The Easy Guide To Crafting Creative Kabobs The Low Carb Way
You’d be hard pressed to find a food that represents the low carb lifestyle more perfectly than a delicious kabob, fresh from the grill. They’re high in protein with plenty of vegetables and very low in carbs, and kabobs make it easy to create delicious, healthy meals that everyone will absolutely love. Join us as we share some of our favourite kabob combos, along with some flavourful marinades & seasonings that you’ll be eager to try!
It can be tough to come up with new ideas for your weekly meal plans to keep you inspired and avoid getting stuck in a rut of the same old recipes. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to shake up your schedule with creative meal ideas that are never the same twice, and kabobs are a great example. Even for such a simple concept of grilled meat and veggies on a skewer, kabobs (AKA: kebabs) offer virtually unlimited flavour combinations and taste experiences that will make sure that you’re never bored at the dinner table.
Kabobs are not a difficult meal to prepare. In fact, they’re one of the easiest healthy meals you can make that also offers a ton of different ways to customize the tastes to suit virtually anyone’s personal preference. Kabobs generally consist of meat, a variety of vegetables, and some type of marinade or seasoning, and that’s really it. There’s no rules dictating what you absolutely have to have on your kabob, so if there’s one particular veggie that you’re not fond of, you can always swap it out for one you do prefer. This kind of cooking really lets you have fun with all kinds of unique combinations, making it a fun and creative meal idea for families to enjoy preparing together.
So, how do you get started in picking the various ingredients to have on hand to make your creative low carb kabobs? Well, like we said earlier there really are no hard and fast rules to it, but there are a few common things that most people do tend to find work best in a kabob. Let’s start with the most widely used meats and proteins for delicious low carb kabobs.
Best Meats To Use In Low Carb Kabobs
Beef – Beef is probably the most popular protein you’ll find in kabobs. It’s versatile and works with a very wide range of marinades and seasonings, from sweet and savoury to hot and spicy. Beef is usually cut into cubes, and can either be marinated for extended periods of time to infuse the meat with flavour all the way through, or can be seasoned directly while grilling for a different kind of taste experience.
Chicken – Chicken really can be used for pretty much anything, and works great as a meat for your kabobs. Like beef, chicken is cut into cubes and can also be marinated or seasoned while grilling. Many people prefer chicken over beef for all sorts of reasons, but ultimately it just comes down to personal preference. Boneless skinless chicken breast is the optimum choice to use for chicken kabobs.
Pork – Pork kebabs are popular in many types of Mediterranean kitchens, with pork souvlaki skewers being one of our personal favourite dishes to enjoy as part of our low carb meal plans. Pork loin is generally considered to be the preferred cut to use when making pork kabobs, as it tends to have the best combination of texture and cooking consistency when grilled in cubes, but you can always try other types of pork if you want to get experimental.
Lamb – Traditional ‘shish kebab’ is made with lamb, as this style of cooking originated in the Middle East where lamb features very prominently in the regional cuisine. As such, lamb carries a certain prestige among kabob makers as the original meat that started it all. Lamb does tend to be a little more on the expensive side when compared to some other kabob meat options, but some say that the tenderness and flavour of a lamb kabob cannot be equaled. You’ll have to try it for yourself to know for sure!
Shrimp – Lighter seafood-style kabobs are super popular these days, with many of them being made with big, plump shrimp. Shrimp are great for grilling, work with all kinds of marinades and seasonings, and are a great alternative when you want to make your kabobs with something other than the usual beef/chicken/pork protein selections. It’s important to note that shrimp definitely cooks faster than most other proteins, so this may affect the veggies you choose to go with your kabob.
Scallops – Sea scallops are another great way to make fresh seafood kabobs that feature a totally different taste profile than other meats. Like lamb, scallops can be a little more expensive, especially since you need bigger ones to work best on a skewer, but you’ll be treated to a very unique dining experience that is unlike any other kabob combo. Check your local specialty seafood shop to find out when scallops are in season, and be sure to plan for a seafood grilling night when the scallops are at their best.
Choosing a meat for your kabob is one thing, but it won’t be a meal until you add a selection of delicious vegetables into the mix. This is definitely where your personal preferences can be unleashed, as there are all kinds of vegetables that work great in kabobs. However, it’s important to be aware of the cooking profiles of different vegetables, as some will cook much faster or slower than others. This can result in either the meat or the veggies being overcooked or undercooked, neither of which is what you’re after. Here’s some points to know about the best low carb veggies for kabobs.
Best Vegetables To Use In Healthy Shish Kebabs
Onions – Onions are standard issue when making kabobs, as they bring a ton of flavour. Most often you’ll see red onions or sweet onions in kabobs, depending on the taste profile you’re going for. Onions can also be chopped into thinner pieces to match meats that cook faster, or cut thick and chunky to be better suited to kabobs that need a little more time on the heat.
Peppers – When you want colourful kabobs that are also bursting with fresh summery flavour, peppers are a must-have. Bell peppers in bright shades of green, red, yellow and orange really make your meal come alive on the plate. If you’re in the mood for a little heat to accentuate your kabobs, poblano peppers are big and chunky enough to work well on a skewer. Poblanos have a nice, gentle warmth to them, falling just below the ubiquitous jalapeno pepper on the Scoville scale.
Tomatoes – Cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes are a very common addition to kabob skewers, and are a good match to all types of meats that you may want to use. Plus, their bright red colour looks spectacular on the skewer. They cook fast, but many people actually prefer them when they get very soft, so don’t be afraid to test them out with a wide variety of meat and veggie combinations.
Zucchini – For a flash of bright green on your skewer, zucchinis are the way to go. They’re a very sturdy vegetable, and stand up well to the high heat of the grill. Zucchini can be sliced thin or cut up thick depending on how long you intend to cook them and what kind of texture you’re aiming for, making them very useful for lots of different kinds of skewers.
Mushrooms – Mushrooms love to absorb the flavours of whatever other foods they’re cooking with, so they are ideal to place beside your marinated meats and veggies that have bolder flavours like onions. You’re going to want to leave your mushrooms whole or in large chunks to ensure they don’t get too overcooked, since the high heat will make them soften fast.
We’d be willing to bet that your mind is already coming up with different meat and veggie combos that you want to cook up, but before you rush to the kitchen to start chopping things up, you’ve got to think about what kind of overall flavour you want to try. Here’s a selection of delicious meat marinades that are all perfectly suited to the low carb lifestyle. They’re low in sugar, and big on flavour, which is exactly what you want in a kabob meat marinade.
Low Carb Sugar-Free Meat Marinades
Kabobs are a huge part of Greek cuisine, and this sugar-free steak marinade from Primal Kitchen is a perfect way to enhance the flavours of a traditional Greek dish with a delicious twist. By combining savoury herbs, zesty citrus, and sugar-free ingredients, this marinade brings out the natural succulence of the steak while infusing it with vibrant Greek-inspired aromas. Without the overpowering sweetness of traditional marinades, the savoury notes of this steak sauce shine through, creating a well-balanced and tantalizing taste experience. Whether it’s the tender chunks of marinated steak or the vibrant medley of vegetables threaded on skewers, this sugar-free marinade elevates the Greek kabobs to a whole new level, delighting the palate with its flavorful, guilt-free indulgence.
Fusing American barbecue with eastern influences, G. Hughes Smokehouse Orange Ginger Marinade was destined for kabobs. Marinade your beef, pork, or chicken with this beautiful blend of sweet and savoury flavours, and be sure to make plenty, because these delectable kabobs won’t last long once they come off your grill. G.Hughes Smokehouse also offers other marinades like Lemon Herb, which is amazing on seafood like shrimp and scallops, or classic Teriyaki, all with zero sugar content.
Korean BBQ is hugely popular across North America these days thanks to its unique flavour profile and ability to accentuate virtually any kind of meat, including beef, pork, chicken, and seafood. Fody Foods perfected their Keto-friendly Korean BBQ marinade using certified vegan ingredients, and went the extra mile to even make their recipes ‘gut friendly’, so they are fantastic for people with digestive issues. Check out Fody Foods’ other sauces like Chipotle and Teriyaki for more kabob cooking inspiration.
With a name like The Garlic Box, you probably know what to expect in terms of flavour from their marinating splashes, but that’s when the unmistakable hit of horseradish in their Horseradish Garlic marinating splash wakes up your taste buds. If you’re making beef kabobs, this is one marinade you’ve absolutely got to try, but don’t think that it’s a one-hit wonder. You’d be amazed at how great it tastes with chicken and pork, too. Be sure to check out The Garlic Box’s Garlicky Chili Lime Chicken Splash, too. You’ll be glad you did!
Other Low Carb Grilling Tips & Ideas
Summer is made for firing up the grill and we have loads of other great grilling posts for additional inspiration! Whether you need something quick, or you’re having friends around for a meal, we’ve got tips and tricks to make sure you make the most of your precious grilling season. And it goes without saying that everything is low carb or keto friendly. Now get out there and get that grill fired up!
- Propane vs Charcoal – which is better?
- Grill Cleaning Guide – cleaning & replacing worn out parts.
- Grilling Gadgets – technology and gadgets to max out your grilling success.
- General Low Carb Grilling – covers a variety of low carb grilling ideas & suggestions.
- General Open Fire Cooking – general tips and suggestions for cooking with an open fire.
- Five Delicious BBQing Recipes – shrimp, .jerk ribs, bacon cheese dogs, potato salad, brie stuffed burgers.
- Marinades and Barbecue Sauces – yummy low carb marinades and BBQ sauces.
- Keto Side Dishes – find great ideas for healthy keto friendly sides to pair with your favourite protein.
- Amazing Smoked Meats – cooking it low and slow for mouth watering meats.