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Grill It on a Stick

Grilled kebab recipes

Every cuisine has its own version of meat on a stick. And why not? Kebabs pack a big flavor punch, are easy to make, and quick to cook. These twists on classic kebabs use marinades, spice pastes, rubs, and dipping sauces to bring the flavors of Japan, Turkey, India, and Mexico—to name a few—to your own backyard. Need some pointers? See Pete Evans' tips for grilling kebabs, including which skewers are best.


Southeast Asian Chicken Wings

These may look unusual, but stretching out chicken wings on a skewer increases the amount of exposed skin that crisps up during cooking and they absorb more of the marinade and smoky flavors from the grill. What’s more, wings on a stick are fun to eat.

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Beef Kebabs with Cherry Peppers & Oregano

These grilled marinated beef skewers are based on a traditional appetizer at many Boston pizzerias, most famously Santarpio’s in East Boston. Spicy-tangy cherry peppers give the dish a delicious kick.

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Spicy-Smoky Mexican Pork Kebabs

Mexican night just got a little more fun. Here, pork tenderloin is threaded onto skewers, alternating with onion, poblano chiles, and crunchy radishes. Pair the kebabs with Grilled Butternut Squash Skewers or use as a filling for warm tortillas.

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Scallop & Mushroom Rosemary Kebabs

Two for one: Firm, woody rosemary sprigs not only add flavor, but they also make the best skewers.

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Japanese Chicken Kebabs (Yakitori)

In Japan, yakitori (which means “grilled bird” in Japanese) can be made from any part of the chicken, including the liver, heart, and gizzard; this version pairs thighs with a sweet-and-savory soy-ginger marinade, which is also used as a basting sauce that caramelizes on the chicken as it cooks.

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Lamb Skewers with Green Olive & Mint Sauce

Cook these cumin-scented lamb kebabs over the grill or under the broiler, then drizzle on the chunky olive-mint vinaigrette. For a complete meal, serve the kebabs on a bed of couscous tossed with diced red peppers, and Cucumber & Feta Salad with Mint & Dill on the side.

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Turkish Lamb Kofte

Found all over Turkey and the Middle East, köfte (KOF-ta) are essentially meatballs, often made from lamb. They’re traditionally served with warm flatbread, raw onions, and plain yogurt, but they're also delicious paired here with a bright, tangy yogurt sauce.

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Grilled Chicken & Strawberries with Balsamic Syrup

It’s not the protein on a skewer here, it’s the chicken’s sweet and savory accompaniment. Grilling gives the strawberries a slightly smoky flavor and a striking appearance. Balsamic vinegar adds a rich note that highlights and deepens the flavor of both and ties the meal together.

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Lamb Kebabs in Pomegranate-Walnut Marinade

We're inspired by the Kebab-e Torsh in Louisa Shafia's book The New Persian Kitchen. The sweet-and-sour kebabs are from Gilan Province in northern Iran, where people like their food extra tart.

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Indonesian Beef Satay

Satay is a street-food favorite for a reason: the meat is tender as butter and beautifully charred, and the sauce is rich and spicy. This version substitutes cashews for the traditional peanuts, giving the sauce an ultra-creamy texture and flavor.

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Spicy Grilled Pork & Grape Kebabs

Based on traditional tapas from Spain, the spice rub for these kebabs is made of a fragrant mix of curry powder, cumin, paprika, coriander, and cinnamon. It can also be used to flavor grilled vegetables, chicken, or other meats.

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Cypriot Sausage Kebabs (Sheftalia)

These savory sausages, which come from the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, can be grilled on skewers or directly on the grill. The trick to really great sheftalia is to ask your butcher to grind the pork butt for you. Regular ground pork is so lean, the sheftalia will likely be too dry if you use it.

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Lemony Moroccan-Style Chicken Kebabs

The trick to these citrusy kebabs is actually microwaving the lemons to duplicate the flavor of preserved lemons. Then, the lemon peel is puréed and incorporated in both an herb-spice marinade and a lemon-yogurt sauce.

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Grilled Steak Kebab Pitas with Ginger & Garlic Dressing

Add some Mediterranean flair to tonight's grilled steak. These kebabs are simple yet flavorful; the ginger and garlic dressing drizzled over the meat and vegetables adds plenty of zing to the finished dish.

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Indian Chicken Tikka

Not to be confused with chicken tikka masala, the creamy tomato-and-chicken curry beloved (and claimed) by Brits and Indians alike, chicken tikka refers to yogurt-marinated grilled chicken kebabs, native to India.

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Ancho-Marinated Pork and Mango Skewers

Skewering chunks of meat along with vegetables or fruit is a great way to bring sensible portions to your cookout: You get the perfect protein portion, but your plate is dominated by two big, bountiful, meaty kebabs.

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Honey-Glazed Chicken, Sweet Potato, and Peach Skewers

Here, juicy chunks of chicken, sweet potatoes, peaches, and onions are grilled with a sweet-tart glaze, then sprinkled with crunchy grilled spiced pecans.

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Grilled Lamb-Kebab Salad with Cucumber, Tomatoes & Pita

Main-dish salads are summer's answer to the one-bowl weeknight meal, while kebabs are summer's answer to all-in-one grilling. They're super easy to put together, and in this case, light but complete.

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Beef Kebabs with Soy Sauce, Cumin & Orange Zest

Here, tender and juicy rib-eyes absorb an Asian-inspired marinade made with soy sauce, garlic, cumin, coriander, citrus, and a pinch of cayenne for a little heat to counter the sweet.

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Sesame-Ginger Tofu & Shiitake Kebabs

Extra-firm tofu is meaty and filling, and absorbs the potent flavors of a marinade, making it a fine addition to summer kebabs, whether you're a strict vegetarian or just an occasional one.

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Spicy Thai Shrimp Kebabs

These kebabs incorporate two flavorful sauces: one with garlic, ginger, jalapeño, and scallions to brush on just before grilling, and the other with lemongrass, lime, cilantro, basil, and sriracha for drizzling and dipping.

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Punjabi Lamb Kebabs

This basic Indian kebab recipe hasn't changed much since the sixteenth century, though it does includes chilies and chaat masala, a spice mixture containing sour mango powder, roasted cumin, cayenne, and other seasonings.

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