Good Food for a Crowd (Recipe: Cumin & Oregano Beef Kebabs)

Summer eating calls for food that gives maximum flavour for minimal effort and these garlic and oregano scented beef kebabs deliver just that. They are one of my go-to grilling suppers when I just don’t feel like burgers and make an excellent menu option for entertaining friends on warm June evening.

At a recent backyard barbecue, these recipes stole the spotlight: tender sirloin kebabs that had been marinated in garlic, cumin and loads of fresh oregano. The skewers were sandwiched between grilled pita bread that had been bathed in a pungent garlic-infused olive oil, and the whole thing dressed with fresh tomatoes and slathered with my homemade Tzatziki. I could eat this way all month long!

An assortment of fresh summer salads make the perfect accompaniments to your simple grilling party. Try Grilled Corn & Avocado Salad with Lime & Basil, Classic Greek Salad, or just a mound of marinated tomatoes with shredded basil and a crumbling of feta.

Fresh flavors, little fuss, eating with your hands – that’s what summer dining is all about. I hope you give these recipes a try.

Cumin & Oregano Beef Kebabs
Serves/Yield: 6
If any of you grow your own oregano, you'll already be familiar with how it grows like a weed. Don't be shy with this lovely herb for this recipe, but let the flavour shine through.
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped oregano
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds sirloin flap steak or flatiron steak, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 12 (12-inch) wooden skewers, soaked in water 30 minutes.
  1. Stir together olive oil, oregano, garlic, spices, and 1 teaspoon salt in a bowl, then toss with beef. Marinate, chilled, at least 2 hours.
  2. Prepare grill for direct-heat cooking over medium-hot charcoal (high heat for gas);
  3. Thread about 4 pieces of beef onto each skewer, leaving small spaces between pieces, then transfer to a tray.
  4. Oil grill rack, then grill beef, covered only if using a gas grill, turning, until browned but still pink inside, 4 to 5 minutes.
Do Ahead
  1. Beef can be marinated up to 8 hours
Serve with Garlic-Oregano Grilled Pita (recipe below), fresh Classic Greek Tzatziki and a summer salad.


Garlic-Oregano Grilled Pita Bread
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves/Yield: serves 4
If you don't quite have time for home made pita bread, this alternative is a wonderful way to liven up store-bought pita.
  • 3 tbs olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh oregano
  • 8 pocketless pita bread rounds
  • kosher salt to taste
For the Garlic-Oregano Oil:
  1. Heat oil in a small skillet over medium heat until it shimmers.
  2. Cook garlic for a few minutes, turning once or twice, until pale golden.
  3. Discard garlic and remove skillet from heat, then stir in oregano.
  4. Reserve until ready to use. This can be done an hour or so in advance.
To Grill Pita:
  1. Preheat grill to 400ยฐF.
  2. Grill pitas, 3 or 4 at a time, turning once, until grill marks appear.
  3. Remove from grill and brush both sides with garlic-oregano oil.
  4. Sprinkle with kosher salt and tuck into a square of aluminum foil to keep warm while you grill the other pitas.
  5. Serve warm. Cut into wedges if desired.

June is definitely the month to get grilling! What are you cooking up?

About Aimee

Cooking has always been Aimรฉe's preferred recreational activity, creative outlet, and source of relaxation. After nearly ten years in the professional cooking industry, she went from restaurant to RSS by trading her tongs and clogs for cookie cutters and a laptop, serving as editor here at Simple Bites. Her first book, Brown Eggs and Jam Jars - Family Recipes from the Kitchen of Simple Bites, was published in February 2015.

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  1. Such intersting dish.Thanks for your recipe sharing.I will try to make this on this wekkend with my family

  2. Rachel Cross says:

    YUM – this looks divine. We are having people over for dinner on Monday, and I am going to make this. We don’t have a grill – I’m assuming I can just broil this in the oven?

  3. Amazing marinade and no salt! I’ll have to try it since we love cumin and oregano.

  4. It look so good, simple and perfect for summer. The only thing missing is the smell… I can just imagine :)

  5. love it!!! Looks fantastic! Mmmm

  6. Your description of that beef is mouth watering!!! Great job!

  7. Gorg-O!

  8. Aimee, my hubby made these for dinner last night and they were great. The kids loved them, and although I’m not quite sure why they felt the need to add strawberries to the dish (the kids, not Rob) I just went with it and everything was devoured. Thanks!

  9. this looks really delicious!!! :)
    I must give it a try! thanks for sharing!

  10. Rhea Adams says:

    I bet these are really sumptuous. I will definitely give it a try this upcoming weekend with the family & a few friends, in time for our victory celebration. Thanks for sharing! :)

  11. What a perfect summer recipe! Thanks!

  12. Rachel Cross says:

    The flavor of this was really nice, but my beef came out pretty chewy. We don’t have a grill, so I broiled it in the oven. Any tips on how to tenderize beef?

  13. That looks very delicious and easy to make. Perfect summer recipe! Want to give it a try later but need to do some grocery errand first for the pita bread. :)

  14. I am so so glad you posted this last week, just as I was searching for a menu to make for our family gathering this weekend! It was the perfect meal! Everyone LOVED it and my husband says he is still “dreaming” about it :-) Thank-you!

  15. Sounds fabulous! I love cumin, so I’m sure these kebabs will be a new favorite!

  16. Thanks for the recipe! I made it tonight and it was awesome!

  17. That seem so delicious.. I’m so excited to try it out!

  18. Genelle says:

    This is great, easy to make and doesn’t take too long to prep either, you do need a seriously big pan to cook it in – be warned!!!! tastes delicous and any meat lover would be happy eating this. enjoy.

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