Armenian Shish Kebab

Tender, juicy, ultra-flavorful Armenian Shish Kebab is always a big hit at your family gatherings or a barbecue with friends.

Growing up, I have wonderful memories of my grandpa and uncles tending to the barbecue grill lined with delicious Armenian shish kebab. These are days and celebrations that will never be forgotten. Preparing the marinade for this recipe helped me to feel a connection to those days gone by. With Father's Day tomorrow, it was a great time to prepare this recipe and share it with my family. 

We have a funny story that we love to tell in our family.  My grandpa Moe (furthest left in picture) was quite the character sometimes.  He used to say that if someone broke into their home, "I'll give them the shish!"  We all used to get a laugh as he would demonstrate his fighting stance. 

So this recipe is my chance to give my readers the shish! Enjoy.

Grandpa and uncles cooking shish kebab


What Ingredients Do I Need To Make Armenian Shish Kebab?

Armenian Shish Kebab Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 pounds leg of lamb or top sirloin beef
  • 2 medium onions cut into wedges (for skewers) or use frozen pearl onions (if your store carries these)
  • 1 medium onion thinly sliced (for the marinade)
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup red wine (or substitute 1/4 cup red wine vinegar and 1/4 cup water)
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon aleppo pepper (or substitute 1/2 teaspoon paprika and 1/8 teaspoon of ground red pepper)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sumac (optional)


How Do I Make Armenian Shish Kebab?

Cut the leg of lamb or top sirloin into 1 1/2 inch cubes.

For the marinade,  combine the thinly sliced onions, minced garlic, tomato paste, wine, red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper, allspice, aleppo pepper and sumac (optional). Marinade over night or for several hours in a big bowl or pot.

marinading Armenian shish kebab

Cut raw onion into wedges. Skewer marinated meat, adding pieces of onion in between. Grill over medium heat to desired doneness, turning the skewers every few minutes.

Serve with a side of Armenian Rice Pilaf, Heavenly Armenian Pita Bread or an Armenian Salad.Note: This post contains some affiliate links, which means that I could earn a small commission off items you purchase at no additional cost to you.


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