This is a recipe for grilled lamb salad where lamb kebabs are served over a bed of arugula that’s been tossed with a dreamy creamy lemon vinaigrette. Topped with crumbled blue cheese, ready in 30 minutes, this is a recipe that deserves a standing ovation.
Table of contents
I simply can’t resist those plastic clam shells of organic baby arugula from Whole Foods. And tossing it with a creamy lemony vinaigrette truly enhances its fresh peppery flavor.
My latest arugula salad adventure turned into a lamb salad, topped with grilled lamb kabobs and some crumbles of blue cheese. DIVINE flavor combo.
Just picture a bite of tender grilled lamb that’s been drizzled with a creamy lemony vinaigrette, topped with crumbles of full-bodied and savory blue cheese, and some crisp sweet onion and peppery arugula all in your mouth at the same time. ::::sigh.
And as I said, easy enough for a weeknight meal and elegant enough for guests. We simply love this recipe.
And there’s no reason to be intimidated by cooking lamb. Lamb is easy to prepare and when cooked properly, lamb is flavorful and juicy. And the methods for preparing it are no different than those you use for beef and pork.
Grilled lamb is a fast, delicious, practical weeknight option. Prep time is minimal for this recipe with an impressive outcome.
I’m sure hoping you’ll sit up and take notice and give this recipe a try very soon. And preferably on a work week evening for a quick easy meals that just happens to be restaurant quality delicious.
About Colorado Lamb
Colorado has a strong ranching heritage and lamb plays a big part in our history. Colorado Lamb is highly sought after due to its quality, and consistency in flavor and tenderness. The majority of lamb are free range, grazing on grass, brush and sage in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. And even graze in Colorado Vineyards. Colorado lamb is hormone and antibiotic free.
Lamb raised and imported from New Zealand and Australia are smaller in size that American raised lamb, and bring with it a gamier flavor. Please support local. Ask your butcher for Colorado raised lamb.
Let’s take a look.
Ingredients You’ll Need To Make Lamb Salad
- Lamb. I like to use a lamb steak. Due to how thin it’s cut, it makes it easy to cut into pieces for lamb kebabs.
- Blue Cheese. I like the quality and flavor of Maytag Blue Cheese.
- Lemon. Fresh lemon juice to make that creamy lemon vinaigrette.
- Olive Oil. Select a good quality olive oil for this recipe.
- Sour Cream. Full fat preferred.
Ingredient Subs and Swaps
- Lamb. If you simply don’t want to use lamb for this kebab salad, switch out boneless skinless grilled chicken breast or chicken thighs, or even steak. A beef tenderloin would work very well here.
- Arugula: I happen to like arugula for this recipe, simply because it’s a good flavor pairing for the creamy lemon vinaigrette. Substitute any sturdy greens. Romaine would work well here as would baby spinach. Shredded Napa cabbage might be a fun swap.
- Onion: Want a stronger onion flavor, substitute sweet onion with red onion.
- Sour Cream: You can use a low fat sour cream for this recipe to make it healthier. You can also substitute creme fraiche for sour cream.
- Cheese: If you don’t like blue cheese, a good substitute here would be feta cheese.
Step by Step Instructions
Be sure to see the recipe card below for complete ingredients and instructions.
- Step 1: Make the Creamy Lemon Vinaigrette. In a small bowl, place sour cream, lemon juice and chopped garlic.
- Step 2: Slowly whisk in the olive oil until well blended. Set aside.
- Step 3: In a medium bowl, combine the bite sized pieces of lamb with the 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt, and ground black pepper. Toss to coat evenly. Thread the lamb onto four small (8-inch) bamboo or metal skewers. Cook the skewers on the grill or on a broiler pan and broil the lamb, flipping once, until browned on the outside but still pink inside (medium), 2 to 4 minutes per side. Once cooked, drizzle the cooked kebabs with some of the vinaigrette.
- Step 4: In the meantime, finish the salad. In a medium bowl, toss the arugula and onion with enough of the remaining vinaigrette to lightly coat (you may not need it all). Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Step 5: Pile the greens on two plates, top each salad with two lamb skewers, sprinkle with the blue cheese, and serve immediately.
Lamb Salad FAQ’s
For lamb kabobs, the best cut of meat is a boneless cut. You can choose from a boneless leg of lamb, lamb shoulder, sirloin chops or cubed kebab meat. Source: American Lamb.
If you don’t have an outdoor grill, you most certainly can cook them in the oven. Just place the skewers on a sheet pan. Set oven on broil. Broil about 5 inches below the broiler unit turning several times. This should take about 6-8 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 145 degrees for medium rare.
This recipe is so easy, there’s not much reason to do so. But if you need to save a few minutes, cut the lamb the day before and skewer the meat. You can also make the vinaigrette the day before. Just give it a good whisk before using to recombine the ingredients.
Pro Tip: If using wooden skewers, soak the skewers in water for 30 minutes before starting this recipe. It will keep the skewers from burning during the cook time.
Tips For Grilled Lamb Salad
- Cut the lamb in cubes that are 1 – 1 1/2 inches in size. They will cook quickly, and evenly sized cubes will result in even cooking.
- Don’t push the lamb cubes too tightly on the skewer. Just nestle them close to each other. Pushing them too tight together will keep them from cooking evenly.
- Let lamb come to room temperature before cooking. Take lamb out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes before you plan on preparing this recipe. If you add cold lamb to a hot grill, the tender texture may be compromised.
- Use a good quality olive oil for the kebab salad vinaigrette. Save that big bottle of olive oil from Costco for sauteeing. Instead keep a bottle of milder flavored oil in your pantry to use for vinaigrettes. Brands that are easy to find are Pompeian Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Once the arugula is dressed, it will not store well as leftovers. Store any leftover lamb pieces in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Or freeze for up to 3 months.
Recipe for Grilled Lamb Salad
If you’re looking for more lamb recipes, don’t miss my Lamb Category and this recipe for Grilled Lamb Sliders with Tomato Chutney. An incredibly delicious recipe from the famous Estes Park, Colorado Stanley Hotel.
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Grilled Lamb Salad with Baby Arugula and Creamy Lemon Vinaigrette
- 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons sour cream
- 1 small clove garlic minced
- Kosher salt
- 1/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 3/4 pound boneless lamb shoulder chops or lamb leg steaks cut into 1-inch cubes
- Coarsely ground black pepper
- 4 ounces baby arugula about 4 cups
- 1/2 cup very thinly sliced Vidalia or Sweet Texas Onion
- 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese room temperature
- Preheat grill or position an oven rack 4-5 inches from the broiler element and heat the broiler to high.
- In a small bowl, combine the lemon juice, sour cream, garlic, and a pinch of salt. Slowly whisk in 1/4 cup olive oil.
- In a medium bowl, combine the lamb with the 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Toss to coat evenly. Thread the lamb onto four small (8-inch) bamboo or metal skewers.
- Put the skewers on the grill or on a broiler pan and broil the lamb, flipping once, until browned on the outside but still pink inside. These lamb kebabs are best served medium rare, 145 degrees internal temperature., 2 to 4 minutes per side.
- Transfer the skewers to a small, shallow baking dish. Whisk the vinaigrette to recombine and pour 3 Tbsp over the skewers, turning to coat.
- In a medium bowl, toss the arugula and onion with enough of the remaining vinaigrette to lightly coat (you may not need it all). Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Pile the greens on two plates, top each salad with two lamb skewers, sprinkle with the cheese, and serve immediately.
Grilled Lamb Salad … It’s Whats for Dinner
Why Trust These Recipes? Lea Ann Brown has lived, worked and played in Colorado for 45 years. She has immersed herself in the Colorado Culinary space, is a Culinary School Graduate and publishes her Colorado food Blog, Cooking On The Ranch.