Sweet Spiced Pork Kebabs Recipe

Sweet Spiced Pork Kabobs
Patsy Catsos, MS, RDN, LD
Total Time: 22 min
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 12 min
Servings: 6 (2 kebabs each)

Nutrition Highlights (per serving)

178 calories
9g fat
9g carbs
16g protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 (2 kebabs each)
Amount per serving  
Calories 178
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 9g 12%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 47mg 16%
Sodium 132mg 6%
Total Carbohydrate 9g 3%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 7g  
Includes 0g Added Sugars 0%
Protein 16g  
Vitamin D 1mcg 5%
Calcium 24mg 2%
Iron 1mg 6%
Potassium 342mg 7%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.

Pork and apples are a classic combination, but apples are high in FODMAPs. This IBS-friendly variation uses grapes instead of apples to lend sweetness, for a festive and attractive main dish or appetizer. Kebabs can be assembled ahead of time and refrigerated until grill-time for convenience.

Research shows that replacing some of your beef and chicken consumption with pork may lead to significant reductions in weight, BMI, waist circumference, body fat percentage, fat mass, and abdominal fat. Researchers concluded that adding pork to your diet can improve metabolic health.


  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. ground fenugreek seeds
  • 1/4 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lb. pork loin chop
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh basil (24 large leaves)
  • 24 large red globe grapes


  1. Soak twelve 10-inch wooden skewers in water for at least 20 minutes, to prevent the wood from burning on the grill.

  2. In a small bowl, combine cumin, fenugreek, allspice, cardamom, salt, and pepper and set aside.

  3. Cut the pork into uniformly-sized 3/4-inch cubes. Sprinkle the spice mixture onto the pork cubes and stir until well coated.

  4. Start each kebab by sliding a cube of pork onto the skewer. Wrap a basil leaf around a grape and thread it onto the skewer so that the leaf is pierced in two places and trapped in place.

  5. Continue threading, alternating with pork cubes, until each skewer has three pieces of pork and two basil-wrapped grapes, being careful not to leave any gaps. Leave room on the ends of the skewer to handle the kebabs.

  6. Preheat the gas grill (or, if using charcoal, allow coals to burn until they are covered with a thin layer of gray ash). Grill for 10 to 12 minutes, turning occasionally until pork is only slightly pink in the middle or to your desired level of doneness.

Ingredient Variations and Substitutions

Red globe grapes work best in this recipe, as their size and firm skin will help them survive grilling without falling off the skewer, but other grapes may also be used.

Kebabs can also be broiled. Place an oven rack about 3 inches below the heating element at the top of your oven and preheat the broiler. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spread out the kebabs on top of the foil. Broil, watching closely and turning several times until pork has reached the desired level of doneness. Grapes may start to caramelize in places and will soften somewhat.

Cooking and Serving Tips

  • To dry basil leaves after washing them, pat them with paper towels or spin them dry in a salad spinner.
  • Serve these kebabs on their own as an appetizer or over greens in a salad. Or, serve them over a grain of your choice to make them into a hearty meal.
  • Fenugreek seeds are not often encountered in Western cooking and may be hard to find outside specialty shops. If you can get your hands on some, they will probably be whole, and you will have to grind them yourself. You may want to toast them first, in a dry skillet, for some extra flavor. If you can't track them down, don't worry; this recipe will be lovely without them, too.

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  1. Murphy KJ, Thomson RL, Coates AM, Buckley JD, Howe PR. Effects of eating fresh lean pork on cardiometabolic health parametersNutrients. 2012;4(7):711-723. doi:10.3390/nu4070711