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Shish Kebabs {Beef or Chicken Marinade}

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Get a load of how easy these Shish Kebabs are to whip up with tremendous flavors, slow marinated into the meat – beef, chicken or pork! The catch? They need to hang out in the marinade, but that is what makes entertaining so easy, make ahead dishes! 


I’ve always called them shish kaBOBs, not keBABs, a little googling set me straight.


Funny, the word Shish Kebabs funny couple of words, so it got me thinking (dangerous I know), what in the world is a kebab and who shished them? The word kebab literally means “to roast”  and it’s apparently of Turkish origin with shish kebab meaning: “gobbets of meat roasted on a spit or skewers.” So there you have it, enjoy your gobbets of meat roasted on skewers!

I received this recipe from a girlfriend (thanks Natalie!) during our MOPS days; our kids are no longer preschoolers, heck they’re in high school now, but we still see one another and love sharing great recipes. If I remember right, the recipe might be from one of the Colorado Jr. League cookbooks, the best! 

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Making the Meat Marinade (Gluten Free)

Remember to start your marinade at least 4 hours in advance, preferably 6 hours or more of your planned eating time, or overnight works too as does freezing the meat in the marinade and then thawing in the refrigerator!

Ingredients for best meat marinade | www.thefreshcooky.com

Pour oil into a large mixing bowl, then gather your soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce and Dijon mustard and add to the oil. Be sure your soy sauce, Worcestershire and Dijon are all gluten free, this is a delightful, gluten free and dairy free recipe. 

Dijon Mustard ready for marinade | www.thefreshcooky.com

Smash the garlic and rough chop it, toss in marinade…squeeze lemons and pour into marinade. Whisk marinade until combined. Set aside.

Cut steak, chicken and/or pork into cubes, about 1 ½ inches each. If doing both types of meat, place into separate containers; because you really don’t want your chicken touching your beef. Then, pour marinade evenly over the meat making sure it swims in marinade.

Pouring marinade on beef | www.thefreshcooky.com

Stir it around a bit so you are sure all pieces are covered in the marinade well. Cover and place in fridge for 4-6 hours at minimum. I love these stackable dishes, they go from fridge to oven.

Marinade beef and chicken resting | www.thefreshcooky.com

How to Build the Best Kebabs

When you are ready to skewer up the kebabs, here are a few ideas: 

  • Pineapple, ever had grilled pineapple? The flavors are divine
  • Mini peppers, quick to slice in half or whole bell peppers (any color, seeded and chopped into large squares)
  • Sweet or Red onion chunks a must, even if you don’t eat them they impart great flavor
  • Mushrooms, I’m not a fan, but others love them
  • Tomatoes, but be sure to put on big cherry tomatoes
  • Zucchini or summer squash, delicious grilled
  • Artichoke hearts, mmm good!
  • Asparagus, wash and cut into bit sized pieces, skewer 2-3 pieces between meat. 

Fresh, tender, and oh-so-ever-flavorful, it’s like eating a Farmer’s Market on a skewer!

ingredients for shish kebabs for grill | www.thefreshcooky.com

Start skewering the kebabs, alternating, veggies and meat. I have always started with an onion chunk first, kind of holds everything together.

Allow people to customize their skewer by asking what they would like and alternate colors and meats for a well balanced kabob, eh kebab. RESERVE MARINADE for basting.


Grill on medium heat for about 3-5 minutes per side, turning occasionally so that they brown evenly. Baste with reserved marinade as you turn them. Less time for chicken and steak medium. 


CAUTION |  Remember the metal skewers get hot! Use tongs or a BBQ mit, because if you are like me, even though they are on a stinking hot grill, I think I can just reach in and turn them, not!

Don’t forget to baste the Shish Kebabs while they are cooking, they really cook quickly. Be sure to baste and turn and don’t baste just before you remove from the grill then it will have raw chicken or beef juice in it! YUCK!

Shish Kababs on Grill with basting brush | www.thefreshcooky.com

Remove kebabs from grill and cover with foil and allow it to rest for a minute before serving.

Enjoy your “gobbets” of meat! I might have to rename them, I’m just getting tickled over that word, GOBBETS.

Easy Summertime Shish Kebabs would be lovely served with rice pilaf or brown rice and a simple Caprese salad (see below), with a side of ripe, juicy watermelon.


Easy Caprese salad; slice a nice beefy tomato (my favorite knife), alternating with slices of fresh, creamy mozzarella, drizzle with olive oil & balsamic vinegar. Chiffonade some fresh basil and sprinkle all over, grind some fresh sea salt and if desired fresh ground pepper.


Easy Caprese Salad | www.thefreshcooky.com #capresesalad #beefsteaktomato #mozzarella #balsamicvinegar #freshbasil

I was making sure I spelled Caprese correctly and read that it was originally made to resemble the colors of the Italian flag! Kebabs and Caprese a Mediterranean feast!

Plate Caprese Salad | www.thefreshcooky.com

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Shish Kebabs on a plate | www.thefreshcooky.com

Try these dishes to compliment this meal:

Other fabulous meat marinades!

Like this recipe?
Don’t forget to give it a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ star rating and comment below the recipe!

BEST EVER Meat Marinade

Author: Kathleen | The Fresh Cooky
4.58 from 14 votes
An amazingly simple but delicious marinade for beef, pork or chicken. Skewer it up with your favorite veggies and you've got dinner with these summertime shish kebabs.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Cook Time Time 10 minutes
Total Time 6 hours 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American Grilling
Servings 8 -16 servings
Calories 450 kcal



  • 2 large cloves of garlic, crushed and rough chopped
  • 1 cup vegetable oil, I used Avocado oil
  • ¼ cup soy sauce, I prefer Bragg’s or Tamari
  • ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce, I like Annie’s natural
  • ¼ cup Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1-2 teaspoons ground pepper


  • 5 lbs sirloin or New York Strip steak, or mix and match half chicken, half beef
  • 1-2 sweet onions, such as Walla-Walla or Vidalia (any onion will work, even red onions)
  • 1 bag mini peppers, variety of colors, split in half or 1 each red, yellow, orange, chopped
  • 1 lb or box of mushrooms of choice, optional
  • ½ fresh pineapple, cut into large chunks
  • 1-2 zucchini or summer squash, sliced 1/2 in discs


  • 1 large beefy tomato, sliced thick
  • 1 round of creamy, fresh mozzarella, sliced same as tomato
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Fresh Basil, chopped
  • Fresh Sea salt


  • In a medium bowl, whisk together all marinade ingredients, set aside. Cut beef and/or chicken into 1 ½ inch cubes and place in shallow dish or container (keeping meats separate). Pour marinade over meat(s) and stir to coat all sides. Marinate in refrigerator 4-6 hours, or overnight. Stirring occasionally.
  • Prepare veggies & pineapple for skewers, by cutting into large chunks. Remove stems from mushrooms. Once meat has marinated required amount of time, assemble kabobs by placing what each guest would like on their kabob, alternating colors and meat(s). Reserve marinade for basting.
  • Grill over medium high eat 4-5 minutes per side, turning and basting with reserved marinade. Remove from grill and cover with foil, allowing to sit just 1-2 minutes.

Caprese Salad

  • Slice tomato into thick slices. Slice mozzarella into similar sized slices as tomatoes. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Chop fresh basil and sprinkle over tops of tomatoes/cheese. Grind fresh sea salt (and pepper) over it all, serve room temp
  • Suggested pairings: Caprese salad, pasta salad, rice pilaf or brown rice. Add color to your table with chunks of fresh watermelon.


Serving: 1 Calories: 450 kcal Carbohydrates: 9 g Protein: 34 g Fat: 30 g Saturated Fat: 8 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 19 g Cholesterol: 111 mg Sodium: 450 mg Fiber: 2 g Sugar: 5 g

Nutrition Disclaimer

The Fresh Cooky is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is only an estimate. We recommend running the ingredients through an online nutritional calculator if you need to verify any information.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Kathleen Pope, The Fresh Cooky.

About Kathleen Pope

Recipe Innovator | Food Photographer | Food Writer

Hi, I’m Kathleen Pope. Here at The Fresh Cooky you will find easy, mostly from-scratch, trusted recipes for all occasions. From speedy dinners to tasty desserts, with easy step-by-step instructions. I am here to help teach you how to make mouthwatering recipes without spending hours in the kitchen. Read more about Kathleen here.

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  1. Super easy to put the marinade together (even on a Monday morning). Chicken and veggies grilled up quick and made a simple weeknight dinner that we ate outside at sunset! I liked the tip about using the onions, even if you don’t eat them…but they ended up being delicious!

  2. 5 stars
    Wow, these were a huge hit with my family! The marinate was delicious and we especially loved the pineapple grilled! Will definitely make these again soon.

  3. 5 stars
    Wow, these were a huge hit with my family! The marinate was delicious and we especially loved the pineapple grilled! Will definitely make these again soon.