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Cypriot Sausage Kebabs (Sheftalia)

Scott Phillips

Servings: 6

These savory sausages, which come from the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, can be grilled on skewers or directly on the grill. Regular ground pork is so lean that it can lead to dry sheftalia, so ask your butcher to grind some pork butt for you.


For the sheftalia

  • 1 lb. ground pork butt
  • 1/2 small yellow onion, finely chopped (1/3 cup)
  • 3 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 medium clove garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. dried mint
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 12-inch flat skewers (soaked in water for 30 minutes if wooden)

For the tahini sauce

  • 1/4 cup tahini (sesame paste)
  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice; more to taste
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt; more as needed
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne; more as needed
  • Vegetable oil, as needed

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 280
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 200
  • Fat (g): 23
  • Saturated Fat (g): 6
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 4.5
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 11
  • Cholesterol (mg): 50
  • Sodium (mg): 320
  • Carbohydrates (g): 4
  • Fiber (g): 1
  • Protein (g): 16


Make the sheftalia

  • Using your hands, gently mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl until combined. Wet your hands and divide the pork mixture into 6 portions. Rewetting your hands as necessary to avoid sticking, squeeze each portion of the pork tightly around a skewer to form a long, ridged cylinder. Transfer to a baking sheet, loosely cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 and up to 4 hours.

Make the tahini sauce

  • Put all of the ingredients and 1/4 cup water in a food processor and process until smooth. (Alternatively, whisk in a large bowl; the texture of the sauce will be a bit more coarse.) Season to taste with more salt and cayenne. Set aside. (You can make the sauce up to 1 day ahead; cover and refrigerate.)

Grill the sheftalia

  • Prepare a medium (350°F to 375°F) gas or charcoal grill fire for direct grilling. Oil the grill grate. Brush the sheftalia with oil and grill, turning occasionally as grill marks form, until browned and just cooked through (cut into one to check), 8 to 12 minutes. Serve with the sauce.


Rate or Review

Reviews (1 review)

  • User avater
    Pielove | 07/20/2014

    These tasty kabobs were a huge hit with the whole family-- my daughter ate two huge kabobs herself. I made the tahini sauce as directed, and also made a yogurt-dill sauce (same sauce, with yogurt instead of the tahini and water, plus about 1 Tbsp fresh dill)-- all three of us preferred the yogurt sauce.

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