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Easy Turkey Kebabs – Turkish Recipe

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Healthy turkey kebabs with finely spiced, tender turkey breast cubes. A very easy recipe for Turkish kebabs.

close up of skewers with nicely charred turkey cubes.

Kebabs generally, not only Turkish turkey kebabs, are always a hit at any grill party in Germany. Especially the kids prefer kebabs to steaks, for instance. OK, bratwurst might be the first choice for the children, but kebabs are always close behind. Or these Easy Grilled Chicken Tenders.

When it comes to grilling my main task is not the cooking of the meat itself, but more the preparing, and marinating of the meat. And the side dishes, of course.

To make this delicious recipe, all you need are turkey cubes from a large breast piece, an onion, and some spices.

overhead view of turkey skewers, bowl of tomato salsa and bowl of crispy chickpeas.

What are kebabs?

Kebabs originate in Middle Eastern cuisine and are various cooked meat dishes.

In English, the word kebab refers to different kinds of meat cut into small pieces or ground and cooked on a skewer. However, in Turkey and Middle East, the word kebab is used to describe a variety of meat dishes.

Kebabs have a very long history; we could say that the kebabs have existed ever since fire was discovered. Archaeological excavations found stone supports for skewers, used before the 17th century BC, ancient Indian texts, and Homer in his Iliad also mentions pieces of roasted meats on spits.

Kebabs are famous in Turkey and many countries all over the Middle East, Asia, and even some parts of Africa.

many turkey skewers and a bowl of salsa on a vintage silver platter.

Recipe ingredients

  • Turkey breast: Cut into large cubes.
  • Onion: You will grate it and use it to marinate the cubes.
  • Spices: Found in most spice cupboards: fine sea salt, pepper, sweet ground paprika, dried thyme, vinegar, and olive oil.
    • You can definitely go from here and add more spices or completely other spice combinations to your taste.

How to make turkey kebabs?

  • Cut the meat into evenly sized cubes, of ca 4 cm/ 1.5 inches.
  • Make the marinade: Grate the onion, place it into a large bowl and add salt, pepper, sweet paprika, dried thyme, vinegar, and oil to the onions. Stir well. Use your hands, it works best.
turkey kebabs marinade
  • Marinate the meat: Cover the bowl with plastic wrap/cling film and refrigerate for about 2 hours.
  • Remove from the fridge about 30 minutes before cooking and let the meat come to room temperature.
  • In the meantime, soak the wooden skewers in cold water, this will prevent them from burning. If using metal skewers, don’t soak them.
  • Assemble the skewers: Skewer the meat, about 4 cubes on each skewer. Brush them lightly with some olive oil. Sprinkle with some salt.
raw turkey kebabs on skewers

How to cook kebabs in a grill pan?

  • Heat the grill pan and brush it lightly with olive oil. When the pan is hot place some of the skewers in the pan, as many as they fit without touching each other.
  • Cook for about 15 minutes, turning several times in between, making sure that all the sides make contact with the pan at one point or another.
  • Check for doneness by cutting one piece of turkey meat in the middle.
  • Grill the remaining turkey kebabs the same way.
turkey kebabs in a pan

Expert tips

  • The recipe for these particular Turkish skewers could not be easier, the “most difficult” part of it being to cut the breast into very similar-sized cubes.
  • That is important because you want all the meat cubes to make contact with the grill pan while cooking so that all of them are cooked at the same time thus all of them remaining juicy and tender.
  • If some cubes are too large they will prevent the smaller cubes from touching the grill, so do make an effort to cut them all as evenly as you can.

Recipe FAQ

Can I use another kind of meat?

You can also use turkey thigh meat, the cooking time might be a bit longer, make sure to check that the meat is cooked through.
Chicken breast or chicken thighs, and lean pork (tenderloin) are also delicious. The cooking time might vary, always check.

How to store leftovers?

Keep refrigerated in an airtight container, the meat will be fine for 2-3 days.
Reheat before serving.

How to serve?

one turkey cube on a skewer with char marks on it.

More summer recipes

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many turkey kebabs sprinkled with parsley close up.

Easy Turkey Kebabs - Turkish Recipe

Super healthy turkey kebabs with finely spiced, tender turkey breast cubes. A very easy recipe for Turkish kebabs.
4.67 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Poultry
Cuisine: Turkish
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Additional Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 239kcal
Author: Adina

Ingredients 

Instructions

Marinade:

  • Make marinade: Grate the onion. Place it into a bowl large enough to hold the turkey breast cubes. Add the sweet paprika, thyme, salt, pepper, vinegar, and olive oil to the onions. Stir well.

Turkey kebabs:

  • Cut the turkey breast into evenly sized cubes, of ca 4 cm/ 1.5 inches.
  • Marinate: Place the turkey cubes in the bowl and stir well, ensuring that the meat pieces are coated with the marinade. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap/cling film and refrigerate for about 2 hours. Remove from the fridge about 30 minutes before cooking and let come to room temperature.
  • In the meantime, soak the wooden skewers in cold water to prevent them from burning.
  • Skewer the meat, about 4 cubes on each skewer. Brush lightly with some olive oil and sprinkle with a little extra salt.
  • Heat the grill pan, brush lightly with olive oil. Place some of the turkey kebabs in the pan, as many as they fit without touching each other.
  • Cook for about 15 minutes, turning several times in between, making sure that all the sides make contact with the pan at one point or another.
  • Check for doneness by cutting one piece of turkey meat in the middle.

Notes

You can make the kebabs with chicken as well (breast or skinless, boneless chicken thighs).

Nutrition

Serving: 1/6 of the recipe | Calories: 239kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 38g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 100mg | Sodium: 477mg | Sugar: 1g
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Recipe Rating




Holly

Thursday 6th of June 2019

Never thought of using turkey in kebabs and this is brilliant idea! I also cry a lot while grating onion so I feel you. But I bet it makes the turkey much more flavorful.

Thao @ In Good Flavor

Thursday 6th of June 2019

I never thought to grill turkey before!! I'll need to start doing it. I love how simple yet flavor packed these kebabs are...and so perfect for summer.

angiesrecipes

Wednesday 5th of June 2019

Looks really flavourful and tender! The marinade sounds really great too.