When it comes to Spanish cuisine, one cannot overlook the mouthwatering flavors of pinchos morunos. These succulent skewers of marinated meat are a staple in the region of Melilla, a Spanish enclave located on the northern coast of Africa. In this article, we will explore the history, ingredients, preparation, and cultural significance of receta pinchos morunos Melilla.

The History of Pinchos Morunos

Pinchos morunos, also known as Moorish skewers, have a rich history that dates back centuries. The Moors, who ruled over the Iberian Peninsula for nearly 800 years, greatly influenced the cuisine of Spain. The combination of North African spices and Spanish cooking techniques gave birth to pinchos morunos.

Originally, pinchos morunos were made with lamb, as it was the most readily available meat in the region. However, over time, the recipe evolved to include other meats such as pork, chicken, and even seafood. The marinade, which is the key to the dish’s unique flavor, typically consists of a blend of spices like cumin, paprika, coriander, garlic, and olive oil.

The Ingredients

To prepare pinchos morunos Melilla, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 1 pound of boneless meat (lamb, pork, chicken, or seafood)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of ground coriander
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

The Preparation

Follow these steps to prepare the delicious pinchos morunos Melilla:

  1. Cut the meat into bite-sized cubes.
  2. In a bowl, combine the minced garlic, cumin, paprika, coriander, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  3. Add the meat to the marinade and mix well, ensuring that each piece is coated evenly.
  4. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight for maximum flavor.
  5. Preheat the grill or a grill pan over medium-high heat.
  6. Thread the marinated meat onto skewers, leaving a small gap between each piece.
  7. Grill the skewers for about 3-4 minutes per side, or until the meat is cooked through and slightly charred.
  8. Remove the skewers from the grill and let them rest for a few minutes before serving.

The Cultural Significance

Pinchos morunos Melilla not only tantalize the taste buds but also hold cultural significance in the region. In Melilla, these skewers are a popular street food, often enjoyed as a quick and flavorful snack. They are commonly served in tapas bars, where locals and tourists alike gather to savor the vibrant flavors of Spanish cuisine.

The preparation and sharing of pinchos morunos also bring people together, fostering a sense of community and celebration. Whether it’s a family gathering, a festive occasion, or a casual get-together, these skewers are a crowd-pleaser that adds a touch of Mediterranean charm to any event.


1. Can I use different types of meat for pinchos morunos Melilla?

Yes, pinchos morunos can be made with various types of meat, including lamb, pork, chicken, and seafood. Feel free to experiment with different flavors and combinations to suit your taste.

2. Can I substitute the spices in the marinade?

While the traditional recipe calls for cumin, paprika, and coriander, you can certainly adjust the spices according to your preference. However, keep in mind that these spices contribute to the unique flavor profile of pinchos morunos.

3. Can I cook pinchos morunos without a grill?

Absolutely! If you don’t have access to a grill, you can use a grill pan or even a regular frying pan to cook the skewers. The key is to achieve a slightly charred exterior while ensuring the meat is cooked through.

4. Are pinchos morunos gluten-free?

The basic recipe for pinchos morunos is gluten-free, as it does not contain any wheat-based ingredients. However, it’s essential to check the labels of any pre-made spice blends or marinades you may use, as they could potentially contain gluten.

5. Can I serve pinchos morunos with any side dishes?

Pinchos morunos Melilla are often enjoyed on their own as a tapa or appetizer. However, you can pair them with a variety of side dishes such as Spanish rice, grilled vegetables, or a fresh salad to create a more substantial meal.


Pinchos morunos Melilla are a delightful Spanish dish that combines the flavors of North Africa with the culinary traditions of Spain. These marinated skewers of meat are easy to prepare and offer a burst of aromatic spices with every bite. Whether you’re hosting a gathering or simply craving a taste of Spanish cuisine, pinchos morunos Melilla are sure to satisfy your palate and transport you to the vibrant streets of Melilla.


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