27 Best Grilled Kabob Recipes

Egyptian-Style Chicken Kebabs on a platter with tomato slices and peppers

The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

Fill your summer with a flavorful array of grilled kebabs. While they're most often associated with the Middle East, their ease and versatility have spread worldwide. Ideal for any protein, from meats like lamb, chicken, pork, or beef to vegetarian options, kebabs are the perfect opportunity to taste international cuisines without leaving home.

The word kebab is Turkish for "skewer." It's also spelled kabab, kabap, and kebap, and shish (or sheesh) kebab is likely the most familiar for many people. No matter what you call it, the kebab is simply meat threaded onto a skewer, either alone or with veggies, then grilled. The beauty of kebabs is that the large cubes of meat cook faster than whole cuts, so they require just a few minutes on a hot grill.

Beyond having a well-stocked spice cupboard, there are a few keys to a successful kebab barbecue. First, many recipes rely on a marinade, so you'll want to plan ahead and give those spices 30 minutes to several hours to permeate your protein of choice. Then, you'll need to prepare the skewers. While metal options are convenient and reusable, you can also go the classic route with bamboo. You'll need to soak bamboo skewers so they don't burn on the grill. With everything prepped and the grill hot, simply oil the grates, then turn the kebabs often to ensure even cooking.

With those tips in mind, let's explore all of the fantastic kebab recipes you won't want to miss.

  • 01 of 27


    Kabob Koobideh (Persian Grilled Kebabs) on a platter with an onion salad

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

    Persian bazaars are famous for koobideh. A grilled minced meat skewer of beef and lamb, the flavor combination of garlic, onion, sumac, and turmeric is sure to please. Wrap it in flatbread or serve them alongside steamed rice; these kebabs are fabulous either way.

  • 02 of 27

    Tavuk Şiş Turkish Kebabs

    Basic turkish chicken kabobs

    The Spruce Eats 

    It is said kebabs most likely originated in Turkey centuries ago. Therefore, the flavor of many classic recipes is relatively simple compared to modern renditions of today. This Turkish chicken kebab recipe is a must-try for that authentic taste that started a worldwide sensation.

  • 03 of 27

    Adana Kebabs

    Adana Kebab (Ground Lamb Kebab)

    The Spruce Eats / Armando Rafael

    The Turkish city of Adana lays a more specific claim to the kebab's origins. These Adana kebabs skewer ground lamb seasoned with cumin, garlic, onion, and sumac, and you can turn up the heat with extra chili red peppers.

  • 04 of 27

    Shish Kebabs

    Traditional shish kebabs

    The Spruce Eats / Abbey Littlejohn 

    Lamb is the traditional choice for shish kebabs. After sitting in a marinade of cumin, ginger, and lemon, the meat is ready to be skewered along with bell peppers and red onions. All you need is a side dish or two for a complete meal.

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  • 05 of 27

    Egyptian-Style Chicken Kebabs

    Egyptian-Style Chicken Kebabs on a platter with tomato slices and peppers

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

    A mixture of classic Middle Eastern spices turns these Egyptian-style chicken kebabs into an incredible main dish for any barbecue. Using a yogurt marinade also ensures they come off the grill perfectly tender and juicy.

  • 06 of 27

    Moroccan Lamb Kebabs

    Classic Moroccan Lamb or Beef Kebabs (Brochettes) on a platter

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

    These Moroccan lamb kebabs are also excellent when made with steak. Called brochettes, they're often served for special occasions, though the zesty spice blend of onion, herbs, paprika, and cumin is easy enough for everyday dinners.

  • 07 of 27

    Moroccan Beef Koftas

    Moroccan beef koftas recipe

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

    Moroccan kofta features spiced ground meat that uses a binder, such as an egg, so they stay on the skewer while grilling. With an array of spices, this simple recipe is ideal for pita sandwiches or a beef main that just needs a few sides for dinner.

  • 08 of 27

    Moroccan Chicken Kebabs

    Moroccan chicken or turkey kebab brochettes

    The Spruce Eats

    This Moroccan chicken kebab recipe is simply delicious. Its marinade is a combination of garlic, ginger, paprika, parsley, and turmeric. While optional, it's also an excellent excuse to hunt down saffron threads for your pantry.

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  • 09 of 27

    Moroccan Grilled Fish Kebabs

    Moroccan Fish Kebabs

    Images of Africa / Getty Images

    To ensure it doesn't fall apart on the grill, choose a firm white fish like halibut or mah-mahi for this Moroccan fish kebab recipe. The garlic and onion marinade includes cilantro, paprika, and turmeric with a bit of chili powder for extra heat that's sure to tantalize everyone's taste buds.

  • 10 of 27

    Greek-Style Lamb Kebabs

    Greek Style Lamb Kabobs with Pita and Tzatziki Sauce

    Lauri Patterson / Getty Images

    A kebab's meat and veggies are fantastic for sandwiches. Once off the grill, roll these Greek-style lamb kebabs into pitas with homemade tzatziki and salad greens for a light yet delicious meal.

  • 11 of 27

    Indian Seekh Kebabs

    Indian Seekh Kebabs

    The Spruce Eats / Kristina Vanni

    This Indian-inspired seekh kebab recipe is a fantastic spin on the classic dish. The spiced ground lamb (or meat of your choice) is formed into long sausages that are then skewered and served with raw onion rings.

  • 12 of 27

    Chicken Tikka

    Remove from skewers and put the chicken on a plate.

    The Spruce Eats

    Chicken tikka is a favorite Indian dish that's popular throughout the world. You can skip the sauce and clay tandoor and turn to your grill to make this kebab-style version that is delightfully familiar.

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  • 13 of 27

    Tandoori Paneer Tikka Kebabs

    Tandoori Paneer Tikka Kebabs

    The Spruce Eats / Ahlam Raffii

    You cannot go wrong with tandoori paneer tikka kebabs for a vegetarian option exploding with color and flavor. Spiced with your favorite tandoori masala mix, the cubed paneer is skewered with onion and bell peppers.

  • 14 of 27

    Reshmi Kabab

    Reshmi Kabab With Marinated Chicken

    The Spruce Eats / Kristina Vanni

    Succulently juicy, reshmi kababs produce unforgettable chicken. The Indian specialty includes almonds, coriander, garlic, ginger, and onion, in the yogurt-based marinade, and it's excellent with chutney and naan.

  • 15 of 27

    Tikka Boti

    Tikka Boti

    The Spruce Eats / Sabrina S. Baksh

    Not the typical choice to tenderize meat, the tikka boti recipe uses fresh papaya, but the finished dish is anything but fruity. Instead, you'll be treated to the savory flavor of cumin, ginger, garlic, and onion, with a tangy touch of lime.

  • 16 of 27

    Shrimp Kebab

    Grilled Shrimp With Garlic Butter Dipping Sauce Recipe

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

    Shrimp kebabs are among the easiest to cook because you know they're done when they turn pink. They're also fantastic with garlic, and this recipe includes a garlic butter dipper with Worcestershire and hot sauce for a nice kick of flavor.

    Continue to 17 of 27 below.
  • 17 of 27

    Romanian Chicken Kebabs

    Romanian Chicken Kebabs (Frigarui) on a plate with cucumber slices

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

    Popular street food in Romania, frigarui is a delectable chicken kebab dish. The marinade features garlic, ginger, lemon, and yogurt enhanced with your choice of fresh herbs. It's the ideal base for the creamy garlic sauce.

  • 18 of 27

    Serbian Kebabs

    Serbian Barbecued Shish Kebabs - Raznjici on a platter

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

    In Serbia, kebabs are known as raznjici, and there are many variations to explore. This recipe takes a casual approach to the flavor, adorning pork with garlic, onions, and a generous amount of bay leaves.

  • 19 of 27

    Lamb Shashlik Kebabs

    Grilled Lamb Shashlik Kebabs

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

    In Russia and Central Asia, you'll find shashlik. Marinated lamb is a traditional choice for this kebab, while separate skewers include cherry tomatoes, green peppers, and onions. It's excellent when served with a salad and rice or couscous.

  • 20 of 27

    Thai Satay Kebabs

    Superb Thai Beef Satay!

    The Spruce Eats / Darlene Schmidt

    Satay is the Southeast Asian version of kebabs that uses thin strips of meat rather than cubed ingredients. This satay recipe marinades beef with classic ingredients found in Thai cuisine.

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  • 21 of 27

    Yakitori Negima

    Yakitori Negima (Japanese Grilled Chicken and Scallion Skewers) on plates

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

    Chicken breast and long pieces of scallions form yakitori negima, a Japanese dish that works as an appetizer, tapa, or main. It's extremely easy, and the homemade tare is a simple basting and 3-ingredient dipping sauce anyone can pull together.

  • 22 of 27


    Japanese Beef Skewers (Kushiyaki)

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

    While yakitori is all about chicken, kushiyaki is used for any skewered and grilled Japanese dish. Beef flank steak is the meat of choice for this kushiyaki recipe, and the marinade includes soy sauce, sake, ginger, garlic, and sesame seeds.

  • 23 of 27

    Pork Pinchos

    Pork Pinchos on a Skewer

    The Spruce Eats / Eric Kleinberg

    Kebabs in the Caribbean are called pinchos, and they're popular finds at roadside food stands. After a 20-minute marinade, these garlicky pork pinchos are ready for the grill, so they're one of your quickest options.

  • 24 of 27


    Traditional churrasco skirt steak recipe

    The Spruce Eats / Victoria Heydt

    Barbecuing in Brazil and many parts of South America often involves churrasco. Incredibly quick, this churrasco recipe uses skirt steak and a homemade chimichurri sauce, and it's ready to eat in 30 minutes.

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  • 25 of 27

    Anticuchos de Carne

    Grilled beef anticuchos de carne

    ​The Spruce Eats / Nita West

    Peruvian-style anticuchos are made with beef or chicken and a vinegar-based marinade. This incredible anticuchos de carne recipe uses sirloin and definitely doesn't skimp on the garlic or chile paste.

  • 26 of 27

    Mexican Fajita Kebabs

    Mexican Fajita Kebabs on a platter

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

    It's easy to transform your grill into a fajita-making machine! The Mexican fajita kebab recipe cooks the London broil with peppers and onions, leaving you with perfectly tender beef that simply needs tortillas, salsa, guacamole, and sour cream.

  • 27 of 27

    Greek Kebab Marinade

    Greek Beef Marinade for Roasts, Steaks, and Kebabs

    The Spruce Eats / Christine Ma

    This Greek kebab marinade is ideal for beef, pork, poultry, or fish. The base includes a combination of red wine vinegar, garlic, and thyme, and it's an excellent use for the mild flavor of Greek oregano.