Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
2 Jul

Grilled Lamb Skewers with Yogurt Mint Dipping Sauce

When most people think about firing up the grill or stoking a campfire to cook an outdoor meal, lamb isn’t the first meat that comes to mind. Isn’t lamb the type of meat that should be served on a fancy platter with mint jelly on the side, not seared over a campfire and eaten with your hands?

Personally, we’ve never liked mint jelly or those silly, frilly white paper caps that chefs stick on lamb legs. We like our lamb seared over an open flame in tender bite-sized morsels that have been richly seasoned and tenderized in a marinade. We slide the meat right off the skewer and pop it in our mouth – it may not be fancy, but it sure is good.

Lamb is an ideal meat to skewer and cook over an open flame because it doesn’t take long to cook. If you’re wondering whether or not it’s done, err on the side of taking it off too soon; you want lamb to be fairly rare, otherwise it will be tough and chewy. If you cut the lamb into 1-inch squares it only needs 6-8 minutes of cooking time. Thread some skewers (or a stick that you’ve whittled) with veggies like onions, peppers or zucchini and they’ll be done at the same time and can be served on the side.

A good marinade is the key to tender lamb and it also adds extra flavor. The lamb soaks up our blend of allspice, cumin, onions, parsley and garlic like a sponge, making each piece of meat a succulent treat.

Ideally, let the meat marinate between 6-8 hours. If you’re heading out into the wild for a camping trip, store the meat in a sealed plastic bag with the marinade (in a cooler or near an ice pack) and the meat will be perfectly seasoned by the time you get your fire going that night or the next day.

Theses kabobs are spiced but not spicy – if you want some heat, add diced hot pepper or red pepper flakes to the marinade. Either way, a cool minty dipping sauce made from whole fat Greek yogurt and fresh mint is a refreshing summer dip to serve on the side.


  • 1 pound lamb loin or leg, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • Half dozen or so parsley sprigs
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt


Combine the meat with remaining ingredients in a sealed plastic bag or a bowl and refrigerate at least 6-8 hours.

Slide the meat onto skewers and grill over medium high heat 6 – 8 minutes for medium rare.

Minty Yogurt Dip


  • 1 cup full fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves
  • A few sprigs of parsley
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • Salt to taste


In a food processor, blend all ingredients. You can also finely chop the mint and parsley by hand and stir it into the yogurt by hand.

Optional additions: stir in chopped cucumber or fresh garlic.

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. I’ve always loved lamb, but this is my first year of cooking I’ve been brave enough to try it at home.

    There was nothing to be afraid of! And after last month’s smashing success with a roasted paleo lamb feast, I’m excited to try this grilled paleo feast!

    (My husband is going to be psyched when he finds out this will be on our table next week. Thanks, Mark!)

    Anne wrote on July 2nd, 2011
  2. Yum! Great timing!! I went out to a turkish restaurant on Wednesday and enjoyed a salad with lamb shish kebabas!!

    I also enjoyed a bit too much pita bread…. no!

    Happy 4th everyone!

    Primal Toad wrote on July 2nd, 2011
  3. Dangit, got drool all over my keyboard.

    Jaybird wrote on July 2nd, 2011
  4. We got a winner!!!…personally, lamb is one of my favorite meats. I like meat that has a robust know something is on the taste buds kind of flavor. Thanks daddy grok.

    Dasbutch wrote on July 2nd, 2011
  5. Forget breakfast. Those pictures makes me want to move straight to dinner!

    There’s a place I can get a lamb burger around here. They don’t know how to cook it rare so it always comes out pretty much raw – just the way I like it. I might have to head over there tonight. :)

    Peggy The Primal Parent wrote on July 2nd, 2011
  6. Great recipe! For years I was never a fan of lamb (always thought it too tough and greasy) but the MDA lamb recipes ROCK!

    Dawn wrote on July 2nd, 2011
  7. I have always loved lamb and this is by far the best way to prepare it.

    Maybe I will try it this weekend! :)

    Mark wrote on July 2nd, 2011
  8. Try the same recipe with goat.. It is to die for.!
    Thanks Mark..

    Resurgent wrote on July 2nd, 2011
  9. Can’t wait to try this one. The mint dipping sauce with the grilled artichokes a few weeks ago has become one of my all time favorites!

    Doug wrote on July 2nd, 2011
  10. Definitely going to use this one soon, I love lamb!

    George Mounce wrote on July 2nd, 2011
  11. I wish dairy liked me … this looks wonderful …

    Allie wrote on July 2nd, 2011
  12. This looks great, gonna have to try these for 4th of July tommorow!

    Keith wrote on July 2nd, 2011
  13. Yum! Great recipe.

    slacker wrote on July 2nd, 2011
  14. Sounds delicious! I love lamb.

    bleu wrote on July 2nd, 2011
  15. Had this for lunch today! Subbed fresh basil for the parsley. Still delicious. Adding this to the primal recipe lists in Evernote.

    todddoubleu wrote on July 2nd, 2011
  16. That mint sauce sounds really good – however: good flippin’ luck trying to find full FAT Greek yogurt around here! I went to 3 different stores and they all had Greek yogurt _ since it’s the latest “thing” – but it was all fancied up with flavorings (blueberries, vanilla, etc.) and either 1%, 2% or 0% fat! I ended up with organic 0%fat after trying 3 different brand name grocery stores. We don’t have a Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods or Sprouts here so we’re stuck with the major chain stores which suck to no end.

    I have an herb garden so fresh mint and parsley were no problem.

    PrimalGrandma wrote on July 2nd, 2011
    • I can find Fage full fat Greek yogurt at Fred Meyers (Kroger) here in Washington.

      I’ve been eating more and more lamb. Mmmmm, love it. I’m going to try that marinade. Thanks Mark.

      Melissa wrote on July 2nd, 2011
    • Same scenario here with the no TJ’s etc..Just compensate by getting the unflavored kind with minimal sugar and be sure to have a serving of fat with it to help slow absorbtion..(Coconut oil and butter are the best btw and Food Lion has a two pound tub for ~7 bucks.)

      Eric wrote on July 9th, 2011
    • Primal Grandma,
      Re: your Greek yogurt conundrum — Do you have Albertson’s near you? The Albertson’s by my house (in SoCal) stocks the full-fat kind!

      Carrie B wrote on July 16th, 2011
      • Carrie, Thanks for your reply. We have Safeway, Albertson’s and Fry’s. All carry Greek yogurt but only in the non-fat, 1% and 2% varieties and all with a bunch of flavorings. Dairy section managers say full fat anything doesn’t sell – go figure.

        BUT! I did find one lone brand of full fat (but not organic) at New Frontiers about 15 miles from here.

        PrimalGrandma wrote on July 16th, 2011
  17. Lamb is not usually something you would think of eating for the 4th of the July so it will be great to surprise my friends with it.

    Davis wrote on July 2nd, 2011
  18. Great recipe! It was delicious. In Toronto we have a number of Greek butchers and specialty food stores (Kostas in Scarborough is great) and lamb is a family favourite.


    Ange wrote on July 3rd, 2011
  19. Ange – I’m in Toronto too! :)

    I can get lamb at my farmer’s market, and it’s gorgeous. Been enjoying the lamb meatball recipe from Mark’s cookbook once a week, and this recipe sounds just as good! I’ve just started making my own goat milk yogurt… perfect for the dipping sauce.

    Tracy wrote on July 3rd, 2011
  20. Highly agree with everything said about lamb,
    except those silly bits of paper
    dressing up lamb rib ends do actually have a purpose – to stop the bare bone burning.
    Aluminum foil works well, recommended for those fashionable, expensive Frenched lamb racks, trimmed of all the goodness…

    Tony Dl wrote on July 3rd, 2011
  21. If you’re not dairy averse, try adding some feta to the yogurt sauce too. Yum.

    Karen P. wrote on July 3rd, 2011
  22. Lamb has always been my favorite meat and wouldn’t you know I have lamb cubes in the freezer right now calling my name!Now I just need to find some full fat Greek yogurt or the closest I can get! YUM!

    Robin wrote on July 3rd, 2011
  23. Why does the salt have to kosher?

    marc wrote on July 5th, 2011
  24. Have made the lamb skewers 3 times already – to rave reviews. Made the dipping sauce for the first time yesterday for company. Deeeelish, although the lamb is also fantastic without. Only have 0% fat Greek yogurt in stores here so I use regular organic full fat yogurt and strain the whey for a few hours using a coffee filter, thus making my own Greek yogurt. Thanks, Mark, for an amazing new addition to my regular meal rotation.

    Anita B wrote on July 10th, 2011
  25. Used a diff recipe for the lamb (will try yours next time), but I did use your yogurt mint recipe to the T and it was fantastic. Nummm nummm…. it went especially well on roasted white onions (magical).

    Alex Shalman wrote on July 25th, 2011
  26. Just made these tonight and they were fantastic! Wouldn’t change a thing (except to make more lamb!)
    The whole family ate them with gusto.
    I especially liked that the dipping sauce had no garlic; sometimes that flavor can be overpowering.

    zandy wrote on August 3rd, 2011
  27. yum;ilove it so much

    dorrer wrote on March 27th, 2013

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