Labor Day eats: Lamb kebabs with Greek yogurt sauce

Happy Labor Day! This is my first three-day weekend in… well, forever. Up until now I worked six days a week, so I’m still adjusting to this whole “weekends off” thing.

I’ve been keeping myself busy–getting settled into the new job, turning one of my bedrooms into a home office, and welcoming a new housemate. My mom didn’t have any plans, so I decided to keep things low-key and cook for the two of us. On the menu? Lamb kebabs with greek yogurt sauce.

This was my first time cooking lamb, and I was worried about getting the flavoring right. Alot of folks I know say they don’t like lamb because of the taste, and I totally get it. (STORY TIME!) So many, many moons ago I was at my then-boyfriend’s parent’s house for dinner. They were making lamb, and I had never tried it before. My boyfriend asked if I could eat it and I figured it would be no problem, right? His family literally just seasoned the meat with a little salt and pepper and stuck it in the oven. I didn’t want to be rude, and I tried to eat it, but the taste was so off-putting I had to sneak my lamb onto his plate when they weren’t looking and force myself to swallow the bite I already had.

Then I tried lamb from different places, especially Greek restaurants, and loved it. You need to season and flavor it aggressively or it will taste super gamey. This recipe came out PERFECT. Like, I surprised myself, it was so damn good. It’s especially good with the yogurt sauce, which is similar to a tzatziki. This recipe makes 8 skewers, and way more sauce than you will ever need… so you may want to double the lamb kebab recipe. You could also save the sauce for gyros and pita sandwiches!

You will need:

Lamb kebabs

  • 1 pound lamb loin chop, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 1/2 zucchini
  • cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper

Greek yogurt sauce 

  • 1 7.5 oz container plain greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Salt 

First, make the sauce. Chop some fresh dill, and zest the lemon you use for the lamb marinade. Add that into a bowl, along with the yogurt, 1 clove of garlic (either grated or finely chopped. I prefer grated, as you all probably know), and a squeeze of lemon juice. Whisk it all together, add salt to taste, and let it sit overnight.

Next, you want to marinate your lamb the night before; that way it soaks up all those flavors. Cut the meat off of the bones, and trim any fat. With the remaining meat, cut them into 1 inch cubes.

In a bowl, whisk together your olive oil, fresh thyme, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper. Place the lamb into a small bowl or a ziplock bag, and pour the marinade over the meat. Make sure it’s mixed well and all the meat is covered in the marinade, and then let it hang out in your fridge overnight.

Make sure you’ve soaked your skewers in water for at least 20 minutes to prevent them from burning. Cut your zucchini into fairly thick slices–you don’t want them to be completely cooked way before your lamb is done. Give your zucchini and tomatoes a quick toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Assemble the kebabs by putting lamb, zucchini, tomato, lamb, tomato, and zucchini. Like so:

Heat your grill to medium-high heat and place the skewers on. After 5 minutes, turn them over. These should cook up pretty quickly, but each grill is different. I usually do things by touch when I’m grilling; if you poke the meat and it’s still squishy, it’s not done. Once you poke it and it’s firm, you’re good to go.

Serve the kebabs with sauce on the side, and pat yourself on the back.


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