This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Safeway. All opinions are 100% mine.
This grilled shrimp grain bowl is packed with the fresh flavors of summer grilling. Hearty grains are tossed with an herb citrus vinaigrette then topped with grilled shrimp, bell pepper, zucchini, pineapple, and avocado. Serve with a sprinkle of fresh herbs for an inspired summer grain bowl you’ll be coming back to all season long.
Whether you plate it up or serve it family style, it’s a great meal for those at-home celebrations happening all summer long. It’s time to bring out your grill and enjoy the bounty of summer at it’s finest.
Thank you Safeway for sponsoring today’s post. To learn more, check out their website at Safeway.com.
We all know that delicious summer eats and outdoor grilling goes hand in hand. From the aroma of seafood, meat, and veggies wafting in the air, to the simple fact that your kitchen stays nice and cool, there is a lot to love about summertime grilling.
For many people grilling means hotdogs and hamburgers, but there are so many more things you can do with your grill! You can grill peaches and serve them with caramel ice cream, or grill a strip steak and turn it into tacos. Your options are only limited by your imagination.
Kind of like making this grilled shrimp grain bowl. It starts with a layer of hearty grains tossed in a citrus herb vinaigrette and is topped with some of my favorite summertime flavors: shrimp, zucchini, bell pepper, pineapple, and avocado.
The result is a bowl full of flavor perfect for summertime celebrations. We may all be staying in more than usual these days, but that is all the more reason to make the best of the celebrations we do get to share.
Seafood and Summer Produce at Safeway
Before we dive into the ins and outs of the recipe, I want to give a big thank you to Safeway for working with me for today’s recipe. Safeway is my go-to local grocery store. It’s got most of what I need to stock my pantry, while being convenient enough for a quick dash to the store for that one forgotten item. Everything used in this grain bowl including the veggies, seafood, grains, and spices can be found at your local Safeway.
If you don’t have a Safeway in your area, you can also find quality grilling essentials at the Albertsons Companies family of stores, including Albertsons, ACME Markets, Jewel-Osco, Vons, Randalls, Shaw’s Supermarket, Star Market, Tom Thumb and Vons.
Grilling Seafood and Veggies the Easy Way: Skewers
It’s really hard for me to pick out the best thing about summer grilling. Is it the smells, the tastes, the ease of handing it off to my husband and having him do the cooking? It’s probably all of the above.
On the other hand, the worst thing about summer grilling is easy: it’s when food falls apart and drops down into the fiery depths of your grill. Granted this happens less with burgers and hot dogs, but don’t let it dissuade you from grilling something new! Afterall, there is an easy solution: meet the skewer. Available in wood or metal, they both work and they both have their advantages.
Metal skewers are reusable, dishwasher safe, won’t flare up, and many of them on the market today have a wide flat shape that help keeps food in place without spinning. Wooden skewers are cheap and can be discarded after a single use. If you go with wood, don’t forget to soak them at least an hour prior to use to help prevent flare ups.
Grilled Shrimp Skewers
For grilling shrimp, skewers are the way to go. A single skewer will hold between 4 – 10 shrimp, depending on the size of your shrimp. It makes for quickly and easily flipping without overcooking and minimal loss. Try it and you’ll be grilling shrimp skewers all summer long.
Pro Tips: As hard as it may be to resist, don’t blend your shrimp and veggies on the same skewer. You can better control the cooking time if you keep shrimp on one and veggies on the other.
For best results: stack them, brush with a high heat oil, then add your seasonings.
Grilled Fruit and Vegetable Skewers
Just like shrimp skewers, fruit and veggie skewers make it even easier to grill more of your summer favorites with less of the mess. Bell peppers, slices of zucchini, and chunks of pineapple all become easier to manage on the grill when they are threaded together on a skewer.
If you run out of skewers (like I do when I make this with small shrimp) you can keep your pineapple in spears, grilling first and chopping into chunks second.
Homemade Citrus Herb Vinaigrette
This grain bowl features a sweet and tangy citrus herb vinaigrette dressing. As a huge fan of homemade salad dressing, this is one of my favorites. It’s very flexible and very forgiving.
I use shallot for a little sharpness, lime juice for the tang, and mandarin orange juice for the sweetness. Want less tang and more sweet? Use more mandarin juice and less lime.
The herbs pictured are a combination of parsley and cilantro, which I keep on hand most of the time. Don’t like cilantro or parsley? Swap in basil, tarragon, chives, dill, or any other soft leafy herb. Things like sage and rosemary have a little too much texture, but if you love them, by all means try it.
The mustard gives a little bit of depth of flavor, but it’s also there to help the vinaigrette emulsify without breaking apart. If you are opposed to mustard, use the same amount of mayo instead. Half the dressing goes on the herbs and I serve the remaining dressing at the table.
Serving Grain Bowls
One of my favorite thing about grain bowls is that they are so versatile in how you serve them. You can go super casual or notch it up to fancy, the choice is yours.
Are you having a relaxed family gathering? Lay the skewers out buffet style and let everyone serve themselves by sliding the food off the skewers as they fill their plate.
Maybe your vibe is a little more celebratory. Perhaps it’s Father’s Day and you are dining alfresco. You want everyone at the table, but maybe not everyone wants to eat the same thing. Serve it up family style! Plate each element of the grain bowl separately and let everyone grab what they want from passed bowls.
At our home I’m usually cooking for two, so I tend to serve plated meals. While having a plated dish may seem a little fancy, it’s also means I don’t have serving bowls to clean. That may mean we eat these grain bowls at the table, but it may also mean we eat them on the couch.
Grilled Shrimp Grain Bowl Recipe
Loaded with summer’s bounty, this grilled shrimp grain bowl is filled with fresh produce and a tangy homemade herb citrus vinaigrette. Veggie and shrimp skewers make for easy grilling that is perfect for summer celebrations all season long.
- 8 mini bell peppers
- 2 medium zucchini
- 1/2 pineapple
- 1 ripe avocado
- 1 lb peeled and deveined large shrimp*
- 2 - 4 TBSP high heat oil such as avocado or grapeseed
- Old Bay Seasoning (optional)
Herb Citrus Vinaigrette
- 6 TBSP olive oil
- 2 TBSP lime juice
- 2 TBSP mandarin juice
- 3 TBSP minced shallot
- 2 TBSP minced leafy green herbs (cilantro, parsley, basil, etc)
- 1/4 tsp dijon mustard
- pinch of salt
- 4 servings of whole grains, prepared according to package directions
Preheat the grill to medium heat.
Prepare the Grains
- Prepare four servings of your grain of choice according to the package directions.
Prepare the skewers, one type of vegetable/fruit/shrimp per skewer:
- Chop off tops of peppers and remove the seeds. Place 4 mini peppers per skewer.
- Chop zucchini into 1" rounds and slide onto skewers.
- Remove the peel from the pineapple and chop into wedges. Chop wedges into chunks and place on skewers.*
- Cut avocado in half, removing peel and seed.
- *Arrange shrimp on skewers, making sure the shrimp are touching, but not crowded.
- Starting with the fruit or veggies and finishing with the shrimp to avoid cross contamination, brush all sides of every skewer with high heat cooking oil.
- Season the veggie skewers with salt and pepper. I highly recommend the old bay seasoning for the shrimp, pineapple, and avocado, but you can use just salt and/or pepper if you prefer.
Prepare the Herbed Citrus Vinaigrette
- In a small mixing bowl or dressing bottle (a small canning jar works well) combine together the olive oil, lime juice, mandarin juice, minced shallot, minced herbs, dijon mustard, and salt. Whisk or shake to mix completely.
Grill the Skewers
- Grill the skewers over direct, medium high heat. Flip all skewers half way through the grilling time to ensure even cooking. The avocado is grilled on the cut side only.
- The following times are estimates and should be adjusted as needed: Bell Peppers - 4 minutes per side, Zucchini - 4 minutes per side, Shrimp - 2 - 5 minutes per side (depending on size), Pineapple - 3 minutes per side, Avocado - 4 minutes.
Assemble the Grain Bowls
- Toss the cooked grain with about half of the vinaigrette.
- Serve shrimp and veggies on skewers for a buffet, remove veggies from skewers and place in serving bowls for a family style gathering, or assemble the grain bowls and serve plated.
- Start with grains, top with shrimp, fruit, and veggies, then add additional vinaigrette if desired. Garnish with additional chopped herbs.
If using wooden skewers soak them in water for at least one hour prior to grilling to prevent flare ups.
Smaller shrimp will require more skewers and cook faster than larger shrimp. If you don't have enough skewers, the pineapple can be grilled in spears and chopped into chunks later.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 582Total Fat: 37gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 30gCholesterol: 239mgSodium: 1130mgCarbohydrates: 34gFiber: 7gSugar: 14gProtein: 30g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Nutritionix and is for general information purposes only. For the most accurate information, calculate using your select brands and exact measurements.