Grilled veggie skewers are easy to make

Grilled Veggie Kabobs: Healthy Eating on a Stick

By: Mia Syn, MS, RD

Scientifically Reviewed By: Holli Ryan, RD, LD/N

Nothing says summer like perfectly charred grilled veggie skewers. These kabobs are easy to make using produce you have on hand, such as summer squash like zucchini, onion and colorful crisp bell peppers. Paired with a tangy herb marinade, these skewers deliver a wealth of plant-based vitamins and are gluten-free and dairy-free.

Try this healthy recipe for a grill offering that even meat eaters can get on board with.

What are veggie kabobs?

Grilled veggie skewers are the ideal colorful, lightened-up vegetable side dish that can make any backyard barbecue feel like a celebration.

Grilled vegetable kabobs, also referred to as "kebabs" or "shish kabobs," are made entirely with vegetables strung onto skewers. They can be flavored with any seasonings of your choice. Though often enjoyed as a side dish to complement grilled proteins like chicken, steak and hamburgers, grilled veggie kabobs can also be a great addition to fajitas or salads like this roasted vegetable recipe with avocado salad dressing.

What vegetables are good for skewers?

The best vegetables to skewer are ones with similar cooking times—and fortunately, most are in season during peak grilling season (aka summer). That list includes zucchini, yellow squash, onion, bell peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes and eggplant. (The peels and leftovers from these vegetables also make an excellent vegetable stock.)

There are many vegetables that don't make the grilling cut for kabobs, however, including brussels sprouts and salad greens. Root vegetables like carrots, parsnips and potatoes should also be avoided or parboiled beforehand.

Do you marinate vegetables for kabobs?

While you can certainly add olive oil and your seasonings of choice to veggie kabobs just before grilling, marinating them beforehand with a homemade seasoning blend is preferred for extra zing and flavor.

For a tangy touch, consider using lemon juice or balsamic vinegar as part of the marinade along with an oil such as olive oil or avocado oil, which are packed with good fats and low in saturated fat. Additionally, flavorful spices like garlic, oregano, salt and pepper can help bring your vegetable skewers to life.

A great pre-made marinade option to consider is chimichurri sauce, which is made with a base of spices and herbs, including garlic, parsley and cilantro, olive oil, lemon juice and vinegar. It can also be served as a dipping sauce on the side.

Though marinating vegetables is a great way to infuse flavor and moisture before cooking, be sure to practice food safety and never use leftover marinade that has been used for raw protein, including meat, poultry and seafood.

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Delicious Grilled Veggie Kabobs

Serves: 4
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes + 1 hour of wait time


8 wooden or metal skewers
1 large orange bell pepper, cut into bite-sized chunks
1 large red bell pepper, cut into bite-sized chunks
2 medium yellow squash, cut into rounds
2 large zucchinis, cut into rounds
1 red onion, cut into wedges
1 cup cherry tomatoes

⅓ cup olive oil
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
¼ cup water
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp oregano
½ tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper


  • Preheat a gas grill or grill pan at medium-high heat and lightly oil the grate.
  • Make the marinade. In a large bowl, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, water, garlic, oregano, salt and black pepper.
  • Place the chopped veggies in the marinade bowl and toss to coat. Place in the fridge for at least 1 hour to marinate.
  • Alternately thread the bell peppers, yellow squash, zucchini, red onion and cherry tomatoes onto the skewers.
  • Cook the vegetable skewers on the preheated grill for 10 minutes or until the grilled vegetables are tender, turning halfway through.
  • Serve the grilled vegetable kabobs with grilled protein such as chicken, or remove the grilled vegetables from the skewers and toss with a salad.

Nutritional Values

Calories: 232
Carbohydrates: 16 g
Protein: 4 g
Fat: 19 g

All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes.

Tips for success

  • The key to cooking perfectly grilled vegetable skewers is to make sure that the veggies are cut to equal sizes before grilling to ensure even cooking. Marinating the kabobs before grilling helps ensure they are infused with plenty of seasoning and flavor.
  • If you are using wooden skewers instead of metal skewers, soak them in water for 10 minutes before using to protect the skewers on the grill.

Do veggie kabobs give you the essential vitamins you need?

Getting the nutrients you need requires following a balanced diet that incorporates all food groups, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, dairy, and protein. While grilled veggie skewers will not supply you with all the nutrients you need, they can be a great addition to your diet. Vegetables are low in calories and high in dietary fiber, and they provide essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C.

Those who follow a vegan diet are more likely to fall short on certain key nutrients due to the elimination of food groups such as meat and seafood, so a multivitamin may be of benefit. A multivitamin can help provide the nutrients the body needs to support brain and heart health, metabolize carbohydrates, fats and protein, support cellular health and more.

For vegans, a multivitamin made with plant-derived vitamins and minerals and a vegan omega-3 supplement can help fill in potential nutrient gaps to help you stay healthy from head to toe.

Wondering what other supplements you may need to fit your lifestyle? Our essential health needs quiz can give you a personalized recommendation!

About the Author: Mia Syn, MS, RD is a national on-air nutrition expert, host of Good Food Friday on ABC Charleston and one of the most recognized and trusted young dietitians in the media. With a master's degree in human nutrition from Columbia University and over 500 TV appearances, she has helped millions of viewers, readers and clients learn and implement healthier, sustainable eating habits.