Kalyn's Kitchen

Hamburger Kabobs

Hamburger Kabobs are a delicious alternative to burgers for ground beef on the grill and this recipe has some surprising ingredients to add flavor!

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Hamburger Kabobs top photo

If you’re looking for something to make from ground beef that’s a bit more unusual than regular burgers, these delicious Hamburger Kebobs (or Kebabs) made with ground beef and seasoned with chopped onion, parsley, pine nuts, and dried oregano are a fun idea.  I first made these for a blogging event where you had to use a cookbook published between 1920 and 1975, and  I found this recipe in James Beard’s How To Eat Better For Less Money (affiliate link) a book I’ve had for many, many years!

Even though the book is so old that you can now buy it for a few dollars, it still has good cooking information. James Beard spelled it “kebabs” and one thing that puzzled me the first time I made this recipe was the instructions to marinate the kebabs in “French” dressing.  Then I realized James Beard meant vinaigrette, and it made more sense.  I just brushed the vinaigrette on the Hamburger Kabobs before I put them on the grill, and it did keep the meat juicy and delicious.

I didn’t change the recipe much, but I did change one important thing in this updated version of the recipe.  Since James Beard wrote this before food processors were common, his recipe called for chopping and mixing the meat mixture by hand. I used the food processor to chop the onion, parsley, and pine nuts and then put the meat in the processor and used it to mix in the other ingredients.  If you don’t have a food processor, just do it by hand the way James Beard did!

What ingredients do you need for this recipe?

  • ground beef
  • coarsely chopped pine nuts (or other nuts)
  • onion
  • chopped parsley
  • egg
  • salt to taste)
  • coarse ground black pepper to taste
  • Newman’s Own Olive Oil and Vinegar Dressing (affiliate link) or other low-sugar vinaigrette

Hamburger Kabobs process shots collage

How to make this recipe:

(Scroll down for complete recipe with nutritional information.)

  1. Coarsely chop the onion, parsley, and pine nuts, then put them in the food processor and pulse until they’re more finely chopped.
  2. Add the hamburger, egg, and spices and pulse until the mixture is barely combined.  (Don’t over-mix.)
  3. The third photo shows how it will look when you’ve mixed it in the food processor.
  4. If you have thick Blade-Type Skewers (affiliate link) or the Double Skewers (affiliate link) like I have, they will work best for these kebabs.  If you’re using wooden skewers (that you’ve soaked) I would use two for each kebab.
  5. I used Newman’s Own Olive Oil and Vinegar Dressing (affiliate link) to brush on the kebabs before I put them on the grill.
  6. Cook kebabs over medium-high heat, turning a few times, until the meat is firm and slightly browned. Of course I have to try for grill marks, and they turned out pretty well.
  7. We cooked the kebabs about 15 minutes, but actual cooking time will depend on the temperature of your grill, the temperature of the meat, and even the temperature of the air if you’re cooking outside.
  8. Serve hot. This would be amazing to serve with Tzatziki Sauce

Hamburger Kabobs square thumbnail photo

Make it a Meal:

Serve Hamburger Kebabs with Arugula and Gorgonzola Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette and Grilled Asparagus with Parmesan for a low-carb meal!

More Recipes for Ground Meat on the Grill:

Kubideh: Grilled Ground Meat with Mediterranean Spices ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Umami Turkey Burgers ~ White on Rice Couple
Grilled Sriracha-Sesame Turkey Meatballs ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Smoky Burger Sliders with Pineapple and Chipotle Mayonnaise ~ Cookin’ Canuck
Bacon Cheeseburger Meatballs ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen

Hamburger Kabobs top photo

Hamburger Kabobs

Yield 4 servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Hamburger Kabobs are a delicious idea for ground beef on the grill that came from James Beard!


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pine nuts (see notes)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped fine
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. salt (more or less to taste)
  • coarse ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup Newman’s Own Olive Oil and Vinegar Dressing (see notes)


  1. Spray grill with olive oil or non-stick spray, then preheat grill or broiler to medium high.  (On the grill, you can only hold your hand there for a few seconds at that heat.)
  2. Coarsely chop onions, parsley, and pine nuts. Put them in the food processor and pulse until they’re more finely chopped.
  3. Add the hamburger, egg, and spices and pulse until the mixture is barely combined.  (Don’t over-mix.)
  4. Form meat mixture into four cylindrical shaped pieces.
  5. If you have double skewers like I used or blade type skewers, thread kebabs onto skewers.
  6. If you’re using pre-soaked wooden skewers, I would use two for each kabob.  (I would probably just cook them on the grill without a skewer if you don’t have one of these options.)
  7. Brush kebabs on both sides with vinaigrette dressing.  (You can let them marinate in the dressing for a few minutes if desired.)
  8. If you want to baste the kebabs with dressing as they cook, be very careful because the dressing that drips down will flame up when it hits the hot underside of the grill.
  9. Lay kabobs across the grill grates to get crosswise grill marks.
  10. Cook, turning a few times, until the kebabs feel firm (but not hard) to the touch and the meat is well browned.
  11. We cooked the kebabs in these photos about 15 minutes, but cooking time will depend on the temperature of your grill, the temperature of the meat, and even the outside temperature if you’re cooking outside.
  12. This would be great served with Tzatziki Sauce


You can definitely use almonds or walnuts if pine nuts are not in the budget. I'm a huge fan of Newman's Own Olive Oil and Vinegar Dressing (affiliate link) but for basting kebabs you can use any vinaigrette with not more than 2-3 grams of sugar per serving.

This recipe adapted slightly from How To Eat Better For Less Money (affiliate link) a very old cookbook that still has plenty of good ideas.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 454Total Fat: 33gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 147mgSodium: 708mgCarbohydrates: 6gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 35g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.

If you make this recipe I'd love to hear how it turns out. Leave a star rating or share on social media with the hashtag #KALYNSKITCHEN, thanks!

Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Suggestions:
This recipe for Hamburger Kabobs is great for low-carb or Keto diet plans, and those plans would prefer higher-fat ground beef. If you use lean ground beef and low-sugar vinaigrette to brush the kebabs, this recipe is perfect for any phase of the original South Beach Diet.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Grilling Recipes to find more recipes like this one. Use the Diet Type Index to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You can also Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

Historical Notes for this Recipe:
This recipe was first posted in 2006 for a retro-recipe event. The recipe was last updated in 2021.

Pinterest image of Hamburger Kabobs

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    35 Comments on “Hamburger Kabobs”

  1. Thanks Michelle; so glad you enjoyed them!

  2. Hi Kalyn, I made these Hamburger Kebabs today and they were SUPER! Simple and delicious! Thanks for your blog – it's great!


  3. Amy, so glad to hear that you enjoyed it that much. I'm really happy that my blog is working for your eating needs too!

  4. I just loved this recipe, as did my whole family. It might be in my top 10 Kalyn's Kitchen recipes. As always, I just have to give you a big thank you for your amazing blog and recipes. Low glycemic eating has recently become a medical necessity for me, and I don't know what I would do without your recipes. Having delicious low GI food helps me stay away from the temptations! Thank you!

  5. Awesome! Thank you!

  6. The rice recipe will be posted next week.

  7. These look delicious… but what is the recipe for the rice on the plate?

  8. Kate, so glad to hear you enjoyed the recipe.

  9. I just made these last night. They were amazing! Thank you so much for sharing them.

  10. Kelley, ground sirloin would be wonderful for these. I do love the idea of brushing with vinaigrette, both for flavor and to keep the meat moist.

  11. These remind me of the ground sirloin kabobs that I love at a restaurant in southern California. I bet brushing on the vinaigrette just before grilling adds a ton of flavor!

  12. Thanks Richard; glad you like it!

  13. Wow! What a gorgeous recipe! Inspirational

  14. Thanks Christine. I agree, his recipes are always great!

  15. In my experience Beard never disappoints. Very nicely updated, Kalyn. Pinned it!