The “Duh” Reason You’ve Been Making Shish Kebabs Wrong

FYI, you’ve been making your shish kebabs wrong. Don’t believe me? Well if you’ve been stacking meat and veggies onto the same skewer, then this will rock your world: You should NEVER mix ingredients on a single skewer, because each has a different cook time and it’s basically impossible to get everything cooked perfectly if it’s all jumbled together. Yup, I can see the lightbulb from here: “Oh THAT’S why my peppers always burn!”

And since I’m on the subject, here are four more tips to get it just right:

  • Always cut the ingredients to about the same size.
  • Marinate before you skewer—messy but you get better flavor.
  • Cook meats ¾ way through on one side before flipping (less sticking!).
  • Let meat rest on the skewer before serving, so you’re pulling the skewer out once they’ve finished cooking.

Got it? Now, scroll down for a great Thai Lime & Basil marinade that works with chicken, beef and pork.

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Chicken Shish Kebabs with Thai Lime & Basil

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Serves: 4


  • 1 lb chicken breasts (also great for beef or pork)
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 bell peppers
  • 1/2 c olive oil
  • 3 tbsp lime juice
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ¼ c basil leaves, thinly sliced
  • ¼ c scallions, thinly sliced

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  • Whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, soy sauce, sugar, salt and pepper until the sugar dissolves. Add the basil and scallion and stir to combine.
  • Cut chicken, onion and peppers into 1” pieces. Combine in a zip-top bag, then pour half of the marinade over. Shake to combine and refrigerate for 1 hour and up to overnight.
  • Skewer the chicken, onion, and peppers, one ingredient per skewer.
  • Preheat a clean and lightly oiled grill to medium high. Shake off the excess marinade, and then arrange the chicken skewers. Cook chicken until 3/4 way cooked through (about 4-5 minutes), then flip. Cook another two minutes, or until cooked through. Set aside to rest, and then add the vegetables to the grill. Cook for 4-5 minutes, until lightly charred and tender, turning once.
  • Remove from grill and serve the remaining marinade alongside the kebabs.
Chicken Shish Kebabs
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