These grilled pork kabobs are loaded with lean protein, sweet pineapple, and colorful vegetables all glazed with a flavorful sweet and sour sauce. Sweet and Sour Pork Kabobs are a fresh and healthy summer meal!
These fun Sweet and Sour Pork Kabobs are loaded with all the ingredients you would expect in the popular takeout dish. Chunks of pork, fresh pineapple, carrots, bell peppers, and red onion glazed in a delicious sweet and sour sauce. The only thing missing is the outrageous fat and calorie count you find in restaurant versions.
Marinated and grilled chunks of lean pork create these healthy pork kabobs with less than 200 calories and 6 grams of fat per skewer. Packed with 20 grams of protein each, you can enjoy two kabobs for a super satisfying, low calorie meal.
Table of contents
Easy Grilled Pork Kabobs
Kabobs are one of my favorite things to make during summer grilling season. I just love the “meal on a stick” concept and the fact that you can get most of the prep done in advance.
This recipe allows you to get the meat marinating and prep the pineapple and veggies up to a day in advance so you’ll be ready to assemble and grill the kabobs when you’re ready.
Sweet and Sour Marinade Ingredients
- 100% pineapple juice – You want to use 100% real pineapple juice with no sugar added.
- Unseasoned rice vinegar
- Dark brown sugar
- Low sodium soy sauce – Or tamari for a gluten-free marinade.
- Ginger root – You can used minced or grated fresh ginger or ginger paste.
- Minced garlic
- Cornstarch and water – For a cornstarch slurry to thicken the glaze.
- Pork tenderloin – This cut is a powerhouse of lean protein but low in fat and calories. It’s super versatile and the perfect choice for kabobs.
A portion of the flavorful marinade is reserved to be thickened and used as a glaze for the kabobs.
Grilled Pork Kabob Ingredients
- Carrots – Peeled and cut into 1- inch chunks. This might be a surprising item for kabobs but grilled glazed carrots are delicious! They need to be boiled briefly in advance to soften them enough to thread on to the skewers (see recipe card).
- Cubed fresh pineapple – Don’t be tempted to use canned pineapple. The pieces are too small and the texture of grilled fresh pineapple chunks are so much better.
- Bell peppers – Cut into 1 ½ -inch pieces. I use a red pepper and green pepper for color.
- Red onion – Cut into 1 ½ -inch pieces
- Olive oil – For the fruit and veggies plus a little more for oiling the grill grates.
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Marinated pork chunks
I use 12-inch metal skewers when making kabobs. If using wooden skewers, place them in a long container, cover with water, and soak them for an hour or more to help prevent them from burning on the grill.
How to Make Sweet and Sour Pork Kabobs
This is a brief overview of the main steps of this recipe. Detailed instructions and amounts are included on the recipe card at the end of this post.
- Whisk together the marinade ingredients and place the cubed pork tenderloin in a zippered plastic storage bag.
- Measure out and transfer about half of the marinade and refrigerate it for later. Pour the remaining marinade over the pork in the bag, seal the bag and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Pork does not break down as easily as chicken when marinated in acidic ingredients like pineapple juice. It should be marinated a minimum of 2 hours and the texture will remain intact even if marinated overnight.
Assemble and Grill the Kabobs
- While the grill is heating, toss the pineapple, peppers, carrots, and onion with olive oil, salt and pepper.
- Assemble the skewers by threading them with an equal amount of pork, veggies, and pineapple. Discard the pork marinade.
- For the glaze, pour the reserved marinade into a small saucepan and combine it with the cornstarch slurry. Cook and stir until the mixture has thickened. Set it aside while you grill the kabobs and it will continue to thicken a little more.
Grill the kabobs until well browned on one side, then flip and baste them with the sweet and sour glaze. Continue cooking until the cubes of pork have reached a minimum internal temperature of 145 degrees F. and the veggies are fork tender.
What to Serve with Pork Kabobs
Storage and Reheating Tips
Promptly refrigerate any leftovers in an airtight container for up to three to four days. Reheat in 30 second increments in the microwave, just until warmed through.
More Delicious Pork Recipes
- Air Fryer Pork Chops (Gluten Free and Keto)
- Tender Baked Pork Chops
- Ground Pork Stir Fry with Zucchini and Mushrooms
- Southwestern Pork Tenderloin
Sweet and Sour Pork Kabobs
- 2½ pounds pork tenderloin, cut into 1-½ inch cubes
- 3 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1- inch chunks (about 2 cups)
- 2½ cups cubed fresh pineapple, from 1 pineapple (slice 1-inch thick, then cube)
- 2 large or 3 small red and/or green bell peppers, cut into 1 ½ -inch pieces
- 1 large red onion, cut into 1 ½ -inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus additional as needed for brushing the grill
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Sweet and Sour Marinade and Glaze
- ¾ cup 100% pineapple juice, 1 6-ounce can
- ½ cup unseasoned rice vinegar
- ¼ cup ketchup
- ¼ cup dark brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce, or tamari for gluten free
- 2 teaspoons grated or minced ginger root, or ginger paste
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon water
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
Marinate the Pork
- Place the pork pieces in a gallon size zippered plastic storage bag and set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the marinade ingredients through the salt (reserve water and cornstarch for later). Measure out and transfer 1 cup of the marinade (about half) to a small container and refrigerate for later. Pour the remaining marinade over the pork in the bag. Press out as much air as possible, seal the bag, and transfer it to the refrigerator. Marinate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Prepare the Carrots
- Add about 1-inch of water to a saucepan and place over HIGH heat. Bring to a boil and add the carrots. Reduce heat to LOW and cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until just fork tender (tender enough to pierce with the skewers). Transfer to a colander and rinse with cold water until cool enough to handle. Drain well and set aside.
Assemble the Kabobs
- If using wooden skewers, place them in a long container and cover with water. Soak them for an hour or more to help prevent them from burning on the grill.
- When ready to cook, prepare the grill (start the coals or preheat a gas grill over MEDIUM heat).
- While the grill is heating, place the pineapple, peppers, carrots, and onion in a large bowl, toss with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and season with ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
- Assemble the skewers by threading them with an equal amount of pork (about 3-pieces each skewer), veggies, and pineapple. Discard the pork marinade.
Make the Glaze
- Combine the cornstarch and water in a small bowl. Pour the reserved marinade into a small saucepan and place over MEDIUM-LOW heat. Add the cornstarch slurry and stir, cooking until the mixture has thickened. Remove from the heat and set the glaze aside.
Grill the Kabobs
- Brush the grill grates with olive oil, if needed. Transfer the skewers to the grill and cook for 5 to 6 minutes, or until nicely browned. Flip the kabobs, brush the grilled side with the glaze, and cook for an additional 4 to 5 minutes or until the pork reaches a minimum internal temperature of 145 degrees F. and the veggies are fork tender. Flip them once more and brush with any remaining glaze. Transfer the kabobs to a serving platter and serve.
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