Grilled Lamb Kebabs with Tzatziki Sauce

Being new to eating lamb we are always on the lookout for great recipes like these grilled lamb kebabs. One thing we’ve found that everyone in the family loves are kebabs and Josh loves grilling so it’s a win for all. Honestly just the word is cool and funny to say! We found this great recipe at Smitten Kitchen and love the yogurt marinade with a few adaptations for our family.

Grilled kebabs have several things going for them:

  1. You get to roast it on a stick.
  2. You get to eat with your hands.
  3. Very easily personalized so everyone gets what they want.
  4. You get to spear and roast things over a fire (maybe my inner child coming out here).

We’ve got to remember to start taking pictures of these recipes but we’re not really the foodie types that snap pictures before they eat. These always turn out scrumptious though. Our one recommendation is to grill veggies and meat on separate skewers so you can control whether you like more fire roasted or tender/crispy veggies.

Grilled Lamb Kebabs with Yogurt Marinade

Adapted fromĀ Smitten Kitchen

  • 1 pound plain yogurt (Your choice, we use our homemade yogurt)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for brushing grill
  • lemon zest from 2 lemons (we like the extra zing)
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
  • 2 tablespoons dried rosemary, ground in your fingers as you add
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 3-4 pounds lamb (we’ve used leg steaks, shoulder steak, leg cuts are typical for kebabs)
  • veggies (we use onions, peppers, mushrooms, and zucchinni)

Combine all ingredients except lamb and veggies in a large, non-reactive bowl. Cut the lamb in 1 1/2-inch cubes and add it to the yogurt, making sure it is covered with the marinade. I like to just reach in with my hands and stir it around to make sure everything is covered nicely, you can use a spoon as well. But the key is to make sure each piece is coated. Cover the mixture plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or for up to two days.

Soak your skewers for at least 30 minutes if using wooden ones or else your grilled kebabs can turn to chunks of meat with ashes separating them. When ready to grill, cut a whole onion in 8 pieces and separate each piece into three or four sections. Prepare your other veggies in sizes comparable (half larger mushrooms, use large chunks of peppers, whole thick slices of zuchhinni). Loosely thread lamb onto skewers (we use 5-6 pieces per skewer). On seperate skewers, thread your veggies. Place the skewers on the hot grill and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, turning two or three times, until the lamb is medium-rare. They cook fast and are very easy to overcook. Best to try one as you go along. :)

Tzatziki – Creamy Cucumber Dipping Sauce

Adapted fromĀ Smitten Kitchen

We have found the recipe below is usually at least double what we need for a meal so we freeze half.

  • 14 ounces yogurt (a little less than 2 cups)
  • 1 cucumber, unpeeled (if it has seeds, cut it in half and remove those)
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • dill (to taste)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic or about 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Place the yogurt in a medium bowl. Grate the cucumber and squeeze with your hand to remove some of the liquid. Pressing it in mesh sieve with a spoon to extract the extra water or wringing it in cheesecloth also work well. Add it to the yogurt along with the sour cream, lemon juice, vinegar and stir well. Add your spices (dill, garlic, salt and pepper) a little at a time until you get a good taste for you.