Simple Summer Skewer Recipes

Some of our favorite family traditions occur during summertime. One of our favorites is dining outside on our deck every evening. There’s nothing fancy about these meals; my husband grills and the kids run around our yard. The kids are so busy playing they forget we don’t need to moderate every dispute. My husband and I are able to chat without being interrupted (which is practically a miracle in our house!) We listen to music, laugh, and catch up on the events of our day.

One of the keys to keeping our outdoor dinners simple and fun is minimizing the dishes and overall meal prep chaos. To that end, we’ve found that kebab recipes are a perfect way to eat a light, summery meal without the mess.

There are literally thousands of creative kebab recipes out there. We of course enjoy classic veggie and beef kebobs. We add different creative elements to these traditional recipes with special marinades, seasonings, and vegetable combinations. And although we love the classics, our two favorite recipes are different than the traditional kebab fare.

Here are two of our go-to summer skewer recipes:

Grilled Pesto and Chicken Kebabs

(Original recipe at

The original recipe calls for homemade pesto, but we’ve simplified things by using store-bought pesto.


  • 1 ¼ pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into one-inch cubes
  • Store bought pesto; at least half a jar, to taste (our favorite brand is Classico)
  • 24 cherry tomatoes


If you’re using wooden skewers, soak them in water for at least 10 minutes.

Marinade the chicken chunks in the pesto for 30 minutes. After the marinade time has completed, alternate threading the chicken and tomatoes on the skewers. (Be sure to start and end with the chicken.) Spray the grill with vegetable oil, and cook the skewers on medium hot until the chicken is cooked through and the juices run clear.

Grilled Caprese Skewers

(original recipe at

This is another recipe that can be modified for simplicity. We use Hy-Vee’s balsamic glaze instead of reducing our own as the recipe suggests. This is a huge time saver, and we feel our substitution is more flavorful than the original recipe. However, there’s one thing that can’t be substituted: it’s crucial to use bread cheese as it has a high melting point and works well on the grill.



  • ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic (we use the minced garlic in the jar)
  • 8 ounces good quality french bread, cubed into 1-inch chunks
  •  12 ounces bread cheese (we used Carr Valley brand) cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 24 cherry tomatoes 24 fresh basil leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


If you’re using wooden skewers, soak them in water for at least 10 minutes.

Mix the olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper in a small bowl and set aside. Brush the olive oil mixture on the cubes of French bread. Alternate the bread, cheese, basil and tomatoes on the skewers, starting and ending with the bread. Grill the skewers on high heat for four minutes, turning every 30 seconds until the bread is toasted. Remove from the grill and drizzle with the balsamic glaze.


Our nights  spent grilling and eating in the backyard is the stuff great family memories are made of: it’s the beautiful simplicity of spending time together. And since the clean-up is minimal, these easy skewer recipes allow us to enjoy our summer evenings with minimal mess and stress.

What are some of your favorite summer skewer recipes?


Meghann is the mom of 5 kids. She is a Lecturer at the University of Iowa School of Journalism and Mass Communication and an Owner/Partner at Brand Driven Digital. Meghann was elected to the Coralville City Council in 2017 and is currently serving her first term. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Coralville Community Food Pantry (Vice-Chair) and on the DVIP Board of Directors. She is also a member of Johnson County's Juvenile Justice and Youth Development Policy Board. Meghann is passionate about her family, her community, and is a proud pop culture nerd.


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