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Greek Lamb Souvlaki

Greek Lamb Souvlaki is the dish that introduced me to Greek Food, and I’ve been loving the Greek flavor combination of lamb with olive oil, lemon juice, and oregano ever since! Use Grilling Recipes to find more recipes like this one.

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Photo with text for Greek Lamb Souvlaki
Greek Lamb Souvlaki (or Souvlakia) is the first Greek food I remember ever tasting as a college student, and it was the beginning of a long love affair with Greek flavors for me. Recently I had a thought that this Souvlaki would be a perfect recipe to make for Father’s Day, but the photos that I’d taken back in 2007 were not really up to current standards! So I bought some leg of lamb from Costco and made Greek Lamb Souvlaki with Jake. And it was certainly not much of a hardship to make Lamb Souvlaki, take new photos, and eat some, and Jake was happy to get some of the leftovers.

If you’re planning to cook something on the grill for dad but don’t want lamb, there are lots of good ideas in my round-ups of Low-Carb Dad-Friendly Grilling Ideas and Low-Carb and Keto Beef Steak on the Grill. And if you’re lucky enough to be celebrating with a wonderful dad this coming weekend, enjoy!

What is Souvlaki?

Wikipedia defines Souvlaki as “a popular Greek fast food consisting of small pieces of meat and sometimes vegetables, grilled on a skewer.” And although in the U.S. this is almost always called Souvlaki, the plural form is Souvlakia, so when there are multiple skewers like you see in my photo that would be called Souvlakia in Greece.

What Kind of Meat Can You Use for Souvlaki?

The meat used most for Souvlaki in Greece is pork, and on my blog I have a recipe for Kalyn’s Souvlaki that’s made using pork.  I’m also a fan of Chicken Souvlaki, which is fairly common but not as common in Greece.

What Flavors Are Most Common in Greek Food?

The most essential herb in Greek cooking is oregano, and it must be Greek Oregano, as opposed to Mexican Oregano, which truly does have a different flavor. In Greece, most cooks have a jar of dried oregano right by the stove, and the dried version is often preferred over fresh oregano, since drying concentrates the flavor. Greek dishes also use a lot of mint, dill, onion, garlic, rosemary, and bay leaves. Read more at Wikipedia about Greek Cuisine.

Process photos collage for Greek Lamb Souvlaki

Greek Lamb Souvlaki: Marinating the Lamb

  1. Cut lamb into cubes a little over one inch square. I start with two pounds leg of lamb and trimmed off most of the fat; take your choice on that.
  2. Mix together olive oil, lemon juice, dried Greek Oregano, and granulated garlic or garlic powder.
  3. Put lamb cubes inside a Ziploc bag (or use a plastic container with a snap-tight lid), add the marinade, and marinate the lamb cubes about 4 hours in the refrigerator.

Process photos collage for Greek Lamb Souvlaki

Greek Lamb Souvlaki: Cooking the Lamb

  1. Dump the lamb and marinade into a colander placed in the sink, drain off the marinade, and let lamb cubes come to room temperature while you heat the grill to medium-high heat.
  2. Thread lamb cubes on to skewers. If you don’t have blade-type skewers like these great skewers I bought in Turkey or double skewers for kabobs be sure to push the cubes of lamb tightly together so they won’t spin around on the grill.
  3. Place skewers on the grill and rotate every 2-3 minutes to get nice grill marks on the meat. Cook lamb about 8 minutes for medium rare or 9-10 minutes for medium, but don’t overcook.

Close-up photo for Greek Lamb Souvlaki

Season cooked lamb with a little salt and fresh-ground black pepper and serve hot. Souvlaki is great served with The World’s Best Tzatziki Sauce.

Make it a Meal:

Greek Lamb Souvlaki would taste great with American Greek Salad and World’s Easiest Grilled Vegetables for a low-carb meal.

More Delicious Grilled Food with Greek Flavors:

Very Greek Grilled Chicken ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Low-Carb Grilled Greek Chicken Packets ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Greek Seasoned Pork Chops with Lemon and Oregano ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen

Greek Lamb Souvlaki (Souvlakia)

Greek Lamb Souvlaki is the dish that introduced me to Greek Food, and I love these skewers with marinated lamb.

Ingredients:

Souvlaki Ingredients:

  • 2 lb. leg of lamb (or slightly less if there isn’t much fat to be trimmed)
  • olive oil or non-stick grill spray for brushing or spraying the grill

Marinade Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (preferably Greek olive oil)
  • 3 T fresh-squeezed lemon juice (see notes)
  • 1 tsp. dried Greek Oregano
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder or dried granulated garlic (I prefer not to use freshly chopped garlic because it can burn on the grill.)
  • salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. I started with two pounds leg of lamb and trimmed off most of the fat; take your choice on that. If your lamb doesn’t have much fat you might not need two pounds
  2. Cut lamb into cubes a little over one inch square.
  3. Whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, dried Greek Oregano, and granulated garlic or garlic powder to make the marinade.
  4. Put the lamb cubes inside a Ziploc bag (or use a plastic container with a snap-tight lid) and add the marinade.
  5. Marinate the lamb cubes at least 4 hours (or marinating all day wont’ hurt) in the refrigerator.
  6. Dump the lamb and marinade into a colander placed in the sink, drain off the marinade, and let lamb cubes come to room temperature while you heat the grill to medium-high heat.
  7. Thread lamb cubes on to skewers. If you don’t have blade-type skewers like these great skewers I bought in Turkey or double skewers for kabobs be sure to push the cubes of lamb tightly together so they won’t spin around on the grill. (affiliate links)
  8. Place skewers on the grill and rotate every 2-3 minutes to get nice grill marks on the meat.
  9. Cook lamb about 8 minutes for medium rare or 9-10 minutes for medium, but don’t overcook.
  10. Season cooked lamb with a little salt and fresh-ground black pepper and serve hot.
  11. Souvlaki is great served with The World’s Best Tzatziki Sauce.

 

Notes:

I used my fresh-frozen lemon juice for this recipe. Use more or less lemon juice to taste; I like quite a bit of lemon.

Recipe inspired by The Frugal Gourmet Cooks Three Ancient Cuisines, one of my favorite cookbooks. (affiliate link)

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Thumbnail photo for Greek Lamb Souvlaki

Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Greek Lamb Souvlaki is a great dish for low-carb diet plans, and most low-carb dieters probably wouldn’t mind a bit of fat left on the meat. Lamb is a limited food for the South Beach Diet, due to the amount of fat, but if you trim the fat well you could eat this for an occasional treat.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

Nutritional Information?
If you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into this nutrition analyzer, which will calculate it for you. Or if you’re a member of Yummly, you can use the Yum button on my site to save the recipe and see the nutritional information there.

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18 comments on “Greek Lamb Souvlaki”

  1. I’m pinning and making!Love this recipe.easy and simple .i will definitely try it. One of our families favorite dinners! So easy and it tastes delicious! Thanks for a great recipe!

  2. Neil, have fun at the barbecue! I hadn't heard that about using the tips of the dried oregano, very interesting. I have some oregano growing, maybe I will try drying some!

  3. We are having a bbq tomorrow and were talking about doing souvlaki, perfect timing. Did you know some Greeks, rather than using oregano from the jar, keep whole bunches of the herb dried on the stalks and rub just the tips into their dishes, they say it has the best flavour.

  4. Your Souvlaki looks amazing..all the steps in which you delinated help all of us.. I have printed your recipe and will try it…looking forward..thanks

    Andy
    http://www.recipebuddys.com

  5. Yum, yum, yum! That looks so good! You have the best lamb recipes.

  6. We love LOVE lamb in this house!
    The pork and halloumi were really good but I can smell the lamb & oregano souvlaki from the screen and I’d like some of that… maybe with a little minty tzatziki on the side..

  7. yum, looking at your photos makes me wish jonas wasn’t a vegetarian and we could whip this up for dinner!!!

  8. You know I love it when you post lamb recipes! And yet another one that sounds delish. Thanks, Kalyn.

  9. Kalyn – I am completely salivating right now! And I just happen to have Greek oregano so I definitely want to try this soon!

  10. Lydia, I agree, and I love lamb!

    Katie, how do you describe taste, but I think the Mexican kind is a bit stronger. Both taste good to me, but they are definitely different.

    Kevin, never too many things to make with lamb, that’s what I say.

  11. This dish looks really nice. The marinade sounds tasty. I now have another lamb dish on my to try list.

  12. That is a lovely lamb dish! I bet the flavors really got into the meat.
    I wonder what the taste difference is between Mexican and Greek oregano… And I wonder which I have in my garden….

  13. That looks so good! I love that it’s easier to get good lamb in the supermarket now than ever before. And of course I am devoted to Costco, too! I think the secret to lamb is not to overcook it.

  14. Valli, me too (although I love just about every type of Greek food!)

    Kat, that would be great!

    Kelly, I do like to take those photos on the grill, but I keep forgetting to change the white balance when I go outside. I honestly don’t know if I changed it on this photo or not, but some of my “on the grill” shots turn out pretty bad!

    Debbie, I would definitely ask the butcher to get lamb shoulder for you, or you can also use leg of lamb, which is more tender but also more expensive. I would use either of those for this recipe. Costco is a good place to buy lamb.

  15. This looks really good, Kalyn. I want to eat more lamb too, I’ve relatively recently “discovered” it. So far I’ve only made lamb rib chops – AWESOME but very expensive so only an occasional treat. I have bad leg of lamb memories from childhood, chiefly of it stinking up the whole house. So do you have to go to a market with an actual butcher and just ask for a pound of shoulder meat? I don’t think I’ve ever noticed lamb at my regular supermarket. Sorry for the ignorant question, but I’d love to start cooking it more!

  16. The shot of the lamb pieces on the grill is so cool. I’ve never eaten lamb on a regular basis, I may have to start.

  17. WOW, That looks tasty! (and easy – which is important to me 🙂 ) Is it ok if I add you to my Blog Roll at TheWeighWeWere.com? Many of my readers will be very interested in your recipes!

  18. Souvlakia is one my favourite Greek dishes as well. Thanks for all the tips!!!

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