Skewer Recipes

These skewer recipes will prove that these "handy" appetizers are as much fun to make as they are to eat

colored skewers

First, learn all you need to know about using skewers and preparing easy and fun skewer appetizers. The best and least expensive of all skewers is the good old toothpick which can be wooden, plastic, colored and frilled. Look for skewers at a party supply store, drugstore, supermarket or liquor store.

Although these skewer recipes seem lengthy and complicated, they are flavor packed bites of deliciousness.

Any of these skewer recipes can be turned into a larger kebab for serving at a formal or informal dinner party

Beef and Coconut Satays
Makes about 20 6-inch skewers. Recipe easily doubles

10 ounces lean ground beef
1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut
1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon unsulphured molasses
2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for grilling

20 6-inch wooden skewers or toothpicks

In a bowl, combine the ground beef, coconut, soy sauce, molasses, ginger,lime juice, salt, turmeric, pepper and the 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Mix with your hands to combine the ingredients.

With lightly moistened hands, roll 1 tablespoon of the meat mixture around bamboo skewer into a 6-inch long strip about 1/3 inch thick. Repeat until all of the meat mixture is used up.

Light a grill. When the fire is hot, oil the grill. Arrange the skewers at the edge of the grill (so they don't burn) and cook the sates, turning often, until the meat is lightly charred and just cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. Serve at once. Alternatively, place skewers on a broiler pan and cook until meat is done and lightly charred.

Vegetable Kebabs with Greek Marinade
Makes about 15 6-inch kebabs

4 garlic cloves -- minced
3 bay leaves
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon oregano -- chopped
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1 large red bell pepper -- cut into 1-inch dice
1 medium sweet onion -- cut lengthwise into 4 wedges
2 small zucchini -- cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1 pound boiled small potatoes

Wooden skewers or toothpicks

For the marinade, stir all of the ingredients together in a bowl.

To make the kebabs: Light a grill. Thread the vegetables onto skewers. Brush generously with the marinade and cook over a medium-hot fire, basting a few times with the additional marinade, until the vegetables are tender and lightly charred, about 4 minutes per side. Alternatively, place kebabs on a broiler pan. Broil until vegetables are tender and lightly charred

Chicken Vegetable Skewer Recipe
Makes about 10 skewers, recipe easily doubles

1 boneless,skinless whole chicken breast, cut into approximately 20 1-inch cubes
1 small onion cut in 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 large red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch squares
1/2 large green bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch squares

Sweet and Sour Marinade
1/2 cup orange, grapefruit or pineapple juice
tablespoon sweet sherry

1/4 cup dark soy sauce
1/4 cup chicken stock
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 teaspoon tomato paste
2 tablespoons brown sugar
pinch of ground ginger

20 6-inch wooden skewers presoaked in cold water

Combine all the liquid marinade ingredients in a glass or plastic bowl. Add the tomato paste, sugar and ginger. Mix well. Add the chicken and stir to coat thoroughly. Cover and marinade in the refrigerator for 30 minutes

Prepare the vegetables. Place about 5 alternating pieces of chicken and vegetables on the presoaked skewers. Pack loosely. Reserve the marinade

Preheat a grill pan, broiler or heavy-bottomed skillet. Use vegetable oil if necessary. Place the kebabs in the pan and cook, turning often, until the chicken is browned and cooked through, about 10 minutes. Baste with marinade for the first 5 minutes only, otherwise kebabs will burn.

Pile the chicken and vegetable skewers high on a platter lined with romaine lettuce leaves if desired. Serve hot, warm or at room temperature

Helpful Hints
Substitute 20 large shrimp for the chicken. Marinade up to one hour. Skewer one shrimp per skewer and 3-4 pieces of vegetable. Cook shrimp until just pink, about 5 minutes.

Make Ahead
Prepare marinade up to 2days in advance. Keep covered in refrigerator. Marinate the chicken up to 8hours in advance. Skewer up to 3 hours in advance. Keep refrigerated until ready to cook

Chicken Satay with Quick Peanut Sauce
Makes about 20 satay

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts

2 tablespoons peanut oil
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon minced garlic
Dash of hot pepper sauce
Pinch of salt and ground black pepper

20 6-inch wooden skewers presoaked in cold water

Cut the chicken into 1/2 inch wide strips and thread them onto the skewers. Arrange the skewers in a single layer in a shallow dish or zip lock plastic storage bag. Mix the marinade ingredients together in a small bowl and pour over the chicken. Cover bowl or seal bag and marinate for 4-6 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degreesF. Remove the skewers from the marinade, removing some of the marinade,and lay them out in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until just tender.

Quick Peanut Sauce
About 1/2 cup

3 tablespoons peanut butter
2 tablespoons rice or white wine vinegar
1 garlic clove, finely minced or put through a press
2 teaspoons soy sauce or to taste
1/2 teaspoon chile oil OR 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil + 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
Warm water

Combine all ingredients except salt. Add warm water to make peanut sauce the consistency you wish. Add salt to taste.

Make Ahead
Prepare marinade up to 2 days in advance. Keep covered in refrigerator
Prepare peanut sauce 1 day in advance. Briefly microwave to remove chill and loosen consistency.

Lamb Skewers with Grainy Mustard Dipping Sauce

Serves about 15 as an appetizer. Recipe easily doubles

Lamb and Marinade
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
2 tablespoons red wine
2 tablespoons rosemary leaves
2 garlic cloves -- smashed
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
3/4 pound boneless trimmed lamb loin -- halved lengthwise

Mustard Dipping Sauce
1/4 cup whole-grain mustard
3 tablespoons crème fraîche OR 3 tablespoons heavy cream
1 1/2 teaspoons honey
Cayenne pepper
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Wooden skewers or toothpicks

In a blender or mini-processor, combine the vegetable oil, onion, wine,rosemary, garlic and Dijon mustard and blend until smooth. Transfer the marinade to a resealable plastic bag, add the lamb and refrigerate overnight.

In a small bowl, combine the whole-grain mustard,créme fraiche, honey and a pinch each of cayenne and black pepper;whisk until smooth.

Remove the lamb from the bag and scrape off the marinade. Heat the olive oil in a skillet. Season the lamb with salt and black pepper, add it to the skillet and cook over high heat until browned, about 3 minutes on each side for medium rare. Transfer the lamb to a cutting board, cover with foil and let stand for 10minutes.

Thinly slice the lamb, fold the pieces and spear them on wooden picks. Transfer to a platter and serve immediately with the mustard dipping sauce


Cumin Scented Moroccan Kebabs with Minted Yogurt Dip
Makes about 20, estimate about 3 pieces per guest. Recipe easily doubles

3/4 pound lean ground lamb
1 medium onion, grated
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
grated zest from 1 lemon
2 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

For Dip
3/4cup whole-milk yogurt (not light or fat-free)
1/4 cup mint, finely chopped
1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
juice of 1/2 lemon
Salt and cayenne pepper to taste

20 6-inch wooden skewers presoaked in water

Place lamb ,onion, garlic, cumin, coriander, lemon, cilantro, salt and cayenne in a food processor. Pulse until combined and slightly pasty. Divide into about 20 equal sized pieces and with wet hands, roll into oval,tube-like shapes.

Thread 1 shaped piece of meat on to each presoaked skewer. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile make the dip. Combine yogurt, mint, parsley, and lemon. Add salt and cayenne to taste. Cover and chill of 30 minutes to allow the flavors to blend.

Preheat broiler. Broil kebabs until browned but still pink and juicy inside, about 3 minutes per side. Serve hot with chilled dip

Helpful Hints
Lamb may be substituted with any type of ground meat. If you do not like mint, omit and use a little more parsley If using ground beef or pork, use a salsa or cheese sauce for the dip

Make Ahead
Prepare, shape and freeze lamb ovals up to 1 month in advance. Allow to thaw slightly before cooking. Cooking time may need to be increased by 1 minute or so.

Skewered Shrimp Marinated in Lime-and-Basil Vinaigrette
Makes 36. Recipe easily doubles or triples

36 medium shrimp
3/4 cup lime juice (from about 6 limes)
3 tablespoons grainy mustard
1/8 teaspoon sugar
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
3/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup fresh basil, chopped
10 scallions, including green tops, sliced thinly

18-366-inch wooden skewers

In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the shrimp until just done, about 2 minutes. Drain immediately. Peel shrimp when cooled. In a medium bowl, whisk the lime juice with the mustard, sugar and salt. Add the oil slowly, whisking. Stir in the basil and scallions.

Depending on the size of the shrimp, thread 1-2 shrimp onto each skewer. Pour the vinaigrette into as hallow bowl. Add the shrimp, with the ends of the skewers sticking out of the bowl.

Make Ahead
Cook the shrimp up to 1 day in advance.Do not peel. Keep covered and chilled. Prepare marinade up to 1 day in advance. Cover tightly and refrigerate. Marinade shrimp up to 1 hour before serving. Keep chilled. 

Tangy Thai Shrimp Skewer Recipe
Makes 20, recipe easily doubles or triples

20 medium to large shrimp, cooked and peeled
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 inch piece fresh ginger, grated
1 red chili, seeded and finely chopped
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon fish sauce
Juice of 1 lime

20 toothpicks or 3-inch wooden skewers

Pat cooked shrimp dry with paper towels. Combine shrimp, garlic, ginger, chili, sugar, sauce and lime in a glass bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 1hour.

Remove shrimp from marinade and remove most of ginger and chili peppers. Skewer shrimp with toothpicks and arrange on platter, up to 2 hours in advance. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve

Lemon Chili Shrimp Sticks
Makes 20, recipe easily doubles or triples

2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 inch piece fresh ginger, grated
tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
1/3 tablespoon hot chili sauce (sambal)
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1tablespoon honey
3tablespoons lemon juice
20 raw medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

20 6-inch wooden skewers presoaked in cold water

Combine marinade ingredients in a glass or plastic bowl. Add the shrimp and toast coat each one well. Cover and refrigerate for 1hour.

Preheat broiler, griddle or grill. Cook shrimp until they turn pink and lose their transparency, 2 minutes per side. Serve hot, warmer at room temperature.

Make Ahead
Prepare marinade 1 day in advance, keep covered in the refrigerator. Marinate shrimp for up to 3 hours in advance. Skewer up to 1 hour in advance. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve

As an appetizer, fruit is as delicious and nutritious as vegetables.

Tropical Fruit Kebabs
Makes about 20 skewers, varies by amount of fruit

2 large mangos
3 firm kiwi
1/4 to 1/2 melon of choice

20 wooden party toothpicks or skewers

Cut each fruit into approximately 20 1/4 to1/2 inch cubes (depending on sizes of fruit). Thread 3-4different fruit cubes on to each skewer. Cover and refrigerate.

Serve chilled fruit kabobs with chilled fruit dip

Easy Fruit Dip Recipe
About 1 cup

1 cup sour cream or vanilla yogurt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract

Combine ingredients. Serve chilled with your favorite selection of sliced fruit

Make Ahead
Dip and fruit kebabs can be made up to 1 day in advance. Cover well and chill.


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