides become soft.   Try steaming them until they are somewhat tender but still firm in the middle before skewering them and grilling them.

Grilled Vegetable Skewers

How to Combine Vegetables on a Skewer

Again, partially cooking harder vegetables before combining them with softer ones will allow everything to finish cooking at the same time.  If you cook other softer vegetables or meat on a skewer with these denser vegetables, those other items will cook through much more quickly, and you will end up with some overcooked items (dry chicken or mushy tomatoes) while you wait for the broccoli or squash to become tender.

When you are assembling the skewers you might think about creating patterns with the cubes of vegetables, or going for an explosion of color.  Grouping vegetables of similar density on a skewer will allow things to cook at the same rate, so you might also think about combining skewers of short-cooking tomatoes and mushrooms, medium-length cooking zucchini and summer squash, and then longer cooking skewers of onions and peppers.

Grilled Vegetable Skewers

Should You Marinate Vegetables?

If you decide to just toss the vegetables with a bit of olive oil, and sprinkle them with kosher salt and pepper, you will have wonderful veggie skewers with nothing standing in the way of the flavor of the vegetables.  However, a delicate marinade can bump up the taste even more, and takes all of 3 minutes to pull together.  You can marinate vegetables from 6 hours to 24 hours, with the flavor becoming slightly deeper over time.

Grilled Vegetable Skewers: Beautiful, versatile, flexible, and a must-make for summertime grilling meals.

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How to Make Vegetable Skewers

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 lemon or lime juice, garlic, olive oil, herbs of choice, salt and pepper in a small bowl or plastic container and mix well.

Cut the vegetables into 1 ½ inch cubes or chunks.

Grilled Vegetable Skewers

Place the vegetables in a mixing bowl, then pour oven the marinade.

Grilled Vegetable Skewers

Toss to combine.  

Grilled Vegetable Skewers

Marinate for 30 minutes at room temperature, or refrigerate, covered, for at least 2 hours and up to a day.

Thread the skewers with the veggies, creating appealing patterns.  Lightly salt and pepper the skewers. 

Grilled Vegetable Skewers

Heat the grill to medium-high.  Grill the kebabs 4 inches from the heat sauce, until the vegetables are meat or seafood is cooked through and everything has a nice grill-marked exterior, anywhere from 8 to 15 minutes depending on which vegetable you choose.  Brush the kebabs with some of the marinade left behind in the bowl as they grill.

Grilled Vegetable Skewers

Serve warm or at room temperature.

What to Serve with Grilled Vegetable Skewers:

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Grilled Vegetable Skewers

Beautiful, versatile, flexible, and a must-make for summertime grilling meals.
Yield: 4 People
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Marinating Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 6 cups vegetables cut into 1 ½-inch pieces , such as red onions, bell peppers, zucchini, summer squash, whole cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, eggplant, or lightly cooked cauliflower or broccoli (see Note)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon or lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil , thyme and/or oregano
  • Kosher or coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Directions

  • 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 lemon or lime juice, garlic, olive oil, herbs of choice, salt and pepper in a small bowl or plastic container and mix well.
  • Place the vegetables in a mixing bowl, then pour oven the marinade and toss to combine. Marinate for 30 minutes at room temperature, or refrigerate, covered, for at least 2 hours and up to a day.
  • Thread the skewers with the veggies, creating appealing patterns. Lightly salt and pepper the skewers.
  • Heat the grill to medium-high. Grill the kebabs 4 inches from the heat sauce, until the vegetables are meat or seafood is cooked through and everything has a nice grill-marked exterior, anywhere from 8 to 15 minutes depending on which vegetable you choose. Brush the kebabs with some of the marinade left behind in the bowl as they grill.
  • Serve hot or at room temperature.

Notes

If you are looking to grill more dense vegetables, like potatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, winter squash, and the like, it is usually smart to par cook them before grilling them, meaning to cook them part way through. Because they are so hard they will take a very long time to become tender on the grill, and because of that you will find it a little too easy to char the outsides before the insides become soft. And, if you are cooking other vegetables or meat on a skewer with these denser vegetables those other items will cook through much more quickly, and you will end up with some overcooked items (dry chicken or mushy tomatoes) while you wait for the broccoli or squash to become tender.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 297kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Sodium: 129mg | Potassium: 593mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 13916IU | Vitamin C: 32mg | Calcium: 72mg | Iron: 3mg

The nutrition values are provided as an estimate. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a qualified healthcare professional.

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