Skewered Lamb Kebabs Recipe (Souvlaki Arnisio)

Getty Images
Prep: 0 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 15 mins

The key to tender lamb souvlaki (in Greek: σουβλάκι αρνίσιο, pronounced soov-LAH-kee ahr-NEE-see-yoh) is the marinade, so don't skimp on the timing. The longer they marinate, the better they will taste... and they will disappear as fast as you can make them!


  • 8 to 10 pound leg of lamb (trimmed, boned, and cut into 1-inch cubes)
  • For the Marinade
  • 1 cup of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried Greek oregano
  • 2 bay leaves (crushed)
  • Sea salt
  • Cracked peppercorns
  • 1 cup green peppers (chopped)
  • 2 medium onions (chopped)
  • 4 ounces of tomato puree (or 2 ounces of tomato paste, plus 2 ounces of water)
  • 1/4 cup port wine
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

Steps to Make It

Day One

  1. Mix marinade ingredients in a bowl and pour over meat and stir well to coat.

  2. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Day Two

  1. Add the green peppers, onions, and tomato puree to the marinade.

  2. Stir well, cover, and refrigerate overnight.

Day Three

  1. Add the port wine, red wine vinegar, and lemon juice to the marinade.

  2. Stir well, cover, and refrigerate overnight.

Day Four

  1. Soak small wooden skewers (5 to 8 inches) in water for an hour or more.

  2. Thread the meat on the skewers, leaving a little space between pieces. They can be cooked under the broiler, on the barbecue, or even in a hot skillet on the stovetop. If using the broiler, place close to the heat, turn frequently until crispy brown on all sides (about 15 minutes).

  3. Serve hot on the skewers with other mezethes, accompanied by lemon wedges and crusty bread.

Glass Bakeware Warning

Do not use glass bakeware when broiling or when a recipe calls to add liquid to a hot pan, as glass may explode. Even if it states oven-safe or heat resistant, tempered glass products can, and do, break occasionally.

Preparation note: If you don't have the time for a 3-day marinade, the time for additions 1 and 2 can be reduced to several hours each.

Recipe Tags: