Lime and Basil Beef Kebabs

The marinade for Lime and Basil Beef Kebabs is so deliciously aromatic that it’s tempting to take a sip before you pour it over the beef. Fresh lime juice, orange zest and basil are blended together with garlic, cumin and coconut oil for a zesty flavor combination that intensifies over an open flame. The lime and cumin dominate in the end, with hints of the basil and orange sneaking in.

Add chunks of bell peppers and onion to the skewers and you’ll have a balanced meal cooking together on one stick. The beef will be charred on the outside and medium-rare in the middle, and the veggies will be seared by the heat but still crisp and fresh.

There are many cuts of beef that work well for kebabs, depending on how much you want to spend. Ask your butcher which cuts they recommend and also keep in mind that the marinade will help tenderize the meat if you buy a less-expensive cut. While this lime and basil marinade is perfect for beef, there’s no reason it wouldn’t be equally good over lamb or pork.

Servings: 3 to 4


  • 1 pound of beef (try chuck, top sirloin, rib-eye, tri-tip or tenderloin) cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange peel (zest)
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 handful of basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 bell peppers, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 onion, red or yellow, cut into 1-inch pieces


Place the cubes of meat in a large, sealable plastic bag or a glass bowl. Set aside.

In a blender, combine lime juice, coconut oil, orange zest, garlic cloves, basil, cumin, salt and pepper until smooth.

Pour over the meat. Let sit for 1/2 hour at room temperature or marinate for up to two hours in the refrigerator.

In a separate bowl toss the bell peppers and onion with either a little bit of the marinade or a drizzle of oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.

While the meat is marinating, heat the grill to high. If you’re using bamboo skewers, soak in water for 1/2 hour so they don’t burn on the grill – you’ll need about 6 skewers.

Skewer the meat and veggies, alternating chunks of meat with bell pepper and onion. Grill with the lid down for 8 minutes, turning the skewers every two minutes.

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45 thoughts on “Lime and Basil Beef Kebabs”

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  1. Just in time to pull this up before heading to the grocery store … added to the list!

    1. My wife was in the car and took a picture of the list and was like “GET THESE!” we’re having it tonight and will let you all know how hard we NOM.

  2. I anticipate coconut oil problems if marinating in the fridge (solidifying), but looks tasty–maybe coconut milk…

    1. Don’t marinate in the fridge unless you don’t need it until the next day. Just leave it on the counter. Unless your kitchen is filthy, AND you smear it with raw chicken you found in a ditch, AND you happen to be extremely unlucky, it won’t develop deathly funk in the two hours it would take to completely marinate.

    2. Yes, I put mine in the fridge and it did solidify but it did liquify when I let it sit on the counter for a few minutes. Very tasty when it was all said and done.

  3. Great! Basil and bell peppers were in this week’s veggie box so I have all these ingredients to hand which means I won’t have to risk drowning to get to the shops. Here in the SW of England we’ve had 1 month’s average rainfall in 24 hours – and it’s still raining!

    1. I love getting my “veggie box” every week! Sometimes, you have to be creative with how you use some of the veggies though. Sounds like your getting hit pretty hard over the pond! Stay Dry!

  4. Recipe looks good, lime juice over steak tastes great!

    Will try the recipe as soon as I have a grill that I can use indoor. Anyone here has suggestions which brands are good (in Europe)?

  5. Hard to beat the beauty of the meat and veg skewer, but you might think about putting the veg on one and the meat on the other. You aren’t going to eat it off the stick anyway, (right?)and that way you can take the veg off when they are done instead of burning them while the meat cooks. Can’t wait to do this recipe.

  6. Sounds wonderful. I’ve found beef heart makes really excellent kebabs. I’ll be trying this marinade soon!

    1. Really?! I wanted to buy heart as it was inexpensive and healthy (and just because the wrapper said ‘pet food’, but it was to expire that day. I was afraid I wouldn’t have enough time to come up with something. I know it’s either rare or tenderize for hours. So happy you posted this. Definitively going to eat that pet good, lol!

    2. So glad you said that, that’s exactly why I was reading the comments! Ive been reading TGIPaleo this week and she’s talking about offal. I may not to be too scared to try beef heart in this recipe!

  7. I have some Lime Basil plant in my herb garden, I think I will try this recipe with that! It’s basil that smells and tastes like it has a hint of fresh lime.

  8. What do you think the best cut of beef would be to use for this recipe? (I know Mark mentioned a few in the post, but which is the best of the best?)

    1. We used top sirloin filets and it was perfect! We cut the pieces a hair bigger than normal kebab pieces to make sure we kept them nice and rare!

      It was wildly delicious.

  9. Rump, I reckon. Not too expensive and is forgiving, should the marinade not tenderize as hoped.
    Cheers, its a bit cold to be grilling outside at the moment, but I will print this off for later. Tonite I am slow roasting (6 hours) ossobucco with fennel and verjuice will heat the house nicely 🙂

  10. The marinade sounds awesome! Gonna have to wait a little before I make this one, though… Got a lot of leftovers to get through!

  11. This looks delicious, but I won’t be grilling any time soon. I wonder if the recipe will work for stir-fry. The meat might have to be cut a bit smaller, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work.

    1. I was having a similar thought, or perhaps trying my oven’s broiler. My grill-fu is not as strong as it should be.

  12. Just made these, great marinade. I skipped the blender, crushed the garlic with a fork, and used dry basil. Marinated at room temp while the grill heated up. I also added quartered beets in lieu of the 2nd bell pepper. This plus a salad of red onion, cucumber, beet tops, spring mix. Very satisfying meal!

  13. Okay.. .we are eating it as I speak and it is FABULOUS! Added on some mushrooms and I doubled the marinade so everything steeped in all these delicious flavors. Totally a keeper recipe.

  14. Holy Cow! This blew me away! We figured it was about $17 and fed me, my wife, and my 3 kids (toddlers) plenty of food.

    This one is DEFINITELY going in the repertoire!

    1. Had everything but the beef in the fridge…so it was very inexpensive!

  15. I like coming to this for the recipes alone (w/ the paleo being a bonus!)- I can’t tell you how many times I made the Hungarian goulash recipe in the colder months-

    this recipe looks awesome . . going to be happening tonight

  16. I made this, and got compliments from my guests, no leftovers either

  17. Made these for dinner last night. WOW!! The grocery store was out of fresh basil so I had to settle for freeze-dried instead but they still turned out AWESOME. What a great meal to get me started back on the Primal Wagon 🙂

  18. Just have to say we finally tried this tonight and its pretty awesome!

  19. Just finished these — made the veggies and beef (beef short ribs)on separate skewers as suggested above. NOM, NOM, NOM! Definitely a keeper!

  20. As I went to preheat the grill, I noticed it was out of gas, so I tried them on a rack under the broiler. I used grass-fed sirloin, and it was actually fairly tough. I wonder if marinating it longer would help. Good flavor, though!

  21. Had everything on hand but the orange. Picked up oranges tonight and made it as a stir-fry instead of kabobs. Used grass-fed beef tenderloin and added a jalapeño pepper to the marinade. OMG, so fabulous!!! Can’t wait to make it again!

  22. I just started PB a week ago and loving it. I’ve got a couple camping trips with friends who love their weenie roasts. I’m going to surprise them by cooking this on a weenie roaster over the campfire this summer.

  23. These were delicious! I’m going to try the marinade on chicken and pork, too!

  24. I made these over a campfire last night using a hot dog roaster as my skewer (i recommed the double pronged ones where the prongs face backwards, less food falls off).

    They turned out great. I’d recommend using latex gloves when skewering the meat in case you are concerned about raw meat contamination.

    My friends were a little jealous as they were having their hot dogs. Took about the same amount of time to cook as the dogs too!

  25. Had these for dinner last night and oh wow…. yum!! Also grilled mushrooms and zucchini to have with it, just to bump up the veg a bit. Sooooo making this again!

  26. Made these with both chuck steak and chicken breasts… and I have to say that the chicken was the winner! While we all loved the steak, the chicken really made the marinade just POP and it was like a flavor party in our mouths! SO saving this recipe and it’s going into the rotation for our summer BBQ’s for sure. Sadly, there were no leftovers… I could really go for some more today! 😀