What to Serve with Kabobs: Recipes and Ideas

Kabobs are a great way to serve up meat or vegetables on skewers, but what do you serve with them? Some delicious recipes and ideas will go well with any type of kabob.

Here are what to serve with kabobs:

  • A Variety of Salad (Green Salad, Greek Salad, Potato Salad, etc.)
  • A Variety of Bread (Savory Cornbread, Pita Bread, Garlic Bread, etc.)
  • A Variety of Rice (Mushroom Rice Pilaf, Lemon Rice, Yellow Rice, etc.)
  • Honey-glazed Carrots
  • Hummus
  • And many more.

In this blog post, we will share some creative ideas for serving different types of kabobs so you can have the perfect meal every time!

What is Kabob?

kabobs on the grill
Kabobs on the Grill. Credit: canva

What kind of food is a kabob?

Kebab (also known as kebap, kabob, kebob, or kabab) is an Iranian, Afghan, Middle Eastern, Eastern Mediterranean, and South Asian dish of meat (particularly lamb), fish, or vegetables cooked on a skewer or spit.

This dish started in the Eastern Mediterranean or the Middle East before expanding worldwide.

There’s something so satisfying about a good kabob. Of course, they’re usually great for holiday meals and brunch!

What is the difference between a kebab and a kabob?

The words “kebab” and “kabob” are used to describe a dish consisting of chunks of meat grilled on a skewer.

North Americans most frequently use the spelling kabobNorth Americans most frequently use the spelling kabob in attempts to transcribe the sound of a meal prepared with grilled meat in Arab nations.

Are kebabs unhealthy?

Kebabs are a healthier fast food option since they aren’t deep-fried and include bread and salad as toppings.

However, kebab meat does include fat, which may vary depending on the meat used.

Kebabs made with ground lamb usually have a higher fat content, around 20-25 percent.

What cut is kabob meat?

Sirloin, according to popular belief, is the finest type of meat for kabobs.

Sirloin (from top to end), a slice of relatively tender meat, is lean and fits into a healthy diet, and it’s inexpensive.

What to Serve with Kabobs?

A traditional accompaniment to kebabs is pita bread, hummus, tabbouleh, baba ghanoush, tabouli, and other salads.

However, there are also many favorite side dishes that go well with these kabobs. You can have savory flavors, Asian flavors, or any other tasty side dishes.

A Variety of Salad and Vegetables

A healthy and amazing side dish, you can add lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, peppers, etc., to your favorite dressing.

Try adding tons of vegetables such as mushrooms, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, summer squash, yellow squash, eggplant, bell peppers, carrots, potatoes, corn, cherry tomatoes, peas, or beans.

chicken kabob with greek salad and pita bread
Chicken Kabobs with Greek Salad and Pita Bread. Credit: canva

Green Salad

You can make a green salad as a quick side dish, with romaine lettuce, spinach, arugula, kale, watercress, baby greens, or whatever else you like.

Add chopped fresh herbs, grated Parmesan cheese, crumbled feta cheese, sliced olives, diced avocado, sunflower seeds, dried cranberries, red onion, or roasted pumpkin seeds.

Honey-glazed Carrots

These glazed carrots are sweet and savory. They’re a great addition to any meal.

Yummy for kids and adults alike, roasted carrots coated in a sweet and cinnamon-y sauce is a glorious side. 

Tabbouleh

This Middle Eastern salad is made with bulgur wheat, parsley, mint, tomato, onion, and lemon juice. Tabbouleh is traditionally eaten as part of a meze platter.

Tabouli

This Middle Eastern salad is made from finely chopped fresh herbs mixed with cracked wheat. Tabouli is typically served cold as a side dish.

Greek Salad

For an extra kick, you can add some Greek salad to your kebab. This salad includes lettuce, tomatoes, olives, red onion, cucumber, and feta cheese.

Radish Salad

Radishes are crunchy, spicy, and refreshing. Try serving radishes on top of your kebab.

Herb Salad Mix

Herb salad mix with tomatoes, pepper, and feta red leaf, roasted red pepper, and pecorino salad. The slightly sweet honey-mustard dressing complements the briny capers and sharp pecorino cheese well as it adds to your kebabs. 

Shepherd Salad

Shepherd salad is the most famous salad in Turkey and is made with fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, and onions. 

Squash Salad

A delicious variation of shepherd salad that uses butternut squash instead of tomatoes.

Tomato And Cucumber Salad

This simple salad combines two favorite fruits: fresh tomatoes and cucumbers.

Coleslaw

Coleslaw is a healthy coleslaw-esque side dish that goes well with chicken, pork, beef, or lamb.

Roasted Onions

Roasted onions are a popular appetizer in France. These caramelized onions are especially good when paired with grilled meats.

A Variety of Bread

You can also serve bread with the kebab. It’s a great way to soak up all those delicious juices from the kebab.

beef kabob and bread
Beef Kabobs with Bread. Credit: canva

Savory Cornbread

Savory cornbread is the perfect bread to go with the kebab. You can make this recipe at home using store-bought ingredients.

Pita Bread

Pita bread is a flatbread baked in a pocket shape. Pita bread is often served with dips such as hummus and tzatziki.

White Dinner Roll

Fluffy dinner rolls are easy to prepare and they’re a perfect choice if you want something different than pita bread.

Garlic Bread

You can also have garlic bread with your kebab, but avoid overdoing it. Garlic bread is best served alongside other foods.

Sourdough Bread

Sourdough bread is another option. If you prefer sourdough bread, you should use a starter that has been fed regularly and allowed to ferment naturally.

A Variety of Rice

lamb kabob and rice
Lamb Kabobs with Rice. Credit: canva

Mushroom Rice Pilaf

This rice pilaf is perfect for a light meal. It has mushrooms, which are high in protein and low in calories. It is great for a meat substitute.

Rice Pilaf

This rice dish is perfect if you want something different from plain white rice.

Coconut Rice

This coconut rice is full of fiber and nutrients. You can use this rice to make pilaf, stir fry, or even salads.

Lemon Rice

If you like lemon, then you’ll love this lemon rice. It’s tangy and sweet at the same time.

Saffron Rice

This saffron rice is aromatic, fragrant, and beautiful. It’s perfect with fish and seafood.

Mushroom Rice

This mushroom rice is rich in protein and fiber. If you like mushrooms, you’ll love this rice.

Cauliflower Rice

This cauliflower rice is an alternative to regular rice. It’s low in calories and high in fiber.

Yellow Rice

Also known as Mexican rice, this dish is flavored with tomato sauce, chicken broth, and cumin. 

Vegetable Fried Rice

Fried rice is a popular Asian dish. This vegetable fried rice is packed with vegetables and tastes amazing.

Potato Dishes and Chips

Pita Chips

These chips are crispy and go very well with kebabs. They’re easy to make and store well too.

Baked Potatoes

If you like potatoes, try baking them along with your kebab. Baking makes them soft and fluffy.

Mashed Potato

Mash some potatoes and then bake them along with your kebabs. The result is a yummy mash potato.

Potato Salad

If you like potato salad, try making one using a leftover cooked potato dish.

Bring a hint of summer to your table with a light, dill-y potato salad. 

Sweet Potato Fries

Make sweet potato fries by cutting them into strips and baking them until golden brown.

Sweet Potato Casserole

A baked casserole is a great way to enjoy leftovers. A twist on the plain potato is made of thinly sliced gold potatoes or any other type of potato. Make sure that your casserole has plenty of flavors.

Scalloped Potatoes

Scalloped potatoes are creamy and cheesy. They go well with meat or poultry.

Sweet Potato Wedges

Cut up sweet potatoes and grill them until they’re tender. Serve them with butter and cinnamon.

Dipping Sauces

Hummus

Hummus is a dip made with chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper, and water. It has a smooth texture and a light flavor.

Baba Ganoush

Baba ganoush is a mashed eggplant dip with lemon juice, garlic, and olive oil.

Yogurt

Add some yogurt to your kebab to make it more flavorful.

Tzatziki

This Greek sauce is made with feta cheese, cucumber, dill, garlic, vinegar, and olive oil. It goes well with chicken, shrimp, and beef dishes.

Hot Sauce

If you want to add an extra spice to this recipe, use something like hot sauce or garlic salt instead of plain old table salt.

Barbecue Sauce

Use barbecue sauce as a dipping sauce for your kebabs.

Salsa

Try salsa with your kebabs to give them a little bit of heat.

Ketchup

Ketchup is a condiment that’s used all over the world. It can be served on its own or mixed with mayonnaise.

Peanut Butter

Peanut butter is a delicious spread that comes from ground peanuts. It’s usually served with toast or crackers.

Spread peanut butter on your kebabs before grilling.

Mustard

Mustard is another condiment and acidic dressing that’s commonly used. If you don’t have mustard powder, just mix together equal parts of prepared mustard and ground black pepper.

Some varieties of mustard combo are creamy dijon dressing and zingy mustard greens.

Chili Sauce

Chili sauce is a popular condiment that comes in many different varieties. You can serve it on its own or mixed into ketchup.

Mayonnaise

Mayonnaise is a thick creamy sauce dressing that’s often served with sandwiches. Use it as a dipping sauce for kebabs.

Cream Cheese

Cream cheese is a delicious creamy cheese spread that pairs well with fruit, nuts, and vegetables.

Cheese

You can use almost any kind of cheese plate with your kebabs; however, we recommend using mild cheeses such as Cheddar, Swiss, or Cottage cheese. These will melt better than sharp cheeses. 

Soup

Creamy Mushroom Soup

This warm bowl of soup is great to serve with kebabs. It has a creamy texture and a hint of simple spices.

Something about the mix of creamy mushroom soup, fresh green beans, and crispy fried French onions is just so right.

How to Make Kabobs?

Types of Kabobs

Kebabs come in many different shapes and sizes. Some are long, while others are small. You can choose the shape that suits your taste buds.

Here are some types of kabob:

• Skewer

Skewers are usually used for cooking vegetables. Use wooden skewers that are sturdy enough to hold the food without breaking.

• Stick

Sticks are usually used for cooking meat. Choose sticks that are thick and strong so that they won’t break easily when you cook them.

• Spiral

Spirals are often used for grilling whole fish. They look pretty when placed on a plate.

• Flat

Flat kabobs are usually used for cooking ground meat. Flat kabobs are easier to eat than round ones because they don’t roll around in your mouth as much.

• Round

Round kabobs are usually made out of bamboo or wood. They are usually smaller than flat kabobs.

• Whole

While kabobs are usually cooked using a skewer. They are usually larger than stick kabobs.

Cooking Methods

There are two main methods of cooking kabobs:

1. Grilled

Grill kabobs directly over an open flame. This method gives kabobs their signature smoky flavors.

2. Baked

Bake kabobs in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius). This method produces less smoke and doesn’t require using a grill pan.

Tips for Making Kebabs

Here are some tips for making perfect kabobs:

  • Cut the meat into cubes before putting it on the skewers.
  • Don’t put too much meat on each skewer.
  • If possible, cut the meat into strips first.
  • Keep the skewers straight.
  • Be sure to soak the skewers in water for about half an hour before using them.
  • When cooking kabobs, keep the flame low.
  • Cook the kabobs slowly.
  • Turn the kabobs occasionally.
  • Remove the kabobs from the heat once they reach the desired doneness.
  • Serve immediately.

Recipes for Cooking Kabobs

Beef Shish Kebab Recipe

This steak kabob is a delicious meal. Easy to make, delicious flavors!

List of Ingredients:

  • Beef – Sirloin steaks are generally the most flavorful and mild of all beef cuts, although the top sirloin is also a fantastic option.
  • Sugar – To add a touch of sweetness and help caramelize the beef while grilling, use simple old white sugar.
  • Cumin – Ground cumin is dark, rich, and hearty, with a hint of citrusy taste and a biting edge. It provides quick depth to any meal.
  • Paprika – Sweet paprika adds color and has a mild peppery flavor.
  • Allspice – The flavor of allspice brings to mind the key spices of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and pepper.
  • Garlic – Use as much or as little as you like; the more, the better,, in my opinion.
  • Tomato Paste will thicken the marinade somewhat and add a little tomato flavor.
  • Oil – A good olive oil is preferred for the marinade.
  • Lemon Juice – To tenderize the meat, use freshly squeezed lemon juice.
  • Bell Peppers – Use yellow, orange, and red, but of course, use any color you prefer.
  • Onion – Use red onion because for a stronger taste.

Optional side dishes: Simply pair this with some delicious greek rice, baked potatoes, a great side dish like my caesar greek salad, and a nice dinner roll. 

Instructions:

Mix Marinade and Add Beef:

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together all of the marinade ingredients.
  2. Transfer ¼ cup of the marinade to a large bowl and another ¼ cup to another smaller bowl.
  3. To the first bowl, add the cubed beef and gently toss it to coat.
  4. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Marinade Vegetables:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the bell peppers and onions with ¼ cup of the reserved marinade. Toss to combine well.
  2. Set aside until ready to thread on skewers.

Preheat Grill:

  1. Preheat your grill for 10 minutes on medium-high heat.
  2. Lightly oil the grates of the gas grill.

Make Skewers:

  1. Thread the meat, onions, and peppers on skewers in alternating layers until you run out of ingredients.
  2. You should get about 8 skewers.

Grill the Kebabs:

  1. Place the shish kabobs on the grill and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, turning frequently.
  2. Brush the kebab skewers with the reserved ¼ cup of marinade in the small dish two or three times while they grill.

Serve:

  1. Allow the kebabs to rest for 5 minutes before serving. Serve on a platter.
  2. Serve and enjoy!

Leftovers:

Leftovers can be kept in an airtight container for 3-4 days in the refrigerator.

Greek Chicken Kabob Recipe

This recipe is super juicy, tender chicken kebabs made with the best marinade ever. It only needs simple olive oil, lemon juice, paprika, oregano, basil, thyme, and garlic.

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon simple lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper or white pepper, to taste
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1 inch pieces (chicken thighs are juicier and more flavorful than chicken breast)

Optional side dishes: grilled pita bread, English cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, red onion, cubed feta, kalamata olives, and tzatziki sauce.

Directions

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine 2 Tbsp olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, paprika, oregano, basil, thyme, garlic, shallot, and 1 1/4 Tsp of salt and 1 1/4 Tsp of pepper.
  2. Stir in chicken pieces until well combined; marinate for at least 2 hours overnight, turning occasionally. Drain the chicken from the marinade.
  3. Place the chicken on skewers, brush evenly with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Preheat grill to medium heat.
  5. Grill the chicken skewers, occasionally turning, until cooked throughout and the internal temperature is 165°F, about 10 minutes.
  6. Serve immediately.

Other Recipes

Other favorite kebab recipes include:

Hawaiian Chicken Kabobs

Grill up some pineapple and chicken kabobs for a sweet and savory meal.

Serve these Hawaiian chicken kabobs with a side of coconut rice to complete the tropical theme.

Pepper Steak Kabobs

These pepper steak kabobs are perfect for a quick and easy weeknight meal.

The marinade is made with soy sauce, honey, garlic, and ginger – making them irresistible!

Lemon Herb Shrimp Kabobs

Looking for a seafood option? These lemon herb shrimp kabobs are light, refreshing, and full of flavor.

The shrimp are marinated in simple olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and herbs.

Asian Beef Kebabs

These Asian beef kebabs are packed with flavor!

The marinade is made with soy sauce, honey, rice vinegar, and chili paste – making them irresistible!

Chipotle Steak Kabobs

These chipotle steak kabobs are perfect for a summer BBQ!

The marinade is made with olive oil, lime juice, adobo sauce, and cumin – making them irresistible!

Grilled Veggie Kebabs

These grilled veggie kebabs are perfect for any occasion!

The marinade is made with olive oil, salt, and pepper – making them a healthy option!

FAQs

Should I put foil on the grill for kabobs?

Some folks like to put foil down on the grill before skewering the ingredients. This will help to prevent sticking and make for a cleaner grill. However, I find that if you brush the kebabs with oil often while they cook, they won’t stick.

Can I make kabobs the night before?

Yes, you can make kabobs the night before. Store them in an airtight container and refrigerate them overnight. Make sure that all of the ingredients are fully cooled prior to storage,, or they will spoil faster than desired.

How long can I store leftover kebabs?

Leftover skewers should be stored in an air-tight container in the fridge. They will be good for up to three days.

How long do kabobs take to grill?

It will depend on the type of kabob, but if you use a metal skewer it should take between 20 and 25 minutes. If you are using wooden skewers, they can burn rather quickly,, so be sure to soak them in water for 30-60 minutes before grilling.