Lamb Kabobs Recipe photo by Christine Ma for Taste of Home
Total Time
Prep: 15 min. + marinating Grill: 20 min.

Updated: May 21, 2024

These lamb kabobs are covered in a lemony, garlicky marinade that makes them incredibly juicy and tangy. Combine those flavors with the hint of smokiness from the grill and you’ve got a quick dish that is hard to resist.

The combination of lamb and vegetables nearly makes these kabobs a complete meal. To top it off, they are ridiculously easy to make. The meat marinates for several hours, so you’ll have a head start on dinner prep. Once put on the grill, the kabobs finish in about 10 minutes.

For a Mediterranean-inspired meal, warm some pita bread on the grill and serve with the kabobs alongside a Greek salad.

Ingredients for Lamb Kabobs

  • Canola oil: Its neutral taste makes it pretty versatile and allows the other ingredients in this dish to stand out. The oil also adds moisture to the meat when used in marinades and helps keep it from sticking to the grill. Vegetable oil or mild olive oils are good substitutes.
  • Onions: They are added to the marinade, as well as wedges that are skewered on each kabob. Yellow onions are a go-to in most kitchens because of their milder taste, while red onions have a slightly sharper flavor and offer a pop of color.
  • Lemon juice: Adds a bright, citrusy note to the lamb, that helps tenderize the meat. This helps the lamb kabobs absorb more of the flavor-packed marinade.
  • Fresh parsley: Garnish that adds a subtle flavor and bright, fresh color to your marinade.
  • Garlic: The key to this marinade is fresh garlic. Chopping the garlic cloves releases its intense flavor. The finer the pieces, the more potent the taste. The marinade calls for minced garlic, which is a very fine chop.

Editor’s Tip: To release even more flavor, smash the minced garlic with the flat side of the knife.

  • Salt and pepper: A dynamic duo, salt improves the flavor of the other ingredients in the marinade while pepper adds a hint of heat. Because pepper can overpower the taste of other ingredients, we use only 1/2 teaspoon in the marinade.
  • Dried herbs: Marjoram and thyme are subtle earthy flavors often used in Mediterranean dishes. No worries if you don’t have marjoram, dried oregano is a good substitute.
  • Lamb: This meat becomes exceptionally tender and juicy, especially when marinated. For this recipe, cut it into 1-inch pieces.
  • Sweet green and red pepper: Use any sweet pepper you’d like. They brighten your kabob with their vibrant colors. Green peppers are the least ripe out of the group. But if left to mature, they get sweeter and turn colors, including yellow, orange, red, or even purple.

Directions

Step 1: Prep the ingredients

Chop the onion and mince the parsley and garlic. Cut the lamb into 1-inch cubes.

Step 2: Create the marinade

In a small bowl, combine your oil, chopped onion, lemon juice, parsley, minced garlic, salt, marjoram, thyme and pepper. Whisk to combine. Pour 1 cup of the marinade into a shallow dish and add the lamb. Make sure the meat is fully coated. Cover the lamb and refrigerate it for six to eight hours. Cover and refrigerate the small bowl of remaining marinade, which will be used later to baste the kabobs.

Step 3: Skewer the kabobs

Have eight metal or soaked wooden skewers ready. Drain and discard the marinade from the lamb. Then, alternate placing pieces of meat, pepper, and onion on the skewer.

Editor’s Tip: Soak your wooden skewers in water for at least 30 minutes, preferably an hour or two, before using them on the grill. This hack keeps them from burning. 

Step 4: Grill and baste

Place the lamb skewers on a medium-hot grill. Grill and baste them frequently, 8 to 10 minutes, turning the kabobs occasionally, until the meat reaches the desired doneness.

Editor’s Tip: For medium-rare kabobs, your thermometer should read 135°F. For medium doneness, it should read 140°, and medium-well should read 145°.

Lamb Kabob Variations

  • Swap out the vegetables: Go for miniature bell peppers or add chunks of zucchini and yellow summer squash. Do you love mushrooms? Use them! Get creative and experiment with what veggies taste best.
  • Go beefy: Of course, they’ll no longer be lamb kabobs, but beef lovers can use cubes of top sirloin steak instead.
  • Serve it with tzatziki sauce: Find the Mediterranean sauce or dip at your local grocery store or opt to make your own. These kabobs are great with pita bread, too. Our Taste of Home team loves a good tzatziki recipe!
  • Finishing touches: Squeeze a bit of lemon juice—just a little—over the kabobs and add a sprinkling of course sea salt right before serving.

Can you freeze kabobs?

Nothing beats hot-off-the-grill kabobs, but you can store extras in the freezer. First, remove everything from the skewers. Once the lamb and vegetables are completely cool, separate the meat from the vegetables. Put the lamb in its own airtight container or freezer bag and the vegetables in a separate freezer container or bag. Gently squeeze as much air as possible out of the bags before freezing. The deconstructed kabobs keep well in the freezer for 3 months. Thaw them overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

Lamb Kabobs Tips

What’s the best cut of lamb to use for kabobs?

Using boneless lamb shoulder or leg of lamb is a good choice when making kebobs. Lamb loin is also very tender. If you want to avoid the hassle of cutting meat, check your local butcher, meat counter, or market for lamb stew meat (often made from the shoulder). It is already cut into pieces for you.

How can I tell when the lamb is done?

Lamb is best served medium-rare and we recommend using an instant-read thermometer to guide you. Meat can overcook quickly and become dry, so keep an eye on it.

How do I make sure my veggies are cooked evenly?

Make sure your vegetables are cut into small pieces, especially the onion wedges. Larger veggie chunks will take longer to grill and might still be crisp when the lamb is finished. Keeping the vegetables cut to a uniform size helps them cook evenly.

Herbed Lamb Kabobs

Prep Time 15 min
Cook Time 20 min
Yield 8 servings.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 3 to 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons dried marjoram
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 pounds boneless lamb
  • 1 medium red onion, cut into wedges
  • 1 large green pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 large sweet red pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, combine the first 9 ingredients. Pour 1 cup into a shallow dish; add lamb and turn to coat. Cover; refrigerate for 6-8 hours. Cover and refrigerate remaining marinade for basting.
  2. Drain and discard marinade. On eight metal or soaked wooden skewers, alternately thread lamb and vegetables. Grill, uncovered, over medium-hot heat for 8-10 minutes on each side or until meat reaches desired doneness(for medium-rare, a thermometer should read 135°; medium, 140°; medium-well, 145°), basting frequently with reserved marinade.

Nutrition Facts

1 each: 366 calories, 28g fat (5g saturated fat), 69mg cholesterol, 591mg sodium, 6g carbohydrate (3g sugars, 2g fiber), 22g protein.

This colorful kabob wouldn't be the same without its delicious herb marinade and tender-crisp vegetables. Together, they add delicious flavor and texture to the lamb pieces. This recipe was submitted by Janet Dingler from Cedartown, Georgia.