Grilled Summer Steak Kebabs

published Jul 12, 2022
summer
Steak Kebabs Recipe

Savory marinated steak cubes are grilled with zucchini ribbons and cherry tomatoes in this easy, colorful skewer.

Serves4

Makes12 skewers

Prep25 minutes

Cook6 minutes

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Photograph of steak kebabs in on a metal quarter sheet tray.
Credit: Kelli Foster

Kebabs are a pretty, colorful way to assemble a collection of proteins and veggies into one easy-to-serve portion. But many skewer combinations, while visually appealing, have elements that need different cooking times, leading to under- or over-done bites. I’m usually a fan of keeping skewers to just one ingredient but break that rule when all the pieces cook in the same amount of time.

These beef kebabs, yielding juicy tender steak, crisp-tender zucchini ribbons, and bursting tomatoes, are one of those exceptions. A simple marinade enhances the steak and turns it into a savory bite that picks up tasty char, and it’s this extra step that makes these steak kebabs a summer-worthy grill recipe.

What Kind of Steak Is Used for Kebabs?

There are lots of steak cuts that you can use for kebabs, but my favorite is beef sirloin. It’s tender, soaks up marinade easily, and doesn’t have too much fat or gristle. You can also use boneless short rib or ribeye, which are just as delicious but fattier (and often pricier).

Credit: Kelli Foster

How to Make Summer Grilled Steak Kebabs

  • Marinate the beef. Marinate sirloin steak cubes in a savory mixture of garlic, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, sugar, olive oil, and cayenne pepper if you want a spicy kick. The longer the marinating time, the better, but go for at least two hours.
  • Heat the grill and soak the skewers. Heat the grill to medium-high, direct heat, and soak the skewers if you’re using wooden or bamboo.
  • Prepare the vegetables. Shave wide ribbons of zucchini with a veggie peeler, and toss the zucchini and grape or cherry tomatoes with olive oil and salt right before assembling the skewers. Don’t season too soon or the zucchini will get watery and stick to the grill.
  • Thread the skewers. Alternate threading on steak, tomatoes, and zucchini pieces folded like an accordion onto the skewers. Use two slices of zucchini back-to-back to get a thick-enough layer.
  • Grill the skewers. Make sure the grill grates are scraped clean, then oil them. Grill the skewers until the steak is at the desired doneness and there is some char on everything, about three minutes per side.

What Do You Serve with Steak Kebabs?

Garlic bread would be delicious with steak kebabs, as would a Mediterranean orzo salad. You can also slide the grilled steak, zucchini, and tomatoes directly off the skewer onto pita or flatbread that’s been swiped with romesco or tzatziki for a delicious wrap sandwich.

Can You Cook Steak Kebabs in the Oven?

You can cook steak kebabs in the oven instead. Place the skewers on a baking sheet and roast at 400ºF until the steak is at the desired doneness — eight to 10 minutes for medium-rare.

Steak Kebabs Recipe

Savory marinated steak cubes are grilled with zucchini ribbons and cherry tomatoes in this easy, colorful skewer.

Prep time 25 minutes

Cook time 6 minutes

Makes 12 skewers

Serves 4

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 5 cloves

    garlic

  • 1/4 cup

    soy sauce or tamari

  • 1/4 cup

    Worcestershire sauce

  • 2 tablespoons

    granulated sugar

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons

    Dijon mustard

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    cayenne pepper (optional)

  • 2 tablespoons

    olive oil, divided, plus more for the grill

  • 1 1/2 pounds

    (1-inch thick) beef sirloin steaks

  • 12

    (10- to 12-inch) skewers

  • 2

    medium zucchini (about 8 ounces each)

  • 1 pint

    cherry or grape tomatoes (about 10 ounces)

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Finely chop 5 garlic cloves (about 4 teaspoons) and place in a medium bowl. Add 1/4 cup soy sauce or tamari, 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce, 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper if desired, and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Whisk until the sugar is dissolved.

  2. Trim off any large pieces of fat or gristle from 1 1/2 pounds beef sirloin steaks. Cut into 1-inch cubes, add to the marinade, and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.

  3. If using wooden or bamboo skewers, soak 12 in water while you heat the grill. Heat an outdoor grill for direct, medium-high heat (about 400ºF). Let the steak sit out at room temperature while the grill heats.

  4. Meanwhile, use a Y-shaped vegetable peeler to shave 2 medium zucchini into wide ribbons: Start on one side of the zucchini, shave lengthwise until you get close to the middle, then flip the zucchini and shave the other side. (You’ll need about 48 zucchini ribbons.) Place in a large bowl and add 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes.

  5. When the grill is almost ready, add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and a few grinds of black pepper to the vegetables and toss to combine. Thread the steak and vegetables onto the skewers in this order: Steak, 2 zucchini slices folded like an accordion a few times and threaded through the center, steak, tomato. Repeat the sequence on each skewer and place on a baking sheet.

  6. Scrape the grill grates clean if needed. Oil the grill grates with a folded paper towel dipped in olive oil. Grilling in batches if needed, place the skewers on the grill, spacing them at least an inch apart. Cover and grill undisturbed until grill marks appear on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Flip the skewers, cover, and grill until the vegetables are crisp-tender and the beef is at the desired doneness, about 3 minutes more for medium-rare. Transfer to a platter or clean baking sheet and let rest at least 3 minutes before serving.

Recipe Notes

Oven cooking alternative: If you do not want to grill the kabobs, roast them on a baking sheet in a 400°F oven for 8 to 10 minutes instead.

Make ahead: The beef can be marinated up to 1 day ahead and refrigerated.

Storage: Leftovers can be taken off the skewers and refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.