Hawaiian Pizza Skewers

published Jun 9, 2022
summer
Hawaiian Pizza Skewers Recipe
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These Hawaiian pizza-inspired skewers are for all the Hawaiian pizza lovers out there (myself included). Although Hawaiian pizza is a divisive dish, I would encourage the skeptics to give these kebabs a try. The skewers are salty and sweet and smoky — and absolutely delicious. Who knows? You might be swayed!

Credit: Photo: Christopher Testani; Food Styling: Jessie YuChen; Prop Styling: Carla Gonzalez Hart; Napkin Courtesy of Block Shop Textiles

Traditionally, Hawaiian pizza is topped with cooked ham (usually Canadian bacon), pineapple, cheese, and pizza sauce. Because I couldn’t literally turn Hawaiian pizza into skewers (and believe me I tried), I took the salty, sweet, tart flavors I love about Hawaiian pizza and stacked it on a stick, along with a few non-traditional additions. 

Credit: Photo: Christopher Testani; Food Styling: Jessie YuChen; Prop Styling: Carla Gonzalez Hart; Blanket Courtesy of Happy Habitat

What Do You Need for Hawaiian Pizza Skewers?

  • Ham steak: For nice thick pieces of ham, I went with cubes of ham steak for these skewers. Its salty smokiness is perfect on the grill.
  • Pineapple: Pineapple is a non-negotiable here, of course. Cubes of freshly cut pineapple get warm and juicy and caramelized as they cook on the grates.
  • Halloumi: Halloumi — perhaps the star of the show — is a stand-in for the mozzarella. Because halloumi doesn’t melt, it holds up well on the grill (something that can’t be said for mozzarella balls … ask me how I know this). Halloumi’s bouncy chew is a fun addition to the skewers and adds the salty, creamy, cheesy flavor that every pizza — or pizza skewer — needs.
  • Red peppers and onions: While not a common topping on a Hawaiian pizza, the red peppers add some additional color and texture. The red onions give the skewers a little bite to balance the rich, salty ingredients.
  • Hawaiian-style barbecue sauce: The Hawaiian-inspired barbecue sauce rounds everything out and ties the skewers together with its sweet-tangy flavor. I like using Sweet Baby Ray’s Hawaiian Style Barbecue Sauce, but you can also make your own by mixing barbecue sauce with pineapple juice and ketchup. It’s great brushed on the skewers, but you might want to make a bigger batch so you can use it for brushing on chicken and ribs and hot dogs all summer long.

What Should I Serve with Hawaiian Pizza Skewers?

Because these skewers focus more on the pizza toppings than the crust, a carb would be a nice addition. Serve the skewers with steamed white rice, crusty bread, or pita bread and more barbecue sauce for drizzling or dipping.

Hawaiian Pizza Skewers Recipe

Prep time 30 minutes

Cook time 10 minutes

Makes 8 to 10 skewers

Serves 4

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 8 to 10

    (10 to 12-inch) skewers, soaked for at least 30 minutes if wooden or bamboo

  • 1/2

    small pineapple, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 2 cups)

  • 12 to 16 ounces

    (about 1/2-inch thick) ham steaks

  • 1/2 cup

    Sweet Baby Ray’s Hawaiian Style Barbecue Sauce (see Recipe Notes)

  • 1

    medium red bell pepper

  • 1

    small red onion

  • 1 tablespoon

    canola oil, plus more for the grill

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 (about 8-ounce) package

    halloumi cheese

Instructions

  1. If using wooden or bamboo skewers, soak 8 to 10 in water for at least 30 minutes. If using an outdoor grill, heat for direct, medium heat (about 300ºF). Meanwhile, prepare the skewers.

  2. Trim and cut 1/2 small pineapple into 1-inch squares that are about 1/2 inch thick and place in a medium bowl. Cut 12 to 16 ounces ham steak into 1-inch squares. Pat the ham dry with paper towels. Add the ham and 1/2 cup Sweet Baby Ray’s Hawaiian Style Barbecue Sauce to the pineapple and toss to combine.

  3. Trim and cut 1 medium red bell pepper into 1-inch pieces. Cut 1 small red onion into 1-inch pieces. Place both in a small bowl, add 1 tablespoon canola oil, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and a pinch of black pepper, and toss to combine.

  4. Pat 1 (about 8 ounce) package halloumi cheese dry with paper towels. Heat a small nonstick frying pan over medium-low heat. Add the halloumi and fry until light golden brown on two bigger sides, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a cutting board and cut into 1-inch cubes.

  5. Assemble the skewers: Thread the ham, pineapple, bell pepper, onion, and halloumi onto the skewers, alternating them (they can be touching). Place on a baking sheet.

  6. When the grill is ready, scrub the grates clean if needed. Oil the grill grates with a paper towel dipped in canola oil. (Alternatively, heat a grill pan on the stovetop over medium heat and oil the grates.) Place the skewers on the grill and grill uncovered, turning the skewers every few minutes, until charred in spots, 6 to 10 minutes total.

Recipe Notes

Grilling the halloumi: Instead of cooking on the stovetop, you can grill the halloumi over medium heat until grill marks appear on two sides, 2 to 3 minutes per side.

Barbecue sauce: To turn a regular barbecue sauce into Hawaiian-style barbecue sauce, mix 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons regular barbecue sauce, 1 tablespoon pineapple juice, and 2 teaspoons ketchup together.

Make ahead: The skewer components (except the halloumi), can be cut up to 2 days in advance and refrigerated in airtight containers. Toss with sauce or seasonings right before assembling.

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.