Middle Eastern Lamb Rub

Lamb rub
Diana Miller / Getty Images
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 15 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
35 Calories
3g Fat
3g Carbs
0g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 35
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 3g 3%
Saturated Fat 0g 2%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 1080mg 47%
Total Carbohydrate 3g 1%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 2mg 8%
Calcium 21mg 2%
Iron 1mg 3%
Potassium 56mg 1%
*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.)

Spice rubs offer really easy ways to add layers of flavor and complexity to meat. With a little bit of preparation and planning, you can add this ahead of time to any meat you'd like to infuse it with the dried spices, along with the chopped garlic and onion.

This is a wet rub, which means that the ingredients will stick to the meat well and that it contains some ingredients that aren't dry; in this case, those refer to olive oil, apple cider vinegar, and lemon juice. The oil, especially, helps it to act like a moisture barrier, and wet rubs can also help prevent the meat from sticking to a grill.

This wet spice rub, with it's Middle Eastern-inspired flavor, is perfect for a lamb recipe served alongside mashed potatoes and a green salad, for example.


  • 1 small onion, finely chopped

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Combine all ingredients and mix together until it forms a paste.

  3. Rub mixture over surface of the meat, making sure it is evenly distributed.


You could turn his rub into a marinade by increasing the amount of oil, lemon juice, and apple cider vinegar until you have enough to coat the meat. Marinades are typically more aqueous than a simple wet rub. Combine the marinade and the meat in a zip-close bag in the refrigerator so the flavors can meld. Here are some general guidelines for how long to marinate various proteins.

  • Marinate beef and lamb for 4 to 12 hours.
  • Marinate pork for 2 to 6 hours.
  • Marinate poultry for 1 to 3 hours.
  • Marinate fish for 15 to 30 minutes.


If you're not into lamb, this boldly flavored rub would also work well on beef, poultry, and fish.

  • Try it with crispy chicken thighs cooked right in the pan or roasted with some root vegetables on a sheet pan, for example.
  • Rub it onto pork roast and serve with potatoes.
  • You could also toss shrimp with this wet rub before skewering and grilling them.
  • Rub it onto salmon before grilling it or pan roasting it.