These juicy and delicious Pork Kebabs can be made in the air fryer or oven. Lean pork tenderloin cubes are marinaded in paprika, olive oil and fresh garlic, and then layered with red bell peppers, onions and bacon onto skewers, and cooked at high temperature to perfection. Serve them with my creamy mustard maple dipping sauce!
WHY YOU WILL LOVE THIS RECIPE
- These pork kebabs are insanely delicious and a fabulous version of everyone’s favorite “meat on the stick”.
- The addition of bacon makes them super juicy and adds a wonderful layer of umami flavor to the shish kebabs.
- They are easy to make but look and taste very impressive!
- This dish is super quick to make, especially if you skewer the kebabs ahead of time!
- Make them in an air fryer in less than 15 minutes or in the oven in 20-25 minutes.
- Perfect for parties, gatherings or an easy weeknight dinner.
- These kebabs are fun and kid-friendly, especially if you are trying to feed your kids more protein.
- They are low-carb which makes them a great keto/ paleo/ Whole30 meal option.
- Make sure to also try my Air Fryer Buffalo Chicken Tenders (No Breading) for another fun air fryer recipe.
IS KEBAB THE SAME AS KABOB?
Essentially, yes. There are many different pronunciations of meat cooked on a skewer and that’s because this dish derives from various regions and countries.
Skewered pieces of meat, fish or vegetables is a dish that can be found in Turkish, Middle Eastern, Eastern Mediterranean, Afghan and South Asian cuisines. I’ve seen different ways of spelling the name of this dish, from kebab, through kebap, kabob, and kabab.
In American English, kebab (kebap, kabob) generally refers to skewered meat, fish or veggies that are roasted or grilled, also referred to as "shish kebab". In Eastern Europe, this type of dish is also called “shashlik” or “szaszłyk”.
In Europe, the word kebab usually refers to “doner kebab” - skewered large pieces of layered meat cooked on a giant skewer, shaved and served in a pita or on a plate with rice and salads.
WHAT YOU WILL NEED
- Pork Tenderloin: it’s the leanest cut of pork and works best for skewers.
- Bell Pepper: I used red bell peppers but use any color pepper.
- Onion: yellow, sweet or white onion will work for this recipe.
- Bacon: pick good quality, nitrate free bacon. Make sure to use sugar-free bacon for keto / paleo / whole30.
- Garlic: no marinade can be complete without fresh garlic!
- Olive Oil: I used extra virgin olive oil but you can swap it for any neutral tasting oil, such as avocado or sunflower oil.
- Paprika: I like Hungarian paprika the best for its superior, intense flavor.
- Salt & Pepper: to season the kebabs.
STEP-BY-STEP AIR FRYER INSTRUCTIONS
Step 1: Dice & marinade the pork. Place the pork cubes in a medium bowl, add olive oil & minced garlic and sprinkle with paprika, salt and pepper. Mix well until coated. Set aside.
Step 2: Cut up veggies. Try to make them similarly sized. I usually slice peppers, onions and bacon into squares that are approximately the same diameter as the meat cubes. Onion may be a little tricky – I recommend separating a couple layers of a large onion and cutting the “sheets” into squares.
Step 3: Add veggies to meat. Mix all ingredients together so that the vegetables get lightly coated in the marinade, too.
Step 4: Assemble shish kebabs. This is the most time consuming step but totally worth it! I usually start and finish with a slice of pepper and I use 4 pieces of meat per skewer. I also make sure that bacon squares follow every piece of pork to keep the meat moist and juicy.
Pro Tip: Trim the skewers, if needed, so they fit your air fryer. I trimmed 10-inch bamboo skewers to 8 inches long.
Step 5: Air fry at 370 degrees Fahrenheit for 10-15 minutes, turning the kebabs once, halfway through. Cooking time will depend on your air fryer and your preferred level of doneness. However, pork should be cooked to 160 degrees Fahrenheit to be safe for consumption.
Step 6: Serve with a side of Maple Mustard Dipping Sauce (recipe follows below).
HOW TO MAKE PORK KEBABS IN THE OVEN
Follow steps 1-4 from the air fryer instructions. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the shish kebabs on a baking sheet fitted with a rack and bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, turning the skewers once halfway through.
MAPLE MUSTARD DIPPING SAUCE
This is my favorite dipping sauce to serve with barbequed pork and it also works wonderfully with these pork kebabs made in the oven or air fryer.
You will need:
- Mayo: I like mayo made with avocado oil such as Sir Kensington’s.
- Mustard: dijon mustard will work best.
- Maple Syrup: use 100% pure maple syrup. Mine is always from Maine.
- Salt and Pepper: to season the sauce.
Mix all ingredients in a small bowl until smooth. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week, if you don’t use it all right away.
STORAGE & FREEZING PREP TIPS
- Fridge: you can store the cooked kebabs in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
- Freezer: these pork skewers can be frozen in an airtight container or vacuum sealed for up to 3 months. Thaw completely in the fridge overnight before reheating or enjoying cold.
- Reheating: to reheat, pop the skewers in your air fryer at 340 degrees Fahrenheit or oven at 350 degrees for a couple minutes until heated through. Make sure not to reheat for too long or they may become too crisp and too dry. They are also excellent cold!
- Making ahead: place uncooked pork kebabs in an airtight container or ziplock bag and store in the fridge for up to 3 days.
WHAT TO SERVE PORK SKEWERS WITH
Serve pork kebabs with your favorite roasted veggies, a green salad, potatoes or pasta salad. Here are some great ideas to choose from:
Yes! I like tenderloin the best because it’s lean, tender and cooks fast. However, you can also use cubed pork loin meat or pork sirloin.
Absolutely! If pork is not your thing, substitute tenderloin for cubed chicken breast.
Regular kebab skewers are usually 10 inches long. If you’re making the kebabs in the oven, this length is totally fine. For most air fryers, 10 inches is too long so you can either snip the regularly sized skewers with kitchen shears so that they fit, or get shorter skewers. For my 7-qt GoWise air fryer, I used skewers that were 8 inches long.
Yes, of course! Mushrooms, zucchini and yellow squash will work best. You can also use different color bell peppers for a fun variation.
If you try these Pork Kebabs in the oven or air fryer, be sure to leave me a comment and give this recipe a rating. I would love to hear from you and see how it turned out for you! You can also share and tag me on Instagram!
This post contains affiliate links.Print
These juicy and delicious Pork Kebabs can be made in the air fryer or oven. Lean pork tenderloin cubes are marinaded in paprika, olive oil and fresh garlic, and then layered with red bell peppers, onions and bacon onto skewers and cooked at high temperature to perfection. Serve them with my creamy mustard maple dipping sauce!
1 lb pork tenderloin, any visible fat trimmed
2 red bell peppers
½ medium onion
2 slices bacon
2 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
1 teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
Creamy Mustard Maple Dipping Sauce
2 tablespoons mayo
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
2 teaspoons maple syrup
salt and pepper, to taste
1. Cut the pork into a 1-inch dice and place in a medium bowl.
2. Add olive oil, crushed garlic, paprika, salt and pepper and stir to coat. Set aside.
3. While the meat is marinading, cut bell peppers, onion and bacon into 1-inch squares.
4. Add cut up veggies and bacon to the bowl with the pork and mix well to coat everything in the marinade.
5. To assemble the kebabs, layer meat cubes, bacon, onions and peppers onto bamboo or metal skewers. I like to start and end with peppers or onions and I use 4 pieces of meat per skewer.
6. Air fry at 370 degrees for 10-15 minutes or in the oven preheated to 425 degrees for 20-25 minutes, turning once halfway through the cooking time. The skewers should look browned and have nicely caramelized edges.
7. To make the mustard maple dipping sauce, mix together mustard, maple syrup, mayo, salt and pepper in a small bowl until combined.
8. Serve pork skewers with the dipping sauce, if desired.
If you are using the air fryer method, make sure the skewers you’re using fit your air fryer. If they are too long, snip them with kitchen shears or sharp scissors.
For best results, make sure that pork and veggie pieces are similarly sized. This will ensure even cooking.
Cooking times may vary depending on the kind of air fryer/ oven you are using. I like to preheat my air fryer for a couple minutes but it’s not necessary.
My air fryer is a 7-qt GoWise and I love it!
For keto / paleo / Whole30, make sure the bacon you're using is sugar free.
Nutritional value below is for one kebab without dipping sauce.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Category: lunch, dinner
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: pork kebabs, pork kabobs, pork kebabs in oven, pork kebabs in air fryer, pork skewers