Shashlik – Grilled Lamb Kebabs

Shashlik – Grilled Lamb Kebabs (sometimes spelled shashlyk) are the traditional Russian take on the famous shish kebabs.

Shashlik - Grilled Lamb Kebabs

Shashlik – Grilled Lamb Kebabs

by Sue Lau | Palatable Pastime

This is a delicious version of a lamb kebab with an ingredients list a mile long. You’ll just have to trust me on those: I found them on a package of shashlik marinade that was imported from Russia, so it is definitely authentic. I was a little worried myself as I added some of them. I mean, basil plus nutmeg?

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But the end result actually works, and the flavor is not the same as you would get from a Middle Eastern kebab.

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The sauce I came up with because it just seemed to need a sauce, or else I am just too accustomed to Greek souvlaki on pita. But it works too. But in any case, you could just eat this as kebabs on a plate with a side of steamed kasha or rice pilau and a small salad.

I liked it as a sandwich, and although I am not quite sure if that part is typical or not, it is kind of typical of what I would do. 😉


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Shashlik – Grilled Lamb Kebabs

Shashlik - Grilled Lamb Kebabs

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Total Time 6 hrs
Course Main Course
Cuisine Eastern European, Russian
Servings 4



  • 1 pound boneless lamb (cut into cubes)
  • 1-2 small zucchini (oblique cut - optional)
  • grilled flat bread (optional on the side)
  • chopped tomato (optional on the side)
  • chopped red onion (optional on the side)


  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh basil paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1/2 teaspoon savory
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon aleppo pepper or red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg


  • 1/2 cup sour cream or thick Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup kefir
  • 1/4 cup roasted garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper


  • Mix together ingredients for the marinade and marinate lamb pieces 6 hours or overnight.
  • Thread lamb onto grilling skewers along with pieces of cut zucchini.
  • Stir together ingredients for sauce and prep onions, and tomato.
  • Grill lamb over medium hot coals until cooked to medium or well done, 10-15 minutes.
  • Griddle bread at the last minute if using so it is warm and pliable.


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