Yogurt- and Mint-Marinated Lamb Skewers Recipe

A yogurt and mint marinade helps keep these lamb skewers moist and tender. Joshua Bousel

Lamb and mint both have such assertive flavors, but put them together and somehow they manage to simultaneously enhance and tame each other—it really is a magical pairing. I wanted to bring those two flavors to these skewers, but knew I needed some other ingredients to complete the marriage. First, a marinade to help the mint adhere to the lamb—one made from yogurt was the logical choice, since it only adds to the synergy of both the lamb and mint. Plus, yogurt helps ensure that the lamb stays moist and tender as it cooks over high heat on the grill.

But lamb, mint, and yogurt, as great as they are, are a little too two-dimensional all by themselves. To add some more depth and complexity, I worked a few other ingredients into the marinade, including cilantro, lemon juice, garlic, and paprika.

For a final touch, I added red onion and zucchini to the skewers, alternating it with the pieces of cubed marinated lamb. They provide a nice touch of freshness that ends up being a perfect balance to the rich meat.

Why this recipe works:

  • Leg of lamb is perfect for cutting into cubes, and provides a rich lamb flavor without as much fat and sinew as other cuts.
  • A yogurt and mint marinade helps keep the meat tender and juicy.
  • Zucchini and red onion add a fresh contrast to the rich lamb.

Recipe Facts

Active: 30 mins
Total: 4 hrs 30 mins
Serves: 4 to 6 servings

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For the Marinade and Lamb:

  • 1 cup plain yogurt

  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice plus 1 teaspoon zest from 2 lemons

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1/2 cup tightly packed mint leaves

  • 1/4 cup tightly packed cilantro leaves

  • 2 tablespoons freshly minced garlic (about 6 medium cloves)

  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt

  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika

  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 pounds boneless leg of lamb, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes

For the Skewers:

  • 1 large red onion, sliced into 1 1/2-inch squares about 3 layers each

  • 1 large zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut into 1-inch pieces


  1. For the Marinade: Place yogurt, lemon juice, lemon zest, olive oil, mint leaves, cilantro leaves, garlic, salt, paprika, and black pepper in the jar of a blender. Blend marinade until smooth. Place lamb cubes in a large resealable plastic bag. Pour marinade into bag and seal, removing as much air as possible. Place in refrigerator and marinate for at least 4 and up to 8 hours.

  2. For the Skewers: Thread lamb onto skewers, alternating with onion and zucchini.

  3. Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and spread the coals evenly over entire surface of coal grate. Alternatively, set all the burners of a gas grill to high heat. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate. Grill skewers until well browned on all sides and center of lamb registers 130°F on an instant-read thermometer, 4-5 minutes per side. Transfer skewers to platter and let rest for 5 minutes. Serve immediately.

Special Equipment

Grill, wooden skewers (soaked in water for at least 30 minutes prior to use)

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
348 Calories
22g Fat
7g Carbs
31g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 348
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 22g 28%
Saturated Fat 8g 42%
Cholesterol 107mg 36%
Sodium 406mg 18%
Total Carbohydrate 7g 2%
Dietary Fiber 1g 5%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 31g
Vitamin C 11mg 53%
Calcium 71mg 5%
Iron 3mg 16%
Potassium 611mg 13%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)