These juicy Mediterranean Beef Kebabs are packed with flavor and one of our favorite dinners during grilling season. You can serve them with a big salad for a satisfying meal or add lots of side dishes from the grill for a feast.
Meat Cut for Kebabs
I prefer sirloin for kebabs or kabobs. It makes it easy to cut and marinate and I have the grilling time down, with both gas and charcoal grills.
Cut the sirloin in approximately 1 inch cubes pieces. Beef pieces that are too small can dry out quickly while too big pieces can stay raw in the middle. I find that about 1 inch cubes is the perfect balance.
Now, you can’t make everything the perfect size and shape especially if you’re cutting the meat yourself. In this case, when threading the skewers leave the smaller pieces for the edges and bigger pieces in the middle of the skewer.
Marinade for Mediterranean Kebabs
The marinade makes the whole difference for these beef kebabs or kabobs. It’s a simple marinade with olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, Mediterranean sea salt and lots of herbs. You can adjust the herbs to your liking but oil, lemon juice and salt are really the key of the marinade.
Pro tip: If you don’t have fresh lemons, replace lemon juice with red wine vinegar.
The easy thing about this marinade is that it doesn’t have to be prepared separately then poured over the meat. You can just add all ingredients one by one over the beef cubes then mix so the flavors combine. Cover the bowl and let marinate in the refrigerator for about an hour or so.
The herbs give this marinade the distinct Mediterranean flavor. The seasonings you see in the picture below are: Mediterranean sea salt, marjoram, black pepper, oregano, parsley and paprika.
You might be familiar with most of them, maybe slightly less so with marjoram. My paternal grandparents used to use this herb a lot and I always keep some in my kitchen.
Vegetables Used In Kebabs
My favorite vegetables to use in threading beef kebabs are bell peppers of various colors and red onions. You can add so much more!! I just love to keep it simple:).
Also, I tend to always have bell peppers on hand and red onions. So it’s an easy prep.
Other veggies you can add besides bell peppers and onions are mushrooms, zucchinis, squash, grape tomatoes etc. If not focusing specifically on Mediterranean, you can also add fruits like pineapples etc for grilling in the skewers.
Grilling Tips for Beef Kebabs
Kebabs are one of the easiest foods you can grill in my opinion. Light up the grill, make it hot and boom! You have delicious food in about 10 minutes:).
Now, I know it’s not that easy but I love the simplicity of it. There’s less clean up in the kitchen, we’re enjoying time outdoors as we’re grilling and I can hear my kids running in the backyard:).
Here are some additional tips to the recipe for best results.
- Cut beef sirloin in approximately 1 inch cubes.
- Place bamboo skewers in water for about an hour before threading.
- When marinating the meat, place the bowl covered in refrigerator.
- Alternate between beef cubes and vegetables in the skewers.
- Try to keep grill surface temperature about 400 degrees F approximately for best results.
- If area in the middle of the grill tends to be hotter move the skewers from the middle to the sides as they’re close to being done, so create a rotation pattern.
- It takes about 10 minutes grilling the kebabs (halfway through flipping them) for them to be cooked medium. However if grill is not too hot or meat thicker than 1 inch, you need to adjust for time.
- Try to leave a little space in between ingredients in the skewer. It helps cook beef more evenly.
Mediterranean Beef Kebabs
- 1 Outdoor grill either gas or charcoal
- 2 lbs sirloin beef
- 1 red onion
- 3 bell peppers, various colors I love using 1 red, 1 green and 1 yellow or orange bell pepper
- 1 lemon
- 1 tbsp Mediterranean Sea Salt
- 1 tbsp marjoram
- 1 tbsp oregano
- 1 tbsp parsley
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 0.5 cup olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves
- Cut sirloin in 1 inch cubes, add to a large bowl.
- Add all seasonings and salt over the beef. Squeeze lemon and add freshly squeezed lemon juice to the bowl.
- Add olive oil. Mince garlic and add that too. Mix everything together, cover bowl with plastic wrap and store in refrigerator for about 1 hour.
- Place bamboo skewers in the a shallow container with water, fully submerged so they don't burn later on on the grill.
- Wash and dry bell peppers, cut them in square pieces. Peel the onion and cut in large chunks that you can later add to the skewers. Set veggies aside while you light up the grill and prepare for grilling. I try to get to a surface temperature of 400 degrees F.
- Add bell peppers, onions and meat cubes to the skewers alternating to your taste. Leave a little space in between the beef cubes and peppers so the meat can cook evenly.
- Grill for a total of 10 minutes, flipping the skewers at about 5 minutes. However, keep in mind where the heat is concentrated in the grill surface. If some skewers are further away from the heat source, they'll take longer to grill so move the skewers around a bit to give all the kebabs the perfect amount of time at grill temperatures.
- Serve with salad, tzatziki, sauces, pita breads etc. Enjoy:)
- You can replace freshly squeezed lemon juice with 3 ozs of red wine vinegar.
- Use coarse Mediterranean sea salt if possible, it makes a great difference in marinating the beef.
- While beef is marinating, store the bowl covered in plastic wrap in the refrigerator.
- You can use either a charcoal or gas grill.
Yes you can. I use a cast iron grill pan for grilling indoors over the stovetop and they come out delicious. The only downside is that I can make enough kebabs for a family meal but not leftovers indoors. Grill pan is kind of small. So definitely prefer the outdoors grill for making few servings to store for during the week.
It depends where you are from and how people use the name in your area. Usually, these three terms are interchangeable. I remember also in my native country they used the word kebap or shish kebap. Usually all these word iterations refer to grilled meat on a skewer.
My personal experience is red onions. They tend to char beautifully plus their sweetness almost caramelizes in the grill giving a great balance to the marinated meat.
If you would like to save this recipe for later, please pin the below image to your boards in Pinterest. Let me know in comments if you have any questions:). Feel free to tag me in social media with your version of this recipe.
More Grilling Recipes
- Grilled Shishito Peppers (recipe coming this week, see video here)
- Grilled Lamb Kebabs in Cast Iron Pan
- Grilled Chicken Kebabs in Cast Iron Pan
- Grilled Asparagus (video only)
- Grilled Portobello Mushrooms