Looking for a simple and delicious summer meal? These chicken and veggie kabobs are easy to make, and packed full of flavor. But one of the crucial steps to make perfect kabobs is learning how to cut onions for kebobs and the easiest way to cut the rest of your veggies. Keep reading for all our tips about cutting all your favorite kebob ingredients!
Easy Chicken and Veggie Kabobs
It's so nice to be able to cube up some chicken and veggies, stab them onto skewers and grill them in less than 30 minutes. It can be simply seasoned with flavored oil, salt, and pepper, or you can ramp up the flavor with a marinade or extra spices.
For this recipe, I'm going with simple. I use toasted sesame seed oil to add a little flavor and then just salt and pepper. I also chose common summertime veggies, as it's what I usually have in my fridge and pantry.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- It's an easy way to make a healthier meal
- Kids (and adults) love eating kabobs
- It's versatile, you can change it up and use whatever you have on hand
- Dinner is ready in like a half hour- super quick!
Get more info on these simple ingredients in the recipe card at the bottom of the post.
- Chicken breast
- Red onion
- Bell Peppers
- Medium Zucchini
- Toasted sesame oil (or oil of choice)
- Salt and Pepper
How to cut onions for Kabobs
If you've never made kabobs before, cutting veggies can be difficult. In these kabobs we cut onion, peppers and zucchini for kabobs.
In this case, a picture is worth a thousand words. Here's how I cut things:
One of the tricks of making great kabobs is cutting everything correctly on your cutting board. Cutting does varies depending on what veggies you are preparing, and the size and shape play a big role is how to cut things for kabobs, but here are some tips to help you.
- Dedicate each vegetable to its own skewer (though there is some wiggle room to this).
- Break down the veggie into equal parts, however that may look like. Just make sure it's big enough for the skewer to hold onto.
- For veggies that are thin, like bell peppers, cut them into roughly the same sized squares and stack them onto the skewers.
- For something like an onion (thin but with layers) cut into cubes that can stay together.
- Something like Zucchini and Eggplants are thicker but soft so keep their cuts on the bigger side so the skewer has more to hold onto.
- Grilling garlic? Use bigger cloves and keep them whole.
- When cutting meat that varies in thickness, you can keep thin pieces longer and then fold them over themselves for skewering to give them more bulk.
Don't worry if your vegetables aren't perfect, just keep in mind the small pieces will cook more quickly than the thicker pieces.
If you find this is the case, you can separate the small pieces from the large and give each size their own skewer. That way you can cook each size as long as it needs without over or undercooking anything.
How to Assemble Kabobs
After everything is cut up you can start assembly. I like to use large baking sheets (like these) to hold my skewers once all the ingredients are stacked on them. Be careful when assembling, thread onion wedges and other ingredients on carefully and be sure not to poke yourself. I then brush on oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Otherwise they will quickly turn to charcoal and crumble before your kabob is done cooking. An easy method to soaking is to lay the wooden skewers out on a baking sheet or casserole dish and fill it an inch or two with warm/hot water. Then use a mason jar or dish to weigh down the skewers.
Let them sit for 5 to 10 minutes (or longer) before using. I like to get them soaking first thing, so that when I'm done cutting everything they are ready to go.
Cooking Chicken and Veggie Skewers
When cooking Chicken and Veggie kabobs make sure you skewer them singularly (only chicken, or only zucchini) or mix veggies with similar cooking times. I chose to cook my peppers with my onions because they have similar cooking times.
I also put a few leftover pieces of peppers and onions on the end of my zucchini. These pieces didn't cook as long because the zucchini had a shorter cooking time. The zucchini turned out perfect but the onions and peppers on the end could have used longer on the grill.
While you can mix and match veggies sometimes, I don't recommend mixing your meats, either with veggies or different meat. If you're making both chicken and beef kabobs keep the meat separate so each one is cooked properly.
Leftover Kabobs should be stored in an airtight container and kept in the refrigerator, not at room temperature. You can keep them for up to 3-4 days.
When I go to reheat everything, I like to make a foil tent package and reheat it in the oven until warmed through. I don't want to dry everything out so tenting is helpful. Using the microwave can be an option, but sometimes that makes things soggy.
Tips for cutting onions, other vegetables and meats for chicken kabobs
- Make sure you cut the pieces into bite-sized pieces. They need to be small enough to eat easily.
- Cut your veggies and plain meat in similar-sized pieces so they can cook evenly and thoroughly.
- Add a tad bit more flavor by squeezing on some citrus. Fresh squeezed lemon juice or lime juice really takes your classic kabobs to a new level.
- Don't forget to brush onion wedges and all the other veggies with the oil.
- The toasted sesame oil brings a lovely flavor to the meat and vegetables. If you don't have it, you can try some soy sauce and olive oil, while the flavor is still different between the two, it it still quite delicious.
- I find using a very sharp knife makes cutting any vegetables or meat a heck of a lot easier and faster!
What other things can I add to my chicken shish kabobs?
The options are endless and it's all about what you have on hand in your kitchen. Some other ideas I like to experiment with are:
- Make a sweet chicken bbq kabob by adding pineapple chunks and basting the chicken with bbq sauce instead of oil. Sometimes with this variation, I'll use sweet onions as red onions can be strong onions.
- Add other vegetables. Try eggplant, yellow squash, cherry tomatoes, butternut squash, etc.
- Change up the protein. Try shrimp kabobs with onions, steak kabobs with onions, or other cuts of chicken that you prefer.
- Try letting your meat and vegetables sit to marinade in a large bowl for a minimum of 10-15 minutes before cooking. If possible, let it all sit for a few hours, up to overnight before assembling on the kabob skewers and cooking. Don't forget to discard marinade- don't save it to use again as you have had raw meat sitting in it.
- Use various onion varieties for even more flavor.
Now you see why kabobs are so popular in the Middle East and have been taking the rest of the world by storm! These easy chicken and onion kabobs are such an easy recipe.
With all of these tips, you surely know how to cut onions for kabobs and the meat and other vegetables too! So, quickly, add these kabobs as some easy dinners to your upcoming meal plans!Print
Simple Chicken and Veggie Kabobs
Cubes of chicken grilled to perfection along with onions, peppers and zucchini. Simple and delicious summer time meal.
- Prep Time: 15
- Cook Time: 10
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: 2-3 servings 1x
- Category: Gluten free, grilling, grill, BBQ, Dinner, Lunch
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Gluten Free
1 Chicken breast
1 Red onion
2 Bell Peppers
1 Medium Zucchini
2 TBS Toasted sesame oil (or oil of choice)
Salt and Pepper to taste
Prep skewers if needed *
Starting with the vegetables first. Cut everything into cubes.
For the red onion, cut off the top and bottom and cut in half from the top down. Lay the pieces down, cut them in half along the longest part and then cube them into thirds. This will keep them in the best cube shape for skewering and the biggest pieces should be around 1 inch in size.
For the peppers cut them in half, remove the seeds and the top stem. Then cube them into roughly 1 inch pieces.
For the Zucchini, cut off the ends and split it down the middle long ways. Then cut into 1 inch slices.
For the chicken, Cut into strips and then into cubes. You want them to be roughly the same size. Though remember chicken breast taper towards the end so you will have some thinner pieces. You can keep these pieces longer and when it comes to skewering them you can fold one end over the other and skewer it twice.
Now that everything is cubed start putting them on the skewers. You can intermix the onions and peppers if you'd like but for even cooking keep each ingredients to it's own skewer. This will allow for more even cooking, better flavor and make grilling easier.
Drizzle or brush on the oil to all sides and salt and pepper to taste.
Heat the grill to between 425F and 450F (Medium high to High heat). Once the grill is hot lay down the skewers.
Cooking times will vary slightly depending on the size of the cuts and the grill temperature. But it usually takes only 2-4 minutes for the veggies and 3-6 for the chicken on each side. If you'd like an allover grill (instead of just two sides) you can turn them every 2 minutes until done.
Remove the skewers from the grill as each one reaches doneness. The zucchini will likely be done first, followed by the onion and peppers and finally the chicken. but again it all depends on how big or small you cut everything and how done you like your veggies.
Allow to rest till the skewers are cool enough to handle, then enjoy.
If using wooden skewers prepare them by submerging them in warm to hot water and weighing them down with something. This will allow the wood to soak up the water and help it from burning up during grilling.
As pictured, I use a small baking sheet and a mason jar to accomplish this.
Keywords: gluten free, kabobs, chicken, onion, pepper, zucchini, summer recipe, grilling, grill, BBQ, Dairy free, Paleo, Whole30,