These sheet pan beef skewers are a quick and easy meal from Melissa Clark. Beef sirloin is marinated in oil, garlic, and fragrant spices, skewered and quickly broiled, and served with a cilantro and mint yogurt sauce.
Not only will your kids eat these but they can even help you make’em too. But don’t worry, these kebabs are definitely adult-approved. A New York Times food columnist and cookbook author many times over, Melissa Clark knows what she’s talking about. These skewers are well-spiced but not spicy; the yogurt dip adds freshness and a bright flavor. If you opt to use wooden skewers, keep an eye on them. Even when soaked in water, they can still flame up.–Jenny Latreille
WHAT KIND OF MEAT SHOULD I USE?
The recipe calls for either sirloin or leg of lamb, both of which are tender, flavorful cuts that require little cooking time when cut into small chunks and are lovely when done to a medium or medium-rare, meaning the cut is accentuated by brief cooking when exposed to high heat. You could also opt for a slightly more luxurious and tender beef tenderloin, though some consider it to lack in flavor what it makes up for in texture.
Sheet Pan Beef Skewers
- Wooden or metal skewers
For the skewers
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 garlic clove finely grated
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
- 1 pound boneless beef sirloin or leg of lamb cut into 1 1/2-inch (4-cm) cubes
For the yogurt sauce
- 1 cup plain full-fat yogurt or sour cream
- Pinch Kosher salt
- 1 garlic clove finely grated
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro or mint or a combination
- 1 large red onion cut into 1 1/2-inch (4-cm) chunks
- Lemon wedges for serving
Marinate the meat
- If you’re using wooden or bamboo skewers, soak them in water for at least 1 hour to help prevent them from catching fire under the broiler (you don’t need to do this with metal skewers).
- In a large bowl, mix together the oil, garlic, the salt, cumin, paprika, cinnamon, allspice, black pepper, and cayenne, if using.
- Add the meat and toss well to coat the pieces. Cover and let the meat marinate for at least 30 minutes at room temperature or up to 24 hours in the refrigerator.
Make the yogurt sauce
- In a small bowl, mix together the yogurt, a pinch of salt, garlic, and the cilantro or mint. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Cook and serve the skewers
- When you’re ready to cook, set a rack about 4 inches (10 cm) below the broiler element and heat the broiler. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.
- Press meat and onions onto the skewers, alternating them and pressing the pieces next to each other. Place the skewers on the baking sheet.
☞TESTER TIP: If you're using wood skewers and want to retard them from catching fire under the broiler, you can wrap the exposed ends with foil.
- Broil until the tops are browned and slightly charred, 3 to 4 minutes. Using oven mitts, flip the skewers over and continue broiling until the meat is browned and charred at the edges on the other side, but still rare or medium-rare inside (or medium, if you prefer), 2 to 4 minutes more.
- Serve the skewers with the yogurt sauce and lemon wedges.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
My daughter took a bite of this before I did and with a full mouth declared it “INCREDIBLE.” When I got my first bite, I agreed, however it might even be MORE incredible (maybe even a 10+) with 2 minor notes.
First, I used sirloin which was fantastic, but I can only imagine these flavors would be even better paired with tender, fatty, succulent lamb. And second, while the wooden skewers worked, they did start to burn (even after soaking all day), so I would say for sure go with the metal skewers. I prefer medium-rare, so next time I’ll do 3 minutes plus 2 minutes.
This recipe could easily be tripled or quadrupled for an amazing dinner party dish, and the broiler makes it doable even in the middle of winter (although I know these would be delectable on a grill).
One thing to mention about the yogurt sauce is that it is so good with full-fat Greek yogurt. My Wegmans supermarket just started carrying their own 10% milk-fat Greek yogurt and it really rocked this sauce, especially with a mix of both mint and cilantro. I served the beef skewers with the yogurt sauce, lemon wedges, and warm pita.
These kebabs are a flavorful and fast dinner. If the beef is prepped and marinated ahead, dinner is done in minutes. The broiler lends just enough smoky flavor reminiscent of grilling, and the marinade is a perfect balance while still allowing the beef to shine.
I used top sirloin cap steaks, which were an excellent choice for this recipe as they work well under the broiler. I also used some bell peppers on some of the kebabs instead of onion, as my husband is somewhat onion averse. Many different veggies could be added to these kebabs, so add what you like! I will say that the red onion version added a lovely sweetness to the meat. The yogurt sauce perfectly paired with the sweetness of the onion and the spices in the marinade. A squeeze of lemon to the kebabs was also a nice touch of acid to finish the dish.
My broiler rack can be either 3 inches or 6 inches from the broiler, so I opted for 3 inches. I cooked the kebabs 4 minutes per side, and they were medium-rare, just as the recipe suggests. I doubled the recipe to make 10 kebabs so the original recipe would make about 5. Maybe my family (2 adults, 3 kids) eats a lot, but 5 kebabs don’t feed 4 people as the recipe. I had 2 of 10 kebabs left at the end of dinner.
I made the yogurt sauce as written, but after tasting it with the kebabs, I added more cilantro and salt. As written, it’s mostly plain yogurt with a faint garlic taste. I think it needs more, but this is personal taste. I served it with green beans and couscous.
Originally published February 19, 2021