Grilled Marinated Lamb Kebabs

Grilled Marinated Lamb Kebabs
Marinating lamb with raw onion and garlic after rubbing it with spices yields tender, flavorful meat.Ted + Chelsea Cavanaugh

Lamb shoulder is an under­utilized cut for grilling. It’s inexpensive yet juicy, and when cut into small pieces, it can easily absorb flavor from spice rubs and marinades. Made without any acid, this marinade relies on bracing raw onion—it helps tenderize the meat quickly, and leaves a subtle sweetness after grilling. Pair the kebabs with your favorite summer-­vegetable side.


Grilled Marinated Lamb Kebabs
Lamb shoulder, an oft-underilized cut, is marinated in spices and onion—which helps to tenderize and lend a light sweetness after grilling on skewers. Pair with your favorite summer vegetable side.
Yield: serves 4
Time: 1 hour


  • ¾ tsp. ground coriander
  • ¾ tsp. ground cumin
  • ¾ tsp. kosher salt
  • ½ tsp. ground cayenne
  • 1 lb. 6 oz. boneless lamb shoulder, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • ½ large yellow onion (5 oz.), coarsely chopped
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium garlic cloves


  1. In a small bowl, mix the coriander, cumin, salt, and cayenne. Season the lamb all over with the mixture, pressing to adhere.
  2. In a blender, add the onion, olive oil, garlic, and 2 tablespoons cool water. Blend until almost smooth.
  3. Transfer the marinade to a resealable plastic bag or wide bowl, and add the lamb. Toss well to coat the pieces, then refrigerate for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, if using wooden skewers, soak the skewers in water for at least 20 minutes.
  4. Once the lamb is done marinating, thread the pieces onto 8 large metal or wooden skewers. Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium-high heat. Sprinkle the lamb with a little more salt and some black pepper, then grill, rotating as needed, until just cooked through and grill marks appear all over, about 8 minutes total. Transfer to a platter and serve.