Authentic Adana Kebab Recipe: A Meaty Delight

As a chef, I know that good food has the power to transport you to another world. That’s why I am excited to share with you my Adana Kebab recipe. Originating from Turkey, Adana Kebab is a special delicacy that is not only aromatic but also bursting with flavors. It’s a spicy kebab made of ground meat mixed with chili flakes, sumac, and other spices that are unique to this dish.

What sets Adana Kebab apart from other kebabs is its spiciness and the addition of tail fat. The fat adds a buttery flavor which balances out the heat from the chili flakes. This dish is not for the faint-hearted; it’s for people who want to taste something authentic and original, as served in traditional Turkish restaurants.

My recipe blends lamb and veal, with a secret ingredient that sets it apart from other Adana Kebab recipes: finely chopped sweet red peppers. The result is an out-of-this-world flavor that will leave your taste buds singing.

In this article, I’ll show you how to make authentic Turkish Adana Kebabs step-by-step in your own kitchen. With my easy instructions and using simple ingredients available at any grocery store, you’ll be able to recreate this delicious meal yourself in no time. So get ready for a culinary adventure as we dive into the world of Adana Kebabs!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Adana Kebab
Adana Kebab

If you’re looking for a kebab recipe that’s full of bold and spicy flavors, then this Adana Kebab Recipe is perfect for you. This rich and juicy flavor of this Turkish delicacy will take your taste buds on a trip to the Mediterranean.

There are a few things that make this kebab recipe unique. Firstly, it uses a combination of ground beef and lamb which makes every bite more succulent and flavorful. Secondly, it is seasoned with fresh parsley, sumac, cumin, and red pepper flakes which gives it an authentic Turkish taste.

Not only does this kebab recipe have mouth-watering flavors, but it is also easy and quick to prepare. All you have to do is mix the ingredients, shape them into kebabs, and grill them until they’re tender and juicy. Whether you’re a gourmet chef or a novice cook, this recipe is sure to impress your friends and family.

Apart from its delicious taste, this recipe is also versatile. You can substitute the lamb with ground chicken or beef for a different twist. You can also adjust the level of spiciness by adding more or less pepper flakes. The possibilities are endless!

In conclusion, if you’re a fan of traditional Mediterranean cuisine or just looking for something new and exciting to add to your recipe collection, try out this Adana Kebab Recipe today! With its rich flavors and ease of preparation, it’s sure to become one of your go-to recipes for any occasion.

Ingredient List

 Juicy Adana Kebab that you will drool over!
Juicy Adana Kebab that you will drool over!

Ingredients for Adana Kebab Recipe

  • 1 pound of ground lamb
  • 1 pound of ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons of tail fat or lamb fat
  • 2 teaspoons of kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin, divided
  • 1 teaspoon of sumac
  • 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon of finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 4 large cloves of garlic, finely chopped or crushed
  • 1 medium red sweet pepper, finely diced
  • ½ tablespoon of ground chili flakes or more to make it spicier (optional)
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely diced (optional)

For serving:
– Flatbreads such as pide or lavash
– Grilled tomatoes and onions
– Fresh parsley leaves

Note: Traditionally, Adana kebab is made with lamb meat and tail fat. If you want to make the recipe authentic, use lamb instead of beef. you can also use chicken for chicken Adana kebab. And There are two different types of Adana kebab that are well-known in Turkey. The other one is called Urfa kebab and it is less spicy than Adana kebab. The main difference between Adana and Urfa kebab is using red bell pepper paste in Urfa kebab.

The Recipe How-To

 A kebab that's worth the wait!
A kebab that’s worth the wait!

Preparing the Meat Mixture

The first step to making the perfect Adana Kebab is preparing the meat mixture. In a large mixing bowl, add 1 pound of ground lamb and 1/2 pound of ground beef. To this, add 1 medium onion, finely chopped, and 4 cloves garlic, crushed.

Next, add in the spices – 2 teaspoons of kosher salt, 2 teaspoons of ground cumin (divided), 1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes, and 1 tablespoon of freshly chopped parsley. Taking your hands, mix everything together to incorporate all the flavors.

Now it’s time to add the tail fat. Traditional Adana kebabs are known for adding tail fat but in case that is unavailable, you can substitute it by using lamb fat or simply use a fatty portion of meat instead. Using a sharp knife, cut thin strips of tail fat (or your substitute) and mix them into the meat mixture along with 2 tablespoons of cold water.

Using a wooden skewer or an “Adana stick” (a flattened metal skewer), take about 1/4 lb of meat mixture and mold it onto the skewer as an elongated sausage shape approximately 5-6 inches long.

Grilling the Kebabs

Heat up your grill or grill pan at a high heat. Or if you prefer cooking indoors, preheat your oven to 500°F.

Once heated, place your Adana kebabs onto the grill surface and let them cook for about 2-3 minutes on one side until they have formed a nicely browned crust before turning them over to cook on the other side for an additional 2-3 minutes.

If you choose to bake them instead, line up all Adana kebabs side-by-side onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and cook for around 12-13 minutes flipping them over halfway through cooking for even browning.

Once cooked through, remove from heat and let them rest for 5 minutes before taking them off the skewers with non-stick tongs.

Serve hot!

For added authenticity serve with mint leaves accompanied by either Turkish-style rice pilaf, chopped tomatoes and onions salad, grilled vegetables or warm pita bread.

Substitutions and Variations

 This Turkish cuisine has hit a home run!
This Turkish cuisine has hit a home run!

Adana Kebab is a traditional Turkish dish that usually includes ground lamb or beef mixed with onion, garlic, and various spices. However, there are several substitutions and variations you can make to this classic recipe to suit your taste preferences.

One popular substitution for ground lamb or beef is ground chicken. You can use chicken breast or thigh meat and follow the recipe in the same way as the traditional Adana Kebab to make Chicken Adana Kebabs. The result will be a milder version of the dish with a lighter texture.

For those who like their food spicier, you can add one teaspoon of crushed red chili flakes to the ground meat mixture. You can also increase or decrease the amount of red pepper flakes according to your desired heat level.

Another variation you can try is to use a mix of lamb and veal meat instead of only lamb. This combination will give the kebab a more delicate flavor and texture.

If you prefer a vegetarian option, you can substitute the ground meat with finely chopped mushrooms or chickpeas. The spices and herbs will still add flavor and depth to your dish.

To make an authentic Adana Kebab, tail fat is usually added to the lamb meat for added richness. However, if you can’t find it or don’t want to include it in your dish, you can use beef suet as a substitute.

Overall, these substitutions and variations allow for creativity in making Adana Kebabs that suit individual tastes. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different ingredients to make the recipe your own!

Serving and Pairing

 Adana Kebab: A perfect balance of meaty, spicy, and flavorful!
Adana Kebab: A perfect balance of meaty, spicy, and flavorful!

Once you’ve got your Adana kebabs cooked to juicy perfection, it’s time to think about serving and pairing. There are many different ways to enjoy these spicy and flavorful kebabs, so feel free to get creative!

One classic serving option is to wrap the kebabs in warm pita bread with some chopped parsley and a drizzle of yogurt sauce. This is a popular way to eat Adana kebabs in Turkey, and for good reason – the soft bread complements the bold flavor of the kebabs perfectly!

If you want something a bit lighter, you could toss together a simple salad with some fresh greens, cucumbers, tomatoes, and red onion. Top it off with some chunks of grilled Adana kebab and a squeeze of lemon juice for a refreshing meal that’s packed with protein.

As for pairing options, a cold beer or glass of crisp white wine can be an excellent complement to the rich flavors of Adana kebab. And if you’re feeling extra adventurous, why not try pairing your kebabs with another traditional Turkish dish? A small bowl of lentil soup or some savory stuffed grape leaves (dolma) can be a great way to round out your meal.

No matter how you serve and pair your Adana kebabs, some fresh herbs and spices like mint, parsley or sumac would take them up a notch. Get ready to savor every bite of this traditional Turkish delight!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 This kebab has a fiery taste that you won't forget!
This kebab has a fiery taste that you won’t forget!

Making ahead and storing Adana Kebabs can be quite convenient if you are short on time. These kebabs can be prepared in advance, stored in the refrigerator or freezer, and later reheated for a quick bite.

To make-ahead, prepare the kebab mixture as per the recipe instructions and shape them into patties. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the kebab patties on it, making sure they don’t touch each other. Cover them with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to a day. Alternatively, you can freeze the raw patties for up to three months by placing them in a single layer on a tray in the freezer until solid, then transferring them to an airtight container or freezer bag.

When you’re ready to cook the kebabs, take them out of the fridge or freezer and allow them to come to room temperature for about 20 minutes. If they are frozen, thaw them overnight in the refrigerator before cooking them.

For storing cooked Adana kebabs, let them cool down completely before transferring them into an airtight container or ziplock bag. They will last up to 3 days in the fridge or could be frozen for up to three months.

To reheat Adana Kebabs after refrigerating or freezing, I recommend using the oven to maintain their texture and flavor. Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C). Place Adana Kebab patties on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and heat until warmed through, about 15-20 minutes from refrigerated or 25-30 minutes from frozen.

You can also reheat these kebabs directly from frozen using a grill pan, broiler or outdoor grill instead of the oven but keep an eye on them as they may cook faster than when starting with freshly-made patties.

Make sure to always store your kebabs properly after cooking or reheating. This way, you’ll never have to waste any leftover deliciousness again!

Tips for Perfect Results

 The meat is so tender that it just melts in your mouth!
The meat is so tender that it just melts in your mouth!

To ensure a perfect Adana kebab every time, there are a few key tips to keep in mind. First and foremost, make sure you use high-quality lamb and beef. The quality of the meat makes a big difference in the taste and texture of the final product. I recommend using a blend of ground beef and lamb for optimal flavor.

Another important factor is the balance of spices. Be sure to measure out your spices carefully and mix them well with the meat- you don’t want any clumps of spice ruining the texture. I recommend using equal parts salt, red pepper flakes, and ground cumin, along with a teaspoon of sumac for extra tanginess.

When grilling your Adana kebabs, it’s essential to preheat your grill or grill pan thoroughly. This will help prevent sticking and ensure even cooking. If possible, use an outdoor charcoal grill for that authentic smoky flavor. Be sure to oil the grates before grilling to help prevent sticking.

Speaking of grilling, try not to overcook your kebabs. Lamb can be prone to drying out if cooked too long or at too high a temperature. Aim for a medium-rare finish; the meat should be browned on the outside but still slightly pink on the inside.

Finally, don’t skimp on the parsley! This herb adds a fresh note that balances out the rich flavor of the meat perfectly. Be sure to finely chop it and sprinkle it generously over the finished kebabs.

By following these tips, you’ll have delicious Adana kebabs every time – tender, juicy, spicy – just like they’re supposed to be.


Now that we’ve covered the recipe how-to and tips for perfect results, let’s move on to some frequently asked questions about Adana kebab. Whether you are an experienced chef or a beginner in the kitchen, it always helps to have some answers to questions that may arise during the cooking process. From ingredient substitutions to cooking techniques and even leftovers, I’ll be answering common queries for you in this section.

What is the difference between Adana and shish kebab?

One popular dish from the grill is known as ‘Adana’ kebab which is made by mixing ground beef or beef and lamb with garlic, onion and aromatic Turkish spices. The meat mixture is then shaped by hand and molded around large, flat skewers. Another grilled favorite is called ‘çöp şiş’ or ‘garbage shish’ in literal terms.

What is the difference between Adana and Urfa kebab?

When it comes to Adana and Urfa, the level of spice is the defining factor. While Adana is known for its fiery flavor, Urfa tends to have a milder taste due to its limited red pepper content. Adana’s meat mixture is kneaded with copious amounts of hot red pepper flakes and paprika, giving the dish a striking red color and an intense flavor. Conversely, Urfa has significantly less red pepper seasoning.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, the Adana Kebab recipe is a delicious and authentic Turkish dish that is sure to impress your taste buds. With its unique blend of spices, juicy and flavorful meat, and crispy exterior, it’s no wonder that this dish has become a beloved staple in Turkish cuisine.

Not only is this recipe easy to make, but it also provides options for substitutions and variations with other meats such as chicken or beef. Whether you choose to make the original lamb kebab or experiment with other options, you won’t be disappointed with the tasty results.

So why not give the Adana Kebab recipe a try? Gather your ingredients, follow our easy-to-follow instructions, and enjoy one of the most flavorful kebabs you’ll ever taste. Add some mint yogurt sauce on top for an even more delicious experience.

This dish is perfect for any occasion – from a casual family dinner to a fancy gourmet party. It’s a true crowd pleaser that will leave your guests wanting seconds. So go ahead – give this recipe a go and impress both yourself and your loved ones with your culinary skills. The Adana Kebabs recipe may just become one of your new favorite dishes.

Adana Kebab

Adana Kebab Recipe

Turkish Kebap - Adana Kebap
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Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Turkish
Calories 2086.2 kcal


  • 100 g ground beef
  • salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper
  • 1 cup parsley
  • 1 cup lard


  • mix all ingredients.
  • cook on grill 15 minutes.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 367gCalories: 2086.2kcalCarbohydrates: 3.9gProtein: 20.4gFat: 220.5gSaturated Fat: 86.3gCholesterol: 262.8mgSodium: 99.7mgFiber: 2gSugar: 0.6g
Keyword < 30 Mins, Easy, Middle Eastern, Turkish, Very Low Carbs
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