These Pineapple Pork Kabobs are sweet and savory and grilled to perfection. Served with a healthier Hawaiian Macaroni Salad, this delicious backyard dinner feels like Oahu on a plate and only takes 30 minutes! This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Smithfield® Marinated Fresh Pork. The opinions and text are all mine.
I have been lucky enough to visit Hawaii more than once. My dad was stationed there for several years with the Army.
Hawaii is absolutely, positively beautiful. But I have a confession to make. It’s not going to be easy to hear, and I accept that I’ll take some harsh judgement for it. Here goes. I’m not exactly a beach person.
My parents, they’re beach people. They can lay on the beach for the entire day and they build their weekends around it. I lived in San Diego for five years, and I think I could probably count on one hand how many times I sunbathed on the beach.
I’m more of a nighttime beach person, if that makes sense. I swear I’m not a vampire (although my pale skin may convince you otherwise), I just love night bonfires on the beach and sunset walks. Perhaps it’s my previously mentioned exceedingly pale skin or my intense aversion to crowds that have helped form my strong opinion on the beach at day. But I don’t think so. I think it’s because of how much I love the stillness and pure beauty of the sand and the open ocean at night.
The most amazing thing about Oahu is that you can easily enjoy the beach after the sun sets. You can have dinner or a Mai Tai outside on the sand, amidst a Tiki torch-lit sky. You can partake in Kalua pig and stunning Hawaiian performers and Hula dancers at a luau.
This recipe reminds me of Hawaii.
Have you ever had an authentic Hawaiian Lunch Plate? The meat portion of the plate may be Kalua pork, Lau Lau, or maybe Chicken Katsu. Some side dishes may be Lomi Lomi or Chow Mein or a sweet coconut haupia.
But almost always, what is consistent and remains the same about a Hawaiian Lunch Plate is the two scoops of white rice and the Hawaiian macaroni salad, often just referred to as mac salad.
For my trip down tropical memory lane, I combine marinated pork and pineapple to form deliciously sweet and savory kabobs and pair it with my version of Hawaiian Macaroni Salad, which happens to be a bit healthier, too.
These Pineapple Pork Kabobs are sweet and savory layers of marinated pork loin, fresh pineapple, bell pepper, and red onion. Grilling pineapple does something truly magical to it indeed. It caramelizes the natural sugars present in the tropical fruit, creating a deeper, golden sticky-sweetness that pairs perfectly with the pork.
Naturally, since this post is Hawaiian themed, I had to serve these pineapple pork kabobs with a scoop each of white rice and macaroni salad.
Hawaiian Macaroni Salad isn’t too different from your basic recipe. Typically, the base dressing for the macaroni salad is thinner and has more vinegar than usual and the macaroni is usually cooked until much softer than al dente. However, I prefer my pasta to have a bite. I did take a page out of Hawaiian Mac Salad’s book, but I also edited it quite a bit. I make the recipe much healthier by using way less mayo and no milk.
The macaroni salad uses whole wheat pasta and is bulked with plenty of veggies, which add both fiber and crunch. The dressing is made from mostly Greek yogurt, a bit of mayo and crème fraîche, and apple cider vinegar.
The star of the Pineapple Pork Kabobs is, of course, the pork itself.
Smithfield is my go-to when it comes to grilling season. Here, I used Smithfield Slow Smoked Mesquite Flavor Fresh Pork Loin Filet. The pork is already marinated and bursting with smoky, savory flavor. I cut the tender pork loin into cubes for the kabobs, and they grill up perfectly and quickly.
Cutting the pork loin into 1 1/2″ cubes is the perfect size to ensure they cook through without drying out. Pork loin or pork tenderloin are excellent choices for kabobs, and buying them pre-marinated is not only a great time saver, but it ensures that the meat stays moist and tender during the grilling process.
Smithfield offers several marinated fresh pork options for grilling season, so be sure to check them out and get some tasty inspiration, and get Real Flavor, Real Fast!