Grilled veggie kabobs can only mean one thing; grilling season is here! And if there’s one thing we all love about our grill, it’s that it can help us cook an entire meal at the same time with little to clean up.
This post will show you how to make great-tasting veggie kabobs that don’t fall apart, are grilled to perfection, and even how to prep ahead.
I’m all about simple and delicious meals I can cook once that yield leftovers, and my critics (my family) will enjoy. And while veggies are a hit or miss in some recipes, they are epic winners when I turn them into veggie kabobs.
What’s great about veggie kabobs is that you can mix and match the ingredients, poke them through a stick, light up the grill, and cook with minimal effort.
How to Grill Veggie Kabobs
There’s nothing worse than having a veggie skewer on your plate and noticing that some of the veggies are raw or too crunchy while others are soft and almost over-cooked.
The following six steps will show you how to grill veggie kabobs perfectly every time.
- Soak your wooden skewers in water for about 30 minutes before grilling so they don’t burn. Skip this step if you’re using metal skewers.
- Preheat the grill to a steady temperature. You’ll want it somewhere around 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Cut your veggies in even sizes and shapes. Pieces that are too big will take too long to cook, but pieces that are too small will fall off the skewer.
- Poke veggies through the skewer.
- Brush the skewers with olive oil (or oil of choice), and add them to the grill.
- Grill each skewer for roughly the same time on either side, flipping halfway. Veggies will take a total of about 8 minutes to cook, depending on the thickness of your pieces.
Best Vegetables for Grilling on Kabobs
There aren’t many vegetables you can’t grill. However, some hold up better than others, and not all vegetables are great for kabobs.
For the best results, stay away from odd-shaped or super watery veggies like spaghetti squash or sliced tomatoes –you can, however, poke cherry tomatoes through a skewer.
Veggies you can skewer and grill:
- Cherry tomatoes
- Baby potatoes
How Long to Grill Veggie Kabobs
Cook time on the grill will vary by shape and size of each vegetable. Most veggie kabobs will take between 7 to 10 minutes, on average, to cook through.
In addition, the front of the grill tends to be cooler than the back of the grill, so make sure to rotate your skewers when you flip them halfway through.
Not all veggies cook at the same rate. Depending on the types you choose and how you cut them, you can expect to have your grilled veggie kabobs cooking anywhere between 5-15 minutes. Take a look below to see how I grill my favorite veggies.
|Zucchini||thick slices or cubed||6-8 minutes|
|Peppers||quartered & cubed||8-10 minutes|
|Cherry Tomatoes||whole||6 minutes|
|Asparagus||trim ends, 3″ pieces||4 to 6 minutes|
|Mushrooms, Button||remove stem, whole||8 minutes|
|Potatoes, baby||steam/cook first||8-10 minutes|
When you first place the vegetables on the grill, keep the lid open for a few moments to sear the food. After that, you can close the lid to keep the heat inside and continue cooking.
When you flip the veggie skewers, you will leave the grill open for a few moments more, to sear the other side before closing the grill to finish cooking the veggie skewers.
Choosing Which Vegetables to Include on Your Kabobs
The secret to evenly cooked veggie kabobs is selecting vegetables that are of similar shape and size. By looking at the chart above, you’ll notice that cooking times are similar.
One way to reduce cooking time is by cutting the vegetable that takes longer to cook into smaller pieces to match the other veggies in the kabobs.
Try some of the combinations below to make colorful skewers full of flavor!
- Bell Peppers + Eggplant
- Mushrooms + Asparagus
- Bell Peppers + Mushrooms
- Bell Peppers + Onions
- Zucchini + Eggplant
- Mix & Match any of the above
How to Cut Veggies for Skewers and Kabobs
The best way to cut veggies for skewers and kabobs is to create pieces of all similar sizes and shapes. Think, coins, squares, triangles, and cubes.
You want the veggies to be thick enough to easily slide on a skewer but not so thick that they won’t cook.
Alternatively, you don’t want to cut your vegetables too thin. This will cause them to fall off your skewers and burn on the grill. Generally, about ½ inch thick is a good rule of thumb when making kabobs.
Some vegetables, like zucchini and eggplant, can be sliced into rounds and shorten their grilling time. They can also be cut into large pieces to match the cooking time of other veggies or when paired with proteins.
Preparing Skewers for the Grill
When it comes to preparing your skewers for the grill, soaking them in water is a simple step that will ensure your veggie kabobs don’t burst into flames while cooking.
Note: this step is only necessary if using wooden skewers.
To prepare your wooden (or bamboo) skewers for grilled veggie kabobs, make sure you do this before poking the veggies through!
Here are the prep tips:
- Soak them in room-temperature water for 30 minutes
- Submerge the entire skewer
Once your wooden skewer is fully soaked, then you can slide your favorite veggies through.
How to Keep Vegetables from Falling Off
The easiest way to keep vegetables from falling off the skewer is to make sure they were cut to the right thickness before sliding through the skewer.
There’s no worse thing than dreaming of grilled veggies all day long, preparing your veggies by washing and slicing them, prepping the skewers, grilling them to perfection… until they slide right off.
Sometimes this happens on the grill whole other times, this happens on your plate. The first is not good, and the second, it depends.
To keep your vegetables from falling off their skewers, make sure to cut them roughly ½ inch thick, minimum. You want them to be easy-to-stack shapes such as cubes or coins that you can pierce through the center.
Once sliced, be sure to pack your grilled veggie kabobs tightly on the skewer to keep them from coming loose. The more veggies, the better!
How to Prevent Skewers from Falling down the grill
What’s worse than veggies falling off the skewer on your plate are veggies falling down the grill slats. To prevent this from happening, make sure to place the skewers on the grill across the grill grates.
If you’re grilling small skewers or loose vegetables, you can also get a veggie grilling tray to go on the grill.
Essentials for Grilling Veggie Kabobs
Outside of the grill, there are a small handful of items that will help you make perfect grilled skewers of veggies or meat. here are my must-haves:
- Metal skewers or wooden skewers
- Marinating tray
- Basting brush & cup set
- Baking Pan for transport
- Extra-long grilling tongs
- More Grilling Accessories here
How to Know when Veggie Kabobs are Done
You’ll know your veggie kabobs are done when the middles are soft, and they’ve changed to a translucent color. You can test this with a fork or by simple observation and following the grilling time guidelines above.
Veggie Skewer Marinade
If you love simple marinades that bring out your vegetables’ natural flavors, then I recommend olive oil, lemon, garlic, salt, and thyme mixture.Print