A Shish Kebab Feast

Variations of kebabs can be found worldwide. They are a super fun, anything goes, no frills, versatile meal that pairs well with a camping trip or a tailgate party. In some cultures kebabs are a popular late night snack for young folks after a night out on the town.

My favorite way to enjoy food on a stick is when you turn dinner into a party! Invite your family and friends with this stipulation:  each individual must bring their favorite shish kebab ingredient to share.

Non-traditional ingredients, such as Brussels sprouts are a great way to broaden everyone’s culinary horizons. Don’t be shy!Len Villano

Any type of meat can be incorporated into your kebabs. You do not need to break the bank with the high-end cuts of meat here. However, it is important to cut meat into uniform pieces, and this goes for the veggies, too.

It is good practice to marinate the meat overnight before grill time; this will help keep the meat moist, tender and flavorful.

Cook time of various components is definitely something to consider when combining multiple ingredients on a single skewer. If you desire the rainbow effect (various ingredients on one skewer) make sure to parboil, oven roast, marinate, soak and prepare ingredients before skewer and grill time.

Some ingredients work well when skewered and grilled raw, others do better when they have a head start. Reference the guide included here.

So, gather your loved ones and cut them loose, sticks in hand with an array of ingredients at their fingertips. It’s fun to see individual personalities expressed through their choice of ingredient combinations, color and flavor. The food, the love and the creativity combined can create quite a feast.

Ingredient and Preparation Guide


baby red potatoes – cut into halves or quarters, parboil

beets – peel and cut into quarters, parboil

broccoli – cut into big florets, raw

Brussels sprouts – whole, oven roast al dente

carrots – cut into big pieces, parboil

cherry tomatoes – whole, raw

eggplant – chunk and soak in salt water for 15 minutes; drain and wring out like a sponge

garlic cloves – peeled and whole, raw

hot peppers – use whole, but cut the tops off and remove seeds and veins, raw

mushrooms – whole, raw

onion – cut into quarters, raw

pineapple – cut into chunks, raw

summer squash & zucchini – cut into big pieces, raw

sweet peppers – cut into chunks, raw

sweet potato – peel and cut into chunks, parboil

MEATLen Villano

For best results marinate overnight in a big plastic bag. Release any excess air from the bag before sealing. Place the bag in the refrigerator.

beef, chicken, fish, lamb, pork, shrimp


Will marinate up to 1 – 2 pounds of meat.

Balsamic Honey Dijon

½ cup of olive oil

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

salt and pepper to taste

Peanut Chili Ginger

¼ cup peanut butter

¼ cup hot water

2 tablespoons ginger, minced

1 tablespoon garlic, minced

1 tablespoon Siracha

1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar

fresh basil and cilantro, chopped

Citrus Herb Garlic  Len Villano

¼ cup white wine

¼ cup olive oil

juice of 1 lemon

3-4 garlic cloves, minced

1 shallot, minced

sprig of fresh rosemary

handful of Italian parsley, chopped

salt and pepper to taste

Simple Balsamic Vinaigrette

¼ cup olive oil

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Assembly and Grill Time

If using bamboo skewers you must soak them in water for 15 minutes before grilling.

Gather friends and family around the table with the kebab ingredients prepped and ready to go. Assemble the kebabs, alternating ingredients until all the ingredients are skewered.

Heat the barbeque to medium high heat. Place the kebabs on the grill, brush with the Simple Balsamic Vinaigrette (or other marinade) throughout grill time, turning often. Kebabs are finished when the meat is cooked through; this takes approximately 10 to 15 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. Bon appétit!