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Beef Souvlaki

Beef Souvlaki uses a simple Greek inspired marinade that adds so much flavor and helps tenderize the beef. Add your favorite vegetables and grill to perfection. This meal pairs really nicely with a big fresh summer salad and tzatziki sauce.

Beef Souvlaki on a white platter

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BEEF SOUVLAKI

Grilling season is one of my favorite times of year.

We enjoy grilling and steak is one of our favorite cuts to use.

Today I am celebrating recipes from around the world with the Ohio Beef Council and sharing this Beef Souvlaki recipe.

The greek marinade is one of my favorites that I use often.

When Mike and I visited Greece and ate greek cuisine souvlaki was one of our favorite meals we would eat.

I love the light flavors of the marinade and the grilled meat always pairs so nicely with a big greek salad, tzatziki and lemon potatoes.

It mixes together lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, dried oregano, thyme and paprika.

The marinade helps tenderize the beef and also works great on vegetables if you want to add those to the skewers.

I used sirloin steak {from top to tip} for the skewers. I find that it is a great cut for the grill and gets nice a tender.

Other good beef choices for kabobs or skewers are Flat Iron or Strip Steak and even Tenderloin.

I love pairing this Beef Souvlaki with tzatziki sauce and a big summer salad like tabbouleh or fattoush.

You also could serve this with a creamy dill sauce or a tahini yogurt sauce.

If you like kabobs you need to also try my Beef Kafta Kabobs or these Mediterranean Beef Kabobs.

Both are very popular recipes on my site!

Beef Souvlaki on a bowl of rice

Why You Will Love This Recipe:

Protein Packed: Beef is a versatile food that can be found in many cuisines all over the world. This beef souvlaki uses a Greek inspired marinade to make the most tender and flavorful beef. It is packed with protein to keep you feeling satisfied.

Perfect for Grilling Season: I love grilling beef! The dry-heat cooking creates the most tender meat. Try cuts like strip, ribeye, tenderloin and t-bone steaks, which are all great on the grill. There is nothing like a grilled steak that is juicy and flavorful! A few of my other popular grilled beef recipes are this Balsamic Marinated Steak or this Grilled Flank Steak with Dry Rub.

A Complete Meal: I added vegetables to the beef souvlaki to create more a complete meal. You could easily serve it alongside brown rice or quinoa. I love grilled vegetables and the sweetness that grilling brings out of them. Create a tzatziki sauce to drizzle over the veggies and the beef. It is the perfect summer pairing!

Beef Souvlaki ingredients

Recipe Ingredients:

  • Beef – For today’s recipe I used sirloin steak {from top to tip} and cut it into approximately 1 inch beef cubes. Other good beef choices for kabobs are Flat Iron or Strip Steak and even Tenderloin. Don’t hesitate to ask for help! Chat with your butcher or meat counter clerk. Their job is to recommend cuts and tell you how to get the most out of them.
  • Vegetables– I added fresh vegetables to the beef souvlaki skewers. You don’t have to do that but I like to cook it all-together. I used red onion, cherry tomatoes, zucchini and red bell peppers.
  • Tzatziki – I love serving this type of meal with a tzatziki sauce. When I make it I use Greek yogurt, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, white vinegar, fresh dill and grated cucumber.
  • Fresh Herbs – I like to add fresh herbs when plating the souvlaki. You can add fresh parsley, fresh dill or fresh mint.
Beef Souvlaki beef in a marinade

Recipe Ingredients For the Marinade:

  • Lemon Juice – This is such a simple marinade! The lemon juice helps add a sweetness to the beef and also tenderizes it. Don’t marinade overnight as it can break down the beef too much from the acidity. I suggest a 2 hour maximum marinade time. You can also add lemon zest for extra flavor in this greek souvlaki marinade.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil – I like to use extra virgin olive oil for that robust flavor that it adds.
  • Garlic Cloves – Garlic is a great addition to this marinade and adds a lot of flavor. You can skip it if you want but I suggest using it. You also could use garlic powder if that is all you have.
  • Red Wine Vinegar –The vinegar helps to cut the lemon juice and creates such a wonderful flavor to the marinade.
  • Spices – The mixture of spices I used are dried oregano, dried thyme and paprika. I have also seen souvlaki use chopped dried bay leaves and cumin.
Beef Souvlaki on a white platter

How to Make Beef Souvlaki Kebabs

  1. CREATE MARINADE: Add all of the marinade ingredients together in a medium mixing bowl and whisk to combine.
  2. MARINADE BEEF: Cut the beef into 1-inch cubes and put them in a large ziplock bag, large glass bowl or Tupperware container and pour in 3/4 of the marinade. Seal the bag or close the airtight container and toss to coat the beef with the marinade. Refrigerate the beef for 45 minutes or up to 2 hours.
Beef Souvlaki beef in a bowl with marinade

3. MARINADE VEGETABLES: In another bag or large container add the vegetables and pour the remaining marinade and toss to combine. Seal and refrigerate with the beef.

Beef Souvlaki vegetables in a bowl

4. SOAK THE SKEWERS: Before grilling soak wooden skewers or bamboo skewers in water for 20 minutes unless you are using metal skewers.

When you are ready to grill the beef remove and set out while you heat the grill.

Heat the grill to medium high heat. Remove the beef from the fridge and take the beef from the container or bag and discard the marinade.

5. THREAD THE BEEF AND VEGETABLES: Set out a large platter or wooden cutting board. Thread a piece of beef onto the wood or metal skewers followed by red bell pepper, red onions, tomatoes and zucchini and repeat until the ingredients are gone.

Beef Souvlaki skewers on a cutting board

6. CREATE TZATZIKI SAUCE: While the grill is heating make the Tzatziki sauce by combining Greek yogurt, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, white vinegar, fresh dill, cucumber, salt and pepper and mix well.

Put in a covered container and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Brush the grates of the grill with oil to prevent the beef souvlaki from sticking.

7. GRILL THE BEEF SOUVLAKI: Add the beef to the grill and cook for about 8-10 minutes, turning once. The beef is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 130 degrees F for medium rare or 140 degrees F for medium.

Beef Souvlaki on the grill

8. SERVE WITH TZATZIKI AND SALAD: Remove from the grill. Serve the beef skewers with pita bread, a greek salad and tzatziki.

Beef Souvlaki on a white platter

Grilling Tips

Marinade – Sirloin doesn’t actually require marinade to break down the muscle fibers for tenderness but if you want to infuse flavor, like with this beef souvlaki, then marinading helps with that.

I suggest marinading for about 30-45 minutes and no longer than 2 hours as it starts to break down the beef because of the lemon juice.

Size – When making a skewer or kabob try to keep the beef and vegetables a similar size, approximately 3/4-inch to 1 1/2-inch pieces, so they cook evenly.

Cook Time – When grilling kabobs over direct heat of approximately 400°F. Kabobs with 3/4-inch cubes require approximately 8 to 10 minutes of total time on the grill, flipping halfway through with smaller cubes not taking as long.

If you find one is cooking too fast you can move it to indirect heat on the grill while the others finish cooking.

Separate Skewers – If you want to really control the cook time and how the vegetables cook versus the beef you can do separate skewers. Create 4 skewers with the beef and then 4 skewers with the vegetables and cook them at the same time.

You can then monitor them and if something finishes cooking first you can remove that. I often notice that the vegetables might not cook as fast as the beef, because I like my beef medium rare which doesn’t take a long time to reach.

Non-Stick – To ensure that your skewers or kabobs don’t stick to the grill make sure you brush olive oil or non-stick cooking spray on them or the grill.

Meat ThermometerKabobs can be hard to really gauge when they are done and reach the temp you want. I like mine medium rare so I use a meat thermometer to check the temperature which should be 130-140 degrees F.

Beef Souvlaki in a pita

Ways to Modify Beef Souvlaki

Fresh Herbs – Add fresh herbs into the marinade. You could add fresh parsley, fresh dill or fresh mint. They all brighten the marinade and make it even more flavorful.

Citrus – I added lemon juice to the marinade but lime juice can also work.

Vegetables – The vegetables on the beef souvlaki is not necessary but it is an addition I like to make when grilling the skewers. Some other vegetables that would be nice to add are mushrooms, green bell pepper, poblanos, summer squash or sweet onion.

Cut of Beef – When making kabobs or skewers on the grill the best cuts of beef to use are sirloin, Flat Iron or Strip Steak and even Tenderloin. These cuts will get the most tender and juicy on the grill.

Beef Souvlaki beef on a cutting board

Other Beef Recipes You Might Like:

LEBANESE MEAT PIES

THE BEST ROAST BEEF

MEXICAN ZUCCHINI

SLOW COOKER BEEF BARLEY SOUP

MEDITERRANEAN GROUND BEEF ZUCCHINI SKILLET

SLOW COOKER MEXICAN BEEF BRISKET

Beef Souvlaki on a white platter

Beef Souvlaki

Beef Souvlaki uses a simple Greek inspired marinade that adds so much flavor and helps tenderize the beef. Add your favorite vegetables and grill to perfection. This meal pairs really nicely with a big fresh summer salad and tzatziki sauce.
Print Pin Rate
Course: Beef
Keyword: beef, dinner, greek food, grilling, mediterranean diet, skewers
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Marinade time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4
4

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2- 2 pounds sirloin steak, cut into chunks to 1 inch
  • 1/2 of a bell pepper, seeds removed, cut into chunks to 3/4 inch
  • 1/2 of a small red onion, cut into chunks to 3/4 inch
  • 12 ounces cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes,
  • 1 large zucchini, cut into rounds

FOR THE SOUVLAKI MARINADE

  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano {or 2 tablespoons fresh}
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme {or 2 teaspoons fresh thyme}
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

FOR THE TZATZIKI

  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt, 2% or whole milk yogurt works best
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
  • 2 cups grated cucumber, about 1 small cucumber, squeeze out the excess juice from the cucumber 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • dash black pepper

Instructions

  • Add all of the marinade ingredients together in a medium mixing bowl and whisk to combine.
  • Cut the beef into 1-inch cubes and put them in a large ziplock bag, large glass bowl or tupperware container and pour in 3/4 of the marinade. Seal the bag or close the container and toss to coat the beef with the marinade. Refrigerate the beef for 45 minutes or up to 2 hours.
  • In another bag or large container add the vegetables and pour the remaining marinade and toss to combine. Seal and refrigerate with the beef.
  • Before grilling soak wooden or bamboo skewers in water for 20 minutes unless you are using metal skewers.
  • When you are ready to grill the beef remove and set out while you heat the grill.
  • Heat the grill to medium high heat. Remove the beef from the fridge and take the beef from the container or bag and discard the marinade.
  • Set out a large platter or wooden cutting board. Thread a piece of beef onto the wood or metal skewers followed by red bell pepper, red onion, tomatoes and zucchini and repeat until the ingredients are gone.
  • While the grill is heating make the Tzatziki sauce by combining Greek yogurt, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, white vinegar, fresh dill, cucumber, salt and pepper and mix well.
  • Put in a covered container and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  • Brush the grates of the grill with oil to prevent the beef souvlaki from sticking.
  • Add the beef to the grill and cook for about 8-10 minutes, turning once. The beef is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 130 degrees F for medium rare or 140 degrees F for medium.
  • Remove from the grill. Serve the beef skewers with pita, tabbouleh and tzatziki.

Notes

You can add lemon zest for more citrus flavor. 
Marinate the beef for 45 minutes or up to 2 hours. I wouldn’t marinade for more than 2 hours because it can start to break down the chicken. 
You can make this and not add vegetables and just do skewers of the beef. I like to cut the beef a bit smaller when I do that. 

Today’s post is sponsored by the Ohio Beef Council. As always, my opinions are 100% my own.

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