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Our delicious Shrimp Kabobs have fresh shrimp and crisp vegetables that take less than ten minutes to grill! An incredible pineapple-soy glaze tops off this easy meal!
With warm weather in the forecast, we’ve been firing up the grill at dinnertime. These easy grilled Shrimp Kabobs are at the very top of our summertime menu.
This is a super easy and very delicious recipe requiring just a little prep – and the actual cooking time is less than ten minutes! It’s perfect for a weeknight meal – but these colorful shrimp and vegetable skewers would also be a great option for any dinner party.
Perfectly Cooked Shrimp and Vegetables…Every Time!
We’re sharing a great tip today that will ensure that your grilled vegetables and shrimp are cooked to perfection, and ready to eat at the same time.
The dilemma: Fresh shrimp only takes a few minutes to cook on the grill – and you don’t want overcooked, rubbery shrimp! But the vegetables typically need more cooking time to get tender.
So – to address that common problem – we marinate the vegetables ahead of time. The citrus, pineapple, and other ingredients in the marinade tenderize the veggies, then they too will only need a few minutes to cook through on grill. (The shrimp is also marinated – but for just twenty minutes.)
The same marinade is cooked down into a luscious, sweet sauce that gets brushed on top of the Shrimp Kabobs as they grill, and you can brush even more on top when served.
Why You’ll Love Shrimp Kabobs
- They are absolutely delicious! What’s better than perfectly grilled shrimp and vegetables?
- It’s quick and easy. Prep and marinate the vegetables up to a day ahead, then assemble the skewers before cooking.
Key ingredients and Substitutions
- 16-20 sized raw shell on shrimp – 16-20 refers to the number of shrimp per pound and is stated on the package or seafood counter signage. You’ll peel off the shell (and de-vein if necessary) but leave the tail attached.
- That easy marinade – A simple marinade is made with pineapple juice, soy sauce, honey, garlic, lemon and other seasonings. Half is used to marinate the vegetables and other half marinates the shrimp.
- Peppers and onions – Cut different-colored bell peppers (red, yellow, orange or green) and red onion into pieces that are similar in size to the shrimp.
- White rice – If you’d like, cook some white rice to serve alongside the Shrimp Kabobs.
Special supplies needed
- Outdoor grill or ribbed grill pan (if cooking inside)
- Flat metal skewers or soaked wooden skewers
How do I make Shrimp Kabobs?
- Cut the vegetables into uniform-sized pieces.
- Mix the marinade and divide in half. Add lemon juice to the half portion of the marinade intended for the vegetables. Do not put lemon juice in the half that will be used for the shrimp as the acid will “cook” the shrimp.
- Marinate the vegetables for at least four hours, and as long as 24 hours. You can place the vegetables and marinade together in a gallon-sized zipper seal bag, then refrigerate.
- Make the glaze once the vegetables are done marinating. Drain the vegetables, keeping the used marinade. Pour into a saucepan and thicken with cornstarch to create a glaze.
- Marinate shrimp for 20 minutes before grilling. Then drain and discard this portion of the marinade.
- Assemble skewers with shrimp, peppers and onions. (If using wooden skewers, soak those for an hour first, so they don’t burn while grilling.)
- Heat the grill to the hottest setting, then clean and oil the grill grates.
- Grill the shrimp and vegetable skewers for 6-8 minutes total – turning halfway through the cooking time). Depending on the power of your grill, you may need more or less time.
- Serve immediately over cooked white rice.
Frequently asked Questions
- Can I make ahead? Since shrimp can spoil easily, you should only thaw and marinate the shrimp close to grilling. The vegetables however, can and should be chopped ahead and marinated.
- How do I store leftovers? Fully cooked kabobs should be slid from the skewers and into an air-tight container. Refrigerate for up to two days.
- How long should you marinate shrimp? No longer than 20 minutes. Any longer than 20 minutes may make them rubbery in texture.
- Do you peel shrimp before grilling? It’s not necessary to peel shrimp before grilling, but you do want to de-vein the shrimp if it isn’t already done for you. Also, peeling but leaving the tail-on while grilled is easier to eat once cooked than serving with the shell on. Your choice.
- How do you grill shrimp without drying it out? The trick to juicy grilled shrimp is to grill it quickly over hot heat. Don’t grill the shrimp for too long either – it will cook in just a few minutes on each side.
- What is a good vegetable to serve with shrimp? Bell peppers and red onion for sure, but summer squash, zucchini, snap peas and even fresh pineapple chunks go very well on Shrimp Kabobs. Just try to select vegetables that don’t require a long cooking time – or consider pre-cooking those vegetables that do need more time to cook through.
You may enjoy these other shrimp recipes:
- Easy Grilled Shrimp
- Zesty Shrimp Salad
- Spicy Grilled Peel and Eat Shrimp
- Bang Bang Shrimp
- Bacon-Wrapped Gulf Shrimp with Blue Cheese Butter and Port Reduction
2 pounds shell-on raw shrimp, 16-20 per pound (found frozen in most markets)
1 red bell pepper
1 orange bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
1 large red onion
3 6-ounce cans pineapple juice
6 tablespoons soy sauce
½ cup honey
2 tablespoons finely minced fresh garlic
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
Zest of two lemons
¼ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
1 ½ teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
Juice of one lemon
2 tablespoons corn starch
White rice, to serve with the kabobs
Vegetable oil, to oil the grill grates
If your shrimp is frozen, thaw before use.
Trim the tops and bottoms off each pepper and remove the cores. Cut in half and cut 8-12 uniform squares (depending on size) from each pepper.
Peel and trim the onion and cut in half across the middle. Then cut into uniform pieces the same size as the peppers.
Place the peppers and onions in a gallon zip lock bag.
Make the marinade by combining the pineapple juice, soy sauce, honey, garlic, oil, zest, parsley, salt and pepper, but NOT the lemon juice or corn starch.
Divide the marinade in half and refrigerate one half for later.
To the second half, add the lemon juice then pour over the vegetables and marinate for four hours and as long as 24 hours. The vegetables will soften up some, but still have a little crunch.
Cook the rice if serving.
After marinating, pour the bag contents into a strainer over a sauce pan. Set the marinated vegetables aside.
Heat the liquid to hot. While the liquid heats, mix the corn starch with a teaspoon or two of water to make a slurry and slowly add to the hot liquid while whisking briskly. (If you just pour the slurry in without whisking, it will sink to the bottom and clump up). Set this glaze aside off heat.
About an hour prior to grilling, peel the shrimp but leave the tail piece on and place all cleaned shrimp in a gallon zip lock bag and pour in the reserved marinade and marinate 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes, drain and discard the marinade from the shrimp.
Start threading peppers, onions and shrimp onto eight skewers in whatever order you want as long as there is a solid thick vegetable to anchor each end. Use all of the marinated shrimp and vegetables.
Heat grill to as hot as it will get and clean the grill grates and wipe with wet paper towels.
Oil the grates then place the eight kabobs on the hottest part and grill for about three minutes. After three minutes, turn each one and brush with half of the reserved glaze. Cook for about another three minutes then remove to a platter and brush with the remaining glaze.
Grills vary and heat sources vary. On our natural gas Weber grill, the kabobs took exactly six minutes total, but your time may vary. Additionally, most grills have hot spots. When you flip half way through, that is your opportunity to move lesser cooked kabobs to the hot spot and more cooked kabobs to the cooler spots for even doneness.
Do not overcook. The tails should char and the edges of the vegetables should char and the shrimp should turn pink. Test one if you are not sure before removing. If using metal skewers, use oven mits and tongs to move and remove the skewers.
Serve the kabobs with the rice or slide the shrimp and vegetables onto a platter and serve with the rice.
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