Keep the barbecue fired up for these Grilled Shrimp and Chicken Skewers with Honey Sesame Glaze! Summer and skewers go hand-in-hand and you can assemble these keto-friendly, sweet and spicy kabobs ahead of time for a quick, easy and delicious meal any day of the week.
How to Make these Skewers & Honey Sesame Marinade
There’s nothing like farmer’s market-fueled recipes combined with low-fat protein for a super scrumptious and healthy summer dinner. These skewers get that pop of color from sweet pineapple chunks, cherry tomatoes, zucchini, bell peppers and red onion. And I must say grilled pineapple is absolutely addictive in its own right.
We’ll start with the Asian-inspired glaze which can be made a few days ahead and is super easy to whip up. It’s a wonderful marinade for seafood, fish, chicken, pork, beef and veggies. Honey, sesame oil, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, freshly grated ginger, shallots and garlic are simply pureed in a blender until thick and smooth.
What is Hoisin Sauce?
If you’re not already familiar with hoisin sauce, it is rich, thick and fragrant with a sweet, salty taste often described as Chinese barbecue sauce (left-most bowl in the photo below). You can easily substitute regular bbq sauce or ketchup as well, or even blend the two!
Cube the chicken to a size that will cook equally with the shrimp and veggies. This will ensure everything is done at the same time and the veggies won’t burn. See Recipe for details.
I prefer using metal skewers, but bamboo skewers will work. Be sure to soak them in water 1 hour before assembling so they don’t burn.
Assemble the skewers in your preferred pattern and drizzle about one-third of the glaze over top to marinate. Kabobs can be put together 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate but be sure to let them come to room temp before barbecuing.
- When ready, preheat your grill over medium heat. If you crank up your rig too high, you’ll end up with tough shrimp, crusted chicken that’s inedible in the center and burnt vegetables.
- Let excess marinade drain off the skewers before placing them on the grates. Some is ok to get good caramelization but too much can cause the grill to flare up.
- Flip the skewers after about 4 minutes and use another third of the glaze for basting the cooked side. This will help keep the shish kabobs from drying out.
- There’s nothing like a good, grill-marked sear. You know everything is done to perfection when the shrimp are just opaque in the center and the chicken is cooked through yet juicy.
- When done, let these beauties rest a few minutes to cool before serving especially if using metal skewers.
Yes, you very well can. Since the proteins will be cooked, it is ok they sit in the same container or resealable bag to marinate. However, do not reuse or save marinades that have been used for raw meat, fish or seafood. Discard or bring to a rolling boil for several minutes if you’d like to baste with it. I find it easier to separate my marinade into thirds: a part for marinating, a part for basting and the last for serving.
No need for that. Be sure to let excess marinade drain off or use your finger to slide off excess if it’s thick. As mentioned in the Grilling Tips, some marinade is great for caramelization but too much can lead to flare ups and burnt kabobs.
Absolutely. We all know Mother Nature doesn’t always cooperate even with the best laid out plans so it’s always good to have a preheated oven on standby. Bring it to 425 degrees F and roast for 12-15 minutes flipping and basting the skewers halfway through.
What else to serve…
Whether those bbq kabobs are full of shrimp and chicken or another combination of proteins, these suggestions for cocktails, appetizers, sides and dessert will surely round out one delicious menu.
Grilled Shrimp and Chicken Skewers with Honey Sesame Glaze
- 12 12-inch metal skewers*
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 1 medium shallot, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
- 24 extra-large shrimp (U21-25 count), peeled and deveined, tails left intact
- 1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 24 1 ½-inch cubes
- 24 1-inch cubes of pineapple
- 24 zucchini slices, ½-inch thick
- 2 red bell peppers, cut into 24 1-inch squares
- 24 3-layer sections of red onion wedges
- 24 cherry tomatoes
- Puree all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Makes about 1 ¼ cups. Set aside. (Can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)
- On each skewer, thread 2 shrimp, 2 chicken cubes, 2 pineapple cubes, 2 zucchini slices, 2 bell pepper squares, 2 cherry tomatoes, and 2 red onion wedges in any pattern you like.
- Place skewers on a large, rimmed baking sheet. Pour a third of the glaze over the skewers. (Can be prepped one day ahead. Cover and chill. Bring to room temperature before grilling.)
- Coat grill grates with nonstick spray or vegetable oil and preheat grill over medium.
- Grill skewers 4 minutes on one side then flip. Baste with another third of the glaze, keeping the remaining glaze separate for when serving.
- Continue grilling skewers until shrimp are opaque in the center, and chicken is no longer pink, another 3-4 minutes. Let skewers rest a few minutes before serving.
- Arrange skewers on platter. Garnish with sesame seeds and fresh herbs, if desired. Serve with remaining glaze. Enjoy!
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