No Marinade Shish Kabobs

Despite a persistent shortage of rainfall in southeastern Wisconsin, the CSA vegetables are plentiful.  My refrigerator is getting packed and I am again in search of new ideas.  Hmmm, what to do with a wide variety of green (yellow, purple, red…) veggies???

Shish Kabob Veggies

Veggies Galore!

A stir fry?  No, that would heat up the house?  Veggie soup?  Even hotter.  How about Shish Kabobs on the grill?!  Wouldn’t I need to have started that last night?

Grilled Shish Kabobs

Grilled Shish Kabobs

My problem with Shish Kabobs has always been pre-marinating.  Prepare a marinade, add meat and veggies a couple hours early (or a whole night!) , then remove and cook!  For a spontaneous (read, indecisive) cook, this is only going to happen if we’re having a party.  And while daily life at my house might be fun, I wouldn’t call it a party.

Inspiration began the other day when I decided (spontaneously) to cook some zucchini.  I sliced it in long ovals, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled on dried oregano, salt & pepper, then popped them on the grill alongside our meat.  When the grill marked beauties came off, we didn’t miss the marinade a bit.  Hmmm…

No Marinade Shish Kabobs


  • Veggies of your choice (I used 1 zucchini, 2 small yellow crookneck, 1 small eggplant, 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, handful of small onions)
  • Meat of your choice, cut in approximately 1 inch cubes.  I used about 1/2 chicken breast per person.  Or cubes of tempeh if you want to go vegan!
  • 2 T Olive Oil
  • 1 T dried oregano
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste


1.  Soak wooden skewers in water for at least a half hour.  For best stability, use two skewers per kabob—though one works fine if you are short (just make sure your meat doesn’t spin when you turn it so it gets cooked on both sides).

Soak Skewers

Soak Skewers

2.  Insert skewers cut up cubes alternating colors.  For most even cooking, leave a bit of air space between each item.

Cut up chicken

Load skewers

3.  Drizzle skewers with olive oil, then sprinkle with oregano, salt and pepper.

Drizzle with oil

Season with oregano, salt, pepper

4.  Grill on both sides until golden.  For larger pieces of meat, consider inserting an instant read thermometer to test for doneness.

Grill, then serve

5.  Remove skewer for serving.


This dish is great for summer.  It is easy, versatile, doesn’t heat up the kitchen, and uses lots of different vegetables (serve it with salad to use up even more 😉 ).  Happy Grilling!


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22 thoughts on “No Marinade Shish Kabobs

  1. Karis

    I’m impressed that you were able to combine your meat and vegetables. Some of our vegetables end up overcooked when we do that, so now each skewer only holds one type of vegetable (also handy since I dislike meat), which doesn’t look nearly as pretty as your display.

    1. Inger Wilkerson

      The tomatoes were pretty soft but the onion, eggplant and squash held up well. I made sure the meat chunks weren’t too big which I think helped. I thought of you when I made these because I knew this would work well meatless too!

  2. Louise

    Well it looks like you’ve conquered the no marinade dilemma Inger. I must say, I too am guilty of not planning many many meals, lol…I’ve used Marion’s salad dressing in a pinch on zucchini and it worked but now, I may just try your no marinade shish kabobs and see how she likes them.

    Thank you so much for sharing…

  3. Pingback: Reviving the Grill… Vegetarian-Style

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