Greek Recipes

Greek and Cypriot recipes

Skewered Lamb Kebabs: Souvlaki Arnisio

In Greek: σουβλάκι αρνίσιο, pronounced soov-LAH-kee ahr-NEE-see-yoh

The key to tender lamb souvlaki 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!

Lamb souvlaki

Lamb souvlaki

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes


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


Day One: Mix marinade ingredients in a bowl and pour over meat and stir well to coat. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Day Two: Add the ingredients in marinade addition #1, stir well, cover, and refrigerate overnight.

Day Three: Add the ingredients in marinade addition #2, stir well, cover, and refrigerate overnight.

Day Four: Soak small wooden skewers (5-8 inches) in water for an hour or more. 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).

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

Yield: approximately 25 skewers

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.

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