It’s the unusual, and admittedly lengthy, list of spices in the marinade that make these Lamb Kabobs spectacularly flavorful. Whether you’re enjoying them sizzling hot, straight from the grill, or cold from the refrigerator, you’ll be licking your lips (and maybe your fingers) to not miss a drop.
Though the marinade calls for several spices, I bet you have most of them in your cupboard. And if the combination seems questionable (bay leaves and cinnamon?), trust me, they’ll make your tastebuds sing.
Keith and I have been in a rut when it comes to lamb. For years, it’s been Grilled Lamb Chops all summer long with a quick switch to Roasted Lamb Chops or Pan-Fried Lamb Chops when the mercury falls. We love lamb chops and rarely make anything else (other than our favorite lamb burgers) so why mess up a great thing? But recently I found myself leafing through the pages of The New Spanish Table cookbook on a lazy Sunday afternoon and this recipe caught my eye.
The recipe didn’t specify what meat to use, offering up a variety of choices: pork, chicken, beef, or lamb. I saw my chance to try something new with lamb and I’m so glad I did. It turns out that chunks of lamb, fresh from a six-hour bath in olive oil, vinegar, and rich, warming spices, emerge from a few minutes of sizzling on a hot grill as delicious, melt-in-your-mouth bites.
Pair these lamb kabobs with Greek Salad, Greek Potato Salad, Watermelon and Arugula Salad, or Grilled Bacon Wrapped Asparagus for a simple summer meal. Or make it a feast and invite some friends by serving along with homemade pita bread, white bean hummus, tzatziki, baba ganoush, and pickled red onions!
The Best Cuts of Lamb for Kababs
Because you’ll be marinating the lamb for 4 to 6 hours before grilling, you can use cuts of lamb that are less expensive than tender loin or rib chops. I recommend boneless leg of lamb or lamb shoulder. When you cut the lamb into cubes, trim off excess fat.
How to Make Lamb Kabobs
Step 1: Blend marinade ingredients into a paste: onion, garlic, sweet smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, oregano, black peppercorns, thyme, cumin, cinnamon, bay leaf, kosher salt, white vinegar, and olive oil.
Step 2: Trim and cut boneless lamb leg into 1 1/2-inch cubes and place in bowl. Season lightly with kosher salt. Pour marinade over; cover and refrigerate 4 to 6 hours.
Step 3: Thread marinated lamb cubes onto 8-inch bamboo skewers that have been soaked in water for 30 minutes.
Step 4: Preheat grill to medium-high and brush with oil. Grill lamb kebabs 6 to 8 minutes, turning once for medium rare. Serve hot.
Lamb Kabobs Recipe Video
- 2 tablespoons chopped onion
- 4 large garlic cloves chopped
- 1 tablespoon smoked sweet paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 dried bay leaf crumbled
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt plus more for seasoning lamb.
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless leg of lamb trimmed and cut into 1 1/2" cubes
- To make marinade, add all ingredients except lamb to a blender pitcher or mini food processor (onion through olive oil); blend until smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary.
- Place lamb in a medium bowl and season lightly with kosher salt. Pour marinade over lamb and stir to coat thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate 4 to 6 hours.
- Soak 10, 8-inch bamboo skewers in water for 30 minutes. Preheat grill to medium-high.
- Thread marinated lamb cubes onto skewers.
- Brush grill rack with oil. Grill lamb skewers 6 to 8 minutes, turning once, for medium rare. Serve hot.