Grilled Vegetable Kabobs are made with a simple marinade and a variety of summer vegetables, to create a healthy, easy, flavor-packed, side dish.
When it comes to vegetables, there are endless ways to prepare them. From enjoying raw to roasting to steaming to sauteeing to baking, give me ALL the vegetables! But when the temperatures heat up, my absolute favorite vegetable side dish is Grilled Vegetable Kabobs.
Not only does grilling vegetables keep the heat out of the kitchen, but the flavor the grill imparts to fresh seasonal summer veggies is magical. Grilling adds a smokey, slightly charred flavor to the vegetables while enhancing their natural sweetness.
And in my opinion, the BEST way to grill a variety of vegetables is to grill them on skewers to make Vegetable Kabobs--or as I called them growing up, Shish Kabobs. Kabobs can be made with a variety of fresh vegetables, and because the vegetables are chopped, they not only grill up quickly but also have more surface area to soak up seasonings. More seasonings, more flavor!
The sweetness and flavor that are developed in these Veggie Kabobs make this simple side dish hard for anyone to turn their nose up to. And let's be honest, eating anything on a stick, get picky kids a bit more excited to try their veggies, making these veggie kabobs a healthy side dish the whole family can agree upon!
Notes on Vegetables and Marinade
To make vegetable kabobs, you will need vegetables, a simple marinade, and skewers. But let's break that down in a bit more detail to ensure you have the BEST kabobs.
Best Vegetables For Kabobs
The options for what vegetables to use for Vegetable Kabobs are endless, but there are a few things to keep in mind.
- Use vegetables with a similar cooking time. For example, brussels sprouts take a lot longer to cook than zucchini, while peppers and onions will cook up just as fast as zucchini.
- Select vegetables that hold their shape, rather than become mushy and fall apart easily like vine-ripened tomatoes or broccoli would on the grill.
- Go for color. Think red peppers, green zucchini, brown mushrooms, and yellow squash. The variety of colors looks stunning when threaded on skewers.
My personal recommendation is to use zucchini, yellow squash, onions, peppers, mushrooms, and cherry tomatoes as they grill up in the same amount of time, hold their shape, and the variety of colors look stunning when threaded on the skewers.
To bring out the incredible flavor in the vegetables, a simple marinade really helps. Anything with a bit of acid, fat, and seasonings will do the trick.
- Acid: Lemon juice or vinegar is best for a vegetable marinade. I personally suggest using red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar for a flavor that pairs well with just about any veggie.
- Fat: Use high-quality olive oil, not canola or vegetable oil. The olive oil will add flavor to the vegetables and a bit of fat will add satisfaction. Not to mention, you need a bit of fat to absorb the nutrients from the veggies.
- Seasonings: This recipe uses a combination of minced garlic and homemade dried onion soup mix, which is simply dried onion, salt, pepper, and onion powder. Feel free to switch up the seasoning for any seasoning blend you enjoy. Fajita Seasoning, Seasoned Salt, and Dill Seasoning would all be great alternatives.
In order to easily grill the vegetables and not worry about them falling through the grates of the grill, using wooden or metal skewers to thread the vegetables onto makes grilling vegetables super easy--not to mention it makes a beautiful presentation.
Keep in mind that metal skewers will get really hot, and use caution before serving. And wooden skewers will need to soak in water for at least 1 hour to prevent them from catching fire on the grill.
How to Grill Vegetable Kabobs
- Wash and dry all the vegetables, except for mushrooms. To clean the mushrooms, wipe the dirt off with a damp paper towel, but wait to do this until RIGHT before using the mushrooms.
- Cut the vegetables into even, bite-sized pieces--about 1 and ½ to 2 inches pieces.
- Prepare the marinade by whisking together the olive oil, vinegar, garlic, and onion soup mix, or seasonings for the onion soup mix, in a large mixing bowl.
- To the marinade, add all the prepared vegetables, leaving out the mushrooms. Mushrooms are like sponges and will soak up all the marinade and become soggy--you want to add the mushrooms to the skewers right before grilling the vegetable shish kabobs.
- Toss until the vegetables are coated in the marinade.
- Cover and refrigerator for at least 1 hour, but overnight is best.
- Once the vegetables have marinated, thread them onto the soaked skewers, in an alternating pattern, adding the cleaned mushrooms to the mix, if desired.
- Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium heat and lightly brush the grates with a bit of oil to prevent the vegetables from sticking to the grill.
- Once heated, place the prepared skewers onto the grill and cook for 5 minutes. Rotate the skewers and grill for another 4-6 minutes, or until the vegetables are just fork-tender. You want the veggies to have a bit of bite left to them.
Vegetable Kabobs make an obvious and delicious side dish to any summer meal, but they can be used to impart flavor to dishes in a variety of ways.
- Serve veggie kabobs with Grilled Burgers, Grilled Greek Chicken, or BBQ Chicken Legs, for a hearty summer meal.
- Remove the grilled vegetables from the skewers after cooked and slightly cooled, and add to a salad.
- Chop up the grilled vegetables and use for fillings for Instant Pot Egg Bites, Egg Frittata, or add to Hashbrown Breakfast Casserole in place or in addition to the sausage.
You can safely leave the vegetables in the marinade for up to 48 hours. I find that the flavor is best after 12-24 hours.
Absolutely! I would recommend using a grill pan on your stove over medium-high heat. If you don't have a grill pan, use a broiler and watch closely, turning the vegetables several times for even browning. You can also bake the kabobs at 400 degrees F for 15 minutes, turning halfway. Just be sure to use metal skewers or soaked wooden skewers, not unsoaked wooden skewers, regardless of the cooking method.
If you have a basket designed for the grilling, I encourage you to use that. The presentation won't be as pretty but skipping the step of threading the vegetables onto skewers will save you time, and the taste is just as delicious.
More Favorite Vegetable Side Dishes
- Green Beans Almondine
- Parmesan Roasted Broccoli
- Air Fryer Squash
- Grilled Corn on the Cob
- Roasted Asparagus
- Instant Pot Green Beans
If you tried these Veggie Shish Kabobs, I would love for you to leave a comment and review below.
Grilled Vegetable Kabobs
- 8 cups fresh vegetables cut into 2-inch pieces see note
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons Dried Onion Soup Mix
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, onion seasoning, and garlic.
- To the marinade, add the prepared vegetables, except for mushrooms. Mushrooms should not be marinated, as they will work as a sponge and become soggy. Toss the marinade and vegetables together until the vegetables are evenly coated.
- Cover the bowl and refrigerate the vegetables for at least 1 hour. 12-24 hours is best. Do not exceed marinating the vegetables for longer than 48 hours.
- If using wooden skewers, place them in a large rectangular baking dish and cover them with water. Let soak for at least 1 hour, or overnight as well. If using metal skewers, skip this step.
- Once the vegetables have marinated, thread them onto the soaked skewers, in an alternating pattern, adding the cleaned mushrooms to the mix.
- Preheat the grill or grill pan to medium heat and lightly brush the grates with oil. Once heated, place the prepared skewers onto the grill and cook for 5 minutes. Rotate the skewers and grill for another 4-6 minutes, or until the vegetables are JUST fork-tender.
- Remove the skewers from the grill and allow to cool slightly before serving.