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Apr 21 2010

Lamb Kabobs and Shepherd’s Salad with Tzatziki Sauce

Published by at 10:28 pm under Cooking at Home,mediterranean

We have to admit that we were never big fans of Greek or Mediterranean food. Perhaps it’s the taste of the gamy lamb or the fact that they put feta cheese in everything! Well, one day we had dinner with our friend Joyce at Open Sesame Mediterranean Grill on 2nd Street in Long Beach and I think that was our turning point with this cuisine. Something about the flavors of the perfectly cooked lamb and chicken with the basmati rice and hummus really won us over. Since then, we’ve made other attempts to eat Mediterranean food at nearby restaurants and have particularly enjoyed the Greek’s gyros and pita with tzatziki sauce.

It only seemed fitting for us to make Greek food for ourselves at home since we had a change of heart. I came upon this recipe by Sunny Anderson when I was watching her show Cooking For Real on Food Network. She makes everything look so easy to make so I figured I’d try it myself – exactly the way she did it! It was a 3-part element to completing this meal, which included making the lamb kabobs, shepherd’s salad, and tzatziki sauce. It was a bit time consuming, but it was a fun and educational experience as it was my first time preparing a Greek meal! Thanks for the recipe, Sunny Anderson!

Greek & Mediterranean food, for the most part, is rather healthy. They use a lot of vegetables and lean meats in their cooking, so you can expect to gain a lot of health benefits from eating Mediterranean food! To start off, I prepared the Shepherd's Salad, which consists of cucumbers, tomatoes, red onion, olives, and parsley.

I diced up the vegetables and added 2 tbsp cider vinegar, 2 tbsp lemon juice, 4 tbsp olive oil, and some salt and pepper. I tossed everything together and allowed it to marinate for at least an hour before serving.

For awhile, I wasn't sure if the white sauce in Greek food was made with mayo or not. Thankfully, it's not because it's actually yogurt! This classic sauce is called Tzatziki, and is made with 2 cups Greek strained yogurt, 1/2 cucumber, 2 tsp hot sauce, 1 garlic clove, 1 tsp lemon juice, and some salt and pepper. I also added fresh dill! This is blended in a food processor to obtain the smooth consistency. The sauce is best after it sits in the fridge for at least an hour to get incorporated.

Finally, it's time for the lamb kabobs! Ground lamb is not easy to find at a local supermarket, so I had to go to Whole Foods to get this. I combined 1 1/2 lbs ground lamb, 2 scallions, 2 tsp onion powder, 2 tsp fresh oregano leaves, 1 tsp rosemary leaves, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp ground cumin, and 1/2 tsp thyme. That's a lot of herbs and seasonings! It definitely goes well with lamb.

I formed 2-inch long ovals with the ground lamb mixture and skewered them on these wooden skewers (which I soaked for 30 minutes to prevent it burning on the grill). These are grilled until slightly charred on the outside. Depending on your preference, you can cook it medium-rare which is about 3 minutes on each side, or longer if you like it less pink.

The whole meal comes together when you take a pita bread and stuff it with one of the Lamb Kabobs and add the Shepherd's Salad and Tzatziki Sauce. Whew, what an accomplishment! And if you're one of those people who still cannot stand the taste of lamb, just change out the ground lamb with beef or turkey! I'm sure you'll still enjoy the vegetables and yogurt sauce in this recipe.

To see Sunny Anderson’s Recipe, click here: Lamb Kabobs with Tzatziki Sauce and Shepherd’s Salad

You may also enjoy these previous blog posts:
Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb

Sunny Anderson’s Apple and Onion-Stuffed Pork Chops with Orange Gravy

38 responses so far

38 Responses to “Lamb Kabobs and Shepherd’s Salad with Tzatziki Sauce”

  1. Debbyon 21 Apr 2010 at 11:38 pm

    Now I am really hungry and can’t wait to make this.

  2. Cherineon 21 Apr 2010 at 11:51 pm

    Those kabobs look wonderful.

  3. MaryMohon 22 Apr 2010 at 1:22 am

    That looks so delicious I think I can eat all. Should look at this before my breakfast…torturing…haha!
    .-= MaryMoh´s last blog ..Okra and Char Siu Chicken Stir Fry =-.

  4. tigerfishon 22 Apr 2010 at 1:26 am

    I wonder how can I ever get that pita bread stuffed because every time I picked up the kabob, I will send them straight to my mouth first :O

  5. crankycherylon 22 Apr 2010 at 5:13 am

    Classic and lovely. I’m inspired.
    .-= crankycheryl´s last blog ..Fennel-Tomato-Orange Relish =-.

  6. Cookin' Canuckon 22 Apr 2010 at 5:23 am

    Those little lamb kebabs look so good. As tigerfish said, it would be tempting to pop them straight into your mouth.
    .-= Cookin’ Canuck´s last blog ..Roasted Tomatillo Shrimp Tacos Recipe with Honey-Lime Slaw =-.

  7. noobcookon 22 Apr 2010 at 5:34 am

    I love everything from the kebobs to the sauce to the stuffed pita bread. great photos ^^

  8. Sonia Nasi Lemak Loveron 22 Apr 2010 at 6:03 am

    This look super delicious !

  9. Hannaon 22 Apr 2010 at 6:59 am

    Your kabobs look so delicious…I will have to use ground beef since I am not a fan of lamb. Seem like you’re using wheat pita bread there.

  10. Sandyon 22 Apr 2010 at 8:37 am

    It looks so healthy yet delicious. How is that possible? =D

  11. Annaon 22 Apr 2010 at 9:43 am

    Looks delish. Now if I could only find gluten free pita bread.

  12. thefoodaddictson 22 Apr 2010 at 9:45 am

    Hanna – great observation! It is indeed wheat pita bread. Sorry for making everyone hungry this lovely Thursday morning! Happy Earth Day, all!

  13. Alisaon 22 Apr 2010 at 10:13 am

    Wow, this meal is gorgeous and it looks so incredibly fresh!
    .-= Alisa´s last blog ..Joni’s Creamy, Chunky, Rustic, and Flavorful Potato Leek Soup (or is it Celine’s?) =-.

  14. graceon 22 Apr 2010 at 12:51 pm

    i definitely count myself among the fans of middle eastern and mediterranean cuisines, and i think your meal looks outstanding! tzatziki is something i wouldn’t mind bathing pretty much anything in. :)
    .-= grace´s last blog ..a simple turn of phrase =-.

  15. Kristaon 22 Apr 2010 at 12:55 pm

    Oh wow, your photos are splendid! I’m afraid I’m a diehard fan of Greek food. But you’re right, it has to be done just so, with the right ingredients and then it’s pure bliss. :-)
    .-= Krista´s last blog ..Russian Dreams and Tilapia Babka =-.

  16. Rochelle (Acquired Taste)on 22 Apr 2010 at 1:08 pm

    yum! I love Greek food and that salad and those kabobs look perfect with the tzatziki sauce!
    .-= Rochelle (Acquired Taste)´s last blog ..Garlic, Green Onion, Goat Cheese & Yogurt Twice Baked Potatoes =-.

  17. bunkycookson 22 Apr 2010 at 4:15 pm

    What a beautiful Greek dish. The little “burgers” would be so tasty all by themselves!

  18. Caraon 22 Apr 2010 at 4:22 pm

    I love lamb and love the fresh colorful veggies here. This is one of my favorite meals!
    .-= Cara´s last blog ..Stuffed Baby Eggplant Amuse Bouche =-.

  19. The Duo Disheson 22 Apr 2010 at 4:57 pm

    Can’t believe you weren’t Greek food fans. Feta is one of the best cheeses out there! :) Glad you gave these recipes a try. Sunny has a few good ones!
    .-= The Duo Dishes´s last blog ..Jessica’s Test Kitchen =-.

  20. Sherrill Laughlinon 22 Apr 2010 at 6:01 pm

    OH MY. I seriously love greek/mediterranean food. Though agree that they deal with lots of spices and their foods have pretty strong tastes. Great recipes you’ve shared, and can’t wait to try it at home!

    Thanks again, guys. :)

  21. sweetlifeon 22 Apr 2010 at 9:43 pm

    what great kabobs..i have also come to apprecitae mediterranean many flavorsw

    .-= sweetlife´s last blog ..Meet Chuls…My Secret Weapon… =-.

  22. Bianca @ South Bay Rants n Raveson 22 Apr 2010 at 10:04 pm

    This looks very refreshing & rather easy! :)
    .-= Bianca @ South Bay Rants n Raves´s last blog ..Recipe: Beef Steak =-.

  23. Sophiaon 23 Apr 2010 at 8:49 am

    This looks so refreshing! Definitely what I would want to eat in my backyard, while reading a book. I’m a big fan of Greek salads, and this looks great. My fave is Greek Pasta Salad (

    Thanks for sharing this! You’re doing a great job!

  24. 5 Star Foodieon 23 Apr 2010 at 9:35 am

    This is terrific! We’ve been craving Greek flavors and this is a great recipe to try!
    .-= 5 Star Foodie´s last blog ..Vanilla Bean Muffins with Four Sugar Toppings and Morel Giveaway on MarxFoods =-.

  25. Sugon 23 Apr 2010 at 11:39 am

    Lovely implementation. Just wanted to clarify some bits:

    * Greek cuisine uses lamb, but not as much as Turkish cuisine (since turks can’t eat pork)
    * Basmati rice is pretty much unknown in Greece, only as indian food. As is hummus – that’s Lebanese.

  26. Sashaon 23 Apr 2010 at 4:19 pm

    I’m glad you guys had a change of heart : )
    The food looks awesome.
    .-= Sasha´s last blog ..Spunto’s Pizza =-.

  27. Katie @ Cozydeliciouson 24 Apr 2010 at 4:46 am

    Great photos! Your lamb looks so yummy! And your salad is so fresh and perfect. I vised friends in Bulgaria for a few weeks and pretty much lived on this salad (with a hefty sprinkle of beautiful feta-like cheese, of course).
    .-= Katie @ Cozydelicious´s last blog ..And I Don’t Even Like Cheesecake =-.

  28. Chef Eon 24 Apr 2010 at 11:49 am

    Krissy, wow you have made me really jealous, we have no, not one greek place near me, and I have not made kaboobs in a while, not even Seek…so delish looking here!
    .-= Chef E´s last blog ..New York Experience in Princeton? =-.

  29. Georgeon 25 Apr 2010 at 1:28 pm

    This looks very refreshing & rather easy! :)
    .-= Bianca @ South Bay Rants n Raves´s last blog ..Recipe: Beef Steak =-.

  30. Skylaron 27 Apr 2010 at 12:08 pm

    Looks tasty! I love the salad that goes with it.

  31. A Canadian Foodieon 28 Apr 2010 at 6:46 pm

    Truly – the last three posts have my mouth watering. They are beautifully photographed – and just delicious and fresh food. Gorgeous.
    Thank you – AGAIN!
    .-= A Canadian Foodie´s last blog ..The Bertinet Kitchen Cooking School in Bath =-.

  32. Brieon 01 May 2010 at 2:28 pm

    i love Greek food! those stuffed pitas look delicious!
    .-= Brie´s last blog ..Flatbread Pizzas =-.

  33. Alion 03 May 2010 at 12:05 pm


    Greek food is close to Lebanese food. We make some similar ground kebobs, but we use beef instead.

    This looks and sounds healthy and tasty.

  34. Pauslealon 05 May 2010 at 2:37 am

    My cousin recommended this blog and she was totally right keep up the fantastic work!

  35. Dhaleon 24 May 2010 at 7:35 am

    This looks awesome! Definitely trying it out this week! Thanks for sharing :)
    .-= Dhale´s last blog ..Grilled Prawns & Anchovy Butter =-.

  36. Lacie Hoffmanon 08 Jun 2010 at 8:19 am

    I’m Lacie Hoffman, an intern with Superior Farms in Davis, CA, and I noticed your great article on your preparation of lamb kababs! I am super excited to hear all the enthusiasm about lamb. We are kicking off the summer with our summer grilling promotion at We’re giving away a Mediterranean cruise for two and promoting simple Mediterranean seasonings for lamb. We are hoping to get more lamb lovers this summer by highlighting delicious recipes and cooking tips. If you have any posts coming up, we would love to hear about them! Also, look for us on Facebook.

    Thank you for your time!


    Lacie Hoffman

  37. A Canadian Foodieon 24 Jun 2010 at 5:11 pm

    What a beautiful delicious, nutritious and boldly flavoured meal… gorgeous to look at, too. I didn’t think about using those cute little picks on the grill. Good idea!
    .-= A Canadian Foodie´s last blog ..Sous Vide Pulled Pork =-.

  38. Ryanon 20 Dec 2010 at 10:35 am

    These lamb kabobs sound delicious! Plus I’m a sucker for Tzatziki sauce :D

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