Gourmet Seasoned Shish Kabob

Gourmet Seasoned Shish Kabob

Overview of the Ultimate Shish Kabob

This particular recipe has been perfected over a 15 year period. It’s very flexible in that it can use any of 3 meat types: chicken, pork, or beef. It can be cooked on an outdoor grill or in an indoor oven. It also has an option for a marinade. Frequent questions are answered via the preparation and cooking instructions such as:

  • Do you grill them on direct heat or indirect heat?
  • Do you cover the grill or leave the top open?
  • How long do you need to cook shish kabobs?
  • How big do I cut the meat and vegetables?
  • How do I serve a skewered meal?
  • Can squash be included?
  • Can it be cooked in an oven?
shish kabobs

Gourmet Seasoned Shish Kabob

Jeff Baygents
This fantastic seasoned shish kabob recipe will answer your most detailed questions about how to cook them on the grill or in the oven.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 5 skewers
Calories 416 kcal


  • skewers (12-16 inches long)




Main Ingredients

  • lbs. boneless, skinless Chicken Breasts Usually 2 breasts. Alternate options: beef or pork
  • 2 medium sweet onions
  • 1 medium Squash green or yellow
  • ½ lbs. mushrooms whole
  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • 1 bell pepper

Optional Marinade Ingredients

  • Optional Marinade: 1/4 cup oil any type but can be peanut oil or olive oil
  • Optional Marinade: 3 Tbsp. Balsamic Vinegar
  • Optional Marinade: 1 Tbsp. Garlic Powder
  • Optional Marinade: 1 Tbsp. Onion Powder

Spices (mixed into a small cup)

  • 1 Tbsp. onion powder can be heaping Tbsp.
  • 1 Tbsp. garlic powder can be heaping Tbsp
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper this adds a zesty touch of a "kick". You can eliminate this if you're unsure. This amount would be considered a very slight amount above what's considered "mild" for hotness. It works well due to the variety of other spices and doesn't stand out.

Wet Ingredients

  • ¼ cup olive oil can be another cooking oil of your choice
  • 3 Tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce


Preparing the Meat

  • Cutup the meat in large chunks as illustrated. As an example in cutting sizes, for chicken, you might get about 6-8 pieces per breast.
    Cutting chicken into chunks
  • This step is ONLY if you chose to OPTIONALLY marinate the meat. Add the cutup meat chunks to a bowl for marinating. Then, add in the earlier listed "Optional Marinade Ingredients". Then, cover the bowl and place it in the fridge for about ½ to 1 hour. At the end of that time, remove the bowl from the fridge and drain off the marinade.
  • Depending how you're going to cook the shish kabobs, either start the charcoal grill or the preheating of the oven. If you have a gas or other fast starting cooking medium, you should choose to do this when you're ready.
  • Place the cutup meat into a large mixing bowl. This bowl needs to be large enough for soon adding all the vegetables.

Preparing the Vegetables and Skewers

  • Cut up all the vegetables and place Into the large mixing bowl where you've already added the cutup meat. This is shown by example for each vegetable. These are easily replaced by other vegetables of your past choices.
  • Cut the bell pepper in half (top to bottom). Remove the seeds and excess interior contents by hand. Then, rinse off and cut each half into 4 pieces.
    Cutup Bell Pepper, 8 pieces.
  • Regarding squash, you can optionally use a knife to cut off some of the exterior skin. If you do, you'll want about to remove just about ¼ to ⅓. The idea here is that some people will like the squash a bit more; however, it's optional. Note that you don't want to remove all the skin because it will get too mushy.
    After partial skinning is done, cut the squash in slices about ½ to ⅔ of an inch thick and add them into the bowl.
    Cutting squash
  • Cutout to remove the top centers of the tomatoes and thinly slice off the small bottom end of each tomato. Then, from top to bottom cut the tomatoes into 4 pieces each. Then, add them into the bowl.
    cutting tomato into 4 pieces
  • Peel the onions and cut them vertically from top to bottom into 4 pieces each. Then, add them into the bowl.
    Cutting up the onion
  • Rinse off the mushrooms rather well and place them into the bowl.
  • After all the meat and vegetables are in the bowl, pour in the "Wet Ingredients" (oil & Worcestershire Sauce). Then, toss/mix those food items together to become lightly coated.
    adding oil to food items
  • Make the spices mixture in a small container or bowl.
    all spice items available
  • Pour the spices mixture into the bowl of meat and vegetables, sprinkling it out to distribute it somewhat. Then, toss/mix those food items together so the spices will be dispersed more evenly. This is extremely important to evenly distribute the spices (especially for the cayenne pepper).
    adding spices to food items
  • To create each skewer, start with a solid vegetable (not a tomato). When you add a mushroom, you'll want to skewer it down the center (through the mushroom stem). When you add an onion, some of the layers might start to fall apart, especially at the start of the piercing. You can just do your best to pierce them through the layer centers. There might be some unusable pieces.
    Basically, you'll do 2 different vegetables and 1 meat chunk, and then repeat. Each skewer should represent a good variety of the vegetables. You'll want the beginning and ending of each skewer to be a solid vegetable. After you've added food items to about half the length of the skewer, you'll want to pull them together (towards the "handle" end) for a little compression. And repeat this when the skewer becomes full, ensuring you still have about 1-inch or more empty on the end.
    This will help do 2 things: 1) to better encourage the melding of 2-3 flavors for each food item, and 2) to provide support while cooking, which will result in less odds of veggies falling off the skewer.
    adding food items to skewer
  • As you prepare each skewer, place them onto a large (ungreased) baking sheet. This will be later inserted into the oven or carried outside to the grill. If you are planning on using an oven, ensure you do not use parchment paper.
    skewers ready for cooking
  • If you do have any excess vegetables or meat, you can finalize them as a partial skewer.
  • Now, perform only 1 of the following cooking options.

Cooking Option 1: On The GRILL

  • If using a grill, the types of grills vary widely so you'll need to adjust these steps to meet your grill's scenario. These steps are written for a readied and hot charcoal grill with no adjustable grilling surface. The starting temperature is about 450° Fahrenheit and will vary during the cooking process.
  • Be conscious of the skewers heat and how it retains heat. Use an oven mitt or other heat protection every time you need to turn, grab, or hold a skewer.
  • Initially, the skewers are placed on the grill on indirect heat (not directly over the charcoal).
    skewers on a grill with indirect heat
  • Next, ensure your grill top is now closed/on for 6 minutes. For kettle grills, the top and bottom vents should remain open. For rectangular grills, both vents on one side should be open, e.g., top cover left and main charcoal cavity left side. If you're losing some noticeable heat (or air for charcoal burning), open up both sides. And, of course, if you're very familiar with how your grill handles ventilation and you have your own preferences, it's more important you go for it.
    Grill top is on/closed
  • Turn the skewers and, this time, place them on direct heat (over the charcoal) for approximately 4 minutes with the cover closed/on. Watch for managing any flare-ups for any needed adjustments.
    using grill's direct heat (charcoal trays are on outer sides).
  • The remainder of the time is done on direct heat with the cover open/off. Turn the skewers about every 3 minutes until the meat is done. This may take a remaining total of about 12-15 minutes. If you're experiencing any unmanageable flareups, you can have some times with shifting back to indirect heat.

Cooking Option 2: Broiling In The OVEN

  • If using an oven, the times and spacings among some models will vary a bit. This recipe is based on using an average-sized oven and not using any convection feature. Broiling shish kabobs are not recommended for a small type of oven like a toaster oven.
  • Turn on the oven broiler (make the temp around 425° to 450° Fahrenheit) and prepare to have a shelf in the middle. After the broiler's been on for about 5 minutes, place the baking sheet with the skewers, onto that middle shelf and close the oven door.
  • Be conscious of the skewers heat and how it retains heat. Use an oven mitt or other heat protection every time you need to turn, grab, or hold a skewer.
  • About every 3-5 minutes, turn the skewers so a different side is facing the top heat. This may be repeated about 4-6 times, until each "side" is browned or slightly charred a bit. You can check the temp of a large meat chunk (or cut one open) to ensure it's cooked to a correct doneness for you. Assuming you're using metal skewers, the meat will cook more rapidly. So, the total time for doneness might be around 20-35 minutes, give or take. TIP: if you end up with them becoming fully browned on all sides but, the meat's not yet done, you can switch over to bake immediately to finish it out, with no more rotating of the skewers. Although I've never experienced this.

After Cooking – SERVE the Shish Kabobs

  • When done, remove the skewers from the grill/oven and serve after about a minimum 3-minute wait. Be conscious of the skewers heat and continue to use an oven mitt or other heat protection. One appropriate manner of presenting and serving shish kabobs is to show a skewer to a recipient with the pointed tip on the far end of their plate. Then, with a large serving fork, you push off about 1/4 of the food items from the end. Then, you move the tip, as needed, and repeat the process as you work your way similarly towards the "handle" end until the skewer is emptied. You then repeat with with the remaining serving plates.
  • An alternate method of serving, is to empty some skewers into a large serving bowl or onto a platter for common, sharing at the table. Tongs or forks are used to where individuals "grab" a collection of their preferred items and they can avoid the ones they don't like and rarely ever eat. It's very convenient to serve in this way. And the presentation still is excellent.
    However, if it's anticipated there might be some challenging judgment calls on individuals removing too much of a single item (like the meat or a certain vegetable) then, serving a plate for one or more persons is also an appropriate serving decision.
    shish kabobs in a serving bowl


Regarding the optional marinade, I have not experienced a notable change in marinating the meat when it’s chicken.  But, with beef or pork, there was a good change with those items when marinated.  All three types of meat are very good without any marinating.  I’ve been asked if you cut back on the spices or oil if you do marinate the meat and that answer is “No”.
Regarding some vegetables becoming too mushy on the skewers, tomatoes are the biggest culprit.  If you compress the items together on the skewer, at least the softer vegetables, like tomatoes, won’t fall off during the cooking process.  I have experimented cooking them separately and it avoids them getting too soft.  However, the loss of the melded flavor of those vegetables, alongside other items on the skewer was too great, in my opinion.  So, I continue to skewer all vegetables knowing this.


Calories: 416kcalCarbohydrates: 39gProtein: 34gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 87mgSodium: 1202mgPotassium: 1648mgFiber: 7gSugar: 14gVitamin A: 17195IUVitamin C: 80mgCalcium: 141mgIron: 3mg
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