Chicken and Vegetable skewers are one of my favorite things to make. I love meals where I can take care of the protein and vegetables in one-shot. Depending on my family’s mood, we eat it with a garden salad, or with toasted Pitas and Hummus, and of course, one of our favorite combinations is with delicious and fragrant Lemon Rice! These skewers make for great finger foods for entertaining as well!
This meal is super quick to put together too, which makes it very weeknight friendly. I buy pre-cut chicken from Trader Joe’s. Rinse and soak my basmati rice while I prep the vegetables. Dice up some onions, bell peppers and zucchini. Make a marinade with greek yogurt and dry spices. Toss chicken and veggies in the marinade and thread them onto bamboo skewers. I typically end up broiling these skewers, simply due to a texture preference. I have elaborated more on that in the next paragraph. Simultaneously, set the rice in my Instant Pot. In the end, this meal is at the table in under 30 minutes. I serve this with a Garden Salad with a lemon vinaigrette or a Greek salad sometimes.
Different cooking techniques result in different textures for the Chicken and Vegetable skewers. How you cook them is entirely your preference. I have for you 3 ways you can cook your skewers, and here’s what to expect from a texture standpoint. If you grill them or broil them in the oven, there is subtle char-broiled flavor that gets infused in the chicken and vegetables. The vegetables get cooked, but not all the way through and still retain their crunch. If you cook your skewers in the pressure cooker along with the Lemon rice, the chicken will be super moist and the vegetables will be tender, more like a steamed texture. You can choose vegetables that take a longer time cook, like turnips, carrots, potato cubes instead. My family prefers grilling or broiling them.
To make an all-vegetarian version of this dish, you can substitute chicken cubes with Paneer cubes or Extra-Firm Tofu cubes. Follow the recipe and marination process. If grilling them, reduce the time to 2-3 minutes per side, flipping them once.
The spice quantities and choice in this recipe work great for my family, but feel free to adjust them based on your taste buds!
Chicken & Veg Skewers with Lemon RicePrint Recipe
- Chicken Skewers
- 6 inches long Bamboo Skewers (pre-soaked if grilling or broiling)
- 1 lb. chicken breast, cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1 green pepper, cut in 1 inch pieces
- 1 medium onion, cubed in 1 inch pieces, separated
- 1 zucchini sliced in 1 inch half-moons (optional)
- 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
- 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
- 1.25 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Ginger Powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper (or to taste)
- 1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
- 1 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper
- 1 teaspoon Garam Masala
- 2 teaspoon Coriander Powder
- Juice of 1 small lemon (about 2 teaspoon)
- 2 teaspoons Olive Oil
- Lemon Rice
- 1 cup Basmati rice, rinsed and soaked while you prep
- 2 teaspoons Olive Oil/Ghee
- 1 teaspoon Mustard Seeds
- 2 teaspoon Urad Dal (Split Black Lentils) (optional)
- 3 green chilies
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon Turmeric Powder
- 1/4 teaspoon Ground Cumin (optional)
- 1.25 cups water
- Juice of 1/2 lemon (about 1 teaspoon) (add after cooking)
Prep Rinse and soak rice while you prep the vegetables and make marinade. Cut chicken in 1 inch pieces. Cut your choice of vegetables in a similar size.
Build your Skewers: Make marinade by mixing together all ingredients listed under "Marinade". Add chicken and vegetables and toss well. Thread the pieces on bamboo skewers, alternating between chicken and vegetables.
Cook the Skewers You can cook them based on your preference: Grill it on a BBQ grill or grill-top. 4 minutes each side, total of 8 minutes, depending on how hot your grill is, OR, Broil them in the oven 6 mins first side, flip, and 4 mins on the other side, total of 8-10 minutes, depending on your oven, OR, One-Pot Meal Cook them in the Instant Pot with the Lemon rice, using the trivet as shown in the video. You can stack the skewers on a trivet, on top of the rice(See 'Notes' about difference)
Lemon RiceTurn on the Instant Pot on SAUTE. When the oil is hot, add mustard seeds and Urad (split black lentils). The split lentils are optional, but recommended. They add a nutty texture to the lemon rice. Saute for 15 seconds. Add rice, green chilies, spices and fried onions. Saute for 30 seconds. Add water. Close lid. Hit cancel. Press Manual or Pressure Cook for 5 minutes, high pressure. Let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes. Open the lid. Add lemon juice and fluff the rice with a fork.
Different cooking techniques result in different textures for the Chicken and Vegetable skewers. How you cook them if entirely your preference. I have given you 3 ways you can cook your skewers, and here's what to expect from a texture standpoint. If you grill them or broil them in the oven, there is subtle char-broiled flavor that gets infused in the chicken and vegetables. The vegetables get cooked, but not all the way through and still retain their crunch. If you cook your skewers in the pressure cooker along with the Lemon rice, the chicken will be super moist and the vegetables will be tender, more like the steamed texture. You can choose vegetables that take a longer time cook like turnips, carrots, potato cubes instead. My family prefers grilling or broiling them.