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Want to Jazz Up Your Grill Skewers? Try These Ingredients

Three Lobster Pops with lime slices, five Hawaiian Chicken Kebabs on parchment paper, and Honey, Lime and Sriracha Chicken Skewers on a plate.
30AEATS/Recipe Rebel/Once Upon a Chef

Skewers are an incredibly simple way to throw together a meal on the grill, and you don’t have to stick with chicken and the same old veggies every time. Shake up your kebab game with some new ingredients that will add bursts of new flavor and texture!

The simplicity of slipping some chopped chicken and veggies on skewers and tossing them on the grill is difficult to match for a quick dinner. After a while, though, it can get a bit boring. Armed with these 10 flavor-enhancing ingredients, though, you’ll be jazzing up those skewers all summer.


Lemon is an often overlooked flavor booster. Before you reach for complex sauces and spices, give this humble fruit a chance! A squeeze of lemon juice adds a little tang to each bite, and there are so many ways you can use it.

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For example, that tang is a great complement to chicken kebobs. You can boost the flavor by starting with a lemon and garlic marinade, or just slap it on right there at the grill. When you pull those skewers off the grill, squeeze some lemon juice all over them for an extra burst of flavor. A few lemon wedges also taste fantastic on seafood kebabs.


While chicken, steak, shrimp, and veggies are usually top picks for skewer season, we really recommend you give scallops a chance! Next time they’re on sale, grab some to throw on the grill. These sweet bivalves offer a subtle taste of the ocean, and each tender, buttery bite adds so much flavor to meals.

You can even make a fancy seafood combo by combining scallops, shrimp, and lobster tail, as they all take about the same amount of time to cook. Don’t forget to add some lemon wedges at each end.

For a spicier version, try Bobby Flay’s concoction, which features an incredibly hot pepper dressing.


Three grilled honey lime sriracha chicken skewers on a plate with lime wedges.
Once Upon a Chef

The same as lemons, lime wedges make a fantastic addition to skewers. If you don’t believe us, give it a shot. Need a nudge to give lime a chance? Try out this delicious recipe for honey-lime sriracha skewers, which use this key ingredient.

Level it up by adding a few small bite-size lime wedges right on the skewer. Right before indulging, pull the lime off, and squeeze on a bit of warm and sweet lime juice.


Lots of folks toss pineapple rings on the grill for a smokey sweet treat, but if you’re not adding it to your skewers, you’re missing out! When grilled, this fruit adds a subtly tart, oh-so-sweet flair to just about any meat.

Try marinating steak or chicken (and pineapple in a separate bag) in teriyaki sauce, and then thread the pieces onto the skewer. Pineapple juice is a natural meat tenderizer and marinading it just adds to the experience.

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We also love the classic Hawaiian chicken and pineapple pairing. These kebabs are absolutely perfect for summer!

Bacon & Brussels Sprouts

When you think of classic veggies to skewer, onions, peppers, mushrooms, or cherry tomatoes might come to mind. But Brussels sprouts? Trust us!

Just slice your sprouts in half (lengthwise), and then skewer each one from end to end. You can take it a step further by weaving a strip of half-cooked bacon. It’ll add a briny bite to these bitter veggies. Be sure to add some olive oil, as well, and season those sprouts before tossing them on an open flame.

Corn on the Cob

Grilling corn on the cob is a fun way to add a sweet little crunch to your meal, but you can take it to another level by skewering it! Just cut your ears of corn into one-inch-thick pieces, and then carefully thread each piece onto your skewers. Add some butter, salt, and pepper, and then enjoy every charred bite.

Skewered corn goes well with other hard veggies and thick sausage bites like andouille. We especially love this recipe, which pairs corn with kielbasa (Polish sausage).


If you need a quick, delicious way to use up some extra strawberries, keep the heat outdoors and grill some up!

First, just wash and remove all the leaves. Then, thread those sweet berries on your skewers. Lightly brush each strawberry with a mild-flavored oil, like vegetable or avocado.

Place the skewers on a clean, preheated grill, but leave the lid up the entire time so you can keep an eye on them. You can cook them until they soften up a bit or until the grill lines are just starting to appear.

When they’re done, dip those babies in some Nutella, or drizzle some maple syrup on top and serve them with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. You’ll love the sweetness of the fruit combined with the smokey flavor from the grill. They make quite the summer treat!

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Mix up that French Toast batter and soak those skewers.

If you want to take it a step further, how about adding some French Toast to your skewers? This delicious recipe makes a perfect summer brunch. Serve with some whipped cream on top and some mimosas.


Three grilled lobster tail skewers on a plate with lime slices.

For all you seafood lovers out there, lobster is another tasty grilling option. You can usually find raw lobster tails in the seafood section at your local supermarket. Next time they’re on sale, be sure to grab a few.

To get started, remove the raw meat and cut it into bite-size pieces, and then thread them on your skewers. You can also add some raw scallops and/or shrimp if you want a fancy seafood duo or trio. Baste everything with olive oil, and grill with the lid up, turning each skewer often.

As a final step, squeeze a bit of lemon juice over each skewer and be sure to dip each mouthwatering bite in melted butter before indulging.

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If you really wanna take it up a notch, how about some grilled lobster pops? You’ll need some wooden skewers for this one, and you’ll make your own delicious butter and garlic sauce. Just be sure to memorize the steps because after you make these once, you’re going to get a lot of repeat requests.

Halloumi Cheese

Skewers loaded with halloumi cheese and tomatoes.
Oksana Mizina/Shutterstock.com

If you’ve never grilled up a few slices of squeaky halloumi cheese, we highly recommend you give it a go. Its high melting point makes it the perfect selection for your summer cookout.

To put it on your skewers, just cut the cheese into cubes, and then follow the steps in our grilling guide. Drizzle it with oil and you can grill it directly on the skewers. For an extra summer treat, serve these with watermelon or tomato-basil sandwiches. Yum!

Kebabs can be made with so much more than just chicken and veggies. This grilling season, wow your family and friends with some of these unique and tasty skewer combos, and your cookouts are sure to be the talk of the town.

Emilee Unterkoefler Emilee Unterkoefler
Emilee Unterkoefler is a freelance food writer, hiking enthusiast, and mama with over ten years of experience working in the food industry. Read Full Bio »
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