No Marinade Shish Kabobs

No Marinade Shish Kabobs are a delicious dinner–no advance planning needed! Drizzle meat and veggies with olive oil, season and grill.  No Marinade Shish Kabobs are a delicious dinner--no advance planning needed! Drizzle meat and veggies with olive oil, season and grill. 

Everyone knows what writer’s block is, but have you heard of shish kabob block?  Okay, I made that up, but truly, every time I think about having to marinade shish kabobs, I decide I’m too hungry to wait and cook something else. 

This finally came to a head due to a deluge of veggies, the direct result of doing two CSAs.  Should I do 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? No Marinade Shish Kabobs are a delicious dinner--no advance planning needed! Drizzle meat and veggies with olive oil, season and grill. 

Um, maybe not…

These shish kabobs are delicious just drizzled with olive oil, seasoned and grilled. And truthfully that’s pretty much like a shish kabob marinade–without the wait!  

Plus I love the fact that you get some protein and multiple veggies in a single simple dish (“add a veggie”)!  This post is an update of one from 2013 when I didn’t use a formatted recipe and barely measured (shhh). 

Step by Step Directions

This no marinade shish kabob recipe is super easy to make.  Just cut, skewer, drizzle and grill (right away!!).  How easy is that!

To start, you soak bamboo skewers in water as the package recommends, usually at least 30 minutes (though this is debated, see the Spruce on soaking).  Plan on two skewers per kabob. soak skewers

While skewers soak, cut up meat and vegetables.  Insert cubes of meat and vegetables on skewers, alternating colors.  For most even cooking, leave a bit of air space between each item. drizzle kabobs with olive oil

Drizzle skewers with olive oil, then sprinkle with oregano, dried minced onion, salt and pepper. season kabobs

Grill on both sides until golden, about 10-15 minutes (depending on grill temperature and size of pieces).  For meat or poultry cubes, insert an instant read thermometer to test for doneness.

And just in case you were wondering…

shish kabob veggiesCan I make this vegan or vegetarian?

If you are using this as a side dish or appetizer, you can make this vegan (or vegetarian) simply by eliminating the chicken.  But if this is your entrée, you will still want some protein.  In that case I’d suggest using tempeh or tofu instead of the chicken.  And if you go with tofu, use firm or extra firm so it is solid enough.

Yes, the beauty of shish kabob is that you can individualize your skewers without any extra work!  Leave off the red onion or bell peppers from a kebab or two if your husband hates it.  Or do a few beef kabobs for variety!

How do I keep my chicken (or zucchini) cubes from swiveling on the skewer? 

It can be really annoying to turn over you kabob only to have one of the cubes swivel so the raw side is back on the top again!  It’s particularly bad if you are cooking chicken which absolutely needs to be cooked through. two skewers helps stability

The best way to solve this is to use two skewers in each kabob—the second holds everything firmly in place.  There are two ways to do this and people are pretty divided on which is better.  For the first option, you align two skewers, then slip each food cube one at a time onto the duo.  In the second method, you prepare the kabob on one skewer and when it’s done, slide the second through.  I slightly prefer the first method, but go back and forth myself.   

But one skewer can totally work if you are short or in a hurry!

No Marinade Shish Kabobs are a delicious dinner--no advance planning needed! Drizzle meat and veggies with olive oil, season and grill. What can I serve with Shish kabob?

Rice is the traditional accompaniment and delicious with kabobs. Of course in the casual grilling spirit of summer, many people like easy sides like potato salad or French fries, You don’t need a vegetable side since these are already loaded, but I still enjoy a salad before like this like this Classic Caesar Salad.  Or a fruity salad like this Watermelon Feta Salad.

Yes, summer is time for recipes that are healthy, easy and fun. (See below for more great grilling from my friends!) Happy summer!

No Marinade Shish Kabobs

No Marinade Shish Kabobs

Yield: 8 skewers, 2 per person
Prep Time: 35 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

NoMarinade Shish Kabobs are a delicious dinner--no advance planning needed!Drizzle meat and veggies with olive oil, season and grill.

Ingredients

Kabobs:

  • 2-3 summer squash
  • 1 small eggplant
  • 1 large red pepper
  • 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes
  • handful of small onions or a large onion
  • 2 large boneless chicken breasts, about 12-16 ounces

Drizzle:

  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 Tablespoon dried minced onion or 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • Salt, Pepper to taste

Instructions

Soak bamboo skewers in water as the package recommends, usually at least 30 minutes. For best stability, plan for two skewers per kabob—though one can work if you are short. While skewers soak prepare meat and vegetables.

Peel onion(s) and cut into 1 inch cubes as needed. Unless using frozen onions, pre-cook in microwave for about a minute to tenderize. Cut remaining vegetables and meat into 1 inch cubes.

Insert cubes of meat and vegetables on skewers, alternating colors. For most even cooking, leave a bit of air space between each item.

Drizzle skewers with olive oil, then sprinkle with oregano, dried minced onion, salt and pepper.

Grill on both sides until golden, about 10-15 minutes (depending on grill temperature and size of pieces). For meat or poultry cubes, insert an instant read thermometer to test for doneness.

Remove skewer before eating.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 2 skewers
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 291Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 51mgSodium: 198mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 8gSugar: 15gProtein: 23g

Nutrition data accuracy may vary with product selection, calculator accuracy, etc. Consult a professional for the best information.

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41 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. Beth

    Honestly, I think I’d like this even better than a marinade. Simple olive oil and salt makes the flavors shine through!

  3. 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…

  4. Pingback: Reviving the Grill… Vegetarian-Style

    1. Inger Post author

      Hi Kimberley–the kabobs will need to grill for about 10-15 minutes, until the vegetables are crisp tender and the chicken is cooked through (I usually use an instant read thermometer to check chicken, since time will vary based on size and grill temperature). Good question–I have updated the instructions. Thanks and happy grilling!

  5. Audrey

    YUM! Gotta love a quick easy and healthy meal. And great tip for using 2 skewers to prevent the dreaded spin. We’ll be making these Wednesday after our CSA delivery.

    1. Inger Post author

      It really does go a long way toward solving veggie overload–from garden or farmer’s market too!

    1. Inger Post author

      I was sooo happy when I realized that drizzling and sprinkling actually worked Teri!

  6. John / Kitchen Riffs

    When it comes to meat kebabs I often just skip the marinade and do a quick spice rub. Mainly because I always forget the marinade! Have to cut your meat in rather small pieces, though, so it doesn’t dry out. Anyway, such a nice summery recipe. Thanks!

    1. Inger Post author

      That’s a great idea too John. That may be my next experiment. And I am so with you an forgetting the marinade!

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