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The flavors of Morocco match up beautifully with lamb (see other Moroccan Lamb recipes below!), and these kebabs are no exception.

Moroccan-Inspired Lamb Kebabs on a wooden board.

Harissa Paste

Harissa is a spicy North African paste made from chilis, coriander, cumin, garlic, and lemon, sometimes other spices as well.  You might also find harissa in the form of a spice blend, but here you want the paste or sauce (which you can also make yourself, if you are so inclined!).  I always have a jar on hand, and it’s a great condiment to keep around to perk up soups, stews, and so forth.  It’s really a great shortcut ingredient to add a lot of bang for the buck to all kinds of dishes.

Moroccan Marinade

This marinade features harissa (which of course is a combination of a generous amount of flavorful ingredients in and of itself), as well as fresh cilantro, parsley, garlic, paprika, cumin, salt pepper, and cayenne, plus some neutrally flavored oil to pull it together.

Moroccan-Inspired Lamb Kebab on a plate with rice.

Best Lamb for Kebabs

Buy leg or shoulder meat and cube it yourself, or perhaps a lamb steak.  These are the best cuts of lamb for cubing and skewering; and you can also buy them precut if you like.  Butcher counters will have the freshest meat, always, so try and purchase your lamb there, and check with the butcher to make sure you are getting the right cut of lamb for quick cooking kebabs.

I often cut lamb for kebabs into 1 1/2 inch cubes.  They will shrink a bit while cooking, but still be generous in size.  This way you can get nicely browned cubes without worrying about the middle losing its pink juiciness.

Woman grabbing a Moroccan-Inspired Lamb Kebab with tongs.

Lamb Kebabs

This recipe calls for cooking the lamb on its own, rather than in combination with vegetables on the skewers.  You can to make separate vegetable kebabs and let everyone pick and chose what they like.  But cooking the meat separately allows you to keep your focus on getting the lamb cooked just the way you like it, without worrying about the vegetables being to under or overcooked with the lamb timing.

Moroccan Inspired Lamb Kebabs: Moroccan seasonings match up beautifully with lamb, and a drizzle of herby sauce makes these memorable.

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How to Serve Moroccan Inspired Lamb Kebabs

These kebabs are plenty flavorful on their own, but the accompanying condiment Chermoula turns them from a nice dinner into a feast.  

Woman pouring Chermoula sauce on Lamb Kebabs.

Chermoula

This is a quintessential North African Condiment, which is often serve with fish dishes, but goes beautifully with lamb, especially made with this Moroccan-Inspired Marinade.  The toasted spices and the fresh herbs make it a little bit of a flavor explosion in your mouth – I am sorry it took me so long to find it!

It will last, sealed, in the fridge for 2 to 3 days.  Try it with anything grilled, or stir it into dishes the way you might use pesto.  I’m eager to try it on sliced tomatoes.

Moroccan-Inspired Lamb Kebabs over rice.

How to Make Moroccan Inspired Lamb Kebabs

Place the harissa paste, vegetable oil, cilantro, parsley, garlic, paprika, cumin, salt, pepper, and cayenne in a large mixing bowl or container and stir to combine.  Add the lamb cubes and toss to coat well.  Cover and refrigerate for 6 to 24 hours.

Soak about 20 6-inch wooden skewers, or 10 12-inch skewers, in water to cover for 30 minutes.  You can also use metal skewers, which do not need soaking.

Meanwhile, make the Chermoula (see recipe below).

Thread the skewers with the lamb.  Discard the remaining marinade.

Woman putting seasoned lamb onto a skewer.

Heat a grill pan over medium high heat (you can also cook these on a grill over medium high heat).  Cook the kebabs for about 8 minutes total for medium rare, turning them every few minutes to get nice grill pan marks on most sides of the meat.  

Woman placing Lamb Kebabs on a pan.

Serve hot or at room temperature with the cilantro, lemon wedges and chermoula.

What to Serve with Moroccan Inspired Lamb Kebabs:

Plates of Moroccan-Inspired Lamb Kebabs and rice.

More Lamb Recipes:

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Moroccan Inspired Lamb Kebabs

5 from 1 vote
Prep: 25 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
Servings: 6 People
Moroccan seasonings match up beautifully with lamb, and a drizzle of herby Chermoula sauce makes these memorable.

Equipment

Ingredients 

  • 2 tablespoons harissa paste
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 clove garlic , minced
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • teaspoon (big pinch) cayenne pepper
  • 2 pounds boneless lamb leg or shoulder , cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes

For the Chermoula

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 jalapeno pepper , cored, seeded and minced
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice

For Garnish (Optional)

  • Fresh cilantro sprigs
  • Lemon wedges

Instructions 

  • Place the harissa paste, vegetable oil, cilantro, parsley, garlic, paprika, cumin, salt, pepper, and cayenne in a large mixing bowl or container and stir to combine. Add the lamb cubes and toss to coat well. Cover and refrigerate for 6 to 24 hours.
  • Soak about 20 6-inch wooden skewers, or 10 12-inch skewers, in water to cover for 30 minutes. You can also use metal skewers, which do not need soaking.
  • Meanwhile, make the Chermoula: Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add the cumin and coriander and stir in the fry pan for 1 to 2 minutes, until you smell the spices toasting a bit. Transfer to a small bowl or container and cool. Stir in the parsley, cilantro, jalapeno, garlic, salt, paprika, olive oil and lemon juice. Taste and adjust the seasonings as desired.
  • Thread the skewers with the lamb. Discard the remaining marinade.
  • Heat a grill pan over medium high heat (you can also cook these on a grill over medium high heat). Cook the kebabs for about 8 minutes total for medium rare, turning them every few minutes to get nice grill pan marks on most sides of the meat.
  • Serve hot or at room temperature with the cilantro, lemon wedges and chermoula.

Notes

Buy leg or shoulder meat and cube it yourself, or perhaps a lamb steak.  These are the best cuts of lamb for cubing and skewering; and you can also buy them precut if you like.  Butcher counters will have the freshest meat, always, so try and purchase your lamb there, and check with the butcher to make sure you are getting the right cut of lamb for quick cooking kebabs.
I often cut lamb for kebabs into 1 1/2 inch cubes.  They will shrink a bit while cooking, but still be generous in size.  This way you can get nicely browned cubes without worrying about the middle losing its pink juiciness.

Nutrition

Calories: 473kcal, Carbohydrates: 3g, Protein: 32g, Fat: 37g, Saturated Fat: 13g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 18g, Cholesterol: 100mg, Sodium: 757mg, Potassium: 523mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 871IU, Vitamin C: 15mg, Calcium: 41mg, Iron: 4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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