A delightful and healthy summer entree, grilled shrimp kabobs with sunny chunks of pineapple, and homemade teriyaki sauce, are so easy and just plain delicious! 

Overhead view of two shrimp and pineapple kabobs on a plate with white rice and sprinkled with fresh cilantro.

You are going to love these grilled shrimp kabobs: jumbo shrimp, marinated in a zesty teriyaki sauce, and golden juicy fresh pineapple chunks, threaded on a skewer, grilled over a nice hot flame. They are easy to prepare and only need to be on the grill five minutes or so, just enough to impart a nice glaze and smoky flavor.

My mom and husband couldn’t wait for these babies to come off the grill the first time we made them. The looks on their faces said it all. My mom kept saying, “Okay, maybe I’ll eat just one more.” And she did–with lots of lip smacking and finger licking. 

You’ll love this homemade teriyaki sauce. It’s so simple and really imparts a glorious sweet/salty/umami flavor to the shrimp and pineapple. Used as a marinade and then a glaze in this recipe, the teriyaki sauce does double duty, ensuring lots of flavor for your kabobs. It’s great on salmon or chicken, too.

What is teriyaki?

Teriyaki is a Japanese word which describes a cooking method. Teri means a shine or luster, and yaki means to grill or broil. A traditional teriyaki sauce contains mirin (a sweet cooking wine), soy sauce, sugar, and sake. (New World Encyclopedia

The most important advice I have is to make more shrimp kebobs than you think you’ll need. There won’t be any left over, I can almost guarantee it! They’re that good!

Two grilled shrimp kabobs with pineapple on a plate with fluffy white rice. More kabobs pictured in the background.

About these shrimp kabobs:

While the kabobs don’t need to be on the grill very long, you’ll need a little extra time to marinate them. Actually that works out perfectly if you’re having guests. Get the shrimp marinating in the fridge and when it’s nearly time to eat, assemble the kabobs, throw them on the grill for a few minutes, and serve. You won’t have to stand for an hour over a broiling hot grill, sweltering in the sun, while everyone else enjoys their frosty drink in the shade. You’ll be able to join them in no time at all. And that’s a happy thing!

For the teriyaki sauce, combine honey, soy sauce, rice vinegar, grated fresh ginger, fresh garlic, and red pepper flakes in a bowl, whisking to combine.

Add the shrimp, put the bowl in the fridge, and allow the shrimp to swim awhile in the flavorful sauce.

What kind of shrimp can you use? I recommend frozen jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined, with the tails on. Thaw under cold running water. If you have access to fresh shrimp, lucky you! 

When it’s nearly time to eat, get your grill fired up, and assemble the kabobs. Thread the shrimp in two places, head and tail, so it stays secure. One shrimp, one pineapple chunk, one shrimp, one pineapple chunk. Beautiful!

Meanwhile, pour the marinade in a small saucepan, and boil it over high heat to kill any germs and thicken it up a bit. You’ll be brushing the marinade on the skewers as they grill, imparting a nice glaze and adding so much flavor. 

Grill the kabobs a couple minutes on one side, brushing with the sauce, flip over, and grill a few minutes on the other side, again brushing with the teriyaki sauce. 

How can you tell if the kebobs are done? The shrimp should be pink, firm, and beginning to curl. Please don’t overcook them! They’ll get tough and dry. The length of cooking time greatly depends on the size of your shrimp.

Is your mouth watering yet? Serve the shrimp kabobs with this flavorful freekah salad or jasmine rice. A good wine pairing would be chilled semi-sweet Gewurztraminer or Sauvignon Blanc. Bell’s Oberon beer would be good, too. Or try a pineapple screwdriver cocktail from Miss in the Kitchen. 

For a perfect finale, grill the rest of the pineapple and serve it on ice cream with homemade bourbon caramel sauce. Oh, yes!!! Expect some exclamations of delight!

Overhead view of two grilled kabobs on a plate, with shrimp and fresh pineapple. They are served with white rice and sprinkled with fresh cilantro.

How to make these grilled shrimp kabobs your own:

  • Alternative cooking methods: You can broil shrimp kabobs in the oven or in a grill pan on the stove. The cooking times will be similar, again depending on the size of the shrimp.
  • As a side, grill vegetable kabobs. Good choices are red onions, zucchini, summer squash, eggplant, or bell peppers. For best results, grill the vegetable kabobs on additional skewers since they take a little longer to cook. You can get them cooking first, and then grill the shrimp.
  • Substitute 3 tablespoons brown sugar for the honey. You may need to add a splash of pineapple juice to get the right consistency.
  • Like it spicy? Increase the amount of red pepper flakes in the teriyaki sauce.
  • Instead of fresh pineapple, use canned pineapple. Fresh is definitely better, but canned will do in a pinch.
  • Garnish with a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds or chopped fresh cilantro.

Overhead view of shrimp and pineapple, grilled on kabobs. Two kabobs are on a plate, and more are on a sheet pan nearby. Fresh cilantro and white rice is also pictured.

Storage and Reheating Tips

While grilled shrimp kabobs are best eaten right away or at room temp, if you happen to have leftovers, remove the shrimp and pineapple from the skewers and put into a tightly covered container.

They’ll keep in the fridge for a day or two. Reheat gently in the microwave.

Like to grill?

Grilling imparts such good flavor and it gets you out of the kitchen. Here’s a few more ideas:

 

Overhead view of two grilled kabobs on a plate, with shrimp and fresh pineapple. They are served with white rice and sprinkled with fresh cilantro.

Grilled Shrimp Kabobs with Pineapple

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

A delightful summer entree, grilled shrimp kabobs with sunny chunks of pineapple, and homemade teriyaki sauce, are so easy and just plain delicious!

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon grated or minced garlic, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, more to taste
  • 1 pound large or jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 pineapple, cored and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • Fresh minced cilantro or toasted sesame seeds for garnishing, optional

Instructions

  1. For marinade, combine honey, soy sauce, vinegar, ginger, garlic, and red pepper flakes in a large bowl, whisking to combine.
  2. Add shrimp to marinade, cover, and place in fridge for at least 1 hour, up to 3 hours. 
  3. Soak 10 wooden skewers in water for at least 15 minutes. 
  4. Remove shrimp from marinade, reserving marinade. Cook marinade in small saucepan over high heat, until it comes to a boil, reducing slightly.
  5. Thread 2 shrimp and 2 pineapple chunks on each skewer. Push skewers through the heads and tails of the shrimp; alternate with chunks of pineapple.
  6. Heat grill (or grill pan) to medium-high heat, approximately 400°F. Lightly oil hot grill to prevent shrimp from sticking.
  7. Place skewers on grill and grill for 2-3 minutes, brushing with marinade.
  8. Flip skewers, and brush with marinade one more time. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until shrimp is cooked through. It should appear pink and firm.
  9. Garnish with cilantro or toasted sesame seeds and serve immediately.

Notes

  • Alternative cooking methods: You can broil shrimp kabobs in the oven or in a grill pan on the stove. The cooking times will be similar, depending on the size of the shrimp.
  • Substitute 3 tablespoons brown sugar for the honey. You may need to add a splash of pineapple juice to get the right consistency.
  • Increase the amount of red pepper flakes in the teriyaki sauce if you like it spicier.
  • Instead of fresh pineapple, you can use canned pineapple (fresh is better though!).
  • Garnish with a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds or chopped fresh cilantro.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 2-3 skewers
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 219Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 239mgSodium: 1468mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 0gSugar: 20gProtein: 27g

RachelCooks.com sometimes provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as they are not calculated by a registered dietitian. Please consult a medical professional for any specific nutrition, diet, or allergy advice.

Did you make this recipe?

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Verdict: I’ll be honest, shrimp isn’t my all-time favorite (can’t get past the texture of it), but I always try my recipes to make sure they’re perfect, and this really is delicious! 
Husband’s take: Ben loves shrimp, and even eats leftovers of this cold!
Changes I would make: None are necessary!
Difficulty: Very easy!