Grilled Jerk Shrimp and Pineapple Skewers Recipe

Introduction to the Dish

Jerk cooking, a vibrant and intensely flavorful style of cooking, originated from Jamaica. The technique involves marinating meat, such as chicken, pork, or seafood, in a jerk marinade—a spicy mixture of allspice, Scotch bonnet peppers, cloves, cinnamon, and thyme, among others. This method was developed by the Maroons, escaped African slaves who settled in the Jamaican mountains, using local spices and cooking techniques to create a unique flavor profile.

  • Allspice and Scotch bonnet peppers are the most critical ingredients, giving jerk its signature heat and spice.
  • The marinating process allows the deep, spicy flavors to thoroughly penetrate the meat.

Skewers are a popular form of serving various dishes in Caribbean cuisine, particularly because of their convenience and the way they enhance the food’s flavor through grilling. Grilled Jerk Shrimp and Pineapple Skewers combine the spicy heat of jerk marinade with the sweet, tangy flavor of pineapple, creating a perfect balance that appeals to a wide range of palates.

  • Skewers are favored in the Caribbean not only for their simple yet appealing presentation but also for their versatility in cooking.
  • The combination of shrimp and pineapple showcases a classic Caribbean technique of mixing fruit and protein, which is particularly popular during the festive seasons and gatherings.

For an authentic jerk marinade recipe that captures the essence of traditional Caribbean flavors, consider exploring Closet Cooking’s Complete Guide to Jerk Marinade, which offers detailed instructions and insights into the cultural background of jerk seasoning.

In summary, the popularity of Grilled Jerk Shrimp and Pineapple Skewers in Caribbean cuisine can be attributed to their delicious flavor profile that marries the intense spice of jerk seasoning with the natural sweetness of pineapple, served in a format that is perfect for social occasions and family meals.

Nutritional Information

Calorie Count and Nutritional Benefits: The Grilled Jerk Shrimp and Pineapple Skewers are not only flavorful but also offer considerable nutritional benefits. A typical serving contains about 182 calories, making it a suitable option for those managing their calorie intake.

  • Shrimp is a high-protein, low-calorie seafood that is rich in selenium and vitamin B12, essential for metabolic and neurological health.
  • Pineapple adds a sweet touch and provides a good source of vitamin C and manganese, which are crucial for antioxidant defenses and bone health.

Dietary Adjustments: To make this dish suitable for different dietary needs, a few adjustments can be made:

  • For a gluten-free version, ensure that the soy sauce used in the jerk marinade is gluten-free, as traditional soy sauce contains wheat.
  • To reduce the spiciness, adjust the amount of Scotch bonnet peppers in the jerk marinade or substitute with a milder pepper.

Serving Suggestions

Accompaniments: Grilled Jerk Shrimp and Pineapple Skewers are versatile and can be paired with a variety of sides and drinks to enhance the meal:

  • Coconut rice or fried plantains make excellent sides, complementing the spicy and sweet flavors of the skewers.
  • For drinks, a chilled glass of mango lassi or a Caribbean rum punch pairs wonderfully, providing a refreshing contrast to the spices.

Presentation Tips: The visual presentation of this dish can significantly enhance its appeal:

  • Serve on a wooden skewer for a rustic look, or arrange on a vibrant tropical-themed platter.
  • Garnish with fresh herbs like cilantro or parsley, and add lime wedges for a pop of color and a citrusy accent.

For more creative ideas on skewer dishes and tips on how to maximize their presentation, visit Flavor the Moments – Jerk Pineapple Shrimp Skewers.

In summary, when serving Grilled Jerk Shrimp and Pineapple Skewers, consider the balance of flavors with your sides and drinks, and aim for a presentation that is colorful and inviting, enhancing the overall dining experience.

Variations of the Recipe

Alternative Ingredients: To cater to different dietary preferences or ingredient availability, several substitutions can be made in the Grilled Jerk Shrimp and Pineapple Skewers recipe:

  • For a vegetarian option, consider using firm tofu or halloumi cheese instead of shrimp. Ensure that these are well-dried and marinated to absorb the flavors.
  • If allspice or Scotch bonnet peppers are unavailable, use a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, and milder peppers like jalapeños for a similar flavor profile but less heat.

Other Fruits and Proteins: The versatility of this recipe allows for numerous adaptations using different fruits or proteins:

  • Mango or peach slices can be used in place of pineapple for a different kind of sweetness and acidity.
  • Chicken or pork can substitute for shrimp if preferred. Ensure that the cooking times are adjusted accordingly to fully cook the protein.

For more tips on using alternative ingredients and adapting the recipe, check out The Produce Moms – Jerk Shrimp and Pineapple Kabobs, which provides additional ideas and variations.


Common Questions: Several questions commonly arise when preparing Grilled Jerk Shrimp and Pineapple Skewers:

  • Best Type of Shrimp to Use: Opt for large, peeled, and deveined shrimp to ensure that they remain juicy and flavorful throughout the grilling process. Sizes 16-20 or 20-25 per pound are ideal.
  • Handling Leftover Marinade: If you have leftover marinade, it can be boiled for several minutes to be safely used as a sauce. Never reuse marinade raw that has been in contact with raw shrimp.
  • Pineapple Preparation Tips: Cut the pineapple into pieces that will cook evenly and not fall through the grill grates. Half-inch chunks or slices work well for skewering and grilling.

These tips ensure a safe and delicious cooking experience, enhancing the enjoyment of Grilled Jerk Shrimp and Pineapple Skewers.

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Grilled Jerk Shrimp and Pineapple Skewers Recipe

  • Author: Sophia
  • Total Time: 21 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free


Enjoy a tropical escape with these Grilled Jerk Shrimp and Pineapple Skewers! This recipe combines the heat of jerk seasoning with the sweet, tangy flavor of pineapple, creating a perfect balance that’s both tantalizing and refreshing. Ideal for summer barbecues or a quick family dinner.


  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, grated
  • 1 Scotch bonnet pepper, finely chopped (adjust based on heat preference)
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon thyme, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon allspice
  • ¾ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon oil (preferably olive oil)
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dark rum
  • Juice and zest of ½ orange
  • Juice and zest of 1 lime
  • Salt to taste
  • Pineapple chunks (for skewering)

Unlock the door to culinary bliss. Start cooking now!

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  1. Prepare the Marinade: In a large bowl, mix together the olive oil, white vinegar, soy sauce, dark rum, orange juice and zest, lime juice and zest, minced garlic, grated ginger, chopped Scotch bonnet, green onions, thyme, allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon, black pepper, brown sugar, and a pinch of salt. Stir well to combine all the ingredients.
  2. Marinate the Shrimp: Add the shrimp to the marinade and toss to ensure each shrimp is evenly coated. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or up to 2 hours for more flavor.
  3. Preheat the Grill: Preheat your grill to medium-high heat.
  4. Assemble the Skewers: Thread the marinated shrimp and pineapple chunks alternately onto skewers. If using wooden skewers, make sure to soak them in water for at least 30 minutes prior to grilling to prevent burning.
  5. Grill: Place the skewers on the hot grill and cook for about 2-3 minutes on each side, or until the shrimp are pink and opaque, and the pineapple is slightly charred.
  6. Serve: Remove the skewers from the grill and serve immediately, perhaps with a side of rice or a fresh salad.


  • If using wooden skewers, soak them in water for at least 20 minutes before grilling to prevent burning.
  • Adjust the amount of jerk seasoning to suit your spice preference.
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 6 minutes
  • Category: Main Course
  • Method: Grilling
  • Cuisine: Caribbean


  • Calories: 180 per serving
  • Sodium: 150mg
  • Fat: 5g
  • Carbohydrates: 15g
  • Protein: 20g
  • Cholesterol: 120mg

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