Traditional recipes

Best Lamb Kabob Recipes

Best Lamb Kabob Recipes

Lamb Kabob Shopping Tips

Middle Eastern cuisine relies on some fragrant and expensive spices and seasonings such as cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, coriander, turmeric, and sumac. If possible, buy and store them whole; whole spices have a stronger aroma and flavor.

Lamb Kabob Cooking Tips

For a stronger flavor and aroma, toast spices before grinding them, and only grind the amount that you need for the recipe. Keeping spices whole until needed extends their shelf life.


Traditionally, Shish Kebab is made with lamb, a spicy marinade or basting sauce, and intermixed with various vegetables. To avoid the problem of selecting vegetables that will cook at the same rate as the meat, your best bet is to stick with vegetables that won't overcook quickly. Better yet is a selection that cooks slowly and is just as good slightly cooked as it is completely cooked. Red onion and colored peppers satisfy these requirements. Both are edible if undercooked, compliment the lamb flavor, and, if you use red onion and multicolored peppers, add to the presentation of the dish.

As for the lamb, you can invest a lot of money by getting loin or rib chops that are more tender and easy to work with. The shank end of a boneless leg of lamb is less expensive and just as easy to trim and cut into cubes. If you want to go with the least expensive cut (sirloin or shoulder chops), you will have more work to do cutting the right pieces, but it will save you money. Whatever cut you choose, trim off the excess fat and cut the meat into 1-inch cubes. The marinating and grilling will help make all these cuts equal by the time they hit the plate.


Azerbaijani Lamb Kabob | Lyulya Kabob

1 3/4 lbs ground lamb
2 medium onions, grated
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp dried mint
1/4 cup chopped, fresh parsley
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp paprika

Lavash flatbread
Pita Bread
Sliced red onion
sliced tomatoes
fresh sprigs of parsley, mint, and tarragon
yogurt and/or yogurt sauce

1. In a small bowl, combine grated onion, garlic, cumin, mint, parsley, cayenne, salt, pepper, and paprika.

2. Add ground lamb to a large mixing bowl. Add onion mixture. Knead into the lamb, making sure to evenly disperse the spices and ingredients.

3. Shape lamb onto skewers, making sausage shapes. I found it easier to use 2 skewers per sausage because the meat has a tendency to roll around just one skewer. Flat skewers can help, but I didn’t have any. The colder the lamb, the better they hold their shape.

NOTE: At this point I refrigerated the lamb overnight. The flavors had time to mingle and the meat set up nicely. I just “perked them up,” by pressing with my hands, tightening the sausage shape.

4. Preheat the grill over medium. Place skewers and grill until browned. Flip and repeat. Ground lamb can be lean, so do not cook too long or they can get dry (although if some are a little dry, just add more yogurt as you eat).

5. Serve hot meat with optional accompaniments. Make wraps, pita sandwiches, or just enjoy dipped in yogurt.


How to Make Grilled Lamb Kabobs

Lamb Kabobs Ingredients:

  • lamb leg steaks or lamb shoulder, cubed
  • vegetable oil
  • garlic purée
  • lemon juice
  • oregano
  • cinnamon
  • cumin
  • coriander
  • kosher salt
  • allspice
  • smoked paprika

Lamb Kabobs Instructions:

  1. Place all the marinade ingredients in a large, shallow bowl. Add the lamb, toss to coat, cover and marinate in the fridge for up to two hours, or overnight if time allows.
  2. Soak 6 wooden skewers in cold water for 30 minutes.
  3. Thread pieces of lamb onto the skewers.
  4. Cook under a preheated grill or on prepared barbecue for 12-16 minutes, turning occasionally or until any meat juices run clear.
  5. Serve your lamb kabobs warm.


Ingredients

    • 1 pound lean lamb tenderloin or leg meat, boned and cut into 2-inch cubes
    • 4 large tomatoes, halved
  1. FOR MARINADE
    • 1 large onion, peeled and sliced
    • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground saffron threads, dissolved in 2 tablespoons hot water
  2. FOR BASTING
    • 1/2 cup melted butter or ghee
    • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground saffron threads, dissolved in 2 tablespoons hot water
    • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  3. FOR COOKING & GARNISH
    • 6 flat, 1/8-inch-wide swordlike skewers
    • 1 package (12 ounces) of lavash bread
    • Bunch of fresh scallions
    • Bunch of fresh basil

Recipes for Lamb Kabobs

I like to keep the marinade for lamb kabobs as simple as possible. Grilling brings out the best flavors of lamb so you don't have to add a lot to the marinade. I suggest making two separate marinades--one for your lamb kabobs and one for the vegetables.

Let's get the veggies out of the way:

  • Take a couple of zucchinis
  • Some mushrooms
  • 2 onions
  • Bell peppers
  1. Cut the zucchinis into 1 inch thick rounds.
  2. Cut the eggplant into about 1 inch to 1 1/2 inch cubes.
  3. The mushrooms can be kept whole.
  4. The bell peppers can be cut into 2 inch squares.
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary
  • 3 cloves garlic pressed
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • A pinch thyme
  1. Mix this in a bowl and add the cut veggies. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in the fridge for about an hour. Give it a good shake every now and then.

For the lamb kabobs, you will need:

  • 2 pounds boneless lamb, cut into cubes
  • 1 large onion grated
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 sprigs rosemary leaves, removed and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • Zest and juice of one lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Mix everything together in a bowl and add the lamb.
  2. Cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator overnight or for at least 6 hours.

If you are using wooden skewers you should soak them for a few hours in water to keep them from burning when you cook. Place the veggies on a skewer. Place the lamb on a skewer (about five pieces per skewer) and grill them over a medium heat for about 7 minutes turning occasionally. If you like you can leave out just about any part of that marinade except the olive oil and the lamb. In fact a quick and simple marinade is just olive oil and salt and pepper. You can add fresh chopped oregano if you like, I usually do. These are some basic recipes for lamb kabobs there are endless variations.


Getting this recipe right.

Try this recipe and serve the lamb seekh kebabs with a few fresh raitas or chutneys and you’ll most certainly be glad you read this post.

Before you start, however I’d like to draw your attention to the picture below of the raw lamb mince.

Can you see where the meat has been smashed against the bottom of the bowl? This is what Hasan calls “lace” and it is very important to do this to achieve the right texture.

Lamb mince being prepared for seekh kebabs

While preparing the meat, Hasan worked the mince as if he were kneading dough.

As he did, he smashed the meat against the bottom of the bowl. This was done for about five minutes.

I now teach Hasan’s ‘lacing’ technique at my curry classes when we make lamb seekh kebabs in the tandoor oven. Hopefully you will be able to give it a good go just from reading this recipe.

Update: Unfortunately, Hasans had to close after the flooding in Leeds a couple of years ago. This lamb seekh kebab recipe lives on through this blog. I hope you have a chance to try it.

Making seekh kebabs in my class. This is a real skill, but one you can master with practice!


The Marinade for our Grilled Lamb Kabobs:

It only takes a short 30-minute soak in this simple, straight-forward marinade to impart a magical flavor to the lamb chunks. Here is a list of the ingredients we used.

  • Garlic
  • Oregano
  • Thyme
  • Rosemary
  • Lemon juice
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Those wooden skewers you see in the grilling section of most grocery stores works perfectly for these grilled lamb kabobs. They are disposable so you do not even have to bother washing them. However, they will need to be soaked in water to keep them from catching fire during the grilling. Just put them in a pan of water to soak while the lamb is doing it&rsquos thing in the marinade.

If you plan to use metal skewers, your lamb kabobs will cook a little quicker than if using wooden skewers. Metal skewers get hot from tip to handle and cause the lamb chunks to begin cooking inside as well as from the grill.

Everything is whisked together in a dish and the lamb cubes are added. No need to mix and wash a separate jar or dish for the marinade.


  • For the Kebabs:
  • 500 grams (about 1 pound 2 ounce) ground lamb
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin, divided
  • 2 tablespoons ground sumac, divided
  • 2 tablespoon ground Urfa pepper flakes, divided
  • 2 tablespoons ice-cold water
  • For Serving:
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 6 pieces lavash or pita
  • 1 cup picked fresh parsley leaves
  • 2 medium tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • Pickled sport peppers or pepperoncini

For the Kebabs: Combine lamb with 7.5 grams (about 2 teaspoons) kosher salt, 1 teaspoon cumin, 2 teaspoons sumac, and 1 tablespoon pepper flakes. Knead by hand or in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until mixture turns tacky and starts sticking to the side of the bowl. Add water and continue kneading until incorporated. Place in refrigerator and chill well.

Meanwhile, combine remaining teaspoon cumin, 2 teaspoons sumac, remaining tablespoon pepper flakes, and 2 teaspoons salt in a small bowl. Set spice mixture aside. Combine remaining 2 teaspoons sumac and red onions in a medium bowl. Season with salt to taste and set aside.

Using wet hands, divide lamb mixture into 12 even balls. Using wet hands, form each ball into a long, flat kebab around a skewer.

Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and arrange the coals on one side of the charcoal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Alternatively, set half the burners on a gas grill to the highest heat setting, cover, and preheat for 10 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate. Place kebabs directly over hot side of grill, cover, and cook, turning occasionally and sprinkling with spice mixture until well charred on both sides and kebabs are cooked through, about 12 minutes total.

During last few minutes of cooking, place bread directly on top of kebabs in batches until heated through.

Serve kebabs with warm bread, sumac onions, parsley, tomatoes, and pickled peppers.


  1. In a small bowl, mix the coriander, cumin, salt, and cayenne. Season the lamb all over with the mixture, pressing to adhere.
  2. In a blender, add the onion, olive oil, garlic, and 2 tablespoons cool water. Blend until almost smooth.
  3. Transfer the marinade to a resealable plastic bag or wide bowl, and add the lamb. Toss well to coat the pieces, then refrigerate for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, if using wooden skewers, soak the skewers in water for at least 20 minutes.
  4. Once the lamb is done marinating, thread the pieces onto 8 large metal or wooden skewers. Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium-high heat. Sprinkle the lamb with a little more salt and some black pepper, then grill, rotating as needed, until just cooked through and grill marks appear all over, about 8 minutes total. Transfer to a platter and serve.

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