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Our Shish Kabobs are made with tender sirloin steak that’s marinated in a delicious Middle Eastern-inspired blend of pomegranate juice and spices.
Tender, juicy sirloin – seasoned and grilled to perfection – only gets better when you add some bright, crisp veggies to go along with it. Our delicious Shish Kabobs are a great option to serve at a summer cookout, or for a quick weeknight meal when you’re in the mood to grill.
Served with a simple macaroni salad, potato salad, or tossed greens salad with our favorite vinaigrette, you’ll have a delicious, quintessential summer menu! And better yet – after marinating, these kabobs cook to perfection in under 20 minutes.
What are Shish Kabobs?
Shish Kabob comes from Turkish words with Shish (or şiş) referring to the spit or skewer, while Kabob (or kebap) is the meat – traditionally lamb or mutton.
In America today, Shish Kabob simply refers to any ‘meat on a stick’ – often with vegetables as well – and it’s more-commonly made with marinated beef or chicken.
For our Shish Kabob recipe today, we use tender pieces of marinated sirloin – a lean, flavorful beef that is well-suited for marinating and grilling. You can easily substitute lamb, pork, or chicken in this recipe if you’d like – the marinating and cooking method is the same regardless of which meat you choose.
Why You’ll Love Our Shish Kabobs!
- Our unique marinade – Made of pomegranate juice and a variety of different seasonings, this marinade tenderizes the beef and adds great flavor.
- The meat and veggie combo – No side dishes needed. This pairing is filling enough to make a healthy meal all on its own. (It’s a great option if you’re eating low carb!)
- Easy preparation – Most of the work for this recipe is in chopping and skewering. You can do most of the prep ahead of time, OR get your dinner guests involved and have them help assemble the skewers while you get the grill going.
Key ingredients and Substitutions
- Beef sirloin – We chose Certified Angus Beef Petite Sirloin for our recipe today. This tender cut was much less per pound than center cut sirloin steaks and, in our opinion, the perfect cut for kabobs. The beef is trimmed and cut into 1 ½ inch cubes.
- Marinade – Our marinade includes pomegranate juice and fresh parsley – two ingredients used in many Middle Easter dishes – plus garlic, thyme, soy sauce, and Dijon mustard. The marinade is poured over the beef cubes and marinated overnight.
- Fresh Vegetables – For even cooking, we cut colorful bell peppers, red onion and baby bella mushrooms into pieces the same size as the beef cubes. These three vegetables cook at the same rate as the marinated beef – and pair nicely with the beef too. Other vegetables can be used, but they may need more or less cooking time so plan accordingly.
For uniform cooking, you’ll want the vegetables to be the same size as the meat. We like to set one cube of sirloin out on the cutting board, then use it as a size guide while we chop the veggies.
Special Supplies Needed
- Skewers – We prefer flat metal skewers but you can use round, or wooden skewers. If you are using wood skewers you will need to make sure to soak them in cold water for an hour or more so that they don’t burn when you’re grilling.
- A Grill – An outdoor grill is ideal since these kabobs must cook on a high heat, and they will likely smoke up your kitchen if cooked inside. In a pinch, you can cook these indoors on a ribbed pan, but we don’t recommend it.
We use flat metal skewers which eliminates the need for soaking, and also prevents the ingredients from spinning when you turn them on the grill. But, if you are using round or wooden skewers, prevent spinning by using two skewers for each kabob. To do this, simply thread a skewer with meat and veggies as described above, then carefully insert a second skewer right alongside the first.
How Do I Make Shish Kabobs and Marinade?
- Marinate – This marinade is as easy as combining and blending all ingredients. Add your trimmed and chopped meat and marinate for a minimum of 12 hours or overnight.
- Prep and Chop – If you’re using wooden skewers, soak your skewers while you chop the vegetables. Then, following our instructions below, trim and chop all the veggies. The most important part here is that the veggies are roughly the same size as your meat pieces. This will ensure uniform cooking of the meat and the vegetables.
- Assemble – To assemble the kabobs, drain from the marinade and pat the meat dry. Thread the veggies and meat onto the skewers, alternating ingredients. We like to start with a curl of a thick pepper piece at the base as it’s most secure.
- Grill – Start with clean, oiled grill grates. Cook the kabobs, giving them a quarter turn every few minutes.
- Serve – Serve hot off the grill, but be careful because the metal skewers will be hot. Enjoy!
Frequently asked Questions
- What should I serve with Shish Kabobs? The great thing about Kabobs is that they pair with almost any side. Serve these alongside your favorite pasta, potato, or green salad. Or, make a few extra and serve the meat and veggies as a stand-alone meal.
- Can I prepare these a day or two in advance? The meat will need to marinate overnight so you will want to do some prep ahead of time. To prevent them from drying out, the veggies will be best chopped just before grilling. But if you do want to chop everything up the night before, just be sure to seal the veggies in an airtight container or baggie until ready to use.
- Are Shish Kabab, Shish Kebab, and Shish Kabob the same thing? Yes – just different spellings for essentially the same dish. They all originate from the Turkish word şiş kebap.
You might like these other skewered recipes:
- Pork and Apple Skewers With Orange Balsamic Glaze
- Sesame Chicken Skewers with Sriracha-Soy Dipping Sauce
- Grilled Chicken Skewers with Thai Chili Peanut Sauce
- Lemon-Glazed Swordfish Skewers Over Rice
- Sweet and Spicy Shrimp, Pineapple and Bacon Skewers
3 pounds good quality sirloin steak (we used Certified Angus Beef Petite Sirloin steak which was cheaper than sirloin strip steak)
2 cups 100% pomegranate juice (Pom Wonderful is a readily-available brand often sold in the produce section of your supermarket)
1 cup packed fresh parsley with stems (Pack it into the cup measurer tightly)
2 large garlic cloves, peeled
1 tablespoon fresh thyme or half that of dried
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons agave nectar or honey
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
¼ cup good quality extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt
4–5 large bell peppers; red, orange and yellow
2 large red onions
8 ounces cremini mushrooms, also known as baby bella (try to find uniformed sized mushrooms)
½ cup olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Oil, to oil the grill grates
Trim any excess fat or gristle from the beef, then cut the steaks into uniform pieces 1 ½ inches in size.
Place all marinade ingredients into a blender and puree to a liquid. The marinade will be green from the parsley.
Place the beef into a gallon zip lock bag and pour in the marinade. Zip shut and marinate overnight or for at least 12 hours.
To cut the peppers, trim off the top and bottom and discard the stem and core. Then cut each pepper in half from top to bottom.
With a small paring knife, trim off and discard the inner white cells. You now have two cleaned pieces per pepper. Each half pepper will then be cut into six or eight square 1 ½ inch pieces, depending on the size of the pepper.
To prepare the onions, trim the top and bottom off then slice in half along the middle. Lay each half down and cut into four wedges. Two adjoining onion pieces will be placed together on the skewers as you build.
Depending on the mushroom size, you will either cut in half, thirds or quarters, as long as they are close to the size of the other ingredients.
To assemble, drain, rinse and pat the beef dry.
If using wooden skewers, make sure they were soaked, otherwise start threading the ingredients onto the skewers by starting with the curl of a thick pepper piece curled in to hold the other ingredients. Then alternate at your will. We alternated with yellow pepper, onion, beef, red pepper, onion, beef, mushroom, beef, orange pepper, onion, beef, mushroom, onion and finished with another yellow pepper curled in towards the food to hold everything in tight. You will have enough to complete ten skewers.
Lay finished skewers onto a sheet tray and pour on half the olive oil, half the salt and half the pepper. Turn each one over and repeat with remaining olive oil, salt and pepper.
Heat grill to the hottest temperature and clean grill grates.
When ready to grill, oil grill grates with vegetable oil then place all ten skewers onto the grates and cook 3-4 minutes per side, turning a quarter turn each time, total 12-16 minutes. We closed grill cover between sides to help speed things along.
Use pot holders to lift the skewers out and onto a serving platter.
Serve immediately but warn guests that the metal skewers are hot. Or slide the meat and vegetables onto the serving platter for serving.
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