Juicy pink pineapple shrimp skewers is a quick and healthy 30 minute meal that you can make on the grill, on the stove top, or in the oven! Gorgeous pink pineapple and tangy Hawaiian huli huli sauce make this dish extra special.
pink pineapple shrimp skewers
A light and healthy meal that’s no more complicated than threading shrimp and chunks of pineapple onto skewers, then grilling them up, in minutes, with a tropical huli huli sauce.
what you’ll need for the kabobs
- shrimp ~ I used 16/20 shell on shrimp. 16/20 means there are 16-20 shrimp per pound, and that’s considered a large sized shrimp, but, as you will see, they shrink up considerably when they cook. I peeled them but left the tails on just because they’re pretty.
- a fresh pink pineapple ~ you won’t need the whole pineapple for this dish, so snack on the leftovers. Can you use regular pineapple? Absolutely, just be sure it’s fresh, not canned.
what is pink pineapple(Pinkglow®)?
Pink pineapples hit the commercial scene in late 2020, but were first approved for planting in 2011. Note: this recipe is not sponsored, I’m simply curious about this new fruit.
They’re grown in Costa Rica, by Del Monte.
They’re sweeter and less acidic than regular pineapple, and, at least for me, they taste like a cross between a pineapple and a strawberry. It’s a lovely flavor that is definitely different enough to warrant checking them out.
Lycopene is a natural plant pigment that gives the pink color. It’s also in tomatoes, watermelon, and pink grapefruit.
No, they look just like regular pineapples on the outside, the pink is just in the flesh of the fruit.
Yes, they’ve been genetically modified in a laboratory to be sweeter and pinker than natural pineapples. 3 genes were altered to shift the natural yellow from beta carotene to the pink from lycopene. Why do this? Companies genetically modify plants for various reasons: for better productivity/profit, environmental reasons, resistence to disease and climate change, or better consumer appeal. In this case the reason was to make a unique and exciting variety of pineapple to appeal to buyers. The FDA says GMO food is completely safe, but many, like me, are skeptical of the process. New laws require companies to label foods that are GMO (though there are many exceptions,) so read your labels.
The health benefits are almost identical to regular pineapples.
what you’ll need for the Hawiian huli huli sauce or marinade
Many huli huli sauce recipes call for ketchup, which I omit. My pineapple based sauce is lighter, and perfect for shrimp.
- pineapple juice
- fresh lime juice
- fresh ginger
- brown sugar
- soy sauce
- rice wine vinegar
- toasted sesame oil
You’ll boil this sauce in a saucepan for about 10 minutes to reduce it down and concentrate the flavors. Then brush it on the shrimp before and during cooking. I like to serve the skewers with more sauce on the side.
should you marinate shrimp ahead of time?
I’m not a fan of marinating meat, chicken, or seafood. I think it’s basically a wasted step because the flavors from your sauce don’t actually penetrate into your food. A marinade can, if too acidic, actually start to break down animal protein and make it mushy. What to do instead? Plan to brush your food with your marinade during and after cooking. Serve extra on the side. (Make sure you divide your marinade or sauce so you aren’t serving sauce that has been contaminated with raw meat or fish.) This will give you the best bang for your buck when it comes to marinades.
a note about skewers
You can use wooden or metal skewers for this dish, but if you choose wooden, be sure to soak them for 30 minutes before cooking or they will burn (I forgot to soak, and my wooden skewers did burn!)
how to cook pineapple shrimp skewers on the grill
- Get your grill nice and hot. If it’s got temperature controls, crack it up to 450F.
- Grill the skewers directly on the grates, or on a grill pan or topper made for shrimp or kebabs.
- Give them 2-3 minutes per side, brushing with the marinade once or twice on both sides.
how to cook pineapple shrimp skewers on the stove
- You’ll need a griddle or large grill pan that can fit your skewers.
- Heat the pan over medium high to high heat until very hot.
- Brush the skewers lightly with oil and cook for about 2-3 minutes per side.
- Note: I don’t recommend basting with marinade here because it will burn on your pan.
how to cook pineapple shrimp skewers in the oven
- Arrange your skewers on a foil lined baking sheet.
- Broil, about 4-5 inches from the heat source, until the shrimp is cooked through and starting to char. Brush with marinade if you like.
- Flip for another 2 minutes or until done. The exact time will depend on your broiler.
Any cooking method you choose will only take a couple of minutes on each side to get the shrimp cooked through, with some nice caramelization on both the shrimp and the pineapple.
All you need to do for this easy meal is add rice or couscous. I served mine with coconut rice, which goes really well. In warmer weather I’ll serve these skewers over a salad which makes a lower carb option.
we adore shrimp!
- Lemon Garlic Shrimp with Orzo
- New England Style Shrimp Rolls
- Shrimp Taco Salad
- Creamy Shrimp Bisque
- Chimichurri Shrimp
- Shrimp in Lemon Sauce with Olives
Pineapple Shrimp Skewers
- 8 wooden or metal skewers
huli huli sauce (double the recipe for more sauce, if you like)
- 6 ounces pineapple juice
- 3 Tbsp fresh lime juice
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp grated ginger
- 1 Tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp rice wine vinegar
- 24 medium-large shrimp, peeled
- 1/2 pink pineapple, cut in 1 1/2 inch chunks
- Combine the sauce ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil gently for about 10 minutes, or until slightly reduced. Taste to adjust any of the ingredients. Note: if you've chosen to double the recipe, the boiling time will be longer.
- Thread your skewers, alternating shrimp with pineapple chunks. I used 3 pieces of each.
how to cook on the grill
- Get your grill nice and hot. If it's got temperature controls, crack it up to 450F. Grill the skewers directly on the grates, or on a grill pan or topper made for shrimp or kebabs. Give them 2-3 minutes per side, brushing with the marinade once or twice on both sides.
how to cook on the stove top
- You'll want a griddle or large grill pan that can fit your skewers. Heat the pan over medium high to high heat until very hot. Brush the skewers lightly with oil and cook for about 2-3 minutes per side. Note: I don't recommend basting with marinade here because it will burn on your pan.
how to cook in the oven
- Arrange your skewers on a foil lined baking sheet.Broil, about 4-5 inches from the heat source, until the shrimp is cooked through and starting to char. Brush with marinade if you like. Flip for another 2 minutes or until done. The exact time will depend on your broiler.