Savory spiced lamb kabobs with tzatziki sauce is a flavorful combination that you will love. Aromatic spices and preserved lemon infuse each bite of lamb. Serve with the cool and creamy yogurt sauce.
There is nothing quicker, easy and tasty as throwing some spiced lamb kabobs on a hot sizzling BBQ. It only takes a few minutes to make, and I always like serving this dish with lots of side options, like a fresh and creamy homemade tzatziki sauce. It is the perfect condiment for eating savory lamb bite and grilled vegetables.
Make sure you have a tank full of gas and fire that BBQ up. Let’s get the summer started right by making your neighbors jealous with the smell of savory spiced lamb kabobs with tzatziki sauce.
The lamb kebabs get a little love before cooking by giving each skewer a nice flavorful dip in the marinade. What bits of awesomeness is in this marinade? Let’s start with the aromatic mixture of fresh chopped parsley and mint, oregano, onion, cumin, cinnamon, and smoked paprika.
If you haven’t used preserved lemon, now is the time! The lemon slices have been preserved in a wonderfully salty and sour brine for several months to take on a pleasant flavor and add depth to any dish. It’s not hard to make your own preserved lemons if you want to give it a shot.
You can find preserved lemons online, or I found a jar at Trader Joe’s. Don’t worry if you can’t get your hands on them, fresh lemon slices will work too, but they will add a brighter more sour citrus flavor.
You can never have too much tzatziki sauce, trust me. It’s so easy to make, and I used my Vitamix Blender to combine all of the sauce ingredients all at once within seconds. The cucumbers can also be hand-chopped and stirred together with the rest of the ingredients. You can’t beat creamy Greek yogurt that has a subtle tang, cool and crunchy cucumbers, fresh dill and lemon juice for a light and flavorful topping for the lamb.
These beauties took under 10 minutes to grill to a nice medium-rare. Make sure you give the meat at least 10 minutes to rest before digging in so you can lock in those yummy juices (I know, it’s hard to wait!). The red onions and bell peppers get nice and roasted during grilling and infuse their flavors into each piece of lamb, really delicious!
Do you like your lamb kabobs stuffed in a warm pita? I do too! I like to add some fresh green lettuce and juicy ripe tomatoes in my sandwich, top each bite with your homemade tzatziki sauce, and you are ready to feast. One of my favorite sides that I serve the spiced lamb kabobs with is a healthy quinoa tabbouleh with lemon garlic dressing, yes, please!
What are Preserved Lemons?
Preserved lemons are typically marinated in olive oil, lemon juice, peppercorn, bay leaf and salt brine that sits for at least 1 month to 6 months to infuse all of the vast flavors into the lemon. The preserved lemons add a depth of flavor to your dishes and commonly found in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine. I have used them as whole slices in the lamb kabob marinade and then discarded them. If you plan on using the peel directly in a dish, make sure to rinse the lemons first because they are quite salty.
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Lamb Kabobs with Tzatziki Sauce
- 2 pounds boneless leg of lamb, or shoulder, trimmed, cut into 1 ¼-inch cubes
- 2 red bell peppers, seeded and diced into 1-inch squares
- 1 large red onion, cut into 1-inch squares
- 2 tablespoons Italian parsley leaves, chopped fresh
- 2 tablespoons mint, chopped
- 1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
- 2 teaspoons oregano, dried
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 2 teaspoons cumin, ground
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon, ground
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- 1 cup olive oil
- 4 preserved lemon slices, or fresh lemon
- 8 wooden skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes, or metal skewers, 10-inch
Tzatziki Sauce (makes 3 cups)
- 1 english hothouse cucumber, or 2 Persian cucumbers, seeded, very finely chopped (save a few slices for garnish)
- 2 cloves garlic, grated
- 2 cups greek yogurt, plain
- 2 tablespoons dill, finely chopped fresh
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice, fresh
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Thread lamb on skewers alternating with peppers and onions, repeating until 8 skewers are made. Set all of the kebabs into a pan with high edges in one layer and set aside.
- Combine marinade ingredients in a medium bowl; parsley, mint, garlic, oregano, onion powder, cumin, cinnamon, paprika, salt, pepper, and olive oil, whisk to combine.
- Add the preserved lemon and press lightly in the mixture to extract some of the lemon flavors. Pour the mixture over the kabobs, cover with plastic wrap or foil and refrigerate 1 hour, rotating kabobs after 30 minutes to marinate each side. Meanwhile, make the tzatziki sauce.
- Mix cucumber, garlic, yogurt, dill, lemon juice, and oil in a medium bowl; season with salt and pepper. Cover and let sit at room temperature until flavors meld, at least 1 hour and then chill the sauce. The sauce can be made up to a day in advance.
Grilling the Kabobs
- Heat the barbecue to medium-high heat. Clean the grill grates with a paper towel dipped in oil to help prevent sticking of the kabobs. Grill to desired doneness, occasionally turning, 7 to 9 minutes for medium-rare. Allow kebabs to rest for 10 minutes before serving.
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