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Delicious Adana Kebab Recipe – A Taste of Turkey’s Culinary Heritage

Adana Kebab

Are you a fan of grilled meat and exotic flavors? Look no further! In this article, we will guide you through the mouthwatering world of Adana Kebab. Originating from Turkey, Adana Kebab is a popular dish known for its spicy and aromatic characteristics. Get ready to tantalize your taste buds with this flavorful recipe that combines ground meat, herbs, and spices. Whether you’re hosting a barbecue party or simply craving a delightful meal, Adana Kebab is sure to satisfy your culinary desires.



Adana Kebab is a traditional Turkish dish named after the city of Adana, located in southern Turkey. This delectable kebab has a rich history dating back centuries, making it a cherished part of Turkish cuisine.

Legend has it that Adana Kebab originated during the reign of the Ottoman Empire. It was created by the nomadic Turkic tribes who settled in the Adana region. These skilled cooks combined their culinary expertise with the abundance of high-quality meats available in the area.

The recipe for Adana Kebab has been passed down through generations, preserved and perfected by local cooks. It has become an integral part of Turkish culture and a beloved dish that is enjoyed by people across the country and around the world.

Adana Kebab gained further popularity during the Ottoman era when the region became a bustling trade hub. Travelers and merchants passing through Adana were captivated by the tantalizing aroma and flavors of the kebab, and its reputation spread far and wide.

Today, Adana Kebab is not only a celebrated dish in Turkey but has also gained international recognition. Its unique blend of spices and the traditional method of preparation have made it a favorite among food enthusiasts worldwide.

The distinctiveness of Adana Kebab lies in the perfect balance of flavors. The combination of high-quality minced lamb or beef, the right amount of spices, and the skillful grilling technique gives it a smoky, charred exterior and a juicy, flavorful interior.

In Turkey, Adana Kebab is commonly enjoyed with traditional accompaniments such as lavash bread, grilled vegetables, and a refreshing yogurt-based sauce. It is often served as a main course during special occasions, family gatherings, and outdoor barbecues.

With its rich history and mouthwatering taste, Adana Kebab continues to be a beloved culinary delight that brings people together, showcasing the vibrant flavors and cultural heritage of Turkey.

Now, let’s dive into the ingredients that make this delicious kebab truly exceptional.


Preparation and marination time1 hour
Soaking wooden skewers30 minutes
Preparing the grill or barbecue15 minutes
Shaping the kebabs20 minutes
Grilling the kebabs10-12 minutes
Resting time after grilling5 minutes
Total cooking and preparation time2 hours 10 minutes

Please note that the cooking and preparation time may vary depending on the individual’s cooking skills and the equipment used.


Ground lamb or beef500 grams
Onion, finely chopped1 medium-sized
Garlic cloves, minced3 cloves
Red chili flakes1 teaspoon
Ground cumin1 teaspoon
Ground sumac1 teaspoon
Paprika1 teaspoon
Salt1 teaspoon
Black pepper1/2 teaspoon
Fresh parsley, finely chopped2 tablespoons
Olive oil2 tablespoons
Wooden skewersAs needed
Lavash bread or pita breadFor serving
Grilled vegetables (optional)For serving
Yogurt-based sauce (optional)For serving

Note: The quantity of ingredients can be adjusted according to personal preference and taste.


Step 1: Prepare the Meat Mixture

1. In a large bowl, combine the ground lamb or beef, finely chopped onion, minced garlic cloves, red chili flakes, ground cumin, ground sumac, paprika, salt, black pepper, and finely chopped fresh parsley.

2. Mix all the ingredients together thoroughly, ensuring that the spices are evenly distributed throughout the meat mixture.

3. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the meat mixture marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. This will allow the flavors to meld together and enhance the taste of the kebabs.

Step 2: Soak the Wooden Skewers

1. If you’re using wooden skewers, place them in a container filled with water and let them soak for about 30 minutes. This will prevent the skewers from burning during the grilling process.

Step 3: Prepare the Grill or Barbecue

1. Preheat your grill or barbecue to medium-high heat. Make sure the grates are clean and lightly oiled to prevent the kebabs from sticking.

Step 4: Shape the Kebabs

1. Take a handful of the marinated meat mixture and mold it around a soaked wooden skewer. Press the meat mixture firmly onto the skewer, shaping it into a long, cylindrical kebab. Repeat this process with the remaining meat mixture and skewers.

Step 5: Grill the Kebabs

1. Place the shaped kebabs on the preheated grill or barbecue. Cook them for about 5-6 minutes on each side, or until they are cooked through and nicely charred on the outside. Rotate the kebabs occasionally to ensure even cooking.

Step 6: Rest and Serve

1. Once the kebabs are cooked, remove them from the grill and let them rest for about 5 minutes. This allows the juices to redistribute, resulting in a tender and flavorful kebab.

2. Serve the Adana Kebabs hot, accompanied by lavash bread or pita bread. You can also serve them with grilled vegetables and a yogurt-based sauce for added flavor and freshness.

Enjoy the delicious flavors of Adana Kebab, and savor every bite!

Equipment Required

Nutrition Information

NutrientAmount Per Serving
Serving Size1 kebab
Total Fat26g
– Saturated Fat10g
Total Carbohydrate2g
– Dietary Fiber0g
– Sugars1g

Please note that the nutrition information provided is an estimate and may vary depending on the specific ingredients used and any additional toppings or accompaniments.


  1. Choosing the Meat: For the best results, use high-quality ground lamb or beef with a good balance of fat. The fat content adds moisture and flavor to the kebabs.
  2. Mincing the Onion: Finely mince the onion to ensure it blends well into the meat mixture. This will help to distribute the flavor evenly throughout the kebabs.
  3. Marinating Time: Allow the meat mixture to marinate for at least 1 hour. This step enhances the flavors and allows the spices to penetrate the meat, resulting in a more delicious kebab.
  4. Soaking the Skewers: If using wooden skewers, soak them in water for about 30 minutes before threading the meat. This prevents them from burning on the grill.
  5. Grilling Temperature: Preheat the grill or barbecue to medium-high heat. This ensures proper cooking and helps to achieve a nice char on the outside of the kebabs while keeping them juicy inside.
  6. Shaping the Kebabs: When shaping the meat mixture onto the skewers, make sure to press it firmly. This helps the kebabs hold their shape and prevents them from falling apart during grilling.
  7. Grilling Time: Cook the kebabs for about 5-6 minutes on each side, or until they are cooked through. Overcooking can result in dry kebabs, so keep an eye on them to ensure they are perfectly cooked.
  8. Resting Time: Allow the kebabs to rest for a few minutes after grilling. This allows the juices to redistribute, making the kebabs juicier and more tender.

Pros & Cons

✅ Bursting with flavor❌ High in saturated fat
✅ Juicy and tender kebabs❌ Requires grilling or barbecue
✅ Versatile – can be customized❌ May not be suitable for vegetarian/vegan diets
✅ Showcases the rich Turkish culinary heritage❌ Can be time-consuming to prepare and marinate
✅ Perfect for outdoor barbecues and gatherings❌ May require special spices and ingredients


Adana Kebab is a true delight that brings the flavors of Turkey right to your plate. With its rich history, aromatic spices, and succulent meat, this recipe is sure to leave a lasting impression.

The burst of flavors in every bite, the tender and juicy texture, and the smoky char from the grill make Adana Kebab an exceptional culinary experience. It’s a dish that showcases the vibrant Turkish culinary heritage, taking you on a journey of taste and tradition.

While Adana Kebab does require some time and effort, the end result is well worth it. The marinated meat, infused with a blend of spices and grilled to perfection, offers a taste sensation that will leave you craving more. Whether you’re hosting a barbecue, planning a special dinner, or simply want to savor a delicious meal, Adana Kebab is a fantastic choice.

Don’t hesitate to gather the ingredients, follow the simple steps outlined in this recipe, and embark on a culinary adventure. Customize the recipe to suit your preferences, adjusting the spice level or exploring variations to make it your own.

So, fire up the grill, gather your loved ones, and indulge in the tantalizing flavors of Adana Kebab. Let this traditional Turkish dish transport you to the streets of Adana, where the aroma of grilled meat fills the air. Experience the joy of savoring each bite and creating lasting memories around a table filled with delicious food.


  • Fact 1: 🔥 Flaming Origins
    • Did you know that Adana Kebab is said to have originated from the flames of blacksmith forges? Legend has it that blacksmiths in Adana would use their metalworking tools as skewers, grilling their meat over the hot coals during their lunch breaks. This unique tradition adds an extra touch of sizzle to the kebab’s history.
  • Fact 2: 🌶️ Spicy Specialty
    • Adana Kebab is renowned for its spiciness. The chili flakes used in the recipe provide a delightful kick of heat. The heat level can be adjusted to suit individual preferences, allowing you to customize the spiciness of your kebabs. Get ready to ignite your taste buds with this fiery delight!
  • Fact 3: 🌳 Aromatic Wood Matters
    • To enhance the flavor and aroma of Adana Kebab, traditional recipes call for the use of aromatic wood such as oak. The burning wood infuses the kebabs with a smoky essence that adds depth and complexity to each bite. The choice of wood is an important factor in achieving that authentic, mouthwatering taste.
  • Fact 4: 🍢 A Kebab for Every Occasion
    • Adana Kebab is not only a popular choice for casual dining or family gatherings but has also gained recognition on a grand scale. It is often served at formal events and diplomatic dinners, representing the rich cultural heritage of Turkey. So, whether you’re hosting a backyard barbecue or attending an elegant soirée, Adana Kebab is a versatile dish for any occasion.
  • Fact 5: 🌐 Global Kebab Love
    • Adana Kebab’s irresistible flavors have captured the hearts and palates of people worldwide. Its popularity has spread far beyond Turkey, with numerous restaurants and street food stalls around the globe offering their own take on this beloved dish. Indulge in the global kebab love and join the ranks of those who appreciate this delicious culinary treasure.


Can I use ground chicken instead of lamb or beef?

Yes, you can substitute ground chicken for a lighter alternative. Keep in mind that the cooking time may vary, so ensure the chicken is thoroughly cooked.

Can I make Adana Kebab without a grill or barbecue?

While grilling imparts a smoky flavor, you can also cook Adana Kebab on a stovetop grill pan or in the oven on a broiler setting.

Can I freeze the Adana Kebab mixture for later use?

Yes, you can freeze the uncooked kebab mixture. Shape it into kebabs, place them on a tray lined with parchment paper, and freeze. Once frozen, transfer to a freezer bag or container. Thaw before grilling.

What can I serve with Adana Kebab?

Adana Kebab pairs well with lavash bread or pita bread, grilled vegetables, a refreshing salad, and a yogurt-based sauce like tzatziki.

Can I make Adana Kebab spicier?

Absolutely! Adjust the amount of red chili flakes or add additional spices like cayenne pepper or hot paprika to increase the heat according to your preference.

Can I make Adana Kebab without using wooden skewers?

Yes, you can shape the kebab mixture into patties or meatballs instead of using skewers. Adjust the cooking time accordingly.

How can I ensure my kebabs stay moist and juicy?

Using ground meat with a good fat content, like lamb or beef with some fat, and not overcooking the kebabs will help maintain their juiciness.

Can I prepare the kebab mixture ahead of time?

Yes, you can prepare the meat mixture a day in advance, cover it tightly, and refrigerate it until ready to shape and grill the kebabs.

Can I make Adana Kebab indoors if I don’t have access to an outdoor grill?

Yes, you can use a stovetop grill pan or a broiler in the oven to cook the kebabs. Follow the same cooking instructions for delicious results.

Are there any vegetarian options for Adana Kebab?

Yes, you can create vegetarian kebabs using a mixture of cooked and seasoned chickpeas, along with vegetables like bell peppers and onions. Shape them into kebabs and grill until golden brown.