These quick and easy 30 minute marinated Grilled Cilantro Lime Steak Skewers melt in your mouth with every bite you take.
These yummy slices of steak slide on sticks are perfect for quick weeknight dinners, game day nibbles or appetizers at a neighborhood cookout. Since they use so little man hours, you can make dozens of them.
🍽️ Why This Works
Great for Entertaining | Since these are so quick and easy to make, you can whip up literally dozens of them in minutes so everyone can grab 2-3 and enjoy. They can be meal prepped early so it makes it a “back pocket” recipe when you need to serve a crowd.
Great Way to Use Cheaper Cuts of Meat | We used Top Round steaks for this one so we could feature a cheaper cut of meat and how to showcase it. Not every weekend can be a prime rib / rib eye staple so we want to make sure to show how to grill those tougher cuts of meat. If you don’t have top round, look for skirt steak or flank and cut them up thin just as we have here.
Simple, Fast and Easy | These so fast to grill at just 3 minutes a side after a simple marinade of 30 minutes.
Top Round or Skirt or Flank Steak | For this one, we chose the top round but this recipe has worked out so well using any of these three cuts of meat. The key is that you are using a tougher cut, sliced thin and quickly grilled.
Lime | Use fresh lime juice squeezed. If you think your steak may be tough, slice it up and let it soak in some lime juice to tenderize it.
Cilantro | Use freshly chopped cilantro. If you have some guests that don’t like cilantro, reserve some of the sauce without it. It is a great way to make sure all of your friends get the flavorings that they enjoy.
Small Food Processor: Use a small one to mix all of the ingredients for the marinade.
Food Slicer: This is one of the best investments for a home griller. I use it for slicing brisket, cutting thin potatoes and preparing meats for kebabs. You can pick up a decent one for about $100.
Wooden Skewers: I chose wooden skewers for this instead of metal as they work perfectly for my family at our BBQ. The metal skewers would get extremely hot and I didn’t want anyone to burn their fingers.
Note: When choosing skewers, you’ll have two choices. They will either be round or flat. I almost always go for the flat variety as I don’t have to worry about the food spinning as I go to turn them over on the grill. It’s such an easy thing, but so smart!
Step One: Prepare the marinade by adding the cilantro, lime, garlic, jalapeño, olive oil and red pepper flakes to a small food processor. Pulse it several times to combine into paste.
Step Two: Slice the steak to about ¼” thick. I used a meat slicer, but you can certainly slice this by hand if you are careful. The thickness is key here as it will grill extremely fast! If your meat isn’t slicing very easily, throw it in the freezer for an hour. It slices much easier when it is slightly frozen. You don’t want it frozen solid!
Note: It is best to use a lean cut of meat when slicing. The more fatty cuts, like Ribeye, will be harder to keep on the skewer. The thin slices will help keep this to be tender, but if you are concerned, marinate the slices in lime juice for no more than one to two hours. The lime juice is a natural tenderizer.
Step Three: Soak the wooden skewers in water for 30 minutes. When they are soaked through, weave the slices of the top round on. Two or three fit on a skewer for the smaller cuts.
Step Four: Brush the cilantro lime paste on skewers quite liberally. Be generous here as the flavors will absolutely pop as it grills.
Step Five: Place the skewers on the grill grate set to about 400 degrees. These will cook extremely fast, and only need about three minutes per side to be ready. Remove when the steak is cooked to the desired temperature and be ready for a line at the grill to grab the next batches!
❗ Expert Tips
Prep a whole platter of kebabs before you head out to the grill. These will be done in about five or six minutes, and it will be easier to just to have the prepped ones ready to go when room opens up on the grill.
Make the cilantro lime sauce the day before. The lime juice will keep everything fresh and it will save you a few minutes on grill day to have this ready ahead of time. Just make sure to give it a good stir before brushing as the oil will separate.
Make sure to presoak the wooden skewers. If note, they risk catching fire. You’ll see in the photo below where they charred in just a few minutes, and this was after I soaked them in water.
These are thinly sliced and will only take about three minutes of grilling on direct heat on each side. Don’t leave the grill area for very long or they may burn.
Usually, I prefer a nice fatty ribeye, but I found the more lean cuts, like this top round work better for thinly sliced on kebabs. These hold together better on the skewer and because they are so thin, they won’t be tough when cooked.
In addition to tasting great, the lime juice will break down the steak’s connective tissues resulting in a much more tender cut. If you are concerned about the toughness of your red meat, let it marinate in the cilantro and lime sauce for some time.
Garlic, Chiles, and Onions work best with this sauce, but consider adding some Red Pepper for a little heat. You can never go wrong with more garlic, so load up!
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Grilled Cilantro Lime Steak Skewers
- Food Slicer
Cilantro Lime Marinade
- 1 cup Cilantro
- 2 cloves Garlic minced
- ¼ cup Lime Juice squeezed fresh
- 1 tsp Lime Zest
- ½ tsp Red Pepper Flakes
- 1 Jalapeño remove seeds
- ½ cup Olive Oil
Cilantro Lime Marinade
- Combine all the ingredients in a blender and pulse unless smooth.
- Slice steak (we used Top Round) to about ¼ inch thin and then marinade using the Cilantro Lime Marinade for 30 minutes.
- Remove steak from marinade and slide on to skewers.
- Heat up grill to direct heat to 400-425 degrees. You want it hot so it will grill fast and char the outside.
- Grill three minutes on each side, at the most.