Grilled Rainbow Skewers with Pesto

**DISCLAIMER: This recipe does not require an actual grill! I highly recommend investing in a grill pan (I’ve often seen them on sale at T.J Maxx for discounted prices). A grill pan allows for authentically cooked burgers, vegetables, and even panini/grilled cheese sandwiches. I use mine all the time!**

I’ve always been a fan of the 4th of July. Growing up, my family would often spend it on the shores of Findley Lake in New York. Corn on the cob just seemed to taste better under the hot sun on my grandparent’s wooden deck. In America, barbecue cookouts are a staple of Independence Day celebrations. For this reason, I think it is one of the more “fun” food holidays.

Summer, in my opinion, is the best season for fresh produce. That’s why I decided to utilize as many colors of vegetables as possible in this recipe. It is very flexible though, so feel free to use whatever sturdy veggies you have on hand.

The pesto comes together quickly, but I would imagine these skewers would also be tasty dipped in a BBQ sauce of your choice, if you’re a fan of those flavors.

Let’s grill baby grill! Recipe easily doubled for a larger crowd.



  • For kabobs:
    • 4 plum tomatos
    • 1 red bell pepper
    • 1 sweet potato
    • 1 small zucchini
    • 1 red onion
    • 2 fingerling purple or red potatoes
    • Red pepper flakes
  • For pesto (adapted from Minimalist Baker):
    • 2 cups basil
    • 3 TBS sunflower seeds
    • 3 TBS lemon juice
    • 4 TBS nutritional yeast (or sub grated parmesan)
    • Dash of sea salt
    • 3 peeled garlic cloves*
    • 2-3 TBS extra virgin olive oil
    • Water as needed


For Kabobs:

  1.  If using potatoes, boil on stovetop for 5-10 minutes, drain, and set aside. This softens them slightly so they’ll cook evenly on the grill.
  2. Chop vegetables into large chunks (~1 inch long) and arrange on skewers with potatoes, if using. If using wooden spears, I recommend soaking them in water beforehand so they don’t burn.
  3. Preheat grill or grill pan to medium heat.
  4. Drizzle kabobs lightly with avocado or coconut oil, making sure to coat evenly. Salt and pepper generously.
  5. Arrange on grill and cook for 15-20 minutes, rotating skewers every now and then to insure even char marks.

For pesto:

  1. Add first six ingredients to food processor and blend until a paste forms. You may need to scrape down the sides.
  2. While food processor is running, drizzle olive oil and water in one TBS at a time until a cohesive and pourable sauce forms. I used 4 TBS water).

For serving:

  1. After removing from grill, garnish with pesto and red pepper flakes to serve.
  2. These work beautifully as as side dish to burgers on the grill but also could function well on their own over a bed of quinoa or brown rice. Best when fresh but leftovers will keep 3-4 days.



*I used six cloves but this seems extreme.

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