These tender, juicy, oven-broiled lamb kabobs are an easy 15-minute weeknight meal. Lemon and garlic-marinated lamb chunks are skewered between onions (or vegetables). These lamb shish kabobs don't need a grill or much time.
Whip up a side shirazi salad or vermicelli rice to serve alongside these lamb skewers. Or, wrap these garlicky lemon lamb kabobs with charred onions in Lebanese pita bread. If you like lamb recipes, check out these grilled lamb chops (from the best Mediterranean lamb recipes).
What I Love About This Recipe
I love the convenience of broiling these lamb kabobs from my indoor kitchen all within 15 minutes. Not only are these lamb shish kabobs flavorful and tender, but they are also really easy to make. The perfectly charred onions and skewered lamb feel a little luxurious for a weeknight meal.
- Boneless lamb shoulder roast: The exact lamb shoulder I purchased was 4.5 lbs from Costco. I used about 2 lbs for these lamb kabobs.
- Lemons: I recommend using freshly squeezed lemon juice for the marinade. Depending on how large and juicy your lemons are, you might need more or less lemons. The marinade needs about ½ cup of fresh lemon juice for every 2 lbs of lamb.
- Fresh garlic: The best garlic is fresh garlic, especially for marinades. Fresh garlic is more potent and infuses its flavor into the meat while marinating.
- Onion: I recommend white onion, red onion, or sweet onion for the skewers.
See the recipe card at the bottom of the post for quantities.
How To Make Oven Baked Lamb Kabobs
Although this is a simple and quick recipe, it's important to prep the lamb kabobs ahead of time so they can marinate.
Marinate the Lamb Chunks
Squeeze the lemons, resulting in about ½ a cup of lemon juice.
Peel and cut the ends off the garlic cloves. Mash the garlic cloves with some salt using a mortar and pestle. Alternatively, use a garlic press to crush the garlic.
In a bowl, add the mashed garlic and ground pepper. Add the freshly squeezed lemon juice and salt. Mix together.
Chop the boneless lamb shoulder into 1" kabob chunks. Place the lamb kabob meat in a bowl. Pour the lemon and garlic marinade over the lamb kabob chunks.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Alternatively, add the marinade and lamb kabobs to a gallon storage bag. Seal the bag tightly. Place the lamb in the fridge overnight (preferably) or for at least 2 hours.
Broil the Lamb Kabobs
If using wooden skewers, soak the lamb skewers in water for 10 minutes, so the wooden skewer will not burn quickly while the lamb kabobs are broiled.
Hint: The marinated lamb chunks will change color (to more of a brown color) as they marinate, which is to be expected due to the acidic nature of the garlic and lemon juice.
Peel and quarter the onions. Set the oven to broil. Skewer the kabobs alternating between lamb and onion sliced.
Place the lamb kabobs on the top rack of the oven. Set a timer for 2.5 minutes to 3 minutes. Pull the broiled lamb kabobs out of the oven and rotate a quarter turn. Continue to broil each side for 2 to 3 minutes. The total broil time is about 10 to 12 minutes.
Hint: Every oven is different. Monitor the lamb kabobs closely while they are broiling.
Tips and Tricks
- Marinate the lamb ahead of time. A minimum of 2 hours is needed to marinate the lamb; however, overnight is preferable.
- Use thick wood skewers or metal skewers. Whether you grill or broil lamb, thick wood skewers or metal skewers are essential for not burning through.
- Flip the kabobs! The only way to get the charred "grilling" effect from the oven broiler is to ensure the kabobs are flipped quarter turns until all sides are cooked.
- Be careful when flipping the lamb kabobs. Use an oven mitt or tongs when turning the lamb kabobs a quarter turn throughout the broiling process.
Variations and Substitutions
Add some other vegetables to these skewers to make these broiled kabobs standalone.
- Bell Peppers
- Broiling pan: A broiling pan is designed for high temperatures in the oven. Also, a two level broiling pan allows the drippings to drop below the meat. This ensures the meat doesn't steam in its juices, so the lamb chunks and vegetables can char.
- Shish kabob skewers: Use thick wooden skewers or reusable metal skewers. Thin bamboo skewers burn easily and can potentially break.
Once the lamb kabobs are cooked, store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 or 4 days. It's possible to store uncooked marinated lamb chunks in the freezer for future use if desired.
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Oven Broiled Lamb Kabobs
- 2 lbs boneless lamb shoulder roast see notes
- 2 whole large lemons ½ cup of squeezed lemon juice
- 5 whole garlic cloves
- 2 medium white onions
- salt and pepper to taste
Marinate the Lamb
- Squeeze the lemons. Mash the garlic. Mix the lemon juice, mashed garlic, salt, and pepper in a bowl.
- Cut the lamb roast into lamb kabob chunks about 1" thick.
- Add the marinade to the lamb kabob chunks and coating each piece well. Cover with a plastic wrap and set in the fridge for a minimum of 2 hours, or preferably overnight. Alternatively, marinate the lamb in a gallon plastic storage bag.
Skewer The Meat
- If using wooden bamboo skewers, soak the skewers for 10 minutes so they don't burn when broiling. Turn on the broiler while skewering the lamb chunks and onions.
- Peel and quarter an onion. Separate the onion pieces.
- Remove the marinated lamb from the oven. Skewer the lamb chunks and onion petals alternating lamb and onion.
- Place the skewers on a broiling pan.
Broil the Lamb Kabobs
- Place the broiler pan with the lamb kabobs in the top rack of the oven.
- Set a timer for about 2.5 to 3 minutes before removing the lamb kabobs. Monitor the lamb kabobs carefully.
- Pull the lamb kabobs out of the oven and turn the kabobs a quarter turn in the same direction. Put the lamb shish kabobs back into the oven for another 2.5 to 3 minutes.
- Continue to rotate the lamb shish kabobs until all four sides have been broiled (about 10 to 12 minutes).
- I bought my boneless lamb shoulder roast from Costco. The entire roast weighed 4.5 lbs, but I used 2 lbs for this recipe.