In this house, our mantra is “no vegetable left behind.” Grilled mushrooms, onions, peppers, squash (and more!) always steal the proverbial meat-thunder at any cookout thanks to these choose-your-own Veggie Kabobs. The secret? A super-quick, wholesome, “I-can’t-believe-it’s-not-bottled” marinade.
When you hear the word “grilling,” images of thick, juicy steaks and giant Flintstone-style racks of ribs probably dance in your head. Heck, same here. So I (somewhat smugly) consider it a personal badge of honor that when I’m present at a backyard BBQ and offer these up to the resident Grill Dad, that the first thing to get devoured at the subsequent meal are my grilled vegetable kabobs.
Now, I’m salivating over these before they even hit the grate, but it’s a stretch to think most people would reach for a tomato before a T-bone. So as a matter of pride, I arm myself with a few secret psychological weapons:
One: timing is everything. Whether it’s still cookin’ or tented and resting, everyone’s always ready to eat before the meat is done, but the veggies always seem to be ready-to-eat first.
Two: easy access. No utensils needed – it’s shockingly satisfying to sliiiiiide these conveniently bite-sized veggies off their skewers and into a big serving bowl where no one can resist snatching one right up and popping it into their mouth, where they realize…
Three: flavor sneak attack. Now, you know I adore veggies, period. But honestly, for all my super simple salt-pepper-olive oil preaching, I love me a marinade. The zippier the better. And this particular one delivers.
It’s over the moment the sneaky little snack hits their lips. Then it’s like a bag of veggie skittles. They gotta taste the whole rainbow and oooh, this one has more char on it *pop, pop, pop* and oooh, try a mushroom and a pepper together. Next thing you know, they disappeared faster than the dozen donuts Amy brought into the office on Friday.
May seem silly to you, but I’ll take my ‘Ws’ where I can, thankyouverymuch. Especially if it means I get grilled vegetables out of the deal.
Grilled Veggie Marinade
This is my favorite marinade for grilled vegetables – it’s so simple and made completely from scratch with real, whole food ingredients. Skip the bottled Italian dressing and use this foolproof recipe instead! All you’ll need are:
- olive oil
- red wine vinegar
- lemon juice (fresh is best!)
- lemon zest
- salt & pepper
How to Make Vegetable Kabobs
Is there a more truly “classic” partner for grilled meat than grilled vegetables? Methinks not. Colorful Grilled Veggie Kabobs showcase the best mother nature has to offer – from the all-natural marinade to the medley of veggies, even to that mouth-watering grill char. Skewer, sizzle, and serve!
For a condensed post, click to view the web story for these vegetable kabobs!
- Prep the vegetables into relatively uniform bite-sized pieces then place into a large bowl.
- Whisk together the marinade, then pour over the veggies and toss until well combined. Marinate 30 minutes at room temperature or up to 12 hours in the fridge.
- Thread the vegetables onto skewers.
- Grill 10-12 minutes over medium high heat – give the skewers a turn halfway through.
- Remove from the grill and serve immediately.
- Slice the vegetables into roughly uniform sizes to ensure even cooking.
- You CAN swap out or add in vegetables, BUT choose vegetables that will cook at the same rate, or create different skewers for “quick cooking veggies” and “longer cooking veggies” (see below for more details!).
- Do budget a decent amount of time for marinating the vegetables – prep in the morning or several hours in advance as time permits.
- Check the veggies! No two grills are identical, so (1) get to know your grill and (2) check on the vegetables occasionally to ensure they’re not burning.
Which Vegetables Should I Use?
Add or substitute the following with no change in cooking times:
- red onion or sweet onion
- fresh corn, sliced into 1.5-2″ rounds
- eggplant, if properly salted and dried first
- broccoli and/or cauliflower florets
Frequently asked questions
If you’re using wood skewers, it’s a good idea to soak them first. To do so, fill a casserole dish halfway with water and submerge for 30 minutes. Shake off any excess moisture before spearing your food.
Yes! Prepare for indirect heat and aim for medium to medium-high heat.
Partially! The vegetables can (and should) marinate for a bit, and can withstand up to overnight in the fridge. Toss the chopped vegetables in the marinade, cover, and place in the fridge for up to 12 hours.
More Food on a Stick
- Cantaloupe and Prosciutto Bites
- Flank Steak Skewers with Tomato and Pesto
- Grilled Lemon Thyme Chicken Skewers
- Italian Antipasto Bites
- Steaks Skewers with Dipping Sauce Trio
Did you make these grilled vegetable kabobs? I’d love to know how they turned out! Leave a comment and a rating below.
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- 1 medium zucchini, sliced into 16 half moons
- 1 medium yellow squash, sliced into 16 half moons
- 1 red bell pepper, diced into 16 1” pieces
- 1 orange bell pepper, diced into 16 1” pieces
- 8- oz crimini mushrooms, larger mushrooms halved
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp lemon zest
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp ground pepper
- Prep the vegetables. For the zucchini and squash, trim the stem and blossom ends, then slice into half lengthwise. Slice each half into 8 one-inch half-moon shapes. For the bell peppers, divide in half and scoop out the seeds, then divide into quarters. Slice each quarter into 4 one-inch pieces. For the mushrooms, slice the largest mushrooms in half. You should have roughly 16 pieces of each vegetable to create 8 vegetable skewers.
- Transfer the chopped vegetables to a large mixing bowl.
- Combine the olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, lemon zest, oregano, thyme, salt and pepper in a one-cup measuring cup or lidded jar. Whisk or shake until the mixture is well combined.
- Pour the marinade over the vegetables, then toss until well combined. Marinate 15-30 minutes at room temperature, or cover and refrigerate for up to 12 hours.
- Thread the vegetables onto skewers: squash, zucchini, red bell, orange bell, and then mushroom (repeat this pattern twice for each skewer).
- Heat a gas grill to medium high; be sure the grill is fully heated before grilling.
- Place the vegetable skewers onto the grill in a single layer, leaving a bit of space between each skewer. Close the lid and grill 10-12 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and slightly charred. Turn once halfway through cooking. Carefully baste while grilling using the leftover marinade if desired.
- Remove from the grill and serve immediately.
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