Balsamic Beef or Chicken Kebabs

I feel like if I added a subtitle to this post it would be: not pictured.

Not pictured is the 11-year old meat lover in the family continuously getting his hand swatted away as I take officially two bazillion (in his words) pictures of meat skewers.

Not pictured is a kitchen sink (whose, mine?) piled high with so many dishes, I want to run away forever.

Not pictured is the chicken made with this same marinade. Equally tasty.

Not pictured are the cookies waiting innocently on the counter to be devoured if everyone eats their dinner in an age-appropriate and well-mannered way.

Not {really} pictured is the grilled pineapple that just about made me swoon.

And of course the list could go on and on (thankfully I’ll spare you the other 153 things). What is pictured, though, are the tastiest, most tender beef kebabs known to this summer. A simple marinade of balsamic vinegar, a little fresh rosemary, hint of Dijon and simple seasonings make these beef (or chicken!) kebabs irresistible (as evidenced by not pictured scenario #1 up there).

I’m hanging on to grilling and summer with every last fiber of my being and these tender morsels of beef are helping that goal right along. And seriously, if you are at all inclined to toss rounds of juicy, fresh pineapple on the grill alongside the meat, don’t let anyone stop you. Best meal ever.

Balsamic Beef or Chicken Kebabs

What To ServeGrilled pineapple (as if I didn’t make that point known already)
Skillet Zucchini and Yellow Squash
Roasted Potato Salad

Balsamic Beef {or Chicken} Kebabs

Yield: 6

Balsamic Beef {or Chicken} Kebabs

Be aware that because of the balsamic vinegar, if using chicken, the light-colored chicken meat will show the darkened color of the marinade more than the beef.


  • 3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 5 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2-3 pounds sirloin roast, cut into 1-inch cubes (or same amount of chicken breasts, cubed)
  • 1 red onion, cut into squares (optional)


  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, oil, mustard, garlic, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Measure out 1/3 cup of the mixture and set aside for basting later.
  2. Add the rosemary to the remaining marinade. Place the beef or chicken in a large, gallon-size ziploc bag and pour in the marinade. Seal and refrigerate for 4-8 hours (or as little as 20 minutes, although the flavor won't be quite as pronounced).
  3. Preheat a grill to medium heat.
  4. If using wooden or bamboo skewers, soak in cool water for 15-20 minutes. Thread red onion onto the skewer followed by meat and then a few red onions to finish off.
  5. Whisk the reserved basting sauce to recombine. Grill the kebabs, turning every couple of minutes and basting with the sauce, until the beef is cooked to desired doneness (chicken should be cooked all the way through), 10-12 minutes.
  6. Transfer the kebabs to a platter or plate and tent with foil to let rest for 5 or so minutes.
  7. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Recipe Source: adapted from a recipe in Cook’s Country June/July 2015

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35 Responses to Balsamic Beef {or Chicken} Kebabs

  1. Sheila says:

    Woo Hoo! I just found my e-cookbook in gmail. It is absolutely lovely. What a beautiful piece of work! I have looked for it often in my inbox and frequently checked spam to make sure it hadn’t landed there. I didn’t even think to look in the “promotions” folder that receives 50 promotional e-mails a day and rarely gets checked. I just assumed some kind of cyberspace flunk had happened keeping it from getting to me. The formatting, professional (yes, professional) pictures, the fingertip links, and ideas on what to serve with the dish is delightful. I would have willingly paid for this e-cookbook but your generous, giving heart gave us yet another uplifting gift to be used to better care for our families. Thank you so much.

    This dish has been placed instantly on next week’s menu for beef. I only wish I would have it together enough to have cookies on the counter alongside it. The sweet pineapple will have to do. You make our meals so exciting and mealtime something to look forward to because it is never “the same old thing”.

    • Jessica says:

      Thanks Sheila for the heads up about the promotions mailbox! I just found my eCookbook too. I was beginning to wonder what happened to it!
      Thanks for all your hard work Mel! Every one of your recipes is always a hit around here.

    • Mel says:

      Oh goodness, Sheila – I’m sorry it took that long for you to get/find the eCookbook! Next time, email me and I’ll get a copy to you so you can enjoy it faster! Thanks for your kind words as always. 🙂

      • Natalie Feller says:

        What is the e cookbook you are referring to? How did I miss this? How do I get one? Please advise.

        • Mel says:

          Hey Natalie – have you subscribed to receive email updates (an email in your inbox every time a new post goes live)? If not, sign up here:

          When you do, you’ll get an email to download the free eCookbook. If you are already an email subscriber, let me know and I’ll do some digging about why you haven’t received the eCookbook yet. Make sure to check your spam/promotions boxes in your e-mail and see if it got put there.

  2. Keri says:

    Mel, do you marinate the pineapple before you grill it?

    • Mel says:

      I usually don’t because I love the natural flavor and sweetness of the pineapple. Sometimes I’ll drizzle it with a tiny bit of fresh lime juice after grilling but that’s it.

  3. YUM! I love a good steak kabob and a yummy marinade to soak the beef in. I’m trying to celebrate what’s left of summer by grilling a bunch, so I definitely need to make this. Pinning!

  4. I love balsamic marinated meat, these skewers look amazing! My kids are always trying to grab things while I take “a bazillion” photos too, you’re not alone there! 🙂

  5. Paige says:

    Yum! These look so delicious! Perfect for an end of the summer bbq!


  6. Jess says:

    Lol – I’d love to see a whole post of all the things “not pictured”. But what IS pictured here looks amazing – what a great flavor combination and simple enough to throw together in a rush and toss on the grill – awesome!

  7. Amy says:

    I love you, Mel. :’-) I know I speak for everyone who follows this blog when I say that you are THE BEST in every way. I love your recipes, I love your posts, I know I can always count on you to make me look like a culinary superstar.

    • Mel says:

      Well, goodness, Amy, that was unexpected! What a sweet comment. Thanks for making my average (and kind of stressful) Wednesday pretty stellar.

  8. Mel – these look delicious, as always! Can’t wait to try them on the grill – before summer is over! 🙂

  9. Kim in MD says:

    First and foremost, I completely agree with Amy! That said, I am making this recipe tonight!

  10. Sheree L says:

    Made this last night with both sirloin steak and chicken. It was a big hit! (And I made enough to have leftovers today – yum…) On a side note, it makes me laugh when I read about getting grilling in before the summer ends when here in Mesa AZ it will be summer until about Thanksgiving!

  11. Megan says:

    Really dumb question but do i need to do anything special when cubing the roast – with grain, against grain, doesnt matter, etc? I always get nervous when cutting beef for some reason.

  12. elisabeth says:

    Weekend!!! Can you see the weekend coming on???!! Thank you for another fabulous recipe to make our one of the last summer weekends wonderful and flavorful!! My family will go nuts:) Thank you, thank you for all of your hard work!!!

  13. Megan says:

    I made these kabobs last night, and they were devoured by my family of five. 🙂

  14. Marlene Schaaf says:

    Just made these yummy steak kebabs for my husband and 22 year-old son (home for the weekend from university). A TOTAL hit! These are serious meat and potatoes guys, so I added a side of garlic mashed. Next time I’ll do the grilled pineapple, too! Absolutely wonderful! Thanks, Mel, I can always count on your recipes to rock our world!!

  15. Carol says:

    My husband and I grilled these tonight here in Hot Phoenix. Didn’t need to heat up our house any more!
    They are the most tender kebabs I’ve ever grilled. Used sirloin tip cubes from Trader Joes. Let them marinate all afternoon. Easy and quick!

  16. Debbie K says:

    This looks wonderful! Do you have a favorite brand of balsamic vinegar?

  17. Noelle says:

    Mel-I made these last week right after you posted it-we had steak thawing already! My family of 5 loved each bite and there were no leftovers! We added a bunch of veggies to skewer as well and the marinade was so flavorful! Now I’m off to make your favorite Brownie recipe! Thank you for sharing your passion for cooking!

  18. Heather says:

    We loved this! I sent my sister a link to the recipe, and her family loved it too! Thanks, Mel!

  19. Alicia says:

    Made this last night with chicken, and it was amazing!! Served with brown rice, grilled zucchini, and pineapple, and we made a quick dipping sauce out of plain greek yogurt with balsalmic vinegar. So tasty! Thanks for another keeper — you rock!

  20. Sheila says:

    This was delicious! I made the kebabs for supper last night. I stuck whole mushrooms in between the beef with the onion on the skewers. I didn’t marinate the mushrooms — only basted as I grilled them. And I only had time for the kebabs to marinate for 3 hours. Huge hit! I even forgot to “tent” the kebabs after grilling and they still were tender and juicy.

  21. Vicky says:

    These were so good! We made them with chicken tonight, but I think beef would be even more amazing!

  22. Carra says:

    Even though I got distracted while grilling these kebabs and overcooked them it still tasted very good though the beef was tough. I just wish I had listened to your advice to serve these with grilled pineapple (which I LOVE) because I can see after tasting this how they would pair together perfectly! Oh well, next time! Or maybe I’ll put some chunks of pineapple on the skewers with the beef and onion. Yum!

  23. Davy Yee says:

    Hi Mel – do you think London Broil would work OK for this? That is what is on sale this week in our area. BTW – I echo everyone’s sentiments on your website. We love you in our home. Even my girls ask me each time I try a new recipe if this is Mel’s. You are like a family friend in our home. Thank you for all of your wonderful recipes!!

  24. Bethany says:

    Wow, these were amazing! My husband and I are doing Whole30 which is food plan mostly centered on meat, veggies and fruit. This fit the plan and was absolutely delicious! Even my kids loved it!

  25. sue says:

    Hi Mel …just tried your kabobs they were so delicious everyone loved them. Did chicken next week beef. Thanks so much for the receipe

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