How many calories in a kebab from the kebab shop?

Kebabs are a popular takeaway food, consisting of meat, vegetables, and sauces wrapped in flatbread. But with their diverse ingredients and preparation methods, many people wonder just how many calories are in a kebab wrap or plate from their local kebab shop.

Quick Answer

The number of calories in a kebab can vary greatly depending on the type, size, ingredients, cooking method, and any sauces or extras added. On average, a chicken or lamb doner kebab contains 700-1000 calories. A beef kebab or shish kebab can have around 500-800 calories. And a vegetarian kebab wrap has 400-600 calories. Extra sauces, fries or sides, and larger portion sizes can add more calories.

Factors That Affect Kebab Calories

Several factors affect the calorie content in kebabs:

Type of Kebab

There are many different types of kebabs, each with their own calorie content:

– Doner or shawarma kebab – Thin slices of meat stacked and roasted on a vertical spit, like a gyro. A lamb or chicken doner kebab contains 700-1000 calories. A beef doner kebab has around 600-800 calories.

– Shish kebab – Cubes of meat or vegetables grilled on a skewer. A lamb shish kebab has about 500-700 calories. Chicken or beef shish kebab has 400-600 calories.

– Vegetarian kebabs – Using veggie meat, falafel, halloumi or tofu as the protein, a veggie kebab wrap has 400-600 calories.

Portion Size

Larger portions mean more calories. For example, a regular doner kebab in a wrap may be 700 calories, but a large doner in a wrap could be 900-1000 calories.

Bread or Wrap

The bread or wrap enclosing the kebab also affects calorie content. A large pita or flatbread can add 200 calories, while a thinner wrap may have around 100 calories.


The type of meat makes a difference. Lamb doner kebabs tend to be highest in fat and calories, followed by beef and then chicken.

Cooking Method

Kebabs cooked on a grill or skewer are lower in fat and calories than doner kebabs roasted on a vertical spit, which allows fat to drip throughout the meat.

Sauces and Extras

Added sauces like garlic, hummus, chili or tzatziki sauce can add 50-100+ calories per tablespoon. French fries or rice as a side can add 300-500+ calories to your meal.

Calories in Different Kebab Shop Items

To give you a better idea, here are the typical calorie counts for common kebab shop orders:

Doner Kebab in Pita or Wrap

– Chicken doner kebab: 700-900 calories
– Lamb doner kebab: 800-1000 calories
– Beef doner kebab: 600-800 calories
– Vegetarian doner: 500-700 calories

Shish Kebabs with Rice and Salad

– Chicken shish kebab: 500-700 calories
– Lamb shish kebab: 600-800 calories
– Beef shish kebab: 400-600 calories
– Vegetarian shish kebab: 300-500 calories


– Small fries: 300 calories
– Regular fries: 500 calories
– Side salad: 100-200 calories
– Rice: 150-200 calories
– Hummus or babaganoush: 150-200 calories
– Pita bread: 100-150 calories


– Tzatziki: 50-100 calories per tablespoon
– Chili sauce: 50-100 calories per tablespoon
– Garlic sauce: 50-100 calories per tablespoon
– BBQ sauce: 40-80 calories per tablespoon

So as you can see, calories in a kebab can really vary. Your best bet is to look up nutrition info for your specific local kebab shop, choose reasonable portions, go easy on high-calorie sauces, and avoid fried side dishes to keep your kebab meal relatively healthy.

Tips to Order a Lower Calorie Kebab

Here are some tips to reduce the calories when ordering a takeaway kebab:

Choose Grilled Over Doner Kebab

Go for a grilled chicken or lamb shish kebab on a skewer rather than doner meat roasted on a spit, as it has less fat.

Skip the Bread

Order your kebab as a salad or rice bowl instead of wrapped in a pita or flatbread to save up to 200 calories.

Load up On Veggies

Fill your kebab with lots of low calorie vegetables like lettuce, tomato, onion, peppers, and cucumber.

Pick Lower Cal Sauces

Opt for chimichurri, mustard sauce, or chili sauce instead of high-calorie options like hummus, garlic sauce, or tzatziki.

Avoid Fried Sides

Skip the fries and replace them with a side salad or plain rice to cut calories.

Request a Smaller Portion

See if you can order a half or petite size kebab wrap or plate to reduce calories.

Share Your Meal

Split your kebab in half and share with a friend to cut your individual calorie intake.

Healthy Homemade Kebab Recipes

To lighten up your kebab meal, try making these flavourful but healthier homemade kebab recipes:

Greek Chicken Souvlaki Kebabs

Ingredient Calories
4 oz chicken breast 120
Skewer 5
1 tsp olive oil 40
1 tsp lemon juice 2
1 clove garlic, minced 5
1 tsp oregano 5
Salt and pepper to taste 5

Total Calories Per Serving: Around 182

This Greek-inspired chicken skewer is flavored with lemon, garlic, and herbs. Grill up for a lean, protein-packed kebab. Serve with tzatziki sauce, salad, or in a pita.

Tandoori Chicken Kebabs

Ingredient Calories
4 oz chicken breast 120
Skewer 5
1 tbsp plain yogurt 15
1 tsp tandoori seasoning 5
1/4 tsp garlic powder 2
Pinch of cayenne pepper 2

Total Calories Per Serving: Around 149

These tandoori spiced chicken skewers are marinated in yogurt and Indian spices for an aromatic and tasty low-calorie kebab.

Veggie Kebabs

Ingredient Calories
Mushroom 5
Cherry tomato 5
Bell pepper 10
Red onion 15
Zucchini 10
Skewer 5
1 tsp olive oil 40
Salt and pepper to taste 0

Total Calories Per Serving: Around 90

Load up skewers with mushrooms, veggies, and a small drizzle of olive oil for a vegetarian kebab that’s naturally low in calories.

The Healthiest Options at Kebab Shops

When grabbing a kebab for takeout, go for these healthy options to cut calories:

– Grilled chicken or lamb shish kebab
– Doner wrap without the bread
– Salad bowl with lots of veggies
– Rice bowl instead of fries/chips
– Mustard, vinegar, or chili sauce
– Hot sauce or chili flakes
– Lemon juice over top
– Side salad or rice instead of fries
– Small or half portion size


Kebabs can range widely in their calorie content based on the many factors like meat, cooking method, portion size, bread, sauces, and sides. While they aren’t the lowest calorie takeaway option, there are many ways to reduce the calories in your kebab order or make healthy kebabs at home. Opting for grilled chicken, loading up on veggies, and avoiding heavy sauces or fried sides can help make your kebab meal more diet-friendly. With some modifications, you can still enjoy the delicious flavors of kebabs without breaking your daily calorie budget.

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