These Ground Beef Kebabs are SUPER easy to make, whether you’re grilling for a summer bbq or baking them in the oven year-round. They use a few cheap ingredients you probably already have, but they’ll be the hit of your next potluck or dinner!
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A few weeks ago we got an email from a reader asking if we had any good recipes for the barbecue. She said she loves how clean her kitchen stays when most of the dinner prep happens outside on the grill.
I completely agree!
I haven’t posted many grilling recipes, but I’ll certainly have to get on that, because they’re one of the highlights of summer for me!
If you want a FABULOUS rub for pork or chicken, I’m currently in love with our
Sweet and Smoky Dry Rub Mix!!!
Related: Do you have any recipe suggestions or ideas? Let us know!!! We’d LOVE to hear from you!
I started making these ground beef kebabs for a couple of reasons – sometimes I get tired of barbecuing the same old things – pork chops, hamburgers, sausages, etc, and I want to throw something a little different into the mix.
I’ve also been lucky enough to spend a bit of time in the Middle East and Mediterranean and enjoy the AMAZING kebabs/skewers they eat there ALL THE TIME.
I kept this recipe pretty simple so it will hopefully just use things you already have on-hand. That way it will stay reasonably cheap! I’ve also made it with different kinds of ground meat, like pork, and it was delicious.
Tip: I would not recommend using only lean ground beef for this recipe, because it will be too dry. Either use medium ground beef, or use a mix of lean and medium, or mix the ground beef with ground pork to change things up a bit!
Also, I made these kebabs on skewers, just because I find skewers are fun, but you really don’t have to. You can just shape them into long patties and that will work out great too.
And if you don’t have a bbq or it’s winter where you live, you can do these in the oven too! Instructions are below.
What should I serve these Ground Beef Kabobs (or Kebabs) with?
I really love having these kebabs with a nice soft naan or pita bread, fresh veggies and a delicious spread inside. Our Homemade Tzatziki is a creamy, cool cucumber dip or spread that would contrast really nicely with the meat.
I also love garlicky toum (a Lebanese garlic spread and I’ve made this Two-Minute Toum from Epicurious and enjoyed it.
If you’re planning to eat the kebabs with rice (also very delicious!), our Green Goddess Dip/Dressing would make a super tasty drizzle!
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Ground Beef Kebab Recipe – Step-by-Step Instructions (Grill or Oven)
Ingredients for these Ground Beef Kebabs.
Tip: If you’re using skewers, start by soaking them in a pan of water for about half an hour so they don’t burn.
Preheat grill or oven to 350 degrees F.
Use clean hands to gently mix together ground beef (or a mix of beef and pork, as shown above), egg, dried parsley, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, cumin, salt and pepper.
Make sure everything is evenly distributed, but don’t overmix!
Gently form mixture into oblong patties around the skewers (if you’re using skewers – see next photo if you’re not).
For these photos I cooked half of the beef kebabs in the oven and half on the grill. The ones on the right I made without skewers, to show that it’s an option too.
Tip: Line a cookie sheet with foil to make clean up easy after baking (you can also spray it with cooking spray if you want), or lightly oil your grill.
For oven baking the skewers, bake for about 20 minutes, turning once in the middle, until an instant read thermometer (possibly my favourite kitchen tool!) inserted into the centre of the meat reads at least 165 degrees F.
Try not to overcook.
Then broil for a minute or two to brown the meat. Let them rest on a clean plate for a few minutes before serving so that the juices can redistribute throughout the meat (tent them with foil if you want).
If you’re grilling the kebabs, they take about the same length of time. Let them sit undisturbed until the form a nice sear on the bottom, then gently pick them up with skewers and turn to the other side.
Cook to the same internal temperature (165 degrees F). Let them rest off the heat (tented with foil, if you want) for a few minutes before eating so the juices can redistribute.
You can serve these on their own, with traditional barbecue side dishes (potato salad, pasta salad, garden salad, etc), with rice, with soft pita, hummus or tzatziki and fresh vegetables, or however you like.
Ground Beef Kebab Recipe – Common Questions/Answers:
What if I don’t have skewers?
You can definitely make this recipe without skewers – just gently form the meat mixture into oblong patties.
Can I make these ahead of time?
Yes, I think these would be great made ahead of time. You could form the kebabs a day ahead and keep them in a tightly wrapped dish. Then bring them up to room temperature before baking or grilling.
If you do this and use wooden skewers, definitely keep an eye on the skewers to make sure they don’t burn, or leave them out altogether.
Can I freeze these kebabs?
Yes, these beef kebabs should freeze really well. Just make sure they’ve cooled off and store them in an airtight container.
The quality will be better if you thaw them naturally (in the fridge or on the counter if you’re watching the time – don’t leave them out too long) rather than in the microwave.
Did you make these Ground Beef Kebabs? Leave us a star rating below!
Ground Beef Kebabs (Grill or Oven)
- 15 wooden skewers (optional)
- 2 lbs ground beef* (or a mix of beef and pork)
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup dried parsley (or 1/2 cup fresh parsley, minced)
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder (or a few cloves of fresh garlic, minced)
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- Pre-soak wooden skewers for at least 30 minutes if using.
- Preheat grill, or preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Mix all ingredients in a large bowl using clean hands until well combined (don't overmix).
- Gently form meat into oblong patties, either on the pre-soaked wooden skewers or on their own.
- Grill for about 20 minutes, carefully turning the kebab with tongs half way. Cook until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F using a meat thermometer.**
- OR Bake in preheated oven for about 20 minutes, until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F using a meat thermometer.*** Then broil for a minute or two to brown the meat.
- Let kebabs rest (tented with foil, if you want) for a few minutes before eating so that juices redistribute throughout the meat.
- Serve with bbq side dishes, rice, garden salad, soft pita bread, veggies and hummus or tzatziki.
- Enjoy! 🙂
Shannon Freeman says
I have made this recipe several times over the last few months and I absolutely LOVE it! I used 1 lb of lean ground beef and 1 lb ground pork. Had to substitute the onion powder (because my grocery store was out) with finely chopped onion. I’ve grilled it and baked it, but prefer baking it on skewers. It’s wonderful with tzatziki, sliced tomatoes and naan. I printed this recipe and taped it to the inside of my cabinet door, which I consider my “hall of fame”. Lol!
Hi Shannon! Your comment absolutely made my day! Thank you so much for your kind words, and for taking the time to leave your feedback. I’m so happy you enjoy this recipe and thanks for sharing your thoughts! 🙂 -Myra
Made this recipe tonight and it is delicious! Used lean ground beef and brushed with a little bit of olive oil before grilling. Not dry at all and the char ands a lot of flavor. Will definitely make this again.
Thanks so much for your comment Allison! The olive oil is a great idea if you’re using lean ground beef. I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe 🙂
Loved it! Made it exactly as you did but halved it for the two of us. (On the stick and grilled) Added kalamata olives to the rest of salad ingredients and served it over grilled naan. Used store bought tzatziki sauce and doctored it up a bit. Can’t wait to make this for company to eat. Thank you for the recipe.
Yum that sounds delicious! So glad you enjoyed it! Thank you for letting us know!
I used the two lbs of gound beef as called for but doubled the seasonings (except parsley), used smoked paprika, and added 2 tsp worcestershire sauce and 1/2 tsp garham masla to the beef mixture. Served with basmati rice, sautéed bell peppers and onions, Naan, and Tahini sauce. It was so good!
Sounds delicious Linda!
Wendi Smith says
Thank you Wendi! Glad you enjoyed it! 🙂
I did my own mix because I’m a Turkish American. However, you saved me. I didn’t have a grill, and needed to make an oven-baked version. I also like your idea of using the Greek Goddess sauce for the kebabs. I didn’t think of that, so I might do that in the future.
Hi Asya! Thanks for your comment! I’d love to hear about your mix too! :). Glad you liked the green goddess idea – let us know if you try it!
These were a great addition to the red beans & rice I made. I added a bit of chopped onion & garlic to my mix in addition to the powdered. Also, next time I’ll reduce the baking time by 5 minutes because I used metal skewers which makes them cook from the inside out as well. This time they turned out extremely well done.
Thanks for trying the recipe Denise! 🙂
Sue Rock says
So I tried this one evening when my son and I were truly not feeling like eating. We are ALL going through this Pandemic and even the take out has become one big fail. I made a Ratatouille and was thinking of what to do with some ground chicken…..
All the other recipes online seemed to just have variations of meatballs and hamburgers (sorry but a Slider is still a Hamburger!) and I found this recipe. I had purchased skewers for “the barbecue that never was” and got prepared.
WOW!! made them inside on a cast iron grill/flattop that I had and they are amazing! Tender, juicy and so flavorful. It is not hard to make this recipe. Be gentle with the mix on your skewer and don’t rush it – the ground meat just needs a moment to solidify and you can them flip and move the kebabs easily!
Thank you so much~
Thank you so much for your lovely comment Sue!!! I’m so glad you enjoyed the kebabs! I hope the rest of the pandemic is easier for you!
Has anyone ever tried to make these with cheese? and/or teriyaki sauce?
Hi Jenny! I’ve never tried either of these things myself, but I’d be interested to know if anyone else has! When you say cheese,do you mean melted on top like a cheeseburger? Or something else?
Yes I stuffed mozzarella inside the meat patties then grilled them. Super delicious!
What a delicious idea! Thanks for letting me know you enjoyed them! 🙂
I had to adjust seasoning and add more ingredients such as mint and nutmeg. Very quick and easy
Glad you enjoyed it!
I was in a pinch for dinner and needed something quick and different, why didn’t I try this sooner? Super simple to make and tasty. Squeezed a bit of fresh lemon juice and served with tzatziki as suggested. Who doesn’t love food on a stick? Kid approved!
That’s great Tamara! So glad everyone enjoyed it! Any meal I can get my kids to eat is a winner, haha. Thanks for letting us know! 🙂
Katie Wilson says
Delicious! Entire family approved! Absolutely use pork & beef, not just beef. We love it with the tzatziki recipe, too!
I’m so glad your family enjoyed the recipe Katie! Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment and let us know 🙂
This is my husband and I’s new favorite recipe! We use it for hamburgers and meatballs as well!!
That’s wonderful Hanna! Thank you so much for letting us know! I’ll have to try those other uses too – they sound delicious!
This was really delicious alternative to a burger for bbq’ed ground beef! Subtle, simple, I served it with basmati rice and grilled asparagus. Mwah!
Thanks for the lovely review Lilia! I’m so glad you enjoyed the kebabs 🙂
So excited to make these for supper tonight! I love that I already have everything on hand that the recipe calls for and I am making it with ground pork and on the bbq. Thank you so much for the great idea!
I hope you love them! 🙂
Adrienne B says
Mine were too big…but my family didn’t mind. It’s a nice, subtle flavor. It’s a great recipe that’s easy to make.
Thanks so much for the feedback Adrienne! Glad your family enjoyed them 🙂
I found the meat on a stick to be very bland. Needs something (anything) to bring it up a notch or two. Kids douced it in ketchup and enjoyed it.
Hi Brad! I’m so sorry you didn’t enjoy this recipe! No one has ever said it was bland before, so I just wanted to touch base and see if I can help you troubleshoot what might have gone wrong. Did you use all the spices and also the salt that the recipe called for? If you did, is it possible that your spices are old and have lost some of their strength? Also, salt is incredibly important for bringing out flavour in recipes but I know people sometimes like to omit it. Is it possible you used very lean meat when you made this? As I noted in the recipe, I don’t recommend using all lean ground meat because the result will be more dry and have less flavour. If you want to let me know your process I’m happy to help you figure out what went wrong. In any case, I’m glad your kiddos liked it!
I have not tried this yet but are the proportions correct for 2 lbs of meat? Or is it intended to be for 1lb of meat?
Hi Sean! These are the proportions for 2 lbs of meat. I hope that helps, but if you have any questions please let me know! Thanks!
This is probably one of the most genius and inexpensive ideas I’ve seen (and I spend A LOT of my time looking at different recipes)!! This is on tonight’s menu! Thank you!
Hi Heather! I’m so glad you like this recipe! It’s one of our favourites! 🙂
Beef I can understand, Pork however? It’s a middle eastern dish, where pork is a seldomly used ingredient… perhaps you should change it to ground lamb instead.
Hi Alex! Thanks for taking the time to comment. Originally this recipe was for beef kebabs, but since this is a budget friendly website, I like to give readers options in order to help them use what they have on-hand, instead of having to go grocery shopping and spend more money. I would never claim that this is an “authentic” Middle Eastern dish – just a tasty recipe to barbecue, and I think our readers enjoy knowing that they have some flexibility in the ingredients they use. Ground lamb would also be delicious, but it’s less budget-friendly, at least where we live. Thanks!
The Greeks eat pork in their kebabs. It’s called souvlaki. There are also people in the Middle East who can consume pork. At the top of my head, there is a Christian minority in Iran, where they can consume pork.
-A Turkish person