Lamb shish kebab is a very popular dish served in restaurants or in kebab shops but you can easily make it at home with this simple recipe. These lamb shish kebabs are best when served with our delicious Pita Bread, with colourful Summer Chickpea Salad or Turkish Rice Pilaf.
Lamb shish kebabs are originally from Turkey but they are very popular globally. There are many different recipes for marinating the lamb or presenting the shish kebabs. Authentic Turkish lamb shish kebab is not usually prepared with vegetables on the same skewer. It is a modern invention by Turkish restaurateurs to make the skewers look more “elegant” to customers.Jump to Recipe
How to Make Lamb Shish Kebabs?
This is a very simple, straightforward recipe and to achieve the best results, you need to follow few simple steps:
- Choose the right cut of the lamb – Choosing the right cut is crucial for perfect lamb shish kebabs. The best cuts are the shoulder, leg, loins or neck fillets. Try to have a good amount of fat on the meat for the juiciness but make sure it’s not too fatty either. Try and cut the meat into equal size, ideally 2-3 cm cubes. Work with the structure of the meat as much as possible.
- Marinate the meat – The secret of juicy and delicious lamb shish kebabs is the marinade. Marinating process is necessary to get the flavours into the lamb while tenderizing them. Marinate the lamb ideally overnight or a minimum of 6 hours for the best results. You can keep the meat in the marinade for up to 2 days if you want to prepare in advance. Many recipes include yoghurt for the marinade. I prefer milk instead as yoghurt tends to burn quickly and it’s not ideal for marinating meats that require a long cooking time.
- Thread the meat into the skewers – If you want to get everything cooked to perfection it is best to thread the meat and the vegetables on separate skewers to be able to control the level of doneness easily. Try not to overload the skewers when threading, the pieces of lamb should be close just to touch each other. The best skewers to use for shish kebabs are stainless steel, blade-shaped. They perform better than round skewers because they hold the food better and prevent it from spinning around when you turn them.
- Cook it fast – Cook the lamb shish kebabs on a hot grill or BBQ for soft and delicious kebabs. The size of 4 to 5 cm cubes would require 14 minutes to 16 minutes of cooking time. It would take less for smaller sized lamb. Cook the vegetable skewers separately for about 8 to 10 minutes or until they are cooked to your taste. Serve immediately when still hot.
I hope you enjoy the process of making these delicious lamb shish kebabs as much as you enjoy eating them!🙂
Bon appétit! / Afiyet olsun!
Lamb Shish Kebab
For the Marinade
- 1 large onion
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tbsp red pepper paste (optional) (replace with tomato paste if you prefer)
- 120 ml semi-skimmed or full-fat milk (½ cup)
- 100 ml olive oil (6-7 tbsp)
- 1 TSP flaked chili (adjust to your taste)
- 1 TSP freshly ground black pepper
- ½ tbsp salt
For the Lamb Shish
- 800 g lamb (shoulder, leg or fillet) (cut in 4-5 cm cubes)
- 1 bell pepper (or 4 Turkish green chilies)
- 1 red onion
- 2 medium tomatoes (or 8 cherry tomatoes)
Preparing the Marinade
- Peel and finely grate the onion or blitz in a food processor.
- Juice the grated/blitzed onion using a clean kitchen cloth or a fine sieve.
- Put the onion juice in a bowl and add the rest of the marinade ingredients, mix well to combine.
- Add the lamb cubes and cover with marinade.
- Cover the bowl with a lid or cling film and keep in the fridge to marinade ideally overnight or a minimum of 6 hours.
Making the Shish Kebabs
- Peel and cut the red onion into cubes similar size to the lamb.
- Wash and cut the bell pepper the same as the onions. If using Turkish chillies, slice them into 4 pieces.
- Wash the tomatoes and cut in 6 wedges each. Keep whole if using cherry tomatoes.
- Thread the lamb and vegetables onto metal or soaked bamboo kebab skewers separately as lamb has a longer cooking time than the vegetables.
- Cook the lamb kebabs on the BBQ or the griddle for 15-18 minutes and the vegetables for 10-12 minutes.
Did you make this recipe?