Greek lamb kebabs and the best lamb marinade are a great start to a fantastic family dinner.
Flavoured with herbs (thyme and oregano) lemon and olive oil, these Greek kebabs have a truly authentic Mediterranean flavour. The meat is succulent and soft and absolutely amazing when turned into Greek lamb wraps with fluffy pita, tzatziki sauce and salad leaves.
- The marinade, the lamb, the onion and capsicum are a seriously flavourful combo.
- So easy to make – marinate, skewer, cook.
- The marinade makes the meat so tender and juicy.
- Perfect for weeknight dinner or entertaining.
If you love this, you’ll also love Greek seasoned chicken.
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Ingredients you’ll need
Detailed quantities and instructions in the recipe card below.
- What lamb to use: There are a variety of cuts of lamb you can use here but I just love boneless lamb shoulder. I get a roasting portion that I cut into cubes myself. You can use lamb leg as well though it tends to be leaner so not quite so juicy.
- The marinade: The lamb marinade is a combination of fresh thyme, dried oregano, fresh garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, paprika, salt and dried chilli flakes (red pepper flakes).
- The vegetables: Threading the skewers with some red capsicum (red bell pepper) and red onion adds flavour to the lamb and becomes softened veggies that are so nice to eat with it.
How to make lamb kebabs (step-by-step)
While these Greek kebabs are very easy to make, there is a little time in cutting down the lamb shoulder into chunks so feel free to do this ahead of time. The shoulder does contain some connective tissue (silverskin) that is chewy and unpleasant to eat so remove this as you go through and cut the meat into 1 ½ inch/4cm chunks.
Detailed quantities and instructions in the recipe card below.
The souvlaki lamb marinade
This easy lamb marinade takes just minutes to throw together and adds so much authentic flavour to your Greek kebabs.
- For the marinade, simply mix the ingredients in a large airtight container or a large ziplock bag.
- Add the chopped lamb, onions and capsicum and let it marinate in the fridge for 1-2 hours or up to 8 hours.
How to cook lamb kebabs
- Soak the skewers: If using bamboo or wooden skewers make sure to soak them in water first. This will stop them burning as much when the kebabs are cooking.
- Thread the skewers: Thread the meat, onion and capsicum onto the skewers.
- Heat the grill: Heat a grill pan with some oil over medium high heat.
- Cook the kebabs: Cook your Greek kebabs in batches, turning regularly for 7-8 minutes.
How to serve Greek kebabs
The way you serve these lamb souvlaki kebabs is totally up to you. You can eat them straight off the stick or slide the meat off the skewers into a wrap. I love to take the meat and vegetables off the skewers then roughly chop it up. The smaller pieces mean you get a mouthful with everything in it at once and I just think it tastes the best this way.
Get ahead tip: Prep the meat the day before, then marinate in the morning so you can have a quick dinner on the table in the evening.
Tips and tricks
- Which skewers to use: I prefer using bamboo or wooden skewers over metal ones – metal skewers become hot to handle too quickly and also cook the lamb from the inside too as they heat up and resulting in overcooked meat. I prefer shorter skewers over longer ones as they are easier to fit and turn in a griddle pan.
- Cook in batches: Overcrowding the pan will result in meat that steams rather than grills and you won’t get the browning and caramelisation on the outside that adds so much flavour. Once the first batch is cooked, set it on a warmed plate, covered in foil while you cook the rest.
What goes with lamb kebabs
There are loads of great ideas for sides for lamb kebabs.
- Create your own lamb souvlaki wraps like I have here – chop up the cooked lamb and wrap it up in flatbread with cucumber spears and salad leaves.
- Tzatziki sauce – this creamy, herby sauce is the perfect combo with this rich and flavourful meat. If you don’t feel like making tzatziki, this yogurt dip takes just a few minutes and matches perfectly.
- Creamy cucumber salad – this has a tzatziki vibe but chunky style.
- Tabouleh – this Middle Eastern herb and tomato salad is a great complement to the rich meat.
- Greek salad – serve your Greek lamb skewers alongside a classic Greek salad.
- Potatoes – try them with some creamy mashed potatoes or these buttery garlic and prosciutto potatoes. Fries are good too or a classic crunchy roast potato!
- Hummus – the creaminess is so perfect with the meat.
Make sure to serve some lemon wedges on the side too to squeeze over the lamb.
For me, lamb shoulder is the best cut of lamb for kebabs. While it has connective tissue that you need to remove, it has the right amount of fat so it stays tender and juicy. It also has great flavour.
Souvlaki is the Greek name for a shish kebab.
Olive oil, lemon juice, herbs like thyme, oregano and parsley, salt and spices like paprika or cumin.
Gyros vs souvlaki
So, what is souvlaki vs gyro? Gyros is thin slices of meat threaded onto a rotisserie and cooked before being shaved off and added to pita. Souvlaki is chunks of lamb threaded onto skewers and marinaded in herbs and flavourings before being grilled.
Yield and storage
This recipe makes 12 skewers and, personally, I’d consider 1 kebab to be a serving though they’re very tempting to eat more.
Store leftover lamb kebabs in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. It’s great warmed up and stuffed into a wrap for lunches.
To freeze, I like to make sure the meat is cut up into small pieces, then freeze in an airtight container or ziplock bag for up to 3 months. This meat is wonderful thrown onto pizza when you need a quick dinner.
Did you try this recipe for Greek lamb kebabs?
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Greek Lamb Kebabs (Lamb Souvlaki)
- 1 medium lemon
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 8 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves stripped, discard stalks (roughly 2 teaspoons of leaves)
- 1 ½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 ½ teaspoons sweet paprika
- ¼ teaspoon dried chilli flakes (red pepper flakes)
FOR THE SKEWERS
- 1.2 kg boneless lamb shoulder
- 1 large red capsicum (1 inch chunks)
- 1 medium red onion (1 inch chunks)
- 12 bamboo skewers
- Cucumber spears & salad leaves
For best results, always weigh ingredients where a weight is provided
- Large airtight container (or ziplock bag) (for marinating)
- Bamboo skewers
- Zest then juice the lemon. Add 2 teaspoons of lemon zest and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice to a large bowl (if there isn’t enough juice in your lemon, you can make up the difference with a little white wine vinegar or red wine vinegar).
- Add the remaining marinade ingredients – garlic, thyme leaves, olive oil, salt, oregano, paprika and dried chilli flakes. Mix well.
- Trim the lamb of excess fat and cut into 1 ½ inch cubes (removing any sinew or silverskin as you go).
- Cut the capsicum and onion into similar sized chunks.
- Add the lamb cubes, onion and capsicum to the marinade bowl and toss everything together. Cover with plastic wrap or a lid and chill for 1-2 hours, to marinate).
- Soak the skewers in water for 30 minutes before adding the meat.
- Thread cubes of lamb, onion and capsicum onto the soaked skewers.
- Transfer to a warm plate and cover with foil while you finish cooking the rest.
- To serve as shown, on a large chopping board, cut the meat away from the skewers, then roughly chop the meat and vegetables. Serve them in a fluffy pita with tzatziki, cucumber spears and salad leaves
- Please take a moment to leave a comment & rating. It's appreciated and so helpful.
- SERVING IDEAS: Serve with tzatziki or just some Greek yogurt with cucumber in pita bread. You can also serve the skewers with rice and a nice Greek salad or with some hot chips or potatoes.
- OTHER MEATS: This same process can be used with chicken thighs, beef or pork as well.
More InformationThese links will take you up to the post – just scroll down to get back to the recipe card.
- Step-by-step photos
- Tips and tricks
- What goes with lamb kebabs
- Yield and storage
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