Adana Kebab (Ground Lamb Kebab)

adana kebab

Adana kebab has to be my very favorite kebab preparation.

It is delicious, and has been adopted as a Middle Eastern delight. 

This is a Turkish variation of a kebab, and the Turks have an excellent reputation when it comes to grilling meat.

Some of the very best kebabs I have had have been in Istanbul

And there was usually a long line wherever I went in my search for the best kebab in Turkey.

Adana kebab is a ground lamb kebab that has a hot spiciness to it, and it can range in heat.

Usually it is not too hot, but you can certainly feel the heat, at least a little bit.

What is Adana Kebab?

adana kebab

Adana is a city in the south of Turkey and it is well known for the Adana kebab.

This variety of kebab is a lovely spicy type of this very tasty meaty dish.

Adana is a lovely kebab that is traditionally made from ground lamb along with tail fat.

So an interesting fact is that sheep store a lot of fat in their tails.a

In the US they cut the tails off, meaning that fat is stored in the body instead.

Can I Use Another Type of Meat?


Using beef is totally acceptable of course, but it will of course taste different based on the different kind of meat.

For those of you who are daring, I would say try ground chicken!

I bet it would be very good, but I’d love to hear from you if you do.

How to Make Adana Kebab

Place the onion, garlic, spices, parsley, salt and pepper in the bowl of a food processor and process until well chopped and incorporated.

Don’t forget to add red pepper flakes if you like extra spiciness. 

Add ground lamb meat to the bowl and process until the meat and the other ingredients are just mixed together.

Traditionally this kind of kebab is made on flat metal skewers, but round wooden one are fine too.

Take a handful of the meat mixture and make into a ball, then slowly elongate the ball to an oblong shape.

Wet your hand with water in between handling the minced meat.

Place the meat onto a skewer, and using your hand thin the meat over the skewer.

Grill or cook in the oven until the meat is done, about 20 minutes.

What to Serve With It

adana kebab

Some of my favorite things to serve with this kebab is rice, and a yogurt cucumber salad.

But of course you can put kebab into a pita with marinated red onions, sumac, chili peppers, and tahini yogurt sauce.

Or serve it with potatoes of any kind, and some lovely green vegetables.

Whatever you do it’ll be a winner.

Tips for Making

  • Don’t over-process the meat in the food processor or it will become sticky and difficult to work with.
  • Definitely wet your hand before you handle the meat, you’ll be happy you did.
  • Using a small bowl of water to keep your hand moist will make all the difference as you place it on the skewer and grill.

Adana Kebab Recipe

Adana kebab has to be my very favorite kebab preparation. It is delicious, and has been adopted as a Middle Eastern delight!
Print Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Keyword: Kebab
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 8 skewers
Calories: 169kcal


  • 1 lb Ground Lamb
  • 1 Onion quartered
  • 1 Hot Pepper
  • ½ cup Parsley
  • 1 tbsp Sumac
  • ½ tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • ¾ tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper


  • Put all the ingredients except the lamb into the bowl of a food processor and process until well ground and mixed.
  • Add the ground lamb and process until incorporated. Don't over mix.
  • Using a wet hand put the meat onto a skewer, and shape into a kebab.
  • Grill on a charcoal grill until done, 10 to 15 minute. Or bake in your oven at 400ºF (200ºC) for about 20 minutes until done.



Calories: 169kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 41mg | Sodium: 256mg | Potassium: 167mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 353IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 19mg | Iron: 1mg

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One Comment

  1. 5 stars
    We lived near Adana for several years ~ this kebab is the best. Shwarma, tava, and manti were other favorites

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