Middle Eastern Beef Shish Kebab Recipe

Middle Eastern Beef Shish Kebab Recipe

The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 30 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
397 Calories
30g Fat
0g Carbs
31g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 397
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 30g 38%
Saturated Fat 8g 41%
Cholesterol 104mg 35%
Sodium 64mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 0g 0%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 31g
Vitamin C 0mg 2%
Calcium 27mg 2%
Iron 2mg 13%
Potassium 392mg 8%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

You will love the colors in this beef shish kebab recipe. The brightness of the veggies against the darkness of the beef on a bed of hot white rice is just plain appetizing. And the marinade makes the beef tender, and delicious.

In the Middle East, kebabs are not always prepared on a skewer and do not always consist of cubed meat and veggies.

Since kebabs are prepared in just about every Middle Eastern country, there are several spellings, such as kabob, kebob, kebap, kabab, and kebab.


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  • 2 pounds beef sirloin, or beef tenderloin, cut into 1-inch cubes

  • 1/2 cup olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika

  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic

  • Red onion wedges, bell peppers, and mushrooms, optional

Steps to Make It

Marinate the Beef

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Middle Eastern Beef Shish Kebab Recipe ingredients

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  2. About 24 hours prior to grilling, prepare the marinade by combining olive oil, vinegar, cumin, coriander, paprika, and garlic.

    prepare the marinade by combining olive oil, vinegar, cumin, coriander, paprika, and garlic

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  3. Pour marinade into a freezer bag and add beef cubes. Allow marinating in the refrigerator until ready to grill.

    marinade and beef in a plastic bag

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

Grill the Kebabs

  1. Remove beef from the refrigerator and thread meat onto metal skewers that have been sprayed with cooking oil. If using the optional vegetables, thread them onto separate skewers because they cook differently than the beef. Alternatively, you may also use wooden skewers which have been soaked in water for 30 minutes.

    beef and vegetables on skewers

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  2. Coat the grill grates with cooking oil to prevent sticking. Grill for 5 to 7 minutes on each side or until desired doneness.

    beef and vegetable skewers cooking on a grill

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  3. Serve kebabs on the skewers or off the skewers over a bed of white rice, with grilled veggies.

    Middle Eastern Beef Shish Kebabs served on rice

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi


  • The type of skewer you use is very important when making kebabs. Flat, stainless steel skewers seem to work well because the meat and vegetables cling to the skewer better than wooden kinds.
  • If you do use wooden skewers, it is best to soak them in water for about 15 minutes before use because they can splinter. Do not use heavy cubes of beef or weigh down wooden skewers, as they will split in half.
  • Regardless of what type of skewer you use, be sure to apply a light coat of cooking oil before threading vegetables and meat. Your meats and veggies will slide off with ease.

Charcoal vs. Gas Grills

For an authentic-tasting kebab, a charcoal grill is better than a gas grill in terms of flavor, but it is a matter of personal taste as to which type of grill to use.

What Exactly Is a Shish Kebab?

A shish kebab is a skewer of meat and vegetables that are usually grilled. It can contain lamb, beef, fish, or chicken, as well as vegetables like green peppers, onions, and mushrooms.

Kebabs have become very popular in Western food culture over the last few decades and are commonly referred to as "shish kebab" at cookouts and on American menus. Shish kebab translates to "skewer of grilled meat" and encompasses many variations of the kebab.